Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Choosing batting can be baffling
You get lots of choices when choosing peanut butter for sandwiches. Crunchy or creamy. Name brand or store brand. Natural or conventional.

You also get lots of choices for batting – the peanut butter in your quilt sandwich. Sometimes, selecting it can be more baffling than any other step in the quilt-making process, particularly for beginners.

Creamy or chunky? Consider your preferences
McCall’s Quick Quilts offers good advice, starting with asking yourself some questions: How do you want the quilt to look? How close together will rows of quilting be? Are you quilting by hand or machine? What is the end use of the quilt? The answers to all of these questions will affect which batting you choose for the project.

Small, regular or jumbo jar? Consider your quilt size
Most batting comes in standard, pre-cut sizes: Crib, 45-by-60-inches. Twin, 72-by-90-inches. Full, 81-by-96-inches. Queen, 90-by-100-inches. King, 120-by-120-inches. We also offer a craft size, 46-by-36-inches, and several battings by the yard.

Or maybe almond butter? Consider the fibers
Batting also comes in a number of different fibers, though not all come in all standard sizes. If you prefer an old fashioned-looking quilt that’s a little rumpled and well loved, consider using batting that is mostly cotton. Keep in mind that cotton batting requires more quilting than some other fibers. If you like “puffy” quilts, use a high loft polyester batting. If you don’t want to do a lot of quilting, use regular or low loft polyester. Batting also comes in wool and silk fibers but these are not as readily available as cotton and polyester batting. Always In Stitches routinely stock wool batting in pre-cut packages and on the bolt.

Carrie Nelson writes in The Cutting Table, Moda’s blog, “You should know that I will try just about any batting at least once because I’m curious.  And I might like it – and I won’t know if I do if I don’t try it.”

Remember that we’re here to help. If you aren’t sure which batting is right for your project, ask the capable and experienced quilters on our staff.

What characteristic about batting is most important to you?

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