Chapter 3: Along the Tracks



Italian or Corded Quilting

Sample 1: Creative use of Free Embroidery with Italian Quilting

As suggested, I looked at both Antoni Gaudi (Curves) and Frank Lloyd Wright, (Rectangles) and couldn’t really relate them to sample 1, so went back to the Picture Gallery: Twisted grids, p.36.  With Art Nouveau in mind, I found something similar in Dover Art Nouveau designs in color: Mucha, Verneuil & Auriol p.18 shapes by Mucha.  I made a fabric by chopping up thread ends and bonding them with Supamend onto white poly-cotton.  This was covered with chiffon, and the design raised using wool.


Chopped threads

Mucha design


Mucha design worked onto prepared fabric

Finished sample

This worked well, the difference between the padded area shows up easily.

Sample 2:  Italian quilting combined with stitch techniques

The design was based on a photo of Merchants’ houses in Ghent (p.17), besides the verticals and horizontals, there is a poster on the side of the building with a paisley-like shape on it.  The straight lines were executed using twin needles: two sizes 2.5 and 6mm on transfer dyed poly-cotton.   On top of this were worked three different sized paisley shapes with free machine outlines for the corded quilting, and machine patterns added.  Stitching against the twin needle direction was not easy.


Design sketch

Twin needle stitching

Pattern stitching

Finished sample

I think it is an interesting idea, but difficult to carry out satisfactorily.


Sample 3:  Italian quilting focusing on line and colour

This design was based on part of the plan of Hampton Court Maze (p.10).  Dyed poly-cotton, with chiffon on top and calico underneath.  The calico made it hard to get the coloured soft cotton threads into the right places: it would have been better to add the calico after doing the quilting.

Half the maze plan showing coloured lines

Design worked on fabrics.

Finished sample



Trapunto or Padded Quilting

Sample 1: using pattern

I began by looking at the Chrysler Building (p.33), but didn’t think it would work, but that the ‘cogs’ on the ratchet of the Lock paddle (p.32) would.  This was worked on a printed poly-cotton fabric, using a metallic thread.


Free machine Granite stitch

Back view

Finished sample

The metallic thread worked well, but I think a less complicated patterned fabric would have been better.


Sample 2: Where the depth of padding varies

The design is based on the ‘Snail staircase’ (p.4)

Manipulation of the image

Shaded according to depth of padding.

Very little padding, free machining on procion-dyed calico

Back view


Finished sample

I was happy with this sample, it produced exactly the result I wanted.


Sample 3: Tonal value demonstrated through the padded areas

Tarr Steps (p.16)



Shaded tracing


Shapes within shading



Chosen area

Eventual design



Finished sample using multi-coloured, light and dark jade wool fibres under chiffon.

Close-up showing curly Wensleydale fleece at the bottom

This was not as satisfactory as I had hoped: the chiffon was too opaque to show off the colours and textures of the wool topps properly.  Unfortunately, it was the only white one I had.