Book review: Exploring Machine Trapunto

Exploring Machine Trapunto, new dimensions bij Hari Walner

I don’t remember when I first heard about trapunto with the machine but when I saw the astonishing results you can achieve with it I had to learn it. The best way that works for me for learning new stuff is through books. So I search on the subject and  borrowed this book from the dutch quilters guild: Exploring Machine Trapunto, new dimensions bij Hari Walner

In a really short definition, trapunto means a quilt design raised with an additional layer of batting and with a pronounced “stuffed” effect. While it was traditionally a time-consuming, labor-intensive task, today’s quilters made it easier – you can do trapunto with the sewing machine!
Best of all, with machine trapunto, there are no holes in the back of your quilt!

This book has everything you need to learn this technique – list of materials and helping tools, choosing batting and step by step instructions. And after Hari reviews the basic techniques for machine trapunto the FUN begins!  The book describes- 7 different “uses” for this technique, including cornerstone quilting, — a reverse trapunto technique, great for borders and special effects. I was most fascinated with trapunto quilting a patchwork block.


The book also includes very useful and helpful patterns showing what should be shown with water soluble thread and what can be left to be quilted later.

Eventually I had to return the book to the library and I am considering buying it to my own library 😉 So when I desided to use machine trapunto for the  jubileum challange of the quilters guild I already forgot that the project in the book also quilted ohio star patchwork blocks. I used the same block but it was just a coincidence . It was a lot of fun to do and the results are amazing. I am defenately not done with this technique and I want to try the other idea’s too – The celtic design with twin needle, traupnto of the applique and the fake applique. I will show the whole quilt I sent to the quilters guild in the next post.

Hip boek cozy

I always carry a book in my bag. Mostly paperbacks because hardcovers are too heavy and these paperbacks get damaged sometimes because of other stuff in my (too) full bag. That is why I thought for quite sometime that I need a boekcozy with thick batting to protect my precious books.

I made 2 bags for 2 different common sizes of paperbacks: the small thick one and the bigger but also thinner one. Really thick books I just read at home and not in the bus 😛


  • Quilt fabric (cotton) for the outside, quilt fabric for the lining and cotton or bamboo quilt batting.
  • piece of 4 x 8 inches table cloth.
  • 25 cm zipper (you can always make a long zipper shorter)
  • sewing thread and sewing thread in a matching color for the table cloth and matching color for the fabric of the outside of the book cozy.
other tools:
  • zipper foot for the sewing machine
  • wonder clips and pins
Cut 2 rectangles of 18 x 26 cm from the fabric for the outsied, lining and batting. total: 6 rectangles.
Cut 2 squares of 12 x 12 cm from table cloth and cut each of the squares diagonally so you will get from 2 squares – 4 triangles.


Lay a rectangle from outside fabric right side up on a rectangle of batting and 2 table cloth triangles exactly above the corners of the long edge (that is  going to become the bottom of the book cozy) also right side up. Hold them in place with wonder clips and sew the diagonal edge through. Repeat this step for the backside of the book cozy with the other rectangle of outside fabric, batting and the other 2 table cloth triangles.


Lay down a piece of lining right side up. Lay the zipper along the long edge down right side up and then lay above that a piece with the table cloth triangles. De zipper now lays exactly between both pieces. pin the pieces along the edge or use the wonder clips.

Set your sewing machine for sewing zipper with the special zipper foot and sew the edges with the zipper between them. Turn the pieces to the other size so the zipper apears.

Lay the other piece of outside fabric right side up. Lay the zipper right side down above the edge of the outside fabric. Lay the other pice of lining right side down on the zipper.   It will lay on the other piece of lining. pin or clip and sew the edge.

When you turn the pieces you now have on both sides of the zipper 2 pieces sewn. top stitch with a matching thread to the right and  left of the zipper all the parts 0,5 cm from the zipper on each other.
Open the zipper. Lay the pieces of the lining on each other right sides facing each other. Automatically the pieces of the outside fabric are aligned right sides facing each other too. The table cloth triangles are between and above each other. pin or clip the outside edges and sew around. Don’t forget to leave a 10 cm opening in the long edge of the lining (to be able to turn the book cozy to the good side)
cut the corners diagonally
Turn the outside piece through the opening in the lining. Neatly shape the corners.
Sew the bottom edge of the lining. Lay the lining inside the bag. iron the bag if necessary and close the zipper.
In the other bag I made the zipper is on the short side.


Tunisian crochet

Tunisian crochet looks a lot like crochet but also like knitting, who knows, maybe this technique is the forerunner of  both. We have multiple stitches, like with knitting, but all the stitches stand on one needle that looks more like a long crochet hook than like a knitting needle.

When crocheting in a circle we use a dubble crochet ook. With the one side of the hook we pull up the stitches. Then we turn the work to the other side and finish the stitches that are on the needle. With this dubble crochet hook you can also crochet a dubble sided hat and if you use 2 colors – one for pulling up the stitches and another to finish the stitches then you get in one side a plaid pattern and in the other side strips.

My first project with this technique was a dubble sided hat, with a pom-pom in the top. For this project you need 2 tools:

  1. Double Ended Tunisian Crochet Hook
  2. Pom Pom Maker – Large

and also 3 colors acryl yarn.

It is really easy technique to learn. The needle also comes with instructions and on youtube you can also follow visual instructions. For example this handy (but long) Tunsich gehaakte muts van byClaire World of colors

I also made some hats for Blythe dolls:

Spotlight – Larkin Jean Van Horn

I discovered the quilting art Pinterest. My readers who know already what I like can imagine why I was so drawn to her work: excessive free motion machine quilting and excessive beading. And so I did what I usually do when I am enchanted by an art quilt: I googled her name, looked at more of her work (Thank you Larkin for close up photo’s on your website! you know what your viewers really want to see!) and send her an email asking for permission to write a spotlight post about her and show photo’s of her work.

Celtic Spiral VII 

Larkin Jean Van Horn is a mixed-media textile artist working in the areas of art quilts, beadwork, wearable art and glass art since the mid-1980 living in Whidbey Island in Washington.
Larkin says she’s been making things with her hands for as long as she could remember.  It didn’t really get named “art” until she was in her mid-30s and a great-Aunt looked carefully at a piece she was working on, looked her straight in the eye, and said “My dear, you are an artist.” suddenly, she added, she wasn’t just making things to stay busy – she was making things that meant something.
She was surprised to find herself teaching in 1992, but found she loved the challenge and excitement of the classroom. She also published books on beadwork, and patterns for wearable art garments and fabric vessels. Her work has been displayed and won honors both regionally and nationally.

Bursting with Energy

Her work represents the combination of her imagination, inspiration from the world around her, and her strong sense of drama.
the variety of textures found on the island inspires here — the waves and tidelines, wind-bent trees, strata and fissures in the rocks on the seashore and also the inner landscape of emotions, spirit, and self. It was all about texture and that is why she works with fabric, fiber, beads, and found objects.

According to Larkin, she uses a lot of feminine symbolism in her work. The lines are curved and sinuous rather than straight and angular. The colors are deep, rich, and lushly blended rather than starkly contrasting.

“Without being sweet and girly, I think my art is womanly and thoughtful. In a way, I am looking for a God I, as a woman, can identify with. And in my art-making, I find Her.”

~Larkin Jean van Horn, interview for abbey of the arts
Just a Stone’s Throw

Working process
Larkin calls her creating process  “clearing a path”. After finishing an art piece her creative space looks quite messy, piles of fabrics are everywhere, stuff on the floor and underfoot and total chaos so when it is time to start a new piece again she first spend some time folding fabric, putting things back in their places, unburdening the horizontal surfaces, and letting her mind wander where it will as she  prepare to begin (and oh how that sounds  familiar…) She admits she almost always enter without a clear vision of what will be made, and this process of “clearing a path” gives her a chance to let the materials spark an idea or topic or problem to be worked out.

“Art making is my spiritual practice. Others may read theological tomes, meditate, garden, walk and pray – I go into my studio and start moving things around”

~Larkin Jean van Horn, interview for abbey of the arts

Further reading:
Larkin’s website
Larkin’s blog – Bemused, Boggled, and Bedazzled
books bij Larkin Jean van Horn
follow Larkin on pinterest
Interview for abbey of the arts

Going with the Flow

Applying magnetic snaps

Magnetic snaps are easy to apply, they are strong and they give your bag a professional look. You don’t need any tool to apply them.Apply before sewing the lining and outer together.

Magnetic snap comprise of 4 parts: :

  • male
  • female
  • 2 swashers

how to apply magnetic snap
how to apply magnetic snap
1. Mark the area where you want place the snap.

how to apply magnetic snap2. Make two slits into your markings.
Push the prongs from the right side of your fabric to the left side.

how to apply magnetic snap3. Slip one of the thin metal discs over the prongs on the wrong side of the snap.
I Add a square of thin cotton bathing for reinforcement. you can also apply Fusible Interfacing before making the cuts.

how to apply magnetic snap4. Push the prongs down flat (away from each other) with your thumb or against the edge of the table.

how to apply magnetic snap
how to apply magnetic snap
5. Lay the other side of the lining on the first one, right sides facing each other and mark the place of the magnetic snap exactly above the one you just inserted.

how to apply magnetic snap
6. Repeat steps 2 – 4.

how to apply magnetic snapNow you can assemble the bag.

how to apply magnetic snap