So You Want to Start Quilting Series – Part 1

Basic Quilting Supplies

You have decided to make a quilt! Fantastic! But now what! There are so many decisions to be made and so much information out there that it can get overwhelming. Let’s start at the very beginning. What are the most basic quilting supplies that you will need to get you started on your new quilting journey?

Believe me, there are a lot of choices out there and if you get hooked (like I did) you will collect (hoard?) many different supplies, but for now, we will simply concentrate on what you may need to get started.  

Basic Quilting Supplies to Get you Started

Sewing Machine

quilting basic supplies sewing machine

The sewing machine doesn’t have to be fancy! It can be an older machine with just a straight stitch and nothing else. As long as it’s in good working order and you can stitch a good ¼ inch seam you are good to go.

Iron

basic quilting supplies iron

A good iron is invaluable, it doesn’t have to be expensive, but it shouldn’t spit water everywhere either. I had one that did that once, what a nightmare!

I have had everything from a really expensive iron that got dropped one too many times, to a really cheap iron and everything in between.

Currently, I use a no-name middle-of-the-road iron that I bought off Amazon because of the reviews and I LOVE it. Best Iron I have ever had, and I had never heard of the brand before.

Thread

quilting basic supplies thread
Superior Threads Masterpiece
basic quilting supplies thread
Auriful Thread

Don’t cheap out on thread! Buy a good quality cotton thread for sewing and piecing to start. You will be glad you did. You want a thread that is strong but is thin enough to give you a good ¼ inch seam. For a simple pieced quilt with not a lot of seams this may not make a huge difference but believe me, if you get hooked and start to make a pieced star quilt or an even more advanced design you will want a thinner thread.

Use a 50 wt cotton thread for piecing. Not all 50 wt thread is created equally, two spools may both say they are 50 wt however, one may be thicker than another. The two best brands that I have found for piecing Superior Threads Masterpiece or Auriful Threads (with the orange cone). Both of these threads can be purchased at Cindy’s Threadworks .

Stick with neutral colours such as the colours shown in the Auriful picture above as they can then be used with many different fabric colours which will save you money in the long run as you won’t have to run out and buy every colour of thread. Ok well, at least not at first.

For more information on thread, you can read https://sunshinestudiovictoria.com/thread/ or watch my video on thread choices.

Pins

You will want good-quality straight pins with plastic or glass heads that aren’t too thick. You will find a magnetic pincushion to be an invaluable tool as inevitably you will dump those pins on the floor at some point (ask me how I know).

Seam Ripper

quilting basic supplies seam ripper

A seam ripper is an invaluable tool! You WILL need a seam ripper at some point. Get one that has a sharp narrow point. Some seam rippers tend to run thicker than others so try to find one that has a fine point as it will be far easier to take out those pesky mistakes.

Scissors

Find a good pair (or several) of smaller sharp scissors, or you can use snips. These will come in handy for snipping off threads while sewing

Fabric

I will have more info coming up on fabric but suffice it to say you want good quality quilting cotton ESPECIALLY for your first project. Wait for a sale day at your favourite quilting store and purchase the best quality you can afford.

Cheaper fabric tends to have less thread count and less thread count means the fabric will stretch and if you are trying to piece anything other than a pattern with very simple squares you will find working with cheap fabric a complete nightmare! Not exactly the kind of experience you want to have for your first attempt.

Self Healing Mat

Most quilters cut fabric out using rotary cutters these days, to do that safely you will need a self-healing mat of some sort. These come in many different sizes but an 18×24 mat will work well to start.

It doesn’t really matter what brand but make sure it is good quality.

Rotary Cutters

One of my favourite tools! It makes cutting fabric so easy! They come in several different sizes but a 45mm one that you feel comfortable holding would be a good place to start.

Quilting Rulers

Omnigrid Ruler
Olfa Ruler

Quilting Rulers! An absolute must to have as a basic supply! They go hand in hand with the above Rotary Cutter.

There are many different brands available. Two of the most popular are Omnigred and Olfa.

Try both out and see which one you like better!

To start, the 6 x 12 and 6 x 24 are great multipurpose sizes.

Basic Quilting Supplies Recap

So you might be thinking wow, this could end up costing a lot really quickly, and yes, it could however if you are a sewist anyhow you may already have some of these items already. Purchase items on sale or check online.

Have fun and remember this is an investment in creating those quilty hugs we want to create for our loved ones or just for us!

Next, we will move onto how to choose a good beginner quilting project, see you then!

Hacked!

Wow, it’s March already! I was told when I was younger that time seems to go faster as you age. When I was little, I wanted time to speed up. You know you can get your ears pierced when you are 13, you can get a driver’s license at 16 and on and on. You keep waiting for those magical ages and it seems that they take forever to reach.

Then one day you are older, and time really does seem to fly by, just when you may want it to actually slow down.

Hacked Me?

Even with Covid this year, I found Christmas to be a busy time for me and then the week before Christmas I had the news that my website, this very one, was hacked! HACKED really, who would be interested in hacking a quilting website! Well apparently, someone did.

I got an email from the company that hosts my site saying they had taken me offline because of malicious files that had been embedded in some of my blog posts. At first, I thought it was a scam and ignored it until I went to do a blog post and realized that my website was gone.

Now came the fun part, trying to get everything fixed over Christmas! Luckily, I was able to hire a company that specializes in cleaning up this type of thing. To top it off I had also been blacklisted by Google so had to get that sorted out as well but thankfully this company was set up to help with that as well.

It’s sad when a company’s sole existence is to fix web sites that have been maliciously hacked into. but I am super thankful that they do exist because I would have been lost without their help.

It finally got all sorted out though and my website is back up and waiting for more blog posts.

I now have way more security on my little quilting website, than I ever thought I would need. It has been an interesting journey that’s for sure. I installed a plugin on my website called wordfence two weeks ago and to my utter surprise, it has stopped 6 people trying to hack into my site. It sends me notifications and it is fascinating information! It tells me what they are trying to use to get into the site, how many attempts before Wordfence locks them out and where in the world they are trying to access my site from.

Do these people have nothing better to do with their time! Imagine if they actually put that creativity into creating something good in this world instead of hacking into small websites and planting malicious files.

Well, maybe now I can get back to all things quilting!

Quilt Finishes

I did manage to finish one project over the Christmas holidays, and that was my Japanese Ladies panel I was working on. I got it all quilted, binding on however I waited until after the Christmas rush before sending the parcel and I’m glad I did. The quilt arrived in Virginia in just under a week.  This is great news as I still haven’t received two Christmas cards that were sent me from the US way back in December. Maybe they will show up for next Christmas!

Happy Quilting!

What is your Quilt’s Destiny?

What’s Going On

The last few days have been pouring with rain and I am so happy to be working inside and not having to leave the house. Cocoa doesn’t get a walk of course; however, he really doesn’t mind as he HATES the rain and will do anything to avoid getting wet. Chihuahuas are not water dogs, that’s for sure.

Today has dawned sunny though so hopefully we will get that walk in today if the weather holds.

Design Wall Update

I have been busy with client quilts these days so my own projects have been languishing. The Remembrance Day Poppy Quilt is still on the design wall, you think I would have been finished this by now!

The centre is finished and has been for several weeks now (I showed a picture of it on the last blog. I started off so excited with this project however I will admit now to feeling a little bored with it and really want to move onto other things.

I won’t until this project is at least to a flimsy stage and ready to quilt. I really need to get some of these projects just finished! Do you ever feel like that?

The other project on the design wall is a small commission quilt that I am working on. It’s a McKenna Ryan art quilt piece that will be a Christmas Gift. I love this quilt so much I may have to make one for myself. You can see a picture of it at the top of this page.

What is your Quilt’s Destiny?

 

In the last blog post, I talked about what options there were when you finally finished piecing that quilt top. Today I am going to go over some design options to use for quilting your tops whether you are quilting them yourself on your domestic home sewing machine or whether you are taking them to a longarm quilter.

Your Quilt’s Destiny

I read a book awhile ago, not sure if you can even get it now, called Machine Quilting Solutions by Christine Maraccini. In this book, she went into detail about how to analyze your quilt top before quilting it. I found this to be a really useful concept and have used a lot of her principles in my decisions about how a quilt top should be quilted and what designs may look best on the top.

She calls it “decoding” the quilt.

The first question that is asked is “What is your Quilt’s Destiny”?

It is important to consider how the quilt is going to be used as well as who the recipient of the quilt is going to be. For example, if the quilt is to be gifted to a child you aren’t going to want to spend a whole lot of time and/or money on the quilting of it.

In her book, she broke out the quilt destiny into three different categories

  1. The Dragger
  2. The Keepsake
  3. The Showstopper

The Dragger: A quilt that is going to be “dragged” around, loved, used and washed often.

The Keepsake: This type of quilt is special and may be a gift to someone for a special occasion, special birthday, anniversary or someone special. This quilt may be displayed on a wall or even on a bed. It may get some washing but not a lot.

The Showstopper: This would be the quilt you would be entering into a quilt show or maybe a prized heirloom that you want really fancy custom quilting on. This type of quilt will be hung on a wall, it certainly won’t be (or shouldn’t be) something the cat would use to nap on.

Destiny Quilting Decisions

Once you have determined what your quilt tops destiny is, now you can start to plan out what designs you want to do for your quilt top.

 

The Dragger

 

The best quilting for this type of quilt is an all-over edge to edge pattern. This can be achieved by either quilting an all-over design on either a domestic home sewing machine or a long arm machine. If you are using a long arm machine you can also take advantage of using what are called pantographs.

The eye-spy quilt here is a really good example of a “dragger” quilt. Its purpose is for a child to use it and love it. The many busy prints in the quilt would make any quilting design hard to see so spending extra time doing custom quilting on this type of quilt wouldn’t really make sense.

 

The Keepsake

 

This type of quilt is special, however, you may not want to spend hours and hours quilting it. For this type of quilt, you may want to quilt something special in the quilt blocks themselves with a different design, such as feathers or arcs in the borders. This type of quilting is also referred to as moderate custom quilting.

Other Factors to Consider in Your Quilt Design Choice

 

Some other factors that might come into play with what type of quilting you want to do on the quilt is time or if you are taking the quilt to be professional long arm quilter it may even be money.

Most all-over quilting designs (but not all it depends on how dense the design is) are a lot faster to quilt than doing even moderate custom quilting especially if there is stitch in the ditch work to be done on the quilt.

It may be that the quilt falls under the Keepsake category however you need the quilt done quickly or as mentioned above price may be a consideration, in that case choosing an all-over or pantograph design may be the way to go as all-over quilting is generally (although not always) more cost effective. Of course, If you are quilting the quilt yourself cost may not be an issue and it would just be down to the time factor.

 An example of the above is a quilt that I just finished for my church raffle. The quilt pattern is Summer Stars and it is a free pattern on the Robert Kaufman web site. Just a side note here if you do want to make this matter please read the pattern carefully as there are at least 3 errors in the pattern.

The quilt could fall into either the “dragger” or the “keepsake” category. The quilt top design is one that would have let itself to having some moderate custom quilting on it, however, due to time constraints and the fact that I didn’t know the ultimate destination for this quilt I decided to quilt this with a really nice all-over pantograph.

The quilting compliments the top beautifully and it won’t matter if the quilt ends up being a “dragger”.

 

Another example of choosing an all-over design rather than moderate custom quilting is the Hawaiian Bark Cloth quilt that I made for myself (far left). This quilt brings back great memories, but the design of the quilt didn’t really lend itself for a lot of custom quilting so instead, I chose a nice all-over pantograph called Tropical which complemented the quilt beautifully.

The middle Kaffe Fasset Diamond quilt would have been too busy for any custom quilting to show. I could have used a pantograph here but instead, choose just a simple all-over meander.

For the last quilt, the Bali Wedding Ring Quilt, this is a much more intricate quilt and lends itself beautifully to be custom quilted. Here I chose some moderate custom quilting of feathers in the open spaces as they show up beautifully there.

Final Thoughts

In the end, the final decision of whether you want an all-over quilt design, some moderate custom quilting or the quilt “quilted to death” may simply come down to your preference and what you think looks nice. It’s your quilt after all.

Hopefully the above gives you some insight into the different types of quilting designs and ways to determine how you want the quilt to be quilted.

Keep on Quilting!

Quilt Top Finished Now What!

How is everyone feeling? For a long time, I was doing well, however, I have noticed my anxiety levels are up these days and I am so thankful I have audiobooks and sewing/quilting to keep me company.

As I stated quilting is one of my stress releasers so I have been trying to get as much quilting in as possible these days.

I have finished quilting this year’s church raffle quilt! It is a beauty if I do say so myself. This year we will be offering tickets all over the world so this should be interesting. It is twin sized and named Summer Stars. Here is a sneak peek with more info to come soon.

Another Quilt Kit Bites the Dust

I have finished another quilt kit! This was one I had purchased about 6 years ago on a trip to Maui with my Mom, Aunt and Uncle. It is a simple quilt using a variety of different bark cloth prints. The white cotton fabric used for the sashing has hibiscus flowers on it so is unique to the area.

While I was in the shop, I also purchased some barkcloth yardage thinking I would use it as a border. While making the quilt I decided that the quilt was big enough without the border, and the design could withstand not having a border so decided to use that fabric for the binding and the remainder on the back.

I had purchased a length of bark cloth some years back while visiting Tahiti that had swordfish on it and had always wondered what I was going to do with it, so remembering I had that piece pulled it out and was delighted to find out I could use the whole piece on the back with the remainder of the Hawaii purchased bark cloth making up the rest of the back. I had just enough!

Don’t you love it when things work out like that?

What’s on the Design Wall?

The next project is on the design wall! It’s another quilt kit I purchased many years ago now. It’s Pam Bono’s Remembrance Day Poppy Quilt. I pulled the kit out a year ago to work on it however, there it sat again until just now. I was a little worried that it would be really complicated, and the instructions wouldn’t be good but so far it’s been great. I had to read the pattern through a few times but once I wrapped my head around the cutting and piecing instructions, I realized that it really is like a fabric puzzle and done in a very logical manner.

Quilt Top Finished Now What!

One of the questions I get asked a lot from new quilters is what are there options on finishing their quilt? Sometimes the instructions quilt as desired doesn’t always cover it especially if you are uncertain as to what that actually means.

So your quilt top is now finished, all your hours of piecing the top have ended and now what?

Well, you have several different choices you can

  • Hand tie the quilt
  • Hand quilt the quilt
  • Machine quilt the quilt in the ditch using a domestic sewing machine
  • Free motion quilt the quilt using a domestic sewing machine
  • Free motion quilt the quilt using a longarm machine either hand-guided or computerized
  • Send your quilt out to be quilted by a professional Longarm Quilter

All of the above are great choices and you would end up with a wonderful, finished quilt.

Some of the above methods are better suited for certain quilts than others though, so let’s go through them.

Hand Tying:

This is a great choice if the quilt is scrappy and meant as a straight utility quilt however if the quilt is a Lonestar pattern or anything remotely complicated hand-tying would not be the best option.

As you can see from the picture, the best quilt designs for hand tying are ones that are very scrappy and basic patchwork designs like four-patches or plain squares or some other type of one patch quilt. This type of quilt would be classified as a utility quilt, one to be used a loved a lot.

Hand quilting:

Hand quilting is a great option for someone who happens to love handwork. For me, I have only ever hand quilted one quilt in my life and that was my very first quilt. I did it once and will never do it again (hence why I have a longarm). That said I have friends who love hand quilting because it’s portable and they find it a very relaxing pastime.

Machine Quilting in the Ditch:

If the quilt happens to be a smaller utility quilt, table runner or quilt that may not be washed too often then stitching in the ditch (basically top stitching bedside the seam) works well and is a fast and easy finish.

One thing to watch out for though, if the pieces are large and are only quilted in the ditch the batting may shift during washing and handling making a very lumpy quilt latter on.

Free Motion Quilt on your Domestic Machine

These days there are so many how-to videos and books all on learning how to free motion quilt on your domestic machine. Quilting on your domestic machine can be fun and frustrating all at the same time. The wonderful thing is that you have control over the design and how you want the quilt to look as well as thread choices. It doesn’t cost any extra money however it does take time to do. You can even quilt with rulers on your domestic machine which opens up a whole new set of quilting designs!

That said quilting a very large quilt on a domestic machine although doable can be really hard on the back, neck and shoulders. I know, I ended up with tennis elbow quilting a very large quilt and said never again. I used to then send larger quilts out to get quilted by a professional long arm quilter until I purchased my own machine.

Longarm Machine Quilting

If you have the space and money and love to quilt, you may want to invest in owning your own longarm machine, these days there are some nice entry-level machines that are a little smaller at a smaller price point than some of the larger machines. Depending on the type of quilting you do these may just fit the bill for you.

Professional Longarm Quilter

There are those people who simply love to do the piecing but have no interest at all in learning to machine quilt. They are happy to quilt table runners in the ditch or do an all-over meander on a baby quilt however anything else just doesn’t interest them.

That’s where I come in (or any other professional longarm quilter). I can’t speak for all longarmers out there however for me, I love to quilt, and I really love helping quilters finish their quilts and as my tagline says turn them into quilty hugs.

Final Thoughts

I hope this brief tutorial has helped answer some questions about what to do with that quilt top once it has been pieced.

In my next blog post, I am going to explain the differences in all-over designs and custom quilting and why you might want to choose one over the other.

What types of things do you do to relieve stress?

Changing of the Seasons and Design Wall Update

Welcome to Fall!

Don’t you just love the early part of fall, where the air gets cooler and there is that crisp feeling of things changing?  Leaves start to change colour and there is still some warmth in the late afternoon sun.

Where I live, we don’t get the wonderful shades of red that are known in other parts with the changing of the seasons, our trees do go a deep golden colour that when the sun hits them the trees just light up! I added a picture here of the colour we get, this was taken driving through Goldstream Park.

I have always loved September, you know the going back to school, getting a new wardrobe and of course new shoes. The excitement of the first day of school wondering what class you would be in and who your new teacher would be.
Later as a teenager, I loved checking out the new fall fashions and planning out my own wardrobe and what outfits I was going to try to sew for myself.

Checking out the new fall fashions is still something I enjoy, even though I have nowhere to wear those types of clothes, still, it’s fun to look. Fall fashions are still my favourite! 

Thanksgiving Road Trip

Nanaimo Harbour

Kevin and I headed up-island to Nanaimo for a quick socially distant family visit on Saturday of the Thanksgiving weekend. Both his sister and daughter had celebrated birthdays the week before so we took the time to go up and visit. First, we popped into his daughters and then onto have afternoon tea with his sister.

It was so nice to get away and have a change of scenery, the weather going up was beautiful and sunny however on the way down, not so much and of course, I was the one who had volunteered to drive home. Yup right into the middle of a rainstorm as we were heading over the Malahat. Talk about a white knuckle drive, however, we made it home and once down the mountain and through Goldstream park there was the biggest, brightest rainbow I had ever seen and when I looked closer I could see it was a double rainbow.

 

What’s on the Design Wall

A couple of weeks back a client emailed me asking what to do with a panel of 4 Japanese ladies she had purchased years ago. It just so happened I had purchased a similar panel, from the same company, Kona Bay Fabrics, which are no longer in business, and had not done anything with them either.

After some research, I pulled out my Electric Quilt 8 program and started playing with the custom set layout. I had to do some tutorials first as I had never really used that layout.

I had a lot of fun learning, playing and designing and came up with something I thought would work as a wall hanging. I liked the design enough that I decided to make it up. Now I just have to figure out how I want to quilt it.

I am happy with how this turned out.  There are a couple of things I would do differently, however, overall I think it worked out well and can’t wait to see it quilted.

Cute Pet Pics

To finish this post off here are some cute pet pictures. Cocoa and Mia aren’t really lap animals however they do like to be near you and do actually like each other and play together. They just aren’t the cuddly sort.

What is your favourite thing about fall?

Send me a Message

What Batting is Right for your Quilt!

One of the questions I get a lot of from new quilters is what type of batting they should use so I thought I would address that question here.

What Kind of Batting Should I Choose? (Batting Basics)

There are a lot of different types out there and I could probably write a whole book on the subject. Not sure it would be the most interesting book mind you but still…

Each step of bringing a quilt to completion has its own choices, challenges, and delights. Some people love piecing the quilt top but could easily forgo the sandwiching and quilting part of the process. I guess that’s why I know lots of people with a cupboard full of unquilted tops.

Batting selection can be boggling these days as there are so many choices on the market. So how do you choose the right batting for your project?

Questions to Ask Yourself

First off you need to start by asking yourself some basic questions.

What is the quilt’s purpose?  

 Is this quilt a

  •  baby quilt that will be washed often
  • lap quilt that will be used and needs to be cuddly
  • bed quilt that will be used however may not be washed as often
  • keepsake quilt that will be admired but not used as much
  • show quilt that will be hanging on display

How will I be finishing it?

  • Will it be tied
  • Hand-quilted
  • Machine quilted on a domestic sewing machine
  • Machine quilted on a longarm machine

If Machine Quilted What Kind of Quilting?

This question does go back to the first question a bit, what is the quilt’s purpose as depending on the purpose of the quilt, will also depend on the type of quilting that will be used on the quilt.

Will the quilt have

  •  A loose all-over quilting design
  • An all-over quilting pattern such as a pantograph which is a little more densely quilted than the above
  • Moderate custom quilting along with some SID (stitch in the ditch quilting)
  • Heavily custom quilted like you would find in pieces that would be on display

Basic Batting Terms

Once you have answered the questions above it is time to move onto what types of batting are available. Here are some simple terms to help you get started.

Loft: High

Loft is the thickness of the fluffed batting. A high loft is anything above 1/2 inch, and the highest lofts come in the polyester battings. These types of battings are typically used for hand tying quilts, and the end result is a very fluffy quilt.

Loft: Medium

The fluffed batting is somewhere between 1/4 to 1/2 inches deep

Loft: Low

The fluffed batting is somewhere between 1/4 – 1/2 inches. This is the most common loft for machine or hand quilting.

Quilting Distance

Quilting Distance is the distance between rows of quilting stitches which will keep this batting from shifting or bunching. The package will have this information on it or if you are buying from a roll at the quilt store ask the person helping you what the quilting distance for that particular batting would be.

If you want really simple loose quilting and you buy the wrong batting, when you go to wash the quilt you could end up with lumps and bumps where you don’t want them to be.

Most battings can handle moderate quilting without any issues.

Bonded

Fibers are held together through a bonding agent, similar to a glue. Some bonded battings may not be able to be preshrunk as the glue used may dissolve. Another drawback to this type of batting is that the quilting stitches may need to be really close together so the bonding doesn’t come apart when the quilt is washed.

Scrim

A light, loosely woven fabric, sometimes used to stabilize batting fibers when needle-punching. Often a polyester fiber, it may even be used in batts labeled as all cotton.

Needle-punched

Fibers are loosely felted together by a felting process using tiny needles. This creates a more stable batt, but some hand quilters find it difficult to use as it is quite firm. Most needle-punched batts include a scrim for securing the fibers. They may provide more stability for wall hangings.

 

Different Batting Fibers 

So now you have decided what the quilt is to be used for, whether you are going to tie, hand quilt or machine quilt the finished top and you have some idea of batting terminology, now it’s time to pick what type of fiber you want your batting to have.

Cotton

Fiber from harvested cotton bolls. Cotton is stable, soft, and washable however it will shrink. Cotton tends to yield a flatter look than a polyester or cotton/poly blend when quilted.

The cons of straight cotton batts are that the batting can ‘beard’ or have fibers migrate through the stitching holes of the quilting. This may not be too big of a problem if the fabrics used in the quilt top or mostly lighter in colour so the bearding won’t be that noticeable, however, if the fabrics used a darker and you have a white or cream-colored batting, that bearding will really show.

You may want closer quilting when using cotton batting as the fibers can shift and create lumps if not quilted densely enough.

If you really like the look of antique quilts when they are washed, then you will like the look of the washed quilt using cotton batting.

Polyester

Polyester batts have a higher loft than cotton and offer great stability between fibers. Polyester batts are the best choice when you want to ‘tie’ a quilt as it will have the least bunching. These types of battings are also sometimes used in baby quilts that you want to be puffer.

Just a word of warning though these battings can be harder to machine or hand quilt through given the loft can be higher.

The one disadvantage of polyester batting is breathability therefore if the quilt is to be used as a bed quilt this may not be your best option.

Cotton/Poly Blend

Considered by many to be the best of both worlds, these blends offer the softness of cotton and the stability of polyester. Bonded ones may be easier to hand quilt than needle-punched. Blend percentages vary by product however the most common blend is 80% cotton and 20% polyester.

 This is a very good choice for both hand and machine quilting. You can also have a looser quilting design using this type of batting without it bunching during washing.

 The one disadvantage for this type of batting is it can beard and it does tend to tear easily so should be handled carefully.

Bamboo 

The fibers from bamboo are long and strong, but surprisingly soft. Bamboo can be as drapeable as silk, and as soft as fine wool.

This is a wonderful batting to work with. It is good for both hand and machine quilting, it nice and warm to sleep under.

The one con with bamboo is that it can be more expensive than some of the other choices.

Wool

Wool is extremely soft, and the warmest batting option. It is easy to hand quilt and is a good choice for machine quilting as well.

Wool seems to be the preferred choice of batting for show quilters. When quilters are quilting for shows they quite often use two battings, one 80/20 and one wool batting.

Recycled Plastic

Yes, there is know even an option for batting made from recycled plastic bottles! If you are a person who is very eco friendly this may be a good option for you.

Fusible

Contains a fusible web so you can baste layers together. When using fusible batting layer quilt backing, batting, and quilt top together. Use the wool setting on your iron, press from the center out pressing each area 3-4 seconds. Once finished, allow the quilt to cool, and repeat on the other side.

Note: Not good to use if you are taking your quilt to be quilted by someone with a longarm.

Batting Colour

Once you have finally decided on what type of batting you are going to use there is one final consideration to make and that is the batting colour.

Not all types of battings have choices so depending on the batting you really want to use, you may not have a choice of colour.

Cream or Off White

This is the most popular colour of batting. Both Hobbs 80/20 and Warm and Natural two very popular types of batting are cream or off-white in colour.

 

Black

Hobbs 80/20 batting also comes in black. You may wonder why anyone would use a black batting, however, consider this, if your quilt project is mostly black and bright colours you don’t want a white or cream batting showing through the needle holes. In that case, you may prefer to use a black batting.

Black batting is a little stiffer than the cream because of the black dye however it does soften up with use.

 

White

Most 100%cotton batting is white and there is a batting called Warm and White that is also very white. You would want to use a white batting if your quilt is more modern with a solid white background colour. The cream batting would dull the bright white look of the quilt.

What Kind of Batting is Right for You?

Well depending on the project sometimes it may be whatever you happen to have lying around as long as it’s not the really puffy polyester type (unless you are hand tying the quilt that is).

If the quilt is for a very special purpose then you will defiantly want to put a little more thought into your batting choice.

The Types of Batting I like to Use

As a longarm quilter that doesn’t supply batting, I have quilted on many different types of batting. Some are nicer to work on than others.

My favourites to quilt on so

  • Hobbs 80/20
  • Warm and Natural
  • Warm and White
  • Hobbs 80/20 Black
  • Bamboo (my all-time fav) although it is more expensive

I have only ever used Wool batting once however I discovered I am allergic to it so it is not something I would ever use again.

What is your favourite batting?

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