Trapunto is a whole cloth quilting technique which produces a raised surface on the quilt.
Trapunto patterns consist of vines, leaves, grapes, cherries and so on. The vines and straight line patterns
are threaded with a soft yarn or cording. The rounder shapes are stuffed with small amounts
of batting inserted from a small slit made in the backing fabric. After the shapes are stuffed, the slit is whipped stitched
closed. A second backing fabric is then added to the quilt and normal quilting is done all around the
previously stuffed shapes.
Another style of Trapunto uses a loosely woven fabric for the quilt backing. Then, instead of making slits in the backing to stuff shapes, a needle is used to carefully push the backing thread apart to form an opening for the stuffing. The threads are then carefully pushed back into place. This eliminates the need for a second backing fabric.
Trapunto originated in Itay in the early 16th century. It appeared in the United States in the the late 1700's and remained popular until the Civil War.
World Wide Quilting Page