HAND-CRAFTED LEATHER GOODS
Of the two different kinds of quilting associated with leatherwork, namely ordinary (for lack of a better word) quilting and Italian quilting, the ordinary usually proves to be the trickier of the two.
With ordinary quilting, which is used on things like chairbacks or pouffe tops, you have to be careful that the layers aren't moving about as you are stitching, for therein lies disaster.
For transferring your design on to the right side of your leather it's better to use templates to draw round, using a sharp-pointed chinagraph pencil which shows up clearly even on suede. Trying to transfer your design by going over it on tracing film placed on the right side of the leather doesn't make a good enough impression, so it is difficult to see.
After layering your leather on top of your wadding plus either cotton or muslin backing, tack, using large stitches along your design outlines and round the edges as well. Then you can do your proper quilting stitching without fearing that everything is going to move about. You can use a sewing machine instead of hand- stitching, but it isn't always practicable.
Then we come to Italian quilting, and there are two or three ways of going about this. You can use an adhesive to stick your leather and its backing fabric together at the edges. Your design, which can be transferred before or after you've done that, is drawn on the backing side, and is preferably one where relatively small areas will be completely enclosed by your stitching.
Next you make small slits inside the enclosed areas so that you can poke your padding (either kapok or cotton wool) through, using a cotton-bud or cocktail stick. Then over-sew the openings to keep it in. This method is only used when the backing won't be visible in the finished article or there will be another loose lining attached at the edges, say, of an opening.
There is an alternative to the usual wadding and that is to use a plaster-type cement mixture. It depends on the use the quilted piece is being used for, and of course, it sets hard.
There is another way of doing the Italian quilting which doesn't involve cutting into the enclosed-by-stitching areas of your design. It is possible, by gluing just one edge of the backing to the leather to work your way across the piece, area by area, sticking down say two thirds of each area to be stitched around, carefully inserting the stuffing, then sticking down the last third, then stitching around that whole section. Then on to the next area to be stuffed and so on, fiddly, but no slits to be over-sewn in the backing.