Quilt Batting Made Simple

In choosing quilt batting to finish your next project there are many choices in size and fabric type.

It is no surprise that quilt batting comes in different shapes and size. In this case, quilts can be crib, twin, full, double fit, king and queen sizes, each holding different dimensions. A standard crib fit measure 45 inches per 60, while twin fits measure 72 inches per 90; the king fits hold an impressive 120 inches per 120, with the queen fits being a smaller 90 inches per 108. Lastly, double fits measure 81 inches per 96.

After you choose the materials you will need for quilting, it is time to choose the quilt batting fibers, since they play an important part in the process before starting to quilt.

Unfold the fabric material and allow it rest for two days or so before you start working at the project. In the meantime, the quilt batting relaxes, enabling you to space it out closely so that it doesn't gather in a cluster when beginning to quilt.

Also, make sure you read the specification on the labels of the materials, because some may require being pre-washed. It is important to prewash quilt batting, because if it shrinks after the quilt is done, it will ruin all your hard work.

There is a wide area of quilt battings from which to make your choice. The traditional batting is cotton and polyester. Bear in mind that the bindings of cotton and polyester can sometimes shrink; therefore, you need to stitch the material in large intervals, or if you desire to use the two materials together, then stitch the cotton in smaller intervals.

Batting lines are also important. The lines can be made of silk, wool or polyester. For the latter case, you will have to insure the quilt is stitched in larger intervals, to prevent it from shrinking. Also, if you stitch the material in larger intervals you ensure the quilting will be done more easily, thanks to the large expansions between the materials.

Therefore, polyester represents the top choice for batting, because it can be washed feasibly without shrinking the quilt and it is a quick and accessible material. The quilter is also given the possibility to create a thinner quilt, not a thicker one, because polyester is adaptable to the 'high loft' batting.


Another option for the batting can be silk, yet it is a pretentious material to handle and not suitable for traditional quilting project. Yet, if you consider creating a quilt that is original and not so easily encountered, then you will have to pay more money for a top-notch material. On the other hand though, you will have to work extremely carefully with this material and you will find yourself spending a lot more time than projected on the work. This is why, silk is not commonly recommended for quilting.

Battings can also be made of wool, which has migrating fibers that can be easily put into place though. However, when needling, you will have to sew closely the fibers; otherwise they will become loose in the fabric. Wool presents several disadvantages though, which don't make it the top material for quilting: it will lose its fibers over time, fuzz and doesn't behave well if washed in the machine. While the fibers can be sewn back together and the fuzziness can be treated to avoid fiber losses, for the washing, you should take the quilt to professional cleaner, wash it manually and then putting it flat to dry.

Another option I have used to save money and be green is to recycle an old blanket for quilt batting. A blanket you already own but don't use is a perfect choice to fill a quilt. Please be such it is light weight, and doesn't have any large rips or tears. It can be stained or have fabric pills on it, as long as it lays flat it will work for a quilt lining as no one will see it once it is sewn in.

Since we have talked about batting materials, we should give further details on the quilting style.
If you desire to create a more traditional design, then you should stick to the 'low loft' technique. These quilts are usually known under the name of Fairlied, with the material being completely bleached cotton or poly-filled cotton, being 80% cotton; materials made completely out of polyester are the Morning glory or Glory Bee I. The Mountain Mist fabric is also 100% cotton.
Of course, there are countless other models and fabrics, but these were just some informative examples.

After you have made your choice regarding the fabrics and fibers that you will use, you need to look for backing materials. Since backing today is largely available and very easy to use, you can purchase a larger quantity to ensure you have enough material to fill the length and the width of the quilt with. If you don't conveniently use a large portion of backing, you will end up stitching backing patches together to make the quilt even which is not very aesthetically pleasing. Also, the backings need to be in concordance with the style and the other materials you will use.

To sum up in a few words, in order to begin quilting, you have to choose the blocks and patches you will need. Such pieces were used in the past by former generations to quilt and these traditional, older types of material seem to be more durable than modern ones. Regardless of your choice, quilting is one type of art that will withstand the test of time in the future.

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