Therapeutic recreation (about a cat)

Therapeutic recreation is important for everyone, young and old. It can be about painting fabric, quilting, knitting, play an intrument or as in this article about an autistic girl who found a friend in a cat. The text is in swedish but I think the pictures tells it all.
Here is the link:
http://www.expressen.se/gilladjur/iris-5-ar-autistisk–hon-fick-ett-helt-nytt-liv-nar-hon-fick-sin-alskade-katt/

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

About Thread For Quilting

The boom in quilting as a hobby and craft has caused manufacturers to produce a huge variety of thread. Yet you’ll find there is such a wide selection of thread that choosing thread for your quilting project can leave you scratching your head in puzzlement. You’ll find an array of choices, whether you shop at a brick and mortar

quilted with different colors on top of tulle 8"x 7"

quilted with different colors on top of tulle
8″x 7″

store on the internet. This article will shed some light on the confusing selection of thread for quilting.

Thread for quilting falls broadly into two categories- sewing thread and thread for embellishing. Let’s discuss sewing thread first, as it is the most commonly used. Sewing thread can be purchased in several different weights and fibers. Weights of thread can range from 28 to 60. Thread for quilting needs to be strong, and to stand the test of time, so generally you will want to choose a thread in the range of a 40 weight. Thread in the 28 weight range is most commonly used for embellishment, while 50 weight would be used for piecing. You can easily find the weight of the thread you are considering by reading the label. You may see a number like this: 40/2. The first number is the weight of the thread, the second the number of plies. In this example, the thread is a 40 weight of two plies.

Thread for quilting is most often made from cotton, rayon, polyester, metallic or plastic. The metallic and plastic thread will be used for embellishments and specialty stitches only. Cotton thread is common, and often it is mercerized. This is a process where the fiber has been made to swell and straighten out repeatedly, which removes any tendency towards fuzziness, and makes for a very high luster thread. Cotton thread is available in 30 to 60 weight.

Rayon thread is also highly lustrous, and polyester thread has a colorfast, non-shrinkable finish. The metallic thread choices are going to be a bit more difficult to sew with and are not for beginners, though they make for stunningly beautiful finished quilting projects. Some brands that quilters might want to look for include the old favorite Coats and Clark, Guterman, which is a popular alternative known for its strength and ease of use (try it for hand quilting), Madeira rayon thread, which is strong enough to use to embroider on denim or leather, and Mettler, which comes in several different fibers.

It is often not a good idea to attempt to use up old sewing thread, which tends to degenerate on the spool. Unreel a bit and pull on it. If the thread snaps, it will also snap when you put it in your sewing machine. With the wide variety of quilting thread, and its relatively low cost, there’s no reason not to just buy new thread when you need a different color. You’ll save a fortune in frustration alone.

Some manufacturers also produce special threads for embellishing, and you can find these at your local quilting store. If you like to quilt by hand, you can use embroidery floss, available in a multitude of color and fiber. Learning about the different kinds of thread can enhance your love of the craft of quilting. Hope all this information is useful.

silver and grey fern

silver and grey fern

Free table runner patterns

Here are many free patterns from all people quilt magazine to  use with the hand painted fabric at http://www.handpaintedquilts.com. Bargain on hand painted fabric by the yard and many very pretty others like tree of life designs.

http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/quilt-patterns/table-runners/free-table-runner-patterns?sssdmh=dm17.785650&esrc=nwapq021715OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA