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Thread: Oh please guide me experienced ones: batting? backing?

  1. #1
    ArtisticDesign's Avatar
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    I need guidance. I have a few ( ok, a lot..lol) of questions on some projects I am trying to get done as christmas gifts and I THANK any of you more experienced quilters for any help...

    Project One: I am am making a really special friend a throw quilt..I have spent a lot of time picking fabrics etc.. I do know that she gets cold easily..And loves "cuddely soft" blankets..
    My question is about batting and backing. My first quilt that I just finished making is rather stiff and not to cuddly/soft feeling even after washing...I had used a poly 20%/cotton blend, med loft batting..I used reg fabric ( that felt soft in the store) as my backing... It also does not keep me very warm.
    I have heard a lot about a brand I think is called "warm and natural" 100% cotton. I do know cotton breathes = keeps you warm when its cold yet cool when it's warm?.. I have also heard some bad things about using 100% cotton batting (separating etc..) However, this brand seems to keep popping up...*Your thoughts?
    As for the soft cuddly feel. Anyone have suggestions on this?.. My first thought was to use flannel or fleece as backing..However, the quilt will not be bold/bright in color..The fabrics have a more elegant feel to them..I don't want to ruin that effect..But, would if I had to choose soft over pretty lol
    *And what is the difference between flannel vrs fleece?..Does one pick up lint worse than the other. etc?
    *I've also thought about using an Egyptian cotton sheet for the backing..Has anyone done this?
    Project Two: A Wall Hanging for my son..*** Do you need to use batting for a wall hanging?..
    *I will also be using 2" fusible grid as my design wall...If a yard of the fusible grid is not large enough...How do you connect more yrdge to make it larger without ruining the grid pattern? Sewing, ironing?
    Project Three: Thankfully, will be easy..Hubby just wants a camo quilt ( he camps a lot = thinks hes rambo lol) He wants only one pattern/fabric on the front(cotton camo design)- the back( solid colored flannel). I was like, why not just buy a camo blanket? lol..But, I think he just wants something I make..However, he does love snoopy so I bought a snoopy applique to sneak into a corner lol.
    *I am having a hard time finding the old army camo design( new one looks digital) in cotton or flannel..I did find five yrds (cotton) on ebay for 8$/yrd ( good price?)..*Anyone have a good resource for this? My joanns only had two designs, one the green was lime instead of army green.The other was cartoonish looking, ugh.
    Thanks for any help guys! (smile)

  2. #2
    Super Member sewingladydi's Avatar
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    I would recommend wool batting for your friend's quilt. It's not as stiff as warm and natural. It's natural, it breathes, easy to quilt.

    I wouldn't recommend an egyptian cotton sheet for your backing. It's kind of stiff until it's washed many times. A good quality 100% cotton or flannel from a good quilt shop would be better. Just my opinion.

  3. #3
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I know some of the quilt police wouldn't agree but I use flannel on the back of throw quilts or lap ones. It kind of keeps them from sliding off as well as being cuddly. I also prefer poly batting for those same quilts. It allows the quilt to be thin yet warm and not heavy. Fleece is harder to work with as it stretchs and pills when laundered.

  4. #4
    ArtisticDesign's Avatar
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    Sewinglady, Interesting, I'd not heard of using wool batting..Any certain brand? loft? And very good to know about the egyption cotton..I'd have thought it would have been just the opposite..Thank you

    Mpspeedy, also good to know about the fleece! And as far as the quilt police..I am not a traditionalist...Eventually I will become a mixed media quilter lmao..If it's durable, It's doable lol..Thanks

  5. #5
    Super Member earlylace's Avatar
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    Why not use fleece for your hubby blanket, I made my grandson a fleece on, Jets on one side and the Yankees on the other and sewed the two toghether, he loves it, soft and cuddly. no need for batting.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    deema's Avatar
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    I've used fleece for batting with a regular cotton sheet for backing - it is super warm. flannel would be softer and more cuddly for backing, I have seen minkee or fleece used as backing too, which would also be a really cuddly backing, but its hard to keep straight. I think, more than batting, how much you quilt it would determine how stiff it is...but I'm a newbie too, so I could be wrong lol. An advantage to fleece as batting is that it doesn't need as much quilting because it won't fall apart with washing.

    I would use a thin batting for a wall hanging - it gives it body for quilting, and will help to keep its shape when hanging.

    I don't know where you can find camo print...but good luck! $8/yd sounds about normal to me...I like that you're sneaking snoopy in there, lol, maybe you can appliqué a camo jacket on him or something, hubby will never notice him! :lol:

  7. #7
    ArtisticDesign's Avatar
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    early, hubbys camo quilt will definitely have flannel on front and or back for sure... I have no intention of using batting on his..So I totally agree..

    Deema,fleece for batting, hmmm interesting..And I too wondered if a quilt became more stiff in comparison to the amount of quilting done..I quilted it about every 3-4" as I had read to do with the poly cotton batting blend...That's another reason I was interested in hearing about the "warm n natural cotton batting...I know with that you can quilt up to 10" apart..
    Too funny about appliquing the snoopy in camo lol A double applique? I'm not sure Im up to that yet lol.... Girl, I had looked alll over ebay etc for fabric or an applique of snoopy in the army with no luck..Red baron is it lol...I ended up getting one of him all sprawled out sleeping..

  8. #8
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    first...batting, warm and natural is a good batting but there are lots of others. the thing you have to watch when choosing your batting is ... ON THE PACKAGE IT WILL TELL YOU THIS BATTING SHOULD BE QUILTED __________ THIS FAR APART...not all are created equal, some you need to quilt every 2" some you have 10" ... the density of your quilting will effect how (stiff) your finished quilt will be...less is better when you want soft...(the separation of batting occurs when it should have been quilted every 2" and is quilted every 8" instead...you have to quilt as heavily as your batting requires to have good lasting results)
    difference between flannel & fleece? FLEECE IS POLYESTER. cotton flannel is cotton...low quality flannel will (pill), good quality flannel will hold up to many washings. both are soft and great to work with. for warmth i use wool battings. dream wool does not shrink, has great loft, breaths, is nice and warm.
    i have made quilts with cotton pieced tops, wool batting and a luscious soft flannel back... beautiful!!!
    i also have one with a curly/minkee back that people love. there are some very elegant looking wonderful minkee's out there...they are very expensive.
    about the egyptian cotton...it will stay nice and (crisp) like a good quality cotton sheet fresh off the line.
    i use a low-loft (inexpensive) batting in wall hangings, helps with definition when quilting. lots of people use fusable batting for wallhangings.if you do not want to use batting just a layer of flannel works well too; just make sure it's been pre-washed, flannel shrinks alot at first.

    about the fusable grid (I LOVE THIS STUFF!) when i had to join 2 pieces i cut each piece with the grid lines, cutting off about 1/2" of one side of the squares, cut the next one with an extra l1/2" so they would line up correctly, then i ran a line of paper tape down it (on the non-fusable side); after i fused the fabric squares to the grid the tape did not matter anymore, but i just left it.
    good luck with your projects


    Quote Originally Posted by ArtisticDesign
    I need guidance. I have a few ( ok, a lot..lol) of questions on some projects I am trying to get done as christmas gifts and I THANK any of you more experienced quilters for any help...

    Project One: I am am making a really special friend a throw quilt..I have spent a lot of time picking fabrics etc.. I do know that she gets cold easily..And loves "cuddely soft" blankets..
    My question is about batting and backing. My first quilt that I just finished making is rather stiff and not to cuddly/soft feeling even after washing...I had used a poly 20%/cotton blend, med loft batting..I used reg fabric ( that felt soft in the store) as my backing... It also does not keep me very warm.
    I have heard a lot about a brand I think is called "warm and natural" 100% cotton. I do know cotton breathes = keeps you warm when its cold yet cool when it's warm?.. I have also heard some bad things about using 100% cotton batting (separating etc..) However, this brand seems to keep popping up...*Your thoughts?
    As for the soft cuddly feel. Anyone have suggestions on this?.. My first thought was to use flannel or fleece as backing..However, the quilt will not be bold/bright in color..The fabrics have a more elegant feel to them..I don't want to ruin that effect..But, would if I had to choose soft over pretty lol
    *And what is the difference between flannel vrs fleece?..Does one pick up lint worse than the other. etc?
    *I've also thought about using an Egyptian cotton sheet for the backing..Has anyone done this?
    Project Two: A Wall Hanging for my son..*** Do you need to use batting for a wall hanging?..
    *I will also be using 2" fusible grid as my design wall...If a yard of the fusible grid is not large enough...How do you connect more yrdge to make it larger without ruining the grid pattern? Sewing, ironing?
    Project Three: Thankfully, will be easy..Hubby just wants a camo quilt ( he camps a lot = thinks hes rambo lol) He wants only one pattern/fabric on the front(cotton camo design)- the back( solid colored flannel). I was like, why not just buy a camo blanket? lol..But, I think he just wants something I make..However, he does love snoopy so I bought a snoopy applique to sneak into a corner lol.
    *I am having a hard time finding the old army camo design( new one looks digital) in cotton or flannel..I did find five yrds (cotton) on ebay for 8$/yrd ( good price?)..*Anyone have a good resource for this? My joanns only had two designs, one the green was lime instead of army green.The other was cartoonish looking, ugh.
    Thanks for any help guys! (smile)
    :thumbup:

  9. #9
    Super Member katesnanna's Avatar
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    For your friend's quilt you could use polar fleece. It is very soft & warm and the quilt is light in weight. I use it for little kids quilts and have no problems with quilting it.
    I keep the quilting simple and to a minimum ( no stippling or such) I wasn't sure the first time I used it but it was a dream to use. For a pretty quilt could you buy cream or a pale color.
    We can get those colors here in Australia so I expect you could get them in your corner of the world.
    For the camo try an army disposal store. You never know what you may find.

  10. #10
    ArtisticDesign's Avatar
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    wow ck, thank you for all that info..So much clearer now!I am cut/pasting and saving everyone of you lol And Thank You for the grid info especially- so excited about working with it!

    I just found camo flannel online for 4.98 a yrd..I can't tell the quality of it but, its the right print and price..However, as you said, I have heard that flannel shrinks badly and to wash it 3-4 times before quilting..Do you or anyone have a rough estimate on how much yardage I'd need for a generous twin size quilt?

    hmm I just looked its 100% cotton flannel - double napped flannel (brushed on both sides)..I have no idea if this is good or bad..But, I know I'll be cleaning my sewing maching a lot by the sounds of it lol

    I'll definitely be checking into the polar fleece as well...Thanks

  11. #11
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    You have so many what if's and can I, or should I, or what about in your original post that it is hard to give good advice. All are valid and possible. So, about the only suggestion I can give because of what you want to accomplish is to "respect the nature of the fabrics". Some you have suggested are a pain to work with - fleese for instance, some are stretchy and a double pain to keep straight. For the eamo, I would suggest batting because two layers of plain cotton are not going to be very warm. Even a thin betting will be better than no batting. Warm and natural doesn't necessarily mean comfort as it is rather stiff. Poly or wool batting would be both light weight, easy to quilt and warm. So consider the nature of any fabric or batting you choose and work within it's constrainsts or ease. Minkee has been used successfully for cuddly warm quilts but am told it is most difficult to keep even and straight when sewing and quilting. You have described very well your desire for each project and will need different combinations of fabrics.

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    Your question about yardage for the camo fabric for a generous size twin. You also said this will be a one piece quilt. Then for top you will need at least twice the length plus a little extra as it will need piecing.
    Fabric is probably 44" wide and a twin should be wider than that. So you might use the 44"x72" (or whatever length you need) and put a border around it to extend the width. I would do the same for the back but probably put a strip of fabric down the middle to extend the width.
    Does this make any sense. Not sure it does to me....lol

  13. #13
    ArtisticDesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holice
    You have so many what if's and can I, or should I, or what about in your original post that it is hard to give good advice..
    What? are you saying I am too analytical and clear as mud? ( big grin)... Honestly, This thread has been excellent..I know there are a lot of different responses and questions... But every response is valuable info and it's up to me to know what's best for my projects now that I have the facts.. Thanks (((((everyone)))))

    And the flannel yardge makes perfect sense to me (borders are my friend lol) ty

    : you newbie beginners should copy this down as well and put it in the vault lol

  14. #14
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    No, I didn't intend to imply non analytical or unclear.
    Just saying that with your several projects and the intended purpouse and use of each, that it is difficult to pin down a "one size (or fabric) fits all". Each has very special considerations to achieve the intended goal. What will work for one doesn't necessarily mean it will work for others. So, I go back to my suggestion to consider the purpose and then respect the nature of the various fabrics that might be possible to achieve that purpose. While cotton batting might sound warm and cuddly, it might require so much quilting that it will be stiff and undrapable......etc, etc, etc. Minkee or the stretch fleece feels so cuddly and warm and friendly on the bolt, it might be so aggrivating to work with that the pleasure is out of the project before you finish.
    And a P.S. You questioned the quality of the camo fabric on line. The price sounds about right. I have collected some of this fabric and made quilts. I didn't find any that was so poor qulity that I couldn't use it. Since the quilt is being used in camping, I believe it will be ok and much less than LQS quality which is much more expensive.
    A really fun camo fabric is the one that was printed in the traditional camo design with black ladies overprinted into the design. It was called "Camoflage Ladies" I've had a lot of fun with this one.

  15. #15
    ArtisticDesign's Avatar
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    lol Holice.. I love the lady on camo idea...However, I've shown him camo leaves and camo with spiders that was pretty unique looking... All I got was a nose wrinkle response..Hence my sneaking snoopy in an inconspicuous spot, just to personalize it a bit and make him smile....
    And I understand exactly what you are saying about materials for each project need to be considered individually..

    I have to try some of that minkee on a project eventually it sounds so lush...

  16. #16
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    If you're after soft and cuddly, do not use Warm and Natural, it quilts up rather stiffly.

    Wool is fantastic, very breathable and has a gorgeous drape! I love Quilters Dream Wool, it's very soft.

    Pair it with a nice flannel back and it just doesn't get any softer. I would avoid fleece simply because it's poly and won't breathe.

    You can get flannel in solid colors, which would look out of place with a more elegant top.

  17. #17
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    I agree with the suggestions about using wool batting for a snuggly warm quilt. Either the quilter's dream wool or the Hobb's wool batt would work well - I think the Hobb's has a little more loft, but they would both be good choices. One thing I haven't seen addressed here is about using batting for your wall-hanging. I would go ahead and use a lightweight BONDED batting. You want a batt that gives you some stability and body so a wall-hanging doesn't sag. Most battings have a "cross-wise" stretch, so be sure you check that you use the "unstretchy" length-wise for the length of your wall-hanging. (One quilt artist famous for large wall-hangings that she sells to corporations to be used on their walls uses off-white colored "navy" blankets as her "batting" since they do not sag at all.)

  18. #18
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I like to use warm and natural and warm and white which seems to be a little thinner. So far I have done Stitch-in-the-ditch quilting and I am OK with the drape of the quilt. The good thing about w&n is that it can be quilted quite far apart and hold up well in the wash. The bad thing is that it does get stiff when it gets quilted close together. My cuddle quilt keeps me quite warm.

    Have you looked at the patterns of flannel? There are some lovely subtle flannel prints out there and I would definitely use a flannel as backing. Just make sure to wash it and dry on hot because it will likely shrink much more than your standard cottong fabric. You don't want that much pucker.

  19. #19
    ArtisticDesign's Avatar
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    This is such great imformation..

    Can you buy the Quilters dream Wool at Joanns/hobby lobby or somewhere like that?
    I've made a mental note to check into a subtle flannel print for her more elegant quilt top (decided to make myself the same quilt with wall hanging. I love the fabric that much..Of course it might be 2011 before I can get to it lol)
    I'm also keeping the warm n natural in mind because I like the idea of being able to quilt so far apart...
    PMY- lightweight Bonded(going to research what the bonded means) batting, lengthwise grain and off white navy blankets, all very much noted..Thanks

    Now I am definitely wishing I'd bought a better sewing machine..

  20. #20
    Aunt Retta's Avatar
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    I use warm and natural cotton for my super good baby quilts. It is actually good for the littel babies because it is less likely to interfere with breathing. It also is not ss bulky.
    I am also using it for my quilts because of it being warm in winter and cool in summer.
    I use the polyester batting when I am making a quilt to sell and don't have a buyer yet.

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