Frugal Quilting


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Quilting and Batting

picture of polyester and cotton batting on a roll

There are many types of batting available to put between your quilt top and the backing of your quilt.

You can choose everything from cotton to silk. However, as a frugal quilter you are probably only going to be buying a couple types of batting.

If you want a fluffy quilt, choose a cotton batting with a little bit of polyester. The cotton in the batting keeps you warm and the polyester gives it strength. A good blend is at least 75% cotton.

Do not buy cheap batting. If you do, the fibers may come through some of your fabrics. This is called bearding. You only make that mistake once. Good quality batting has a finish placed on it so this should not happen.

If you plan on tying the quilt, you can buy a thick batting. If you plan on machine quilting it (or sending it out to be machine quilted), you need to go thinner.

There are exceptions to this. One of my sewing machines is a commercial machine that will sew through the thickest of battings without leaving a pucker. It also has a wide enough space (harp) that when the quilt is rolled up it can handle it. It does a wonderful straight stitch with the aid of a walking foot. However, many machines have difficult with thick batting.

The thicker your batting, the larger the quilt is when it is rolled or bunched up. It becomes more difficult to get it under the sewing machine in order to quilt it.

When you buy your batting, be sure and look at the package directions. They will tell you how closely together your quilt must be stitched. Most cotton/poly blends like you to secure the quilt every 2-4 inches.

Warm and natural batting, or what some people call flannel batting, is another good batting choice. The biggest benefit, in my opinion, is that you do not need to quilt or secure it as close as the cotton/poly batting. You can go upwards of 6 inches between stitches. It is also very easy for everyone to machine stitch.

My only concern with this batting is that there is no "puff" and it is not soft. The quilts made with this batting are not as warm and snuggly as those made with the cotton/poly blend. I do find it great for projects like small like table runners or larger bedspreads.

If you do use the Warm and Natural batting, be sure and get the pure white color if your quilt has a lot of pure white. Otherwise the natural color is fine.

All quilt batting should be exposed to the air for at least 24 hours if it has been wrapped up. Some people like to put it in the dryer to remove wrinkles.  I have not had a lot of success with that method.

I have had problems removing folds from packaged batting. I prefer to buy batting that has been placed on a roll.

Don't be afraid to examine batting closely before you buy it. Batting is seamed, and sometimes you can get a bad seam that will make a lump in your quilt.

The Quilt Gallery

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