This is the stuff that goes in the middle of the quilt ‘sandwich’. Just as there are many different choices for quilt patterns, there are many different types of quilt batting. You may choose from 100% cotton, polyester, cotton/polyester blend, wool, silk, etc. The quilter decides which batting to use based on many factors – hand vs. machine, wall hanging vs. bedding, type of quilting design, expense…..
Before choosing quilt batting, you need to decide if you will machine quilt (100% cotton batting works best) or quilt by hand (polyester batting is easiest to “needle”). You also might want to consider the cost (silk and wool most expensive, polyester least expensive), the amount of time you want to spend quilting (more quilting, more time), and the quilt’s use (warmth or wall hanging?).
Watch the video below to learn about different batting that is available for your quilt. If you would like to purchase Warm Company cotton batting from Amazon, click here.
NOTE: to enlarge the video, click the PLAY button, then click the full-screen icon at the bottom right of the video.
TRANSCRIPT: Quilt Batting
Batting is a fiber that’s sandwhiched between the quilt. So in this piece, we have the top, the back, and the batting is inside here. So here’s another piece that I’m working on. I haven’t finished, it’s easier to see- the top, the batting that goes inside the quilt and then the back.
So there’s all types of batting. And you can either buy it by the yard or you can buy in it bags, like I have shown here. Batting comes in natural fibers, like wool, silk, or today you can buy bamboo. But you can also buy 100 percent polyester batting or you can buy a mixture of polyester and natural fiber. In order to decide which batting is right for your project, you need to answer some questions. For example, Are you going to use this for a wall hanging? Like this little piece I have here. Or, Is it going to be a quilt on your bed and you’re going to need it to be really warm? So if you’re going for warmth, you might want to try wool batting. If it’s just a wall batting, then just maybe any batting will do.
You might want to consider the finish look of you quilt when purchasing batting. So in this little wall hanging, I just wanted everything to be flat, I didn’t want a whole lot of quilting, I stitched in the ditch, I used a flat batting to get that flat look. Now this isn’t a piece, that, it’s not a quilt, but I’ve used that polyester batting in here and you can see that I’ve got a whole lot of texture and it sort of pops out at you. So different battings can show different things. You also want to think about how much time you want to spend on this. And generally speaking, if you quilt it by hand with lots of stitches, it’s going to take more time than if you quilt it by machine, so you need to look at your batting to see; Is it batting that’s going to be good for hand quilting? Or, Is it batting that is better for machine quilting? And often on the packages, they’ll explain that to you.
So here’s a quilt that I didn’t want to do a whole lot of quilting. It’s got a polyester batting in it that enabled me to not put a whole lot of quilting. And you’ll notice, basically I just tied- which are these little strings here- and this has been washed many, many, many times. The ties were mainly just to hold the three layers together. As opposed to this quilt, if you’ll see there’s a grid system here and this grid system the quilting has been done every inch, an inch apart. So if your were to buy a bag of batting that says the quilting distance only goes up to an inch, where this one says 8 inches, but if it only went up to an inch; that would mean that every inch on your quilt had to be covered. So you know, you need to also think about how much time you want to spend on this. Of course there are people out there that will quilt your quilt tops for you. This quilt, I wanted a lot of quilting in it, didn’t have the time to do that, so I sent it out and had it quilted by someone else and they chose the batting for me.