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.
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 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.
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!