Choosing Quilt Batting-Open Line Friday

Quilt, Free Motion Quilting, Sunflower

The Sunflower Sampler

Hello Quilters and Quilt-Lovers!

Welcome to Open Line Friday.

Everyone asks.  Everyone answers.

Today I’d like to start the ball rolling with a discussion about batting.

There are many battings on the market.

Some of the fibers include:

  • Cotton
  • Wool
  • Polyester
  • Silk
  • Bamboo
  • Combination blends of the fibers

Free Motion Quilting, BattingQUALITIES TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING BATTING

  • How far apart can the quilt be stitched.  (Usually varies between 4-10″).
  • Does the fiber have memory–in other words, does it resist creasing?
  • Does the fiber breath?
  • Does the batting beard–fibers migrate through the top of the quilt?
  • What is the cost of the batting?
  • Is the batting readily available?

The two battings I use regularly are Hobb’s Dream Wool and Warm and Natural cotton.

Free Motion Quilting, Batting

WOOL FOR SLEEPING

I love wool for bed and lap quilts.

Wool holds up beautifully to washing--no dry cleaning necessary.  In fact, it gets softer and better with repeated washings.

Wool has “memory” — it is crease resistant.

Wool breaths well-making it great for quilts you sleep under.

It is a bit more expensive than the other battings, but I think it is well worth it.

COTTON FOR VASE QUILTS, WALL HANGINGS, TABLERUNNERS

For my smaller vase quilts, I like Warm and Natural all cotton.

It is a little flatter which I like for small projects.

It also breaths well.

Warm and Natural cotton naturally clings to the top and bottom fabrics.  Consequently, if the project is small enough, there is no need to baste.

Cotton is readily available and modestly priced.

(I have also used cotton for larger quilts–it also washes well!)

Free Motion Quilting, Flowers

 

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BATTING AND WHY?

We’d love to hear!

Lori

NOTE-The Sunflower wallhanging was stitched with wool batting.  Because wool has “memory”  it pops up in areas where there is little stitching and has a “mock-trapunto” look.

PS…All tutorials, information and images are the property of Lori Kennedy of The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin, share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

 

 

 

Free Motion Quilting: The 80/50 Rule

Spool and Thread, Free Motion QuiltingNot sure which size needle to use for free motion quilting?  

Instead of consulting those huge charts…

Just remember the 80/50 rule.

THE 80/50 RULE

50 weight thread pairs with a size 80 needle.

If your thread is heavier (smaller number)–40 wt or 30 wt–try a larger needle–90 or above.

For instance…I often use 40 wt  Sulky Rayon and a size 90 needle.

If your thread is finer–60 wt, try a smaller needle:  size 70

Spool and Thread, Free Motion Quilting

Just a rule of thumb…a place to start

This is for all sewing…not just free motion quilting.

NOT SURE WHAT TYPE OF NEEDLE FOR FMQ?

Increasingly, I use a Topstitch Needle.

It has sharp point, a large oval eye and a deep groove that protects the thread.

Just a quick tip—and a little “visual aid”…

May your stitches be happy,

Lori

LOL–We reached 5,080 followers today!  What a coincidence! 50-80!

PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin, tweet with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

Building a Rock Solid Routine for FMQ–Know the Motif

Design Contrast

Good Morning, Quilters and Quilt-Lovers!

Welcome back to our ongoing series:  Build a Rock Solid Routine for Free Motion Quilting

So far in this series:

Time to stitch?

There’s just one more thing to do:  DOODLE!

Red Flower Stencil, Free Motion Quilting

IMPROVE YOUR FLUENCY WITH DOODLING

Does your free motion quilting lack fluency?

Are there areas where the stitches are too long?  too short?  or lack overall smoothness?

Every time you pause to think about where to travel while free motion quilting-even for a nano-second–your stitching will lack smoothness.

These “stutter stitches”  occur when your hands are still moving, but your brain is stalled

The best way to avoid stutter stitches?

Practice the motif on paper–DOODLE!

Fabulous Flower Tablerunner, Free Motion Quilting

HOW TO DOODLE

  • Pick a motif you love.
  • Follow the photos and draw each step-by-step.
  • Repeat several times (10x or 100x) until you don’t need to refer to the photos.
  • Continue doodling the motif until you “own it”.
  • Doodle the motif much larger and much smaller.  (See “Free Motion Quilting: Playing with Scale”.)
  • Finally, choose the size for YOUR quilt and doodle it for several minutes.
  • This whole process should take less than 20 minutes.
Free Motion Quilting

Spiral Flower

STITCH THE DOODLE

As soon as possible, test drive the motif on a quilt sandwich.

Stitch it several times.  If everything looks great–add it to your next quilt.

If not, doodle it again tomorrow and try stitching it again.

NOTE:  I have no scientific evidence, but I have noticed that sleep–sub-conscience work–helps develop muscle memory.

When I’m struggling with a motif and walk away it often “comes to me” the next day without effort.

It seems that two-30 minute sessions with a nap or night’s rest in between is more beneficial than one-60 minute session.

Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon?

TODAY

Doodle AND Stitch! 

May your stitches be happy,

Lori

PS…All tutorials, information and images are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to share, re-blog, pin with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!