In traditional Trapunto, stitches are sewn in close rows around an area that is not sewn, creating an open space. It is negative sewing: sewing around an area to define a shape instead of in the area.
What you'll learn
In traditional Trapunto, stitches are sewn in close rows around an area that is not sewn, creating an open space. It is negative sewing: sewing around an area to define a shape instead of in the area. It is usually sewn over two layers of fabric. The open, unsewn shape is stuffed with batting through a slit in the bottom layer of fabric, giving definition to the unsewn area by puffing it.
In machine embroidery, the Trapunto technique is the opposite of usual embroidery. When you sew most embroidery designs, you create something recognizable by filling an area with sewing stitches. In Trapunto embroidery, you sew low density fill around the area you would normally fill with stitches, creating the Trapunto effect.
A Trapunto design is easy to create using DigitizerPro. We will use a semi-automatic embroidery tool and two quick setting changes to create it.
Note: Trapunto designs are at their best when sewn with either an under layer of batting or on thick sweatshirt fleece. The outer low density fill will flatten the batting or fleece, automatically puffing up the areas that are not filled.
To show how to create easy Trapunto, we will use the Pieces6 bitmap from the Embroidery Album.
We plan to use Hoop ST (Standard Hoop). To choose your hoop, click the down arrow in the Hoop Selection box to see the choices.
Click on the hoop you want to use. It will appear in the Hoop Selection box and will show on your design screen.
Note: The MC11000 Hoop ST has the same dimensions as the MC10001 Hoop A.
To insert the Pieces 6 bitmap on the design screen.
Click Image, Insert Image...
The Open dialog box will appear. If necessary, change the Look in: box to the Embroidery Album, which was placed on your C: drive when DigitizerPro was installed.
Click Pieces6 once to see the bitmap in the Preview window. Click Open to bring the bitmap to the design screen.
Note: If you do not see the bitmap on the design screen, click the Display Images icon.
Pieces6 is a small bitmap. We can enlarge the bitmap to fill the hoop area.
If the bitmap is not already selected (having 8 black boxes around it), click on the bitmap to select it.
Double-click on the bitmap to bring up its only property, which are its dimensions. Increase both the width and the height of the bitmap to 200%.
Click OK to set the new size.
Because we are going to use a semi-automatic tool, we must prepare the Pieces6 bitmap to be autodigitized.
Click the Image Preparation icon.
The Image Preparation dialog box will appear.
Since the colors in the bitmap can't be reduced any further, click OK.
We will be using the Click-to-Parallel Weave Fill tool. If this tool is not showing on the Digitize toolbar, click the flyout arrow on the Click-to tool to see the Click-to toolbar.
Click the Click-to-Parallel Weave Fill tool to select.
When you use the Click-to tools, the default thread color is the color of the area you are filling. Since we are going to generate fill in the background white area of the Pieces6 bitmap, it will automatically generate fill in white thread. This process is called matching to palette; DigitizerPro is determining the area color and matching a thread color for you.
However, if you would like to choose a different thread color, you must turn off Match to Palette.
To access the icon to toggle it off, click the flyout arrow on the Click-to-Parallel Weave Fill tool.
The Match to Palette icon is the rightmost icon on the flyout tool bar. Click to turn it off.
Click the Current Color icon (the thread icon) to bring up the thread palette.
Choose a thread color by clicking on it.
Click anywhere on the white background to generate the background fill.
To open the fill for a Trapunto look, we need to change the fill's object properties.
Click the Select icon.
Click the Object Details icon. The Object Details dialog box will appear.
On the Fill Stitch tab, change the Stitch Spacing (which is also called density) to 2.0 mm.
The stitch density is less dense, but we can now see that there are lines behind the fill that are showing through. One of the reasons for the lines is underlay. Underlay is automatically generated with the object. We can turn off underlay from sewing to eliminate lines behind the fill.
Click the Underlay icon to toggle off underlay.
Turning off underlay helped some, but there are still lines sewing behind the fill.
These lines are called travel lines. They are the "walking lines" that a digitizer program generates behind fill to get from one area of the fill to another.
DigitizerPro has a feature in the Fill Stitch tab of the Object Details dialog box that tells the software to reprogram how these run lines travel from one area to another. If we turn this feature on, the run lines will travel on the edge of the fill pattern, instead of in the middle.
Click the Object Details icon to bring up the object properties. Click the Fill Stitch tab, if necessary. Click a check mark in the Travel on Edge box.
The resulting fill has no travel lines.
To see the embroidery without the bitmap behind it, click the Display Images icon to toggle off the graphic.
Quick, easy Trapunto designs!
We will continue in lesson 6 to enhance this design.