Did you catch our February 2020 Quilted Joy Clubhouse live online meeting? This month was all about how to choose batting! If you missed the livestream it’s available to watch (or re-watch) whenever you’d like. Find it on the Quilted Joy Youtube channel!
Our main program for this month’s meeting was about how to choose the right batting for your quilts and understanding the differences between battings. Watch the video below to learn all about batting and so much more!
How to Choose Batting for Your Quilts
Let’s talk batting! I think a common misconception about quilting is that too much quilting will make your quilts stiff or crunchy. Sometimes, it’s not the quilting that’s changing the feel of the quilt, but the batting. Understanding how your batting feels after its quilted and washed will change your quilting game forever! In the video I mention words like loft, shrinkage, scrim, and more. If these concepts are new to you, I highly encourage you to visit our Quilted Joy Learning Center and specifically our section about batting. There you’ll find helpful articles defining all these words and going more in depth about each batting fiber type.
Batting Fiber Type and Shrinkage
A great exercise to help you understand how your batting will feel in a quilt is to make a few samples. We did this here in the shop! Melanie, one of our longarm quilting fairies, gathered scraps of all our battings and quilted samples with open meanders. She bound and washed those samples and even compared how much each sample shrunk with washing! These samples have been so helpful for our customers in the shop. They can see and feel the shrinkage of each batting type and choose a batting for their quilt with confidence.
One more element of batting that I usually look for is scrim. Scrim is a polypropylene netting added to one side of your batting. This helps to stabilize the fibers in the batting and generally makes for a more stable batting. If your batting has a scrim you’ll want the scrim side facing towards your backing fabric so that your needle won’t pull the batting through. But how do you know which side is the scrim side? Look for pimples and dimples! Usually the scrim side will have a pimply appearance or look like a pilled sweater. We don’t like pimples, so we’ll put those pimples towards the back of your quilt.
Lynn’s Multi-Floored Sewing Studio
Easily, the best part of my job is getting to watch quilters’s skills grow. Lynn Martin of Lynn’s Quilt Patch, first came into the shop to rent our longarm machines. Now she has her own computerized APQS Millie longarm machine! Lynn was kind enough to invite us into her studio for a little looky-loo tour. She has her sewing studio spread across two different floors of her home.
First, her longarm machine is in the walkout basement. We didn’t talk about it in the video, but I love the cute kitty stickers she has on her Millie! 😻And since we talked about batting during the meeting, I think it’s great to see Lynn’s preferred battings: 80/20 cotton/poly blend, 100% cotton, and polyester. Lynn and I also talked about using sheet protectors to audition paper pantographs. We have a video tutorial showing how to make those and you can find that here. After checking out her longarming space, she took us upstairs to see her sewing space. After her son moved out she took over his old bedroom and painted it pink! She definitely has lots of great space for all of her quilting needs.
Angela’s Favorite Things – DecoBob Prewound Bobbins
I love quilting with pre-wound bobbins because there’s nothing easier than pulling a bobbin out of a box and popping it into my bobbin case. For this month’s favorite things, I wanted to share the DecoBob prewound bobbins with you! When I go to the national quilt shows I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting threads. A few of my quilting heroes have been raving about these bobbins because they’re super skinny and run really well on their machines. So at Quilt Market in Houston I picked up a few samples of DecoBobs and immediately fell in love!
DecoBobs use an 80 weight polyester thread. So they’re super skinny and you can pair them with most top thread weights! And that skinnier thread also means you have more thread per bobbin, and fewer bobbin changes per quilt! They’re available in 36 colors and we have them all in both L-sized and M-sized bobbins. I can’t wait for you to try these bobbins! You can find them in the shop here.
How Would You Quilt it? Pat’s Hand Dyed Table Runner
A lot of people submitted quilts for the How Would You Quilt It segment of our meeting. Pat’s table runner with those bold hand dyed fabrics immediately caught my eye. When I start designing a quilt, I’m just focused on individual elements of the quilt. There are only a few main elements of Pat’s quilt – the center blocks with the quarter square triangles and purple frames, and the zigzagging strip sets in bright orange and blue moving across the quilt.
Those purple frames were a perfect place to use some curved border designs (in 2019 I wrote an article for Quiltmaker magazine all about using circle rulers to create border designs just like this. You can find that here.) I wanted to accentuate the movement of the blue and orange “highways” in the quilt. To do that I chose a directional molar feather design that would travel in one direction for the blue strips and another direction for the orange strips. For inside the quarter square triangles, I just wanted to frame it out a bit more with simple straight line quilting.
A nice thing about a quilt this size is I can better show you how I might quilt the whole quilt in one continuous path! I would definitely load this quilt longways on my longarm with the longest sides parallel to my bars. This way I can see as much of the quilt as possible in my quilting space. In the video you’ll see how I traveled from one element of the quilt to another, looking for super highways where I could easily sneak into the next section of the quilt. Thanks for sharing your quilt, Pat! We can’t wait to see how you quilt it!
Show & Tell and Wrap Up
The best way to end these meetings is with a little show and tell of the quilts shared in our Quilted Joy Clubhouse! I think the wintery weather has allowed more of us to stay in and quilt this past month because there were lots of beautiful quilts to ohh and ahh over.
The Quilted Joy Clubhouse Live Meetings occur on the first Wednesday of every month at 1pm Eastern. Our next Clubhouse meeting will be March 4, 2020 at 1pm Eastern/Noon Central. If you’d like to watch live, you can find us on Facebook in the Quilted Joy Clubhouse or subscribe to the Quilted Joy Youtube channel to be notified about our videos. Don’t worry if you can’t join us live. The videos will remain available on both Facebook and YouTube afterwards so you can watch them whenever you want!
Hope to “see” you at the next live meeting!