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?

7 Opinions

  • Nancy Hansen said:

    Hi Chris,
    Enjoyed your adventure, as I’ve been going through a similar process. Just wanted to tell you I usually use Hobbs Tuscany wool (if I can find it) and have washed the one on our bed many times in warm water, but line dried. It has not shrunk at all. The quilt is made of batik, which may be part of the reason for no shrinking.

  • Jackie Iannarelli said:

    Thanks for the heads up on the shrinkage. I have 3 wool batts that were given to me. they come from her sheep and she had the wool turned into batting. I have been afraid to use them because I’m not sure how to.

    • clkquilt admin

      Jackie, Wool that has not been processed for washing will shrink a lot!!! Typically quilters do not hand or machine quilt the type of batt you have. Rather they are used in what’s called a duvet. It’s like a bed sized “pillow case” that the wool batt is smoothed into, and then it is tied and ready for use. That way, when the quilt (actually a comforter) becomes soiled, the ties can be cut, the wool batt removed and re-carded, the duvet washed and then it can be put back together again. Hope that helps!

  • Margaret said:

    My compliments on your blog posting of 8-25 ………… it is interesting to read of your process of quilting, esp. when it is for a gift rather than for “show”. I, too, have tried using wool batting several times (Quilters Dream Wool) ………. I like the feel of it in the finished quilt that doesn’t have too dense quilting, but do not like the “shedding” of fibers ………. definitely a clean-up challenge on darker fabrics.
    I also appreciated your description of making feathers ………… I have read Diane’s book, yet still felt intimidated. I need to try again with the “half heart” in mind (on something that will not be entered in a show) ………. just to get my confidence. As Diane G. says: “Practice, practice, practice.” Who said that success comes easy?!

  • moe said:

    Love reading all your posts Chris, I haven’t tried a wool batt but glad to know your experience. I was glad to see you wrote washing instructions on the label, I’ve done that too and wondered if anyone else had. Keep those great posts coming!

  • Geraldine Sharp said:

    I purchased a queen size wool batt at Frank’s Sewing in Waukesha. It was thicker in places….seems to have been “patched” together. Quilt not yet finished. I like the wool batt I purchased from Connecting Threads & they have batts on sale through today (Sunday) or tomorrow (Monday). They have Hobbs batts. I purchased Tuscany silk batt & would like info re using silk batts. Seems too thin.

    • clkquilt admin

      I’ve had no trouble with the quality of the name brand packaged batts. I haven’t tried the silk yet, and have been wanting to “play” with the bamboo batts. I’ll put that on my “to do” list and let you know what happens in a future post :-).


Share opinions



You may use these HTML tags and attributes to empatize your opinion:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>