This is a fantastic guest post by Elaine Schmidt. Thanks, Elaine!

By definition, a quilt is a multi-layer textile composed of three layers–the top, the back

and the batting in the middle. When a quilt is completed, the batting is hidden and never

seen. But out-of-sight should not mean out-of-mind when it comes to creating a quilt.

What you put in the middle has a big effect on the overall look, feel and function of the

finished quilt. Batting truly is the heart of your quilt.

Selecting fabric colors and prints, stitching pieces together and watching a quilt top grow

is the exciting part of making a quilt. But how many of us give much thought to what

goes in the middle? It’s easy to choose from whatever you have on hand, can acquire

easily or are familiar with from making previous projects.

Photo Courtesy of Quilter's Dream Batting
Photo Courtesy of Quilter’s Dream Batting

You probably have noticed that there are many different types of batting available for

today’s modern quilter. The selection can be a bit overwhelming. But don’t be baffled by

all the options. Learning each type of batting’s unique characteristics will help you select

the one that is perfect for your project.

Batting Sizes

Batting is sold by the yard, in several widths, off a large bolt. It is also sold packaged in

the following standard sizes.

Craft – 36″ x 45″

Crib – 45″ x 60″

Twin – 72″ x 90″

Full – 81″ x 96″

Queen – 90″ x 108″

King – 120″ x 120″

When selecting a batting size remember that it should be a little bigger than the quilt top

and a little smaller than the quilt backing.

Photo Courtesy of Quilter's Dream
Photo Courtesy of Quilter’s Dream

Before You Select a Batting, Ask Yourself a Few Questions

– What type of quilt is it? Is it a baby quilt that will need to be washed many times? Is it

an art piece for the wall that may never need to be cleaned? Is it a quilted handbag that

will get lots of wear?

– If it’s being made as a throw or a bed cover, does it need to provide a certain level of

warmth? Is it a light summer coverlet or a winter lap quilt that needs to keep you warm

on a cold night?

– How do you want to quilt this project? Will you machine quilt it? Or hand quilt it? Or

hand tie it?

– Would you like the finished quilt to be soft and cuddly, or do you want a flatter quilt

with a firmer hand?

– How much do you want to invest in this quilt? Polyester battings are relatively

inexpensive. Silk battings cost more.

– Do you want to do lots of dense quilting on this project? Or, are you in a hurry and want

to limit the quilting so you can get it finished quickly?

Keep the answers to these questions in the back of your mind as you consider which

batting to pick.

Come back Friday for PART 2 of Elaine’s batting series!

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