Today’s Topic: How to Choose Quilt Batting
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!
Today we will continue our discussion about batting and how to choose quilt batting. In addition, I have samples of two variations of the Sunburst Quilt we started yesterday. See instructions for the Starburst Quilt HERE.
And don’t forget to sign in to the FREE Great Wisconsin Quilt Show. My class, Easy Machine Quilting airs Saturday, September 12 from 1-145 and is followed by a LIVE Q & A!
Please drop in and bring YOUR questions–I’d LOVE to see some familiar LKQ faces!!!
Tips on How to Choose Quilt Batting
Then, when choosing batting, ask yourself a few questions:
Do you prefer quilts wrinkly or smooth?
Cotton batting starts out smooth and flat, but shrinks when washed. As a result, cotton quilts look wrinkly-which many quilters love–it feels cozy. Therefore, choose polyester or wool batting if you will wash the quilt and you prefer a smooth finish.
DO YOU LIKE FLAT OR PUFFY QUILTS?
This is known as loft. Some quilters like high loft quilts, others prefer a flatter look. Choose polyester or wool for high loft and cotton or polyester for lowest loft. Most manufacturers offer a range of lofts for each fiber type.
Do you want a lightweight or heavy weight quilt?
Weight and warmth are not necessarily the same. A thick cotton batting may be heavier than a thinner wool or polyester batting, but they all may provide the same warmth. Warmth of a quilt has to do with the density of the fibers as well as the breathability of the fibers.
Cotton batting is more breathable than polyester.
So cotton batting and polyester batting of the same “weight” may provide different feelings of warmth.
How far apart do you intend to quilt?
Carefully review the stitch distance recommendations on the batting label. The label usually says something like “Stitch up to 3 inches or 10 inches apart.”
It is okay to stitch closer than the recommended amount, but if you stitch farther than then stitch distance, the batting will tear within the layers when washed.
(Stitch distance is determined by fiber and manufacturing method.)
What colors are in your quilt?
If your quilt includes a lot of white or very light fabrics, choose a bleached or white batting. Natural colored batting shows through and may make the quilt look dirty.
On the other hand, if your quilt is very dark, try to find a dark batting. If the fibers migrate through the stitches (bearding) the dark fibers will be less noticeable.
MOST IMPORTantly–make samples!
Make batting samples! Samples are the cure for disappointing results! Don’t ask me how I know!
When your quilt top is complete, YOU will be so glad you took the extra time!
My Favorite Battings
Here is a list of battings that I use regularly and highly recommend.
- Warm and Natural (Cotton, natural color, low loft- I use this for most of my small projects)
- Warm and White (Cotton, white, low loft)
- Warm and Plush (Cotton, medium loft and weight)
- 80/20 Warm (Cotton/Polyester, medium loft and weight)
- Tuscany Wool (Medium/high loft–great for showing off machine quilting!) I use this for most of my bed type quilts. Washes beautifully and gets softer and softer over time!
- Tuscany Cotton/Wool (Feels like cotton, but doesn’t show creases!)
Please tell us about YOUR favorite battings–and why!
Do YOU have a batting horror story? I’ve heard a few….
Will YOU be attending the Great Wisconsin Quilt Show????
See YOU there!
Your Batty friend,
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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