I Quilt Linky Party – Wadding


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Welcome to I Quilt Linky Party!  It’s Thursday and it’s time to get your FMQ on (any quilting really, I just like saying that ;) ) and link up your quilting process!  This week I’m talking wadding (or batting, depending on where you live) which is a really important part of the quilting process.  I’d love you to share your thoughts and experience on this topic too.  It’s kind of the unglamorous part of quilting but oh-so-important! :)  I have been quilting up a storm this week and if all goes to plan I will have finished three large quilts in two weeks!!  Eeeeek!  I’ve been sharing lots of progress pics on Instagram so won’t double up, but here is one in case you aren’t on IG (but you should be! Sooo fun!!).

I’ve been quilting like crazy this week!

This week I am featuring the absolutely amazingly talented Julia Graber from Life as a Quilter.  Seriously, this woman is impressive!  I wrote to her and asked if I could feature her and you know what she said? “I would be honored…”  Julia, the honor is mine, every week that you have linked up I have been blown away by your work.  Please check out her blog if you haven’t had a chance yet!  Who can resist a quilter that is talented, modest and polite?! :)

Image and work by Julia Graber

This week Julia made a BEAUTIFUL sailboat piece based on a photo.  So impressive!  Julia, if I’m ever in Missisippi can I please come by your studio and watch and learn?  Thanks so much for sharing with us.  I also LOVED Julia’s bird on a wire from last week.  Beautiful and so interesting to see how two different artists started with the same photo and created unique pieces.

Image and work by Julia Graber

Getting back to wadding/batting, a question that most quilters ask themselves at some point is, “can I piece together wadding and use it for a quilt?”  My answer is a resounding yes!  I haven’t gone so far as to mix different types of wadding in one quilt but you can see in the below photo just how scrappy I will make my wadding.  If I am being super scrappy (as per the below example) I just make sure that I quilt the piece fairly densely so that all of the joins are covered and the wadding won’t slip around with use.

Yep, I use the scraps most people throw away! I hate to waste things!

Sometimes I will use the flat lock stitch on my machine to join the wadding but usually I just lay it so that it is slightly overlapping.  I do this all the time and have never had a problem (I do usually add a few extra pins whilst basting to make sure that I don’t end up with any gaps).  You could use the zigzag stitch on your machine and I find that by only very slightly overlapping the wadding that you don’t end up with any bulk, it’s all caught in the stitches.  I have been told that a good idea is to cut your wadding in a curvy line where it meets so that you don’t get a noticeable fold.  I don’t bother and I haven’t had any issues so far :)

I am still a newby quilter.  My obsession with quilting only really began just under two years ago and whilst I did a beginners course at my (former) LQS most of what I’ve learnt is through trial and error and the internet.  I decided that I wanted to make a number of quilts that I would keep out of different types of wadding to see how they would wear.  So far I have tried out 100% cotton, 100% wool and 100% bamboo, all three are Matilda’s Own brand.  The quilts that I’ll discuss below are all made with top quality quilting cottons unless otherwise stated :)

L-R: Rainbow I Spy Quilt, Princess Quilt, Kitchen Windows Quilt

My daughter’s Princess Quilt is made with 100% wool wadding and has been in use for about three months.  It has a top quality flannel on the back and was really easy to quilt.  I love how puffy it is and I love quilting with wool.  The brand I use is low loft but has enough loft to really show up your quilting.  I love using wool wadding for items that have lots of texture.  It has a lovely drape and feels kind of bouncy.  What I don’t like is how much it has pilled!  Honestly, that quilt needs a shave!  I plan to experiment with other brands of 100% wool wadding and try blends to see if I can overcome this issue.  I’m loath to use this particular wadding in a bed quilt again :(  It is, however, my favourite for items that won’t be washed often, such as wall hangings, art quilts and table runners (maybe not at my house though – 3 young kids=food everywhere!).

This close up of the Princess Quilt shows you how fun it can be to quilt with 100% wool wadding.

Mr 7′s Rainbow I Spy Quilt was my first foray into 100% bamboo wadding.  This stuff is CRAZY!  It actually squeaks LOL  Before washing it feels a little stiff but supple at the same time.  It’s strange, but don’t let that put you off!  Bamboo wadding is my current favourite.  It quilts like a dream, it’s light and it wears SO WELL!!  I plan on buying a bolt of 100% bamboo wadding to use both for myself and customer quilts.  I recommend you give it a try :)

Mr 5′s Kitchen Window’s quilt is made with 100% cotton wadding.  It has worn exceedingly well considering the number of times it has been washed.  I did use some dress making cottons in this quilt (I’ll elaborate another time) and the white sashing is linen, but otherwise it is made with quilting cottons and organic quilting cottons.  Whilst this quilt has a nice drape I do feel that it is second (both in drape and wear) to the bamboo quilt.  In another year or two I’ll probably be able to pinpoint it, but at this stage all I can say is that it just doesn’t quite live up to the bamboo standard (but it is older, so that could be age).

I’ve used archive photos of the above projects as they are all on their way to Australia, but I did finish three quilts this week with three different types of wadding and I thought you might like to see them side by side.  You get a better idea of the loft and texture on an angle.

So there you go!  What’s your favourite type of wadding?  Do you use scraps?  Do you have any special tips for joining wadding of which is best for what type of project?

Now it’s your turn to link up!  Please remember that this linky is about the quilting process (the last Thursday of each month I will introduce a theme and you are welcome to join me by posting on this topic or sticking to quilting process – your choice).  I urge you to please visit three other linkers.  We all love sharing and comments <3  Please add my button and/or a link to my blog in your post.  Share the love!  My goal is to share, encourage and educate quilters.  I’ve been learning each week and am loving visiting all of your blogs!

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11 Comments on I Quilt Linky Party – Wadding

  1. Vera
    November 28, 2013 at 10:34 pm (6 months ago)

    I use whatever is available on local market. I only made few quilts so I don’t really have much experience when it comes to wadding. I just ask my quilty friend and she’ll tell me what to use, lol.

  2. Susan
    November 28, 2013 at 10:50 pm (6 months ago)

    Off to find you on IG in a minute.I love bamboo wadding and have had quilting friends sneer at the very fact that I use it. (yes, I was gobsmacked when that happened) I love how soft it is and the drape you get. My lqs sold a 50/50 cotton bamboo blend that I was particularly fond of.

  3. Jess
    November 29, 2013 at 12:07 am (6 months ago)

    Until the last two quilts I’ve quilted I used MO bamboo batting consistently – I went through two bolts in my first two years of quilting ;o) Now that I’m focussing more on my quilting, I’ve changed over to MO wool/cotton blend (I buy it by the roll so I don’t have to worry about it running out) and I adore the extra loft. I haven’t had bearding issues yet but they’ve only been washed once so we will see how that goes!

  4. Serena @ Sewgiving
    November 29, 2013 at 12:14 am (6 months ago)

    One day I would like to proudly display your “I Quilt” button on my sidebar .. I’ll get there! All this quilting is so inspirational :)

  5. Renee
    November 29, 2013 at 1:45 am (6 months ago)

    I’ve only ever used cotton, poly, or some mix. I have a bolt of cotton, so that’s mostly what I use–when it runs out I will try out bamboo before buying another bolt. I use almost every scrap of batting I have! I just cut the edges to be straight and join them using a wide zig zag (no overlap). I use them for smaller quilts mostly, and quilted bags.

  6. Julie
    November 29, 2013 at 2:42 am (6 months ago)

    I use different things for different projects. In the quilt that I linked, I used a thin poly because the back is Minky, and I didn’t want anything too heavy. I’ve used wool in probably 1/2 of the quilts I’ve done because it doesn’t have memory.

  7. Sandra
    November 29, 2013 at 8:15 am (6 months ago)

    I have a quilt with wool wadding constantly in use for years now and no problem with bearding at all. Though it is hand quilted, I don’t know if that would make a difference. I have used cotton and poly too at times depending on the project and what has been available at the time. Most easily available here is cotton (or a nasty quality of poly which I am steering clear from), but I am moving away from it recently in favour of wool. I love the loft and the lightness of it, and it quilts well both by hand and machine.
    I have several samples of different waddings (17, who knew there are that many around, and there are more…!!) that I am quilting up at the moment to see the differences. Hope to blog about that in the near future… I suppose in the end it all depends on the particular project you are using it for. And yes, I do use scraps.

  8. Val Reynolds
    November 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm (6 months ago)

    I use warm and natural….

  9. Cynthia Brunz Designs
    November 30, 2013 at 9:40 am (6 months ago)

    Thanks for sharing. As a longarm quilter, I use all sorts of batting but for my own quilts, I generally use a cotton blend or wool. As I like pretty dense quilting, I find 100% cotton to get too stiff.

    The silk blends are nice too but I have not put them in my own quilts.

  10. Nurdan
    February 11, 2014 at 1:09 pm (4 months ago)

    I have used bamboo batting three times; each time saying “this time it will be ok”. It wasn’t difficult to quilt but it was so dusty and caused lint gathering in the bobbin case and around the needle. By the time I finished quilting, I have to vacuum the whole house because the lint and dust were everywhere! Also, had to give the bobbin case a good cleaning too! I am surprised it is your favourite. What brand are you using?

  11. Rolland
    May 21, 2014 at 12:03 pm (2 weeks ago)

    I do agree with all of the ideas you have presented in your post.

    They are very convincing and will certainly work.
    Still, the posts are very short for novices. Could you please
    prolong them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.


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