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Quilted Snowflake

by Kathy K. Wylie

This week, we’ve been exploring a variety of machine cutwork techniques while making lacy snowflakes, glittery snowflakes, snowflake quilt blocks, and stained glass snowflakes. Each technique involved tracing a snowflake design onto water-soluble stabilizer, stitching it to fabric, cutting out the design, and satin-stitching over the cut-out edges. In a fraction of the time, we were able to create the look of heirloom embroidery. Today we’re going to take a slightly different approach and make a quilted snowflake with cut-away trapunto.

Quilted Snowflake

Trapunto adds marvelous dimension to quilts. It’s defined as “quilting that has an embossed design produced by outlining the pattern with single stitches and then padding it with yarn or cotton”. Originally, trapunto was done by slitting the backing fabric in order to stuff the design with batting. The slit was then slip-stitched closed or covered with a second backing fabric. With “cut-away trapunto”, the extra stuffing is added before the quilt is layered and quilted.

It occurred to me the same Sulky Ultra Solvy that we’ve been using for our cutwork snowflakes could be used as a quilting template. We can trace the snowflake onto the Solvy, pin it on the quilt, stitch, then soak the quilt to dissolve the Solvy. While I still consider this an excellent idea, I discovered that Ultra Solvy is not the only wash-away stabilizer available from Sulky. I decided to try a new one (to me): Sticky Fabri-Solvy.

Sticky Fabri-Solvy

This stabilizer is brilliant! It comes on a roll or in a 1-yard package or in 8-1/2″ x 11″ sheets that run through your printer. As the name would suggest, it looks like white fabric (not clear, like Ultra Solvy) and the back is sticky. How wonderful for positioning it onto the quilt layers! Andit dissolves in water. Fantastic!

For a cut-away trapunto snowflake, trace the design onto your choice of wash-away stabilizer. I had to divide my snowflake in half and use two sheets of 8-1/2″ x 11″ Sticky Fabri-Solvy to fit. Peel off the backing paper and stick the Fabri-Solvy (or pin the Ultra Solvy) onto your quilt top.

Pin a layer of high-loft batting – the stuffing – under the motif. I’ve been enjoying good results using wool batting for this layer.

Layer fabric with high-loft batting

Stitch the two layers together, following the marked design, using water-soluble thread in the needle and regular thread in the bobbin.

Stitch on marked lines with water-soluble thread

From the back, carefully trim the batting close to the stitching so that only the design is “stuffed”.

Cut away high-loft batting

High-loft batting cut away from quilt top

From this point, construct the quilt as usual. Layer the quilt top with batting and backing fabric and baste. Quilt by stitching over the same design lines, this time using your choice of quilting thread. For best results, add dense quilting in the background around the motif. This will compress the background and make the stuffed areas stand out.

Compress background with dense stitching

Once the quilting is complete, wash or soak the quilt. Not only will the Solvy disappear along with the marked lines, but the first layer of water-soluble thread will also dissolve. All that remains is a beautiful embossed snowflake.

Dissolve Fabri-Solvy in water

So, if you’re not using cutwork to make lacy snowflakes, glittery snowflakes, snowflake quilt blocks, or stained glass snowflakes, you might be using it for a quilted snowflake! Heirloom needlework techniques are all made possible with the magic of wash-away stabilizers. Winter may mean snow, but we can cuddle up in our sewing rooms and bring the beauty of snowflakes into our homes.



Chris December 13, 2015 - 12:56 am

I made a couple of these for Christmas. Thanks for the tutorial.

Debra Kay Neiman January 20, 2015 - 6:37 pm

I so want to do this one. Thank you for the easy to follow tutorial.

Carla A. Canonico January 22, 2015 - 1:51 pm

Glad you liked it! If you ever get it done, I’d love to see a picture!. Post it to our Facebook page: QUILTsocial Thanks!

Joyce Carter January 17, 2015 - 10:46 pm

WOW! This is really awesome. I love the results and would love to try this. Thank you so much for sharing.

Judi Baxter January 17, 2015 - 6:59 pm

We are learning new sewing and quilting techniques to make baby blankets for the local hospital and blankets for homeless. I love this snowflake! Thank you and will hope for the giveaway to help our supply shelf! God Bless

Pauline January 17, 2015 - 4:13 pm

brilliant – thanks

Margaret Schindler January 17, 2015 - 10:22 am

Thank you so much for showing this. I need to try it. It is beautiful

Fred January 17, 2015 - 7:19 am

Great technique, and lovely snowflake!

Lee January 17, 2015 - 5:10 am

Loving the snowflake!! thanks for the tutorial!

Annmarie January 16, 2015 - 1:05 pm

These are sew wonderful & the tutorial is easy to follow – I hope I have the patience to make a one!


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