I had a piece of linen damask dyed with kakishibu which had been waiting for inspiration, decided to attempt the freeform whipstitch suggested by Draper and spent a couple of weeks in my crude effort to imitate her elegant, dense stitching. It's hard work, slow and sometimes physically demanding. And there's no way to keep the piece square or even, nor to avoid bulges and pleats and off-grain distortions. In other words, no control over the materials or the finished design--an excellent exercise in humility.
Once I had finished as much whipstitch as I could tolerate, I wanted to be sure the piece kept its unshapeliness. I basted it to a piece of felt, then pinned the whole thing onto silk canvas that I had dyed with black Rit. The dye came out more navy blue than black, but that was ok. The canvas pieces had been rusted once or twice, displaying a nice array of abstract rusty designs which complemented the browns in the kakishibu. Then I added two layers of wool batting so the whole piece would be as substantial as the embroidered section, and basted on a backing of soft goldy-pink synthetic upholstery fabric. The Bernina was able to quilt the whipstitched portion, which was too thick to force under the foot of the Sweet 16.