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Wool Batt and Border Quilting

In our last episode :-):Brianne Scott

Brianne and Scott were married, the wedding quilt was given as a gift and they are now on their honeymoon (no word as to their response about the quilt).

I had written about a portion of my quilting journey on their quilt in last week’s blog and will now continue …

Once the center of the quilt was done, it was time to quilt the borders. The border fabric is quite busy and I was sure any design would end up being seen as mainly texture. I have found “writing” in borders to be a delightful and fun way to finish this process. So I put in a dark green thread and began by writing “Scott and Brianne Trevorrow” across the bottom border.

(here is where I have to apologize and add a “learn from my mistake” portion to the blog. While working with the pictures I took of the border quilting in Photoshop Elements, I neglected to save them while in progress and the program closed down unexpectedly. Photoshop doesn’t do regular saves – and I should have – and the pictures were lost :-(. Since I no longer have the quilt, I couldn’t just snap a few more pics, so I’m hoping your imagination will fill in the blanks)

Next, starting at the lower left corner of the side border. I quoted Matthew 19:5-6 up the left side, across the top, down the right side, and ended with their wedding date in the lower right hand corner of the side border. The words were rather inconspicuous, and it was easier to see them from the back of the quilt, but they are there and I’m hoping it will be a special surprise to them some time in the future.

Once the quilting was done it was time to bind. I did this in the same flannel I used on the back – in keeping with the snuggly theme. I attached the binding first by machine to the back of the quilt, then I folded the binding to the front and secured it on the front with a zig-zag stitch in a matching thread. I typically sew the binding to the front and then hand-stitch it to the back because I find the quilt edge lays best this way, but again, since the quilt was meant for cuddling, I went with this quick way and then attached the label (did I mention I finished attaching the  label the morning of the wedding???)



I made the label on the computer and printed it on a colorfast printer fabric. This was the first time I included washing instructions on a label, because I felt the wool batt required it.

Next was the scariest part of the adventure. Since the majority of my quilts are made to hang on a wall, I strive for smooth and flat results. I have used washable wool batts in some of my wallhangings for the faux trapunto effect – with very good results, but the difference is I never planned to wash those quilts. This time I’d marked the circles and hearts with a water soluble marker that needed to be removed, and I wanted to see how the “washable” wool batt would react to washing, so I threw it in the washer (front loader) and washed with cool water on a gentle cycle. Then it went into the dryer on very low heat. I had not washed the fabrics in the quilt top or back, because I knew the batt was going to do a bit of shrinking and puckering (even with the cool temperatures), but when I pulled it out of the dryer I noticed immediately that it did shrink up even more than I expected.

So, I took a breath, wrapped myself up in it, and it was VERY SNUGGLY! I then laid it across a chair and got used to the  new effect.


I like it! Different can be good! I would do it again! I feel this was a good experience and hope it was helpful for some of you.

I can’t wait to hear from the newlyweds … and you too! Do you have any wool batt stories to share?

August 31, 2013, Batting free motion
Ewe! Batts!

I couldn’t resist the word play for this week’s topic. It is, of course, wool batting :-)! I’ve heard the pun is the lowest form of humor, but I’m still chuckling (my Dad always said I was my own best audience).

Moving forward – thanks for all the feedback on batts last week. Sharon seems to be liking Fusiboo™ (fusible bamboo batting) and gives her thoughts about it on her blog:  Another friend told me it’s great in totes and bags. The bamboo batt I mentioned is not fusible, but it feels wonderfully soft. I think I’ll try it in a crib quilt and let you know the results.

Nancy commented that she likes the Hobb’s wool because of the warmth. I would agree. There are so many benefits to the new wool batts. Wool has always been warm and snuggly, but until recently it couldn’t be washed in a quilt without a lot of shrinking problems. Technology has overcome that problem and washable wool batts are delightful. The other attribute is that they give the poofiness of poly batts when quilted sparingly, the flatness of cotton batts when quilted more closely and, best of all, a trapunto like look when the quilting density is mixed.

What a blessing this attribute is when making fiber art. The texture is wonderful! And here are some examples to back it up:


This small wall quilt was free motion quilted using wool batt and 100 weight silk thread. Here’s a detail shot of how the wool gives a trapunto look:

The next quilt is one of my Parallelisms series and was created during our Alaskan cruise. It’s free motion quilted with poly neon thread:

And here’s a detail of the trapunto effect:

So far I haven’t found any negatives, so if ewe haven’t tried wool batts I highly recommend them!

PS I’ll be teaching a class I call “Beginning Fast Patch” at the Hustisford High School on May 7, 14 & 21 from 8:30 to 12:30 each day. Here’s the description: 
Make a lovely wall quilt while learning basic quiltmaking skills. There will be an emphasis on rotary cutting and machine piecing. The project is a sampler of different blocks and techniques with a hearts and flowers theme that even a more experienced quilter would enjoy making while brushing up on his/her skills.

Contact Cindy at  for more information. 

April 11, 2011, Batting Uncategorized
Going Batt-y

I’ve just returned from a wonderful quilt teaching adventure in Alabama! The sun was shining and the flowers were blooming, but the best part was the friendly quilters I met there. What a blessing.

While flying home and daydreaming, I began thinking about a project I just layered with the new Dream Green™ batt from Quilter’s Dream. I’ve used it in a number of quilts and have been very happy. It’s a 100% polyester batt made from recycled plastic bottles. It’s soft and has a wonderful drape. I give it a thumbs up.

So this week’s topic is batting. I’ve done quite a bit of research and have discovered that there is no perfect batt because we make quilts for so many purposes. Here are some of my favorites:

Typically I use Hobb’s Thermore™ for handquilting because it is very thin and easy to needle (I need all the help I can get to create small even stitches).

For table runners and some wall hangings I like Warm & Natural™ because it’s dense and lies really flat.

For quilts made to keep loved ones warm I usually use a 80% cotton/20% poly blend batt such as Hobb’s Heirloom™ because it has a nice drape and snuggles well.

If I want the look of trapunto – the new washable wool batts are wonderful. They poof where not quilted and flatten nicely in quilted areas.

I tend to find something I like and not look further, but there are so many great new batts out there I thought I’d ask for your input.

I have purchased the new Legacy™ Bamboo Blend from Pellon and it is incredibly soft to the touch, but I haven’t used it in a quilt yet. Have you?

I’d really like your opinion.

What batt is your favorite? Why?

 Please let me know which ones I have to try :-)!

April 4, 2011, Batting Uncategorized