Another quilting question

(19 Posts)

I am making my first patchwork quilt. I have been looking at the different types of "filling". Can anyone tell me is there any difference between the cotton and wool types, is one warmer than the other or better than the other?
TIA

DwellsUndertheSink Sat 26-Oct-13 22:39:06

You need to decide how you want your quilt to look and how you intend to use it.

Cotton battings absorb moisture, making them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Wool battings provide warmth with little weight. But you wouldnt want that in summer.

The other issue is shinkiage - wool battings resist shrinking, while cotton can shrink from 3 to 5 percent. But you may like the puckered, antique look that results when batting shrinks?

So wool, to me, is the best all rounder.

However, as its your first quilt, look at synthetic, with a low loft (ie do fibres poke through the sewing holes) as its cheaper.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Sun 27-Oct-13 11:52:04

Can I briefly hijack and ask another question? I am at the same stage with my first quilt. I've ordered batting and it will be a bit bigger all round than my quilt top so I'll need to trim in. How accurate do I need to be, ie do I have to use my mat and rotary cutter (which working with stuff that size I think will be tricky) or can I pin it and the back to my top and trim off the excess with dressmaking shears? Or is there a better way to go about it? Thanks for any tips you can offer.

lljkk Sun 27-Oct-13 12:06:35

I was taught to hardly trim wadding at all until after I'd finished quilting. Easier to get the size right that way in final product. I never match the top and bottom perfectly so I end up trimming with scissors for what sizes top & bottom both match (roughly).

A good crafts-sewing shop that sells wadding can advise about properties of each type. IIRC, wool is prone to more shrinkage than cotton but both shrink a fair bit. Wool dries the slowest and is often heavier. Polyester is cheapest, washes well, but breathes the least well.

I have bought bamboo-cotton mix for most of mine & really pleased with it. Lightweight.

DwellsUndertheSink Sun 27-Oct-13 12:10:14

I dont trim the wadding or the backing until Ive finished quilting - leave a good 4-6 inches all round. Then when you are ready to bind the quilt, get the rotary cutter and ruler out and cut away all the excess.

sewingandcakes Sun 27-Oct-13 12:14:09

Yes, quilt first and then cut to size, using a cutting mat and rotary cutter if you have one. Then it's on to binding....

I quilt first, then add the binding to the front edges, and only then do I trim off the wadding. Makes for a much neater edge.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Sun 27-Oct-13 12:22:36

Thanks everyone, that makes sense. And sorry for hijack ILoveWales!

No problem Thegirl, useful information for me as well.

Smudge588 Sun 27-Oct-13 20:13:59

I'd agree with the above, quilt first then cut. Also I tend to use cotton, bamboo or wool for my quilts as they are much easier to work with. Synthetic can slip about under the machine and make it tricky to get a nice finish. It is cheaper though so if you are worried about spending on something you're not sure about it might be an option. Just choose a low loft and baste with plenty of pins or basting spray before you quilt.

I like bamboo wadding best but also use cotton. I can't use the cheap polyester stuff as it irritates my hands. You need to check how far apart you can quilt as that sometimes affects my choice. e.g. if I've got 6" blocks and my wadding can be quilted 8" apart, I can just go round the blocks. Cotton patch sell sample packs of wadding, which enables you to stab them with a needle to see how easily they sew, whether you like the feel of them, the colour/thickness and will give you an idea of how much they beard (fluff coming through the holes you make when sewing).

I leave it a few inches bigger all round, quilt, then trim as it allows for a bit of shrinkage as you quilt. When I trim I line everything up with one thing (so maybe one of the border seams). i.e. line up quilting ruler with that straight edge and cut to edge of border (or a number of inches) then when you do the next side, you can still line up with the straight edge to ensure it ends up with 90 degree corners.

Oh and I use 505 spray to baste my quilt then wash it well afterwards.

ZingWantsCake Sat 02-Nov-13 12:40:20

I use 80/20 wadding.

80% cotton, 20 % polyester - thin but warm, easy to handle, soft, doesn't beard.

I use nothing else for bed quilts.

good luck

lljkk Sat 02-Nov-13 19:30:54

Am I the only one who tats the layers together? I am too cheap to spend money on glue spray (and don't like env impact of it, either).

ZingWantsCake Sat 02-Nov-13 19:38:45

I use a tack gun. best thing ever

What is a tack gun?

I have a tack gun and it is great but I don't use it much any more as I was shown how to use basting pins (safety pins with a slight bend in them).

It is quicker than basting with a needle and thread and you avoid the bit with the tacking gun where you have to remove all the tacks (and run the risk of snipping a hole in your work as one of my poor friends did to her final quilt for C & G) which is time consuming, plus you always miss some.

I haven't used the basting spray glue but I wouldn't want to wash my finished work most of the time so that puts me off.

However, you can get wadding which appears just like any other 80/20 wadding but which you can gently iron the three layers together. It is just sticky enough to hold your work in place but it is very very easy to separate the layers again if you need to and then just re-press it again. No need for washing because it feels perfectly normal when the quilting is finished - no stiffness or anything. I've not used it for a big quilt just a bag but it was great not to have to do basting at all.

Just to say also that Cotton Patch do packs of samples of wadding, one natural fibres and the other man-made/mixed fibres. They come with a sheet listing the various uses and qualities of each type of wadding. If you have the time and the money to have a play and see what you like the feel of and what you enjoy working with it is worth it. This the natural pack for example

Smudge588 Sun 03-Nov-13 08:52:53

I've just discovered 505 basting spray and love it! I don't think I would go back to the old way of pinning with the bent safety pins. It does go a bit stiff to start with but I find that while I'm handling it to quilt it the stiffness breaks up so it's fine by the end. Most of mine are densely stipple quilted though so I handle them quite a bit. I haven't tried it on a really large quilt. Largest I've done is a single bed.

Smudge588 Sun 03-Nov-13 08:54:34

Oh and can also recommend the cotton patch like Bertha. I've had things from there, always come quickly and the staff are happy to advise on the phone if you're not sure what you need.

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