Today’s Topic: How to Quilt the Sunrise-Sunset Motif
Welcome to Week Thirteen of The Better Machine Quilt-a-long based on my book 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting.
Find all of the previous Lessons HERE.
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Good Morning, Quilters!
Hope YOU are refreshed after the long Labor Day weekend. And I hope you are ready to go back to school–quilting school. We are over half way through the quilting semester!
Take out your notebooks–(the ones with extra wide margins for doodling) and take note. Today’s topic: Batting!
Batting–One of the “Big Three”
Once your quilt top is complete, three components work together to determine the overall look and feel of your quilt: Motifs, Thread and Batting. Batting is the middle layer of the quilt. It provides warmth, weight and volume and works with thread and motifs to create unique design effects. The three components are inseparable and must be considered together.
Unfortunately, we often choose our quilt batting based on what’s available or on sale at our local quilt shops. To make a more informed decision, let’s start with the lingo!
All batting begins as individual fibers of cotton, wool, polyester, bamboo or silk that are processed into a sheet which can then be used for quilting. The fibers are processed either by bonding or needle punching.
The processing method determines how the batting feels and the maximum spacing between quilting lines. For example, batting with scrim has a wider maximum spacing than batting without scrim.
Bonding is a method of combining the individual fibers by adding heat or resin or both. Bonded batting is lighter and loftier than needle punched batting.
Needle punching is a process where hundreds of barbed needles compact the individual fibers. Scrim, a very tiny layer of polypropylene (similar to interfacing), is sometimes added.
Many manufacturers create a bleached version of their battings for use in white or light quilts.
Most manufacturers combine fibers into blends to take advantage of the properties of the fibers. Popular blends include cotton/polyester and cotton/wool.
Fire Retardant–Quilter’s Dream Angel is specifically engineered to be inherently flame retardant without adding chemicals.
Each batting has its own characteristic “hand”-the way it feels when combined with fabric and quilting. The hand of the batting is determined by the fiber used as well as the manufacturing processes. For example, cotton fibers needle punched with scrim will feel different from cotton fibers needle punched without scrim. Likewise, cotton and bamboo fibers processed in the same way, will likely have different hands.
Loose fibers can migrate through the top and backing fabrics. Some fibers, like cotton, are less prone to migration than others (polyester). Consequently, cotton fibers are more likely to be needle punched without scrim and polyester is more likely to be bonded.
The resilience of the fibers as well as the thickness of the batting. The loft is determined by the layers of the fibers. More fibers yields a higher loft batting, while less fibers produce a thinner batting. Most manufacturers offer a range of lofts.
All battings, including wool and silk, are washable. However, some batting fibers shrink more than others. Cotton batting shrinks the most, while polyester batting results in very little shrinkage.
Fiber and loft determine the warmth of the batting.. Some fibers, like cotton absorb moisture well and offer warmth in winter yet feel cool in summer. Other fibers, like polyester, lack breathability and are warmer.
Resiliency refers to the battings ability to retain its natural shape without creasing. Cotton battings tend to show more creases than polyester or wool batting. Consequently, cotton is often combined with polyester or wool for more resiliency.
Batting can be bleached to turn it bright white or it can be left natural. Some battings are dyed to create black or gray for use in dark quilts.
We will review how to choose batting, the importance of making samples and create a the Diagonal Starburst Quilt.
And of course–doodle!
Look through your batting (or buy a new batting) and layer a few quick quilt sandwiches with a different batting than what you have been using. Try one with high loft for the Diagonal Starburst Quilt.
Continue reviewing threads and choose a heavy weight thread with good contrast for your project.
Doodle Sun Variations:
Hope YOU Batt 1000 today!
Your Batting Ace,
PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy Quilts and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to LKQ. For all other purposes, please contact me at Lori@LoriKennedyQuilts.com. Thank you!
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