Quilting is one of the oldest types of crafts. It has been passed down through the years with new additions to the process and style.
One constant thing over the last decade is the need for batting to make the quilt drape properly.
What Is Batting?
Batting is the material that is commonly fitted to the middle layer of a quilt or other craft projects like a pillow, bag, pot-holder, and mug rugs. It is the filling that provides fluffiness, cushioning, drape, and warmth. Batting is done between two layers of the quilt or craft project to provide texture, shape, and insulation.
The batting for any project can be either low-loft or high-loft with different types of sizes and fibers. Low-loft batting is usually flatter and makes the quilt drape with ease, without any stress on the fabric. High-loft batting, on the other hand, is fluffier and can make the quilt heavier to provide more warmth for the user.
Materials that can be used for batting include cotton, wool, silk, bamboo, polyester, and alpaca. The material of the batting usually determines its weight as either low-loft or high-loft. Cotton creates low-loft batts that are flat but relatively heavy, while cotton and polyester blend will create thick fluffiness with some lightness.
Batting your completed quilt can be a worthwhile task if done right. If you’re trying out quilting for the first time, or you need to brush up your skills, the batting aspect is essential.
Wondering how best to add batting to fabric? Check out the important details as you continue reading!
How to Sew Batting to The Fabric
Before you can start the sewing to fill your quilt with batting, there are some things you need to put in place. To ensure that you get the right amount of fluffiness and warmth from your quilt, there are a few questions you need to answer to get the perfect outcome.
Firstly –What is the type of fabric you are quilting?
There are several fabric options for quilting projects such as cotton, upholstery, denim, wax cotton, suede, and so on. The choice of fabric you are using to quilt depends on the type of project you are trying to produce.
When you select the type of fabric for your quilt, it will help you decide if you need batting for the right end result. If the fabric of the quilt is heavy on its own, you may leave it as a single-layer project. However, if the fabric is light, you may need to use some form of shape-defining support like interfacing or batting.
So before you get out all the things you need for batting, double-check if your fabric needs support for the look you want to achieve. You can test out different backings with scrap material (of your project fabric) to see which type of support helps you get the objective you had for the project.
Next –What are the ideal batting weight, size, and color?
Like the quilt fabric or any other project, you are working on that requires batting, there are several options of materials for batting. You can use either cotton, silk, wool, or polyester as the batting content. The weight of the batting material will determine how thick or stiff the outcome of your project will be.
If you are making a quilt or some other type of covering fabric, you may want to go for a batting material that isn’t too heavy but with the right drape-quality. However, for a thicker project like a pillow or potholder, you may want thicker batting with high insulation qualities.
The size of the selected material you decide to use depends on the size of the quilt or anything you are making. Measure the finished stitch or embroidery and add a few inches on each side, and that will be the size of batting fabric you need to get.
Since batting is often used for quilts, you can get the pre-packaged batting content material for crib, twin, double, and king standard sizes.
Color is the next thing to consider when it comes to the material content of the batting. Most batting colors are white, off-white, and black. However, you can choose to dye the material (if it is absorbent) if you are using a sheer material to quilt. That way, you can create another design with the batting colors.
Typically though, white is the most common color of batting materials. Black is often used for darker quilt fabrics so that it doesn’t reflect on the front side. So consider which color would be best for your project and get it in the right size and weight to begin your batting.
Lastly –What are the items you need for batting?
To get to the batting part of your project, you will need fabric, thread, backing fabric (optional), a sewing machine (optional), scissors, pins, removable pen, ruler, safety pins, and craft adhesive (optional). The use of these items will be discussed in the next few steps!
Steps for Sewing Batting to The Fabric
Now that you know the type of material that should be used for your quilt and the batting content, and you have the necessary items set, it is time to sew the batting to the fabric. There are two methods that you can use to sew batting to fabric.
Method 1: Sew batting to fabric with hand stitches.
If your quilt or craft project was created with hand stitches, it is only ideal to use hand stitches for the finishing aspects, which includes batting. However, there is no restriction to using a sewing machine to complete a hand-stitched project or vice versa.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get right to it!
Step One: Prepare the fabric
Before you can start fitting your batting to the fabric, you need to make sure the fabric is ready. Take the quilt (or whatever project you are working on) and spread it out on a flat surface. You can place paper over the surface to avoid dirt.
Iron the quilt thoroughly at the appropriate heat level and ensure that there are no creases or stitch kinks in the fabric. Once the fabric is completely smooth, it is ready for batting.
Step Two: Align and pin the batting material
Get your batting material, with the appropriate size cut out, and place it on the quilt that is face down. If the portioned size appears to swallow up or is bigger than the quilt, you can trim some parts of it.
If you are working with a backing material to cover up the batting, then you should place the backing on the batting material that is placed on the quilt.
Once the additions to the quilt are in place, it is time to pin all the layers together. For a seamless stitch, make sure you start pinning from the center of the quilt with a straight line of pins. Add more pins parallel to the first set and make sure they are about 18inches apart.
When you can feel the firm set of all the layers you are working with, the alignment is completed.
Step Three: Check for wrinkles
The next step is to check for wrinkles in the pinned quilt by turning it over and checking the lines. If any of the pinned lines are unsmooth, be sure to change the placement. You can also use safety pins to keep the layers intact and wrinkle-free.
Step Four: Hand-stitch batting to the fabric
With all the layers in perfect placement, it is time to stitch. Prep your needle with the right stitch length and start with small stitches along the seam lines of the quilt.
For an additional design to your quilt, you can also sew over the stitch lines of the quilt to attach the batting and backing (if you are using any). This method will create another pattern on the quilt while ensuring that the batting and backing are secured.
Most people start with some back stitches or lock stitches but you can use any method that you are more efficient with, or is better for your expected outcome. Continue sewing till you are confident that the batting is in place.
Step Five: Complete the finishing
With the batting secured, you can finish your quilt by stitching the edges together. At this step, you can remove any pins that were used to support the fabric while you stitched and trim any excess batting that is spilling over.
Stitch the borders of the quilt and you can iron lightly for extra smoothness –and your batted quilt is ready to use!
METHOD 2: Sew batting to fabric with a sewing machine
For a lot of people who aren’t efficient with hand-stitches or who produce commercial quantities of quilts, hand-stitching might not be an ideal method for batting. If you belong to either group, or you just want to try another method of adding batting to your fabric, a sewing machine should be your go-to.
A sewing machine might require some experience to use, especially depending on the type of machine you are using. But once you have the hang of it, you can use it to sew batting to the fabric. The steps of preparing and aligning the materials are the same as the hand-stitch method, except step four.
So, to sew batting to fabric with a sewing machine, you can follow ‘Steps One, Two, and Three’ highlighted above. Then use the alternative ‘Step Four’ below and go back to ‘Step Five’ above.
Alternative to Step Four: Sew batting to the fabric
When the fabric is prepared, ironed, pinned, and ready for sewing. You can use a sewing matching to sew along the pinned lines.
While sewing, ensure that the layers do not shift and maintain an even arrangement. Sew down from the center of the fabric and work outwards. Once the sewing is completed, trim any excess batting and smoothen your completed quilt.
Using any of these methods will help you create the perfect fluffy quilt!
Can I Mix Batting Material?
It is not advisable to mix two batting material content unless you are buying a blend.
Can I Use Batting For Other Projects?
Yes. Batting can be used for quilts, pillows, bags, and other projects that may require additional material for shape and support.