Batting – Fabric Filling in Quilting

fabrics for making quilts
After the quilt top had been finished, remove all the pins and other basting devices and iron out all the seams. It is now time for batting, one of the more important phases in quilting.

Batting materials

It is called by other names depending on the place where one comes from – batting, padding, or wadding. Batting is the bulk or the heft of the entire quilt project. It is the middle section of the quilt sandwich.

Depending on the style and region, batting comes in different thicknesses, compositions and textures. There are also a great number of choices of batting materials from natural fibers (cotton and wool) to synthetics and other man-made fabrics (polyester, rayon, etc).

Cotton

For most projects, cotton is the ideal batting material. It is also good for beginners because it is easy to work with and is natural. Cotton can achieve a more even look in your finished quilt.

Polyester

This is a lightweight and an inexpensive material to use. It adds puffiness in your quilt and packs well enough.

However, polyester fabrics tends to “beard” (unraveling of the fabric’s thread and weave) more than the other natural fibers.

Wool

This is one of the most ideal materials for batting. Wool is quite warm, absorbs moisture, and is perfect for use in cool and damp climates. It is flat compared to other man-made or synthetic fibers, but feels good when used in quilts.

When washing and caring for your wool-filled quilt, be sure to read and follow instructions well. (Ask some expert if you do not know how.) Wool can easily warp and change the form of your quilt in ways you will not like.

Batting thickness

Ideally, a thin light batting is very good in quilts. The advantage is that it is easier to sew compared to heavier or thicker batting.

It is important to make small and even stitches in quilts. If the batting is thinner, it is much easier for the needle and the thread to go through.

If you intend your quilt for use in your bed, and consequently, needs it for the warmth, then choose a thicker batting. Experts suggest, however, that it would probably be much easier to tie it, rather than quilt it.

Batting size

One thing to remember is to have the quilt batting bigger than the quilt top, but smaller than the backing. This allows for any pull or in cases when the quilt had already been sewn up and edges had moved and do not measure up anymore. An overlap is your insurance for any mishaps.

Never worry about left-over batting materials from previous quilts. These can be combined with the others to make a mixed piece, especially for very large quilts.

Left-over strips can be laid out side by side and carefully tacked together employing some loose stitches.

These left-over strips of fabric should at least be a fourth in terms of size to the actual quilt it will be used for. Anything smaller would be too much work in terms of piecing them together to come up with the correct size.

It is not advisable, either, to overlap the batting because it can produce a double thickness more than you intend. Plus, it will be difficult to quilt.

Quilting should be a breeze to do. Hope this information is useful.

Winter village quilt with snow

Winter village quilt with snow

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