Quilting Questions

I’ve wanted to give quilting a go for so long but its always been something that’s not been possible. Whether because of time, money, or mainly because of my illness but I’m at a stage now where I might actually manage a little

I’ve seen some great tutorials for quilt-as-you-go so I wouldn’t have to try and work on anything unmanageable which had definitely given me the motivation to give this a go.

My sewing machine is out, it has a quilting plate to cover the runners, I don’t have a free motion quilting foot yet (will have to figure out what machine I have and get one) but will look into it.

I’m planning on trying to make some placemats (maybe even a table runner) to begin with. Don’t want to jump in the deep end with a full sized quilt and I don’t know anyone with a baby!

I think they’ll be good projects to practice piecing and quilting.

But my main question is: Batting.

It all looks very confusing and I have no idea where to start. I’ve read that you shouldn’t use polyester batting for hot stuff because it will melt and stuff. But other than that what batting should I be getting? I guess I need some kind of heat resistant stuff because hot plates and pots will be placed on them. If you have any specific brands and recommendations that’ll be great.

The top material doesn’t have to be anything special to resist the heat, does it? Plain cotton is fine?

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A couple weeks ago I mentioned that I wanted to get a rotary cutter to make cutting the material as ready as possible. I got one, and a cutting mat too. I ended up going for the fiskars even though a lot of you suggested olfa. But I couldn’t find one with a hand guard and I think that might be important for my foggy head and weak arms. If I don’t get on with this one then I’ll definitely go for an olfa next, maybe as a Christmas present but we’ll see. The cutting mat is A2 and it’s slightly bigger than my table but fits well enough.

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24 thoughts on “Quilting Questions

  1. Oooh its on my to do list too, mostly to stashbust all the scraps I’ve been saving ;for when I start quilting’. Looking forward to seeing how you get on! Especially with the rotary cutter, I can’t get along with them..

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  2. Jess, potholder X might be a perfect place to start as well as a table runner. Most table runners are meant as decorations for the table, so they require nothing special but are not meant to be used as hot pads during meals. Pot holders (what we use at my house) move from the stove to the table easily, and are one quilt block in size, which might be perfect for you since you are unable to work very long. You would feel accomplishment after each session, and I think that would be uplifting for you.
    Pot holders still use batting, but in the center there will need to be a layer of insulbrite. It is a special heat resistant stuff, usually has some silvery stuff in it, and keeps you from getting burned, tables marred, etc. It feels like a stiff batting and gives the potholders a little more heft so you feel safer too! 😊

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      1. I generally use what I can find, and nothing very expensive. I do go for the lower loft so that it is easier to quilt. I know others have only one type they will use, but I haven’t gotten there myself. :>)

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  3. I use Insulbrite wadding for table mats. For other items it depends on how “lofty” and squishy I want the end result to be. I started out with polyester batting because it is so much cheaper. Now I use mostly cotton. There’s a basic photo tutorial on my blog if you want to make some quilt-as-you-go-mats. I started patchwork with charm packs and jelly roll strips so I had less cutting to do as a beginner but it’s all down to personal choice really. One word of advice…if you are planning to cut fabric with a rotary cutter, use a quilter’s ruler because they are thicker and much safer than the ones shown in your photo. Apart from that, enjoy sewing when you can 🙂

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    1. When you use the insulbrite for table mats do you use anything else with it or just the three layer sandwich?
      I have my eye on a charm pack I’d really like as I find the cutting more energy sapping than the sewing. The straight rule in the pic is about three inches wide is that not large enough do you think? It was the largest one they had in the shop I went to! I’m attempting not to buy everything at once before I’ve even given it a go but it’s already getting expensive for just the basics and I haven’t even looked into walking foot or free motion quilting foot yet.

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      1. Hi, The Insulbrite is just like wadding but with a covering of heat proofing on one side so I just use it on its own with the soft wadding side to face the table when the mats are made up. The width of your ruler doesn’t matter. There are loads of sizes available. I was meaning that it might not be thick enough. Quilting rulers are much thicker than ordinary ones to stop the rotary cutter riding over the edge by mistake. If your ruler and triangle are thick, they’ll be fine. There are so many gadgets available and most of them aren’t actually needed so you are quite right to wait and see. Have fun!

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  4. Definitely the insulated batting – https://www.amazon.com/Fabric-com-Insul-Bright-Mylar-Poly-Batting/dp/B001IYFCLE?ie=UTF8&tag=apre06-20&link_code=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969 or I’m sure you can find it at a quilting store, probably JoAnn’s or Hobby Lobby if you’re in the states. The great thing about a pot holder is it’s something that can be finished pretty quickly so it’s a fast “win”. You can also find heat resistant fabric for the back of the potholder but honestly, that part isn’t as important, so the regular 3 layers will work fine.

    For a table runner, I tend to use up scraps of batting from whatever I did last. I personally like Hobbs 80/20 batting the best of all. Quilting has some things that make it expensive up front – definitely the cutting mat isn’t cheap. But once you have the basics – a straight ruler, mat and a rotary cutter then everything else is just gravy. Pre-cuts help save a lot of time cutting, plus they’re usually pretty precisely cut.

    Oh and for quilting, don’t feel like you have to start out with a free motion foot for your sewing machine. You can always sew straight lines, or crosshairs, etc. that will look great too.

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    1. Thanks for all this. Will definitely be getting some insulated batting. Yes think I’m going to hold off on the free motion foot for now. Do you need a walking foot for quilting straight lines or is the normal foot okay? The more I look into this the more questions I get lol.

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    1. Thanks. I’ve been looking at rulers today. Why is it that they’re more expensive than cutting mats or rotary cutters!?!

      Everyone keeps saying pot holders but we never use potholders in my house! Lol. I’m going to do some placemats. Same idea. Small and quick but good practice.

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      1. The amount of time and energy that will already be going into the quilt I think I’d rather just buy some rather than buy extra fabric and make some! It will be ages till I need the binding though so hopefully my bank account will have recovered by then! Haha.

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  5. Hello – I’m new to WordPress – this is my first comment! Olga rotary cutters – the best one has a retractable blade. If you let go of the handle the blade instantly returns into its safety setting (unless you press the button and fix it on open – not recommended). You can also fix it shut with the button. It is more expensive than the ordinary cutter, because of the mechanism and because the handle is ergonomic. I love mine!

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    1. Welcome aboard the blogging train 🙂 thank you for your comment! I bought a blade that has a safety handle which I’m quite happy with but everyone keeps recommending olga so I’ll definitely look into them if I get another one.

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