What is batting, exactly?

Batting is usually just an afterthought once the fun parts (picking fabric, and designing and piecing the quilt) are done. But it’s more than that! It’s the heart of the quilt: when you snuggle under a quilt, batting keeps you warm. It deserves just as much care as the rest of your quilt! So use these tips, our cheat sheet, and our size chart to pick the best batting for your quilt.

Let the quilt pattern guide your choice of batting.

Modern quilts generally have a more streamlined look than soft, fluffy baby quilts. So modern quilters tend to use cotton batting, which gives a flatter finish, while polyester batting, generally the loftiest, is common in baby quilts. Cotton and polyester are the two most common types of batting; see our cheat sheet below for info on bamboo, eco-friendly, and wool batting.

Batting in a 2.5″ wide strip is super useful! All those jelly rolls and strip quilts can use this size batting, especially for quilt-as-you-go projects, and it works really well in small projects like potholders, Christmas ornaments, or quilted jewelry, too.

Moldable batting is a stiff form of batting used in tote bags, hats, and other craft projects. It works great in those projects, but it’s generally too stiff for quilting.

Click to download and print or save this handy quilt batting reference guide.

Click to download and print or save this handy quilt batting reference guide.

What color batting to buy?

If you are working with a deep, true Amish black fabric, consider a black batting. This minimizes contrast in case of bearding. Otherwise, white or natural should be fine.

What size batting to buy?

Re-measure (measure, don’t guess!) your quilt top when it’s done, then look at our quilt batting size chart below. Compare the size of your top to the sizes listed, allow an inch or two extra batting (quilting always takes up some batting), then decide what size is best.

If your quilt will be longarm quilted, you must allow much more. The Keepsake Quilting longarm service asks for an extra 6” all around; all longarmers ask for at least this, and many ask for more. As a result, you might have to go up a size in batting. It’s worth it to get your quilt finished properly!

Quilt batting sizes

Batting size chart

Terms To Know When Choosing Batting For Quilts:

  • Loft: the degree of puffiness that batting gives the finished quilt.
  • Sandwich: the three layers of the quilt as a group: top, batting, back.
  • Longarm: a large quilting machine that pulls the top, batting and back through separately, and hence always needs extra batting.
  • Bearding: when bits of batting work up through the quilt top. Keep your piecing nice and tight and you won’t have to worry about this!
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Win Fabric For Life!

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She who dies with the most fabric– probably won our Fabric For Life contest!

That’s right: the latest top quality quilting prints, solids, batiks, flannels, and whatever else fabric designers come up with in the future! It will all be yours.

Entering is easy: once a day, right here, and you could win more fabric than you ever dreamed of! Yep, that much.

But remember, your life will change if you win. Quilting buddies requesting fabric, having to design a bigger sewing room, forgetting what your husband looks like because you’re spending so much time in that new sewing room… I have faith that you can handle these “problems.”

And I want you to know that I’m not resentful at all that as a Keepsake Quilting employee, I can’t even enter, let alone win. Not resentful at all. Nope. Not me.

So take advantage where I can’t (sob). Enter to win!

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Fabric for Life Winners

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We are pleased to announce the winners of the Fabric for Life contest:

Status City State
1st Place Christina Strass Calgary AB
2nd Place Jean Howey Goffstown NH
2nd Place KATHY REED SPRINGFIELD OR
3rd Place Beverly Williams Fort Worth TX
3rd Place Linda Verburg Lansing IL
3rd Place Phyllis Miller Shelbyville IN
3rd Place Barbara Hadderton Crosbyton TX
3rd Place Bonnie Fish Fort Nelson BC
3rd Place Rosanne Riley Riverton WY
3rd Place Vicki Clem Fountaintown IN
3rd Place Karen Schackow Defiance OH
3rd Place Donna Maher Media PA
3rd Place Karen Richards Snohomish WA
3rd Place Kathleen Luongo Parrish FL
3rd Place Kristina Rudis NOVI MI
3rd Place Dorothy Grady Olive Branch MS
3rd Place Patricia Dance Port Alberni BC
3rd Place Jean Deming Everett WA
3rd Place Lisa Hackney Portland OR
3rd Place Jara Christensen Bixby OK
3rd Place Barbara Larson Cascade WI
3rd Place Shirley Reed Crawford NE
3rd Place Regena Hardy Twin Falls ID
3rd Place Farhana Shehzad Mason OH
3rd Place Pat Stringer Rogers AR
3rd Place Judy McGavock Crivitz WI
3rd Place Jo Baker Jefferson OR
3rd Place Krista Gordon Frostburg MD
3rd Place Barbara Adams Coal City IL
3rd Place elisabeth johnson paris IL
3rd Place Diana Wilkins West Linn OR
3rd Place Pamela Troxell Amelia OH
3rd Place Pearl Wieneke Lismore MN
3rd Place Sheri Guenther Gregory MI
3rd Place Bev. Lundy Cedar Falls IA
3rd Place Eileen Franks Corydon IN
3rd Place Mumina Donaleski HOUSTON TX
3rd Place Val Iven Portland OR
3rd Place stephanie sosa huntington bch CA
3rd Place Irme McLaren Silver Springs NV
3rd Place Penny Huffman Northport AL
3rd Place Kirkland Bader N Chesterfield VA
3rd Place Jeri Edgar Elk Grove CA
3rd Place Krystal Shook Colorado Springs CO
3rd Place Leslie Lee Sulphur LA
3rd Place Gwen Loiselle Edmonton AB
3rd Place Sue Werkmeister Maywood NE
3rd Place Amanda Hawkins Colorado Springs CO
3rd Place Michelle Harrison Morganton GA
3rd Place Vilinda Pierce Beloit WI
3rd Place Carol Carney Van Buren AR
3rd Place Janice Dunigan Grove Hill AL
3rd Place Denise Duff new franklin MO
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Free Modern Bed Sized Quilt Pattern

As part of our continued dedication to bringing you the best quilting content out there, we’re pleased to bring you this 12-part series from one of our sister sites, McCall’s Quilting.

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Here’s a fast and fun Urban Neighborhood bed quilt pattern, designed by Konda Luckau of Moose on the Porch Quilts as shown below in cool colors.

Urban Neighborhood FREE Bed Quilt Pattern Friday Freebie: Urban Neighborhood Bed Quilt PatternOur free pattern download is for the same quilt, but substitutes warm autumn colors of burgundy, tan and gold surrounding assorted pink, lime, green, teal, yellow and blue solid block centers. This modern looking quilt can easily be adapted to your own fabric choices. You might choose to use a charm pack from a single fabric collection for the block centers, adding coordinating solids for the subsequent block patches, strips, sashing and borders.

What fabric choices would YOU make for this quilt?

You’ll want to be sure you’re sewing with an accurate 1/4″ seam allowance so the patches and blocks fit together well – watch our free video lesson for a refresher before you begin.

Please refer to McCall’s Quick Quilts April/May 2011 for the pattern for Konda’s original coloration shown above. Back issues are sold out, but an instant digital download version is available at our Quilt and Sew Shop.

The free bed quilt pattern finishes at 78½˝ x 93½˝.  Click here for the link to download the FREE pattern for the warm-color version of this Urban Neighborhood quilt.

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Fabric Value As A Quilt Design Element

As part of our continued dedication to bringing you the best quilting content out there, we’re pleased to bring you this 12-part series from one of our sister sites, McCall’s Quilting. If you missed the prior posts in this series like Pressing Basics, Accurate 1/4″ Inch Seam Allowances, Rotary Cutting Basics, Safety & Maintenance, Basic Quiltmaking Supplies, Quilt Fabric Preperation, Chain Piecing and Opposing Seams, Color Selection Using a Focus Fabric, Simple Fusible Applique, Introduction to Half Square Triangles and Making and Using Templates – be sure to check them out!

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Welcome back to our Tuesday Tutorial – I’m so glad you could join us again! The last couple of tutorials have been focused on technical quilting skills, so today we’ll relax and absorb a helpful lesson on the value of fabrics. (Okay, we all know the value of our fabrics in terms of its usefulness to us as quilters, but we’ll be talking about the relative lightness and darkness of our fabrics here!)

Note: please click any image to go directly to the video lesson.

TTvalue1 Tuesday Tutorial: Fabric Value As a Quilt Design Element

What exactly do we mean when we refer to the “value” of a fabric? Does the color (hue) of the fabric make a difference? How can we determine the value of our fabric?

Ellie Brown, art director for McCall’s Quilting and McCall’s Quick Quilts, has put together a wonderful video to answer those questions and more. In this free video lesson, she discusses the use of value (darkness or lightness of fabric) in quilt design. She includes tips and video effects to clearly show you value, and gives you advice for combining fabrics in quilts.TTvalue3 Tuesday Tutorial: Fabric Value As a Quilt Design ElementClick here to watch the FREE video lesson on using value as a quilt design element.

If you’d like to learn more about effective use of color in your quilt fabric selections, don’t miss Christine Barnes‘ tips in her Color Intensity: Beyond the Basics article featured in McCall’s Quilting July/August 2013 issue.TTcolor Tuesday Tutorial: Fabric Value As a Quilt Design ElementClick here to purchase the print issue (available while supplies last) at our Quilt and Sew Shop, or click here to purchase and download an instant digital edition of the issue.Cover 200px Tuesday Tutorial: Fabric Value As a Quilt Design Element

Remember, you can watch any of our free McCall’s Quilting University (MQU) how-to-quilt video library lessons 24-7—click here to see the full selection.

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Free Lap Quilt Pattern

As part of our continued dedication to bringing you the best quilting content out there, we’re pleased to bring you this 12-part series from one of our sister sites, McCall’s Quilting.

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Blue Breeze full Friday Freebie: Blue Breeze Classic Lap Quilt PatternSometimes I’m in the mood for a truly challenging quilt pattern, but sometimes, I like the easy rhythm of a less-complex design. This sweet little Ann Weber lap quilt pattern from our archives is just such a design, with only one simple block and two shades of a favorite color…it’s like a breath of fresh air.

The pattern provides instructions for using just two different blues for the blocks and border. But you might enjoy sorting your favorite color family of scraps into lights and darks to create a scrappy version.

Blue Breeze flat 350px Friday Freebie: Blue Breeze Classic Lap Quilt PatternClick here for the FREE classic Blue Breeze lap quilt pattern. I hope your weekend includes at least a little time for quilting!

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Free Precut Fabrics Quilt Pattern

As part of our continued dedication to bringing you the best quilting content out there, we’re pleased to bring you this 12-part series from one of our sister sites, McCall’s Quilting.

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Do you love those precut fabric packs that tempt you as you peruse the floor of your local quilt shop?  Whether you start with a pack of precut 10” fabric squares or yardage, this free throw quilt pattern is as quick to make as it is lovely to look at. It’s so pretty you may want to sew one for a friend, and one for you!

Today’s free quilt pattern is Cottage Whispers designed by Beth Hayes. It’s just one of the three quilt patterns featured in our free eBook, Quilt Patterns for Precut Fabrics.

Cottage Whispers styled Friday Freebie: Cottage Whispers Throw Quilt Pattern

The free Cottage Whispers throw quilt finishes at 60″ square. Click here and sign up for our free eNewsletter, McQ News, to download this Cottage Whispers pattern as part of the free Quilt Patterns for Precut Fabrics eBook.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Quick Quarter Square Triangles

As part of our continued dedication to bringing you the best quilting content out there, we’re pleased to bring you this 12-part series from one of our sister sites, McCall’s Quilting. If you missed the prior posts in this series like Pressing Basics, Accurate 1/4″ Inch Seam Allowances, Rotary Cutting Basics, Safety & Maintenance, Basic Quiltmaking Supplies, Quilt Fabric Preperation, Chain Piecing and Opposing Seams, Color Selection Using a Focus Fabric, Simple Fusible Applique, Introduction to Half Square Triangles and Making and Using Quilt Templates – be sure to check them out!

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In a previous lesson we showed you a nifty, efficient approach to making half-square triangles (HSTs) two-at-a-time, with no fabric waste. Now, let’s take a look at a similar approach for making quarter-square triangles (QSTs).

Note: please click any image to go directly to the video lesson.

QST2 Tuesday Tutorial: Quick Quarter Square Triangles (QSTs)

Watch Laura Stone Roberts as she demonstrates how to begin with two fabric squares and end up with quarter-square triangles in the exact size you need. You’ll find the easy formula for determining what size to cut your squares on the video page – I recommend you print the page to keep as a quick reference in your sewing area.

QST3 Tuesday Tutorial: Quick Quarter Square Triangles (QSTs)Once you’ve got your four triangles cut out as show above, Laura shows you examples of this essential quilt shape in both the Ohio Star Block and Card Trick Block.

QST4 Tuesday Tutorial: Quick Quarter Square Triangles (QSTs)Click here to watch the FREE video demonstration of how to make quick Quarter-Square Triangles (QSTs).

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Free Wall Quilt Pattern

As part of our continued dedication to bringing you the best quilting content out there, we’re pleased to bring you this freebie from one of our sister sites, McCall’s Quilting. —————————————————————————————————————————–

Have you ever wandered around a quilt shop and fallen in love with a gorgeous large-scale print that you absolutely, positively, cannot begin to imagine how you would use, but you still wanted it? This Spring Splash wall quilt pattern designed by Shelby Morris just might be the answer!

Spring Splash Friday Freebie: Spring Splash Wall Quilt PatternWhen a large-scale print is cut apart and sewn back together, a sparkling effect is created. This pattern is great for building your speed-cutting and piecing skills, too. Click here to watch our free video lesson that shows you helpful tips on how to sew with accurate 1/4″ seam allowances so all your pieces fit together well.

Spring Splash is a super-fun quilt to make, and requires only 2 fabrics. So grab that must-have large-scale print you adore, pick a coordinating fabric and go for it! Click here to download your FREE Spring Splash wall quilt pattern.

Does a certain fabric come to mind for you? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

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Making And Using Quilt Templates

As part of our continued dedication to bringing you the best quilting content out there, we’re pleased to bring you this 12-part series from one of our sister sites, McCall’s Quilting. If you missed the prior posts in this series like Pressing Basics, Accurate 1/4″ Inch Seam Allowances, Rotary Cutting Basics, Safety & Maintenance, Basic Quiltmaking Supplies, Quilt Fabric Preperation, Chain Piecing and Opposing Seams, Color Selection Using a Focus Fabric, Simple Fusible Applique and Introduction to Half Square Triangles – be sure to check them out!

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Welcome back to our weekly tutorial for quilters! In today’s free video lesson, we’ll go over how to make and use the templates that are sometimes necessary in various quilting designs. With the modern popularity of rotary cutters, today many people tend to think of templates as being used only for hand appliqué designs, but templates can also be used for cutting patchwork shapes for traditional piecing. You’ll appreciate having an understanding of this technique as part of your quilting skill set, as templates may still be the best approach for some pieced quilt patterns.

Follow along with Beth Hayes, editor-in-chief of McCall’s Quilting, as she shows you how to work with templates.

Note: please click any image to go directly to the video lesson.

TT template 1 Tuesday Tutorial: Making and Using Quilting TemplatesIn this video tutorial Beth demonstrates how to transfer template shapes, whether intended for appliqué or piecing, from a magazine pattern section to template plastic. You’ll learn a nifty tip for marking templates with curves, too. As you watch each step in the lesson, you’ll learn what materials you’ll need, how to mark and cut the template plastic, how to use match points for traditional patchwork piecing templates, and how to transfer the design to your fabric using the template you create. Beth also shows you how to pin your patches for an accurate seam.

tt2 Tuesday Tutorial: Making and Using Quilting TemplatesOnce you’ve watched this video lesson on making and using templates, you’ll be ready to take on quilt pattens calling for templates with confidence. Remember to bookmark the helpful free video tutorial, and refer to it anytime you may need a refresher. Steps are listed in text below the video, as well; you may like to print them out for an easy reference to keep in your sewing area.

Click here to watch the FREE video demonstration of how to make and use quilting templates.

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