Good To Know?

Quilt Sizes

Sizes vary depending on mattress size, the length of drop (if any), whether it is to be used as comforter, coverlet or bedspread and so on. The following is only a rough guide:

Baby:  30 x 40 inches

Pram: 25 x 33 inches

Swaddle:  48 x 48 inches

Crib:  Varies from 36 – 45 cms wide and 45- 54 in length

Car Seat: 25 x 80 inches

Stroller/Push chair:  36 x 36 inches

Toddler quilt/playmat: 38 x 48 inches

Lap Quilt: – Varies in size from 54 – 64 inches in width and 68-76 inches in length

Throw: 50 X 65 inches

Twin/Single:  Varies from 56-64 inches in width and 84-100 inches in length

Double/Full:  Varies from 70 – 80 inches in width and 84-100 inches in length

Queen: Varies from 76 -84 inches in width and 90 – 104 inches in length

King: Varies from 90 – 100 inches in width and 90 – 104 inches in length

Wall quilt (small) – About 24 inches square but could be any size really.

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Quilting fabric

Jelly Roll – a roll of 40 fabrics cut into two and a half inches or six and a quarter centimeters lengths across the width of the fabric 42 inches/105 cms approx. Half a jelly roll is 20 two and half strips of fabric.

You can use fat quarters for a jelly roll quilt but the length of a strip cut from a fat quarter is half that of one cut from the whole width – so you would need double the number of strips.

Fat quarter – You can get 14 four-inch squares out of a fat quarter.

Charm Pack – collection of 40 five-inch squares of a named range. Has at least one of each pattern and all of them co-ordinate.

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One of Moda’s gorgeous charm packs

Layer Cake – contains forty 10-inch square patches

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Help with Mixing Fabric & Patterns

There are so many different fabrics. How many should I use?

Use 3, enough to create interest without it seeming chaotic

How do you figure out what goes together?

Your patterns don’t have to match, though they need to look good together. That means they have to have something in common, which could be colour, style or scale. So for example you might choose one floral, one geometric and one of a much smaller or much larger, scale.

Organic Patterns take their inspiration from the natural world. There is a lot of movement in the pattern and the pattern repeat is not always obvious

Geometric Patterns have an obvious pattern containing a high degree of contrast. They range from a simple polkadot or stripe to something much more complicated.

Foreground should be a strong tonal contrast to the background

How To Begin

Use as your starting point something you love and are drawn to.  If you choose floral first, look for a geometric. If you choose something geometric with a clear pattern repeat, then choose something swirly and garden inspired.

Is there a particular colour you love in the first fabric you chose? Use that to look for a second fabric. So if you chose a floral pattern first and you love the lime green of the leaves, choose a geometric in a similar green. You can then incorporate another colour from the first fabric for your third fabric choice. If the floral had a mottled grey background, you might look for a grey stripe.

Large and Small prints

If the fabrics you have chose are both medium in scale, go for a small print

If you have choses two small scale patterns, go for a larger scale.

This is not a set of rules, just a guide, so if you find something that doesn’t fit this idea but looks and feels right, use it!

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Info  on Batting (Wadding)

Quilt batting places special emphasis on quilting and will support your quilt through generations.

Loft refers to weight and thickness of wadding Low loft wadding are thinner than hight loft which are puffier. Puffier batting is better for higher definition quilts.Very puffy battings best for tied quilts and comforters.

Use a flatter batting for wall hangings, it drapes better. ‘Warm and Natural’ is a good stable cotton batting for wall hangings . ~It has a scrim that keeps it from sagging but it does not fold well for shipping.

Cotton Fleece can work as a lining for a wall hanging – this has the thinnest loft

If you don’t want to use batting, felt can be used to back finer quilt projects.

Cheap wadding can allow more bearding. ‘Bearding’ is when fibres work their way out of the quilt. 

Natural fibres are cool in summer and warm in winter.

Synthetic fibres will dull a rotary blade so use an old blade when cutting batting. 

Use one with a heat resistant layer for table and kitchen

Some are fusible, to secure layers

Match the wadding to the quilt quilt e.g. cotton for cotton, silk for silk.

Waddings often shrink – check the manufacturers guidelines on the package to find out whether you can wash the wadding before use to reduce shrinkage. 

Wadding is available in pre cut pieces for standard quilt sizes.

Types of Batting

Polyester

Synthetic fibres with  weights 60 g to 300 g. Lightweight, least expensive, easy to handle, washes well and creates a lightweight quilt.  I gives a deeper quilted effect with more depth in the stitch. However, it can beard, is less breathable and flammable. It’s no good for pot holders. 

Lower loft poly can be hand quilted. High loft are good for tied quilts . Do not use a hot iron on polyester wadding.

Remove from package 3 days before use because you can’t iron it. You can tumble dry on air dry without heat.

Hobbs Polydown Premium Polyester, crib size, is machine washable

Alpaca 

Natural, warm, soft, light, flame retardant, water resitant and hypoallergenic

Silk

Natural fibre wadding but expensive so not the most sensible choice. However, lovely  for quilted clothes.

Bamboo 

Natural fibre with a low loft and quilts well. Very soft and anti bacterial so it is useful for baby quilts.

Cotton 

Fine, heavy and warm. Can be hand quilted but needs to be quite close quilted i.e. 2 iches between lines. No good for tied quilts as wadding will break up unless secured at close intervals

Cotton is good for small items and thinner pieces.

80% cotton/ 20% polyester stabilises the cotton fibres. You can quilt this 2 to 4 inches apart. 100% cotton batting will give a traditional, flat, antique look. They will be low left, soft and easy to drape.

‘Warm and Natural’ can be quilted up to 10 inches

‘Fairfield Soft Touch’ up to 2 inches

Murray Glay Old fashioned up to 6 inches

Mauton Mist Blue Ribbon up to 2 inches

Cotton/Poly Blendsimg_5917

These are made from blended fibres eg. 80/20 poly and cotton. This is more stable and less apt to shift. 

Lofts range from very low in Thermore to high loft in Polydown which mimics down.

Hobbs Polydown dark 4 inches

Hobbs Polydown light 4 inches

Fairfield Traditional 4 inches

Hobby Thermore 6 inches

Mountain Mist light 3 inches

Fairfield High Loft 4 inches

Mountain Mist Designers Choice 5 inches

Mountain Mist regular 3 inches

Needle punched cotton

This batting creates a micro thin polyester scrim so you can quilt at 8-10 inch intervals. Needle Punched means fibres are broken up to make the needle easier to pass through. This has minimal shrinkage and will pucker in an appealing way, but you can wash it first.

Traditional, needle punched batting has a blanket like quality and dimension, even when close quilted. 

Wool Batting

This is natural lightweight breathable and easy to hand or machine quilt. The natural fibre breathe well and it is comfortable, soft and very warm. Can be heavy. It does beard due to static build up, but not too badly. 

Hobbs wool up to 3 inches

Wool Naturally up to 10 inches

If it is for a child, don’t use wool.

Tip

Each time to get a different batting, create a muslin sandwich with it inside for testing. You can try washing it to see how it shrinks and drapes after wards. Then test quilting it, using a hoop. Hand quilt different designs and use different threads e.g. 100% cotton, poly cottons rayons and metallics. If the thread of the needle is hard to push through the sandwich try a larger needle Write the batting type on the back of the sandwich and keep notes.

Buy only enough for your quilt 3-4 inches larger than the quilt on top on all sides or 8 inches longer and wider.   If you have to stitch a piece on it to make it longer, don’t overlap it when stitching it together or it will cause a welt. Cut a clean edge by putting two pieces slightly on top of each other and cut a straight line. But the two clean edges together and join using whip stitch. Some quilters like to use a serpentine edge when join pieces because it is more invisible to the eye.You can buy a special coated cloth tape that can heat press batting together to fit a special size. You can use it on any type of batting.

Sort and store pieces of the same batting together as you must use the same thickness when you add pieces from other quilts. Use a Milliners needle and white or cream thread to join the pieces. This needle is longer and gets a bite of both sides of the batting. Pull the thread tight enough to keep the piece aligned but not so tight that a wrinkling forms. Stitch by hand.

Interfacing and Stabilisers

It is certainly confusing that interfacing is sometimes called a stabiliser.

Interfacing

This can be sew in or fusible. Single or double sided. In patchwork applique and quilting an interfacing such as Vilene is used to stiffen or give shape to delicate fabrics or ones that fray. Can be used a base when foundation piecing or for Crazy patchwork. Use the Heavy weight for bags and for  three dimensional patchwork.

Stabiliser 

This can be temporary; torn away or dissolved,  or permanent and left in place. Sew in or fusible and diff weights.

Muslin and Calico can be used as stabilisers.  It is confusing that interfacing is sometimes called a stabiliser.

Pellon

Non woven polyester backing hat gives support for unstable textiles that need more body and a firm smooth application like silk, gauze and chiffon. It can also be used as a canvas for painting.

Fusible web 

Fusible Web – ultra thin sheet  of adhesive backed with a special papers. Heat of an iron fuses fabrics, secures and prevents edges fraying. Lots of brands e.g. sewable Heann Bond or Wonderunder –  a fusible web product with a paper backing called a release paper. It has to be ironed to adhere to fabric. It is for creating interlays and can be painted or covered with foils. 

Fusible fleece

Adds thickness to  a project

Fiberfil

For puffed  patchwork three dimensional applique and stuffed quilting.

Needles ( In General)

Sharps Needles

These are regular household needles but good for applique. Easier to use than betweens.

Sizes 2,3,4 for general sewing on medium to heavy fabrics.  – larger ye, easier to sew

Sizes 5,6,7,8,9 and 10 for general sewing on light to medium fabrics.

Sizes 7-8 are fine sewing needles with a small threading eye

Size 11 is a petite sewing needle fine and short with a small eye for small delicate stitches.

Size 12 is the finest sewing needle, smaller than average for small delicate stitches

Needle Packs:

Packs 1-5 for medium to heavy fabrics

Packs 3-9 for medium fabrics

5-10 for fine and lightweight fabrics

11 – more control for embroidery

Between Needles

For quilting – very short, fine needle with a round eye. Diameter is the same as a sharp but they are shorter in length to allow quick and even stitching. Sizes range from 5-12 but size 7 or 8 are best for a beginner. It is possible to get a Big Eye quilting needle in a size 10.

Embroidery Needles

These have a long eye to allow multiple threads of floss to be threaded. Sizes 13 and 14 are for coarse fabrics like canvas. 16-26 are the most popular. 7-9 are best for starting out.

Crewel needles

These have sharp points and elongated eyes for most surface embroidery

Straw or Milliner needles

These have eye and shaft equal in thickness – good for French or Buillion knots.

Milliners Needles

These are long needles with a round eye, frequently used for needle turn applique

Sizes 3,5,6, & 7 have large eyes for ease of threading when using embroidery floss

The smaller sizes 10 + 11 are suitable for more fine, decorative stitching and smocking.

Darning Needles

Long darners are useful to use for basting or when layering fabrics together

Yarn darners are long needles with long eyes for spanning large holes when meding using wool or cotton.

Bodkins

These are weaving needles used for threading tape and elastic.

Beading 

For beading on Inchies use size 10 Straw needle and medium weight nylon beading thread. True beading needles are too thin to go through Inchies without breaking.