Try a Little Trapunto Quilting on Your Next Pillow Project

If you have a passion for pillows, you are probably always looking for ways to improve upon the basic rectangle. How about trying trapunto? Trapunto is a technique that involves stuffing an area to make an attractive surface design. It's fun, easy and has a high graphic impact, especially on a solid colored pillow. Here's how:

Here is a trapunto sample
for a pillow surface design.

1) Trace a simple design on a piece of paper. The design should be in proportion to the pillow you are embellishing. I chose an oval shape that could be repeated on one pillow 2-3 times. Add 1/4" seam allowance to your design and cut out. This will become your pattern piece.

2) Cut out pieces from fabric. If you choose to embroider as I have, you will want to do that before you apply the pieces to your pillow covering. Note: It's also easier to apply trapunto to the front pillow piece before sewing your pillow cover together. If you have a cover that's already assembled, don't fret. You just have to turn it inside out and manuever slightly more to apply.

3) Sew your trapunto piece securely to the pillow piece. Leave a slight bit of ease to allow for the stuffing. I like to use an invisible slip stitch to apply, so that the stitches don't show.

Cut a slit in fabric backing,
stuff, and stitch.

4) Once you have secured your trapunto piece to the pillow, you will want to cut a small slit through the pillow fabric that is backing the trapunto piece. You will stuff the trapunto piece with polyfill through this slit and the stitch it up. Presto! You have accomplished trapunto.

Trapunto is not only great on pillows. It can be applied to garments as well. Just remember that if the back slit will be exposed, such as on a garment, for instance you will want to line the garment .

For more great embellishment and sewing tips and techniniques, check out the Stitch Workshop sale in the Sew Daily Shop. All videos are on sale for 40% off.

What sort of surface designs have you tried on your pillows? Tell us about it on the Sew Daily blog!

Happy stitching! 

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About Amber

Amber Eden is the editor of Stitch and She LOVES sewing and editing Stitch and She also loves dance, yoga, iced decaf triple espressos, and her two golden retrievers. She divides her time between Boston and New York.