Many of the quilted garments, such as winter petticoats, and bedcoverings were stitched by professionals who made meager salaries. It was mostly the well-to-do women who had time for fine needlework such as trapunto, which in Italian means "to embroider." In Latin it means "to prick with a needle." English and American quilters called the technique stuffed work.
|Quilted petticoat with trapunto trim|
|Picture courtesy of the Quilts a Lot Blog|
Next, using a stiletto, a toothpick, darning needle, or an instrument called a bodkin they stuffed tiny pieces of stuffing or yarn through the holes. After stuffing the space evenly, they would move the threads of the backing into place, closing up the holes.
In some of the finer examples of trapunto, quilters would stuff darkly dyed batting or yarn underneath the thin white topping, allowing the color to shine through like a pale shadow. This was a tedious process that took a long time.
There's a nice video that shows how to do this elegant needlework at:
You may also want to visit the Quilts a Lot blog at: