FAQ For New Quilters Part 1

I've found a lot of different kinds of batting at the store. How do I know what is the best type for my quilting project?

Batting comes in various materials including 100% cotton, 100% polyester, a combination of the two, wool and silk. Wool and silk are extremely expensive and not usually used in average quilting projects. If you are machine quilting, then 100% cotton is a good choice. For hand quilting, I recommend a mixed of 20% Polyester and 80% cotton with a thin glaze of polyester on each side. This helps prevent batting separation in the wash, and fibers popping up through small holes in the fabric after the quilt is completed.

I'm using a cotton batting, but I'm concerned that it will shrink when I wash the quilt. Can you pre-wash cotton batting?

Yes. Both cotton and wool batting will shrink at least 3 inches so pre-washing is a smart idea. Fill your top loading washing machine with water (no soap), then turn it off, and push the batting down into the water until it's all submerged and let it sit for about 15 minutes. After the time has passed set your machine to spin and drain. DO NOT AGITATE! When the tub is drained, dry the batting in your dryer using the Permanent Press setting.

My neighbor gave me some batting that she's been storing for years, and when I took it out of the bag there were fold lines all across it. How can I remove those?

Simply toss the wrinkled batting in the dryer on air fluff for about ten minutes. This works with any type of batting.

What does it mean to piece a quilt?

A quilt is made up of three basic layers, the backing which is often a solid sheet of fabric, the batting which is placed in the center, and the top which is the front of the finished quilt. The top can be formed in many different ways. It can be as simple as a single sheet of fabric or made up of various shapes of patterns of material sewn together. It can also be a combination of square blocks that have been embroidered or appliqu├ęd individually.

Piecing a quilt is the process where various shapes of fabric are cut and sewn together in a pattern or design. All the seams are on the back side and the finished top is approximately the size of the finished quilt.

I'm making a king size quilt but I can't find a piece of fabric wide enough for the backing, and I don't want a seam running down the middle. What can I do?

You can purchase Wide Quilt Backing fabric, 108" - 118", large enough to back a king size quilt without piecing. Check with your local fabric store or search 'Wide Quilt Backing Fabric' online.

I'm not sure how big my quilt needs to be to fit my Queen-size bed. Any ideas?

If you have access to the bed your quilt will be used for, measure the length and width, and don't forget the depth. New mattresses, many with pillow toppers, are much thicker than mattresses use to be. The following is a list of standard sizes to get you going.