Thursday, October 2, 2014

Joining Batting Pieces

Batting is essential in quilting. Seems like everyone has their preferences. One year, there was a batting vendor who had a booth at the quilt show here in town. I took the time to look at the products they offered and was able to do some comparison 'thinking'.

Quilting, either done by machine, by hand or by tying, serves three main purposes: To secure the layers to each other; To add beauty to the finished quilt; and To trap air in the quilted sections making the whole quilt warmer. The closer the quilting lines are to each other, the stiffer the quilt will be. Modern batting usually does not shift and can withstand lines 6"-10" apart (read the package), as long as it is laundered gently. It still shrinks 3-5% giving that puckered look of a homemade quilt.

Considering the batting as the center of the quilt, it can be defined as a place that is of greatest importance. The center is the inside, the heart, the essence, the very soul of a thing.

Batting represents the warmth & comfort part of the quilt, its innards, and the core that you never see but do feel. It can be quite pricey too, but cost is not really what a quilter should use as her determining factor. While it can get to be the most expensive part of a quilt, there are options.

Thing is, that sometimes cutting costs in quilting costs in quality and service after it is finished.

A few women gathered in the booth, and like women do, they started chatting about how they use it and what they prefer. The best piece of advice I took away was how to save the pieces leftover from quilts and how to join those pieces. The first ones I did were hand-sewn and in a short while, I shifted to doing a zig-zag stitch on the machine. 

I've been using the smaller pieces on all my smaller projects such as the Mug Rugs, the Candle Mats, Table Toppers, Fabric Boxes and Totes. Here is the last of my batting for this year, joined to make one last quilt for 2014. It is actually going to extend past what is needed on that quilt, so there will be leftovers from it to go on smaller projects. I prefer batting to be lightweight and not too hot as a cozy. If a person needs more warmth, having a light weight batting allows them to layer several quilts over them and not be uncomfortable. 

Its all about the batting, the core, the heart.