Trapunto Vs. Stuffed Appliqué
The terms trapunto and stuffed appliqué are often incorrectly used interchangeably. In fact, they are two different techniques. While both require considerable skill, trapunto is the more difficult to execute. Trapunto involves using a looser weave fabric (usually cotton) for the back of the quilt. The maker carefully separates threads of the backing and, with a needle, pushes through cotton batting to create a three dimensional effect that shows on the front. It is the actual quilting that shows the raised effect.
Stuffed appliqué involves laying down batting under the appliquéd panel. It is the appliquéd part of the quilt that has the raised effect. While this also requires considerable skill, it is not as difficult as trapunto. Many people refer to any work with three dimensionality as trapunto but that is not the case.