Starting a new project - size and batting questions.

czigaFebruary 17, 2012

I'm about to start one of my major projects for the year - a wedding quilt for a good friend - and I have a few questions that I'd appreciate any input on ...

I want to make her and her new husband a snuggly quilt for watching TV under etc. I was thinking that something around the size of a double bed sized quilt would be appropriate, what do you think? How many blocks (12" blocks) do you use to make a double bed sized quilt, or a nice large TV snuggling kind of quilt? I've never made anything quite this large before and have no idea how many blocks I should be aiming for? (I was thinking maybe 6 across and 7 down, making 42 12" blocks total ... I don't know if this would be too small for what I'm thinking of)??

Additionally, I'm using a pattern that only uses 2 colours, in equal proportions, but I don't know how many meters of fabric to buy for a quilt this size? Any ideas?

And finally, about Batting. I know there has been a lot of discussion in the past about batting. My semi-local fabric store (the closest one) has only poly-blend and I don't really like it. I want something warmer, nice and snuggly. I also want something "poufy". I know that quilting close together makes it flatter, and quilting farther apart (and then washing) lets it pouf more ... but it still feels fairly stiff and not very "poufy". You know what I mean? Is there a batting that you use for something like a blanket quilt that is warm and "poufs" well? Sounds like a weird question I suppose, but I really want to make them a nice comfy quilt. I was thinking of a flannel backing but wanted to try to fins a warm, poufy batting as well. Any suggestions would be most helpful. I am willing to buy the batting online as I don't think any store around me carries anything but poly-blend anymore ... any websites for batting that you use?

Thank you so much for any help ... I'm almost ready to get started (it will take me a long while to make) but it is my first project of this size, the biggest I've done by far, and I really need some help. Thanks :)

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I just made a quilt with 12" blocks and it ended up 72X90"
I used 12 blocks (3 across and 4 down) and since they were birthday blocks I put "coping" strips around each block that finished at 1" then I sashed with 4" finished strips and finally a border of 6" finished.
As for batting I prefer an 80cotton 20poly blend. You are not too far from Evelyns Sewing Centre in Newmarket are you? They have a really good selection of battings.

Hope this gives you some ideas,


    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 6:20PM
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Mary, You can make less blocks but with sashing and cornerstones, then one or two borders, you will still have a good size. But, not knowing what pattern you have in mind, it's difficult to know if using a sashing would even be advisable. Is the block pattern online?


    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 6:36PM
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6 blocks x 7 blocks would be fine. 5x6 would be ok with a 6" border in a complimentary print. I would use a poly blend or a light but fluffy wool. Try a big, loopy all-over quilt pattern to keep it soft and supple.

Our favorite sofa / cuddle quilt is just 4 feet by 7 feet, with a Minky backing. I used a flannel sheet for batting.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 7:24PM
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I'm actually using 'Tuxedo Junction', a very simple pattern, but I'm going to position/organize the blocks to make a heart shape. Only using 2 colours though. I don't want to use sashing between the blocks as it would take away from the heart design. I was also thinking of only 1 border, and a pretty thin one at that. I'd like to make this one mostly "design" without too much border. The quilt that was 72" x 90", was it a good sized "nap quilt" or snuggling quilt for two people to fit under? What would be the "standard" size for this type of quilt?

I was actually at Evelyn's a couple days ago, Mary ... I was quite disappointed with their selection. It is THE place I go for local fabric, they have a nice selection of fabric. I inquired about batting and was told that they only carry 1 type now. No wool, no cotton, no more bamboo, the only one they have is a cotton/poly blend that is very very thin. I was looking for something fluffier and a little warmer than that. I was quite disappointed as they used to have a pretty good variety, but apparently not anymore. Also, their prices seem quite inflated now (more than before) compared to other stores around here or online. And the woman in the store couldn't help me with these questions that I'm asking online, so I wasn't all that impressed with that either (although in the past, the women in the store have been quite knowledgeable so it could have been a blip).

I've been reading online, and through previous forum threads about batting. It sounds like wool is nice and warm, fairly fluffy (I guess I'm looking for a mid to high loft batting, apparently, if I want fluffy??) but expensive and something I'd have to buy online. Also NOT easily washed or dryer friendly, and since it would be used often, I'd like it to be easier to clean. The other fluffy option sounds to be polyester ... but ...

Is there a poly/cotton blend fluffy enough and warm enough, if I find a "high loft" one? Is there a brand that is well loved, something that you'd all recommend, and that I could order online?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 7:28PM
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I have used Bamboo. I put it in a comfort quilt for my B-I-L who was undergoing chemo so the quilt was washed alot. It is very soft and comfy and stood up well to all of the washing. 72X90 is big enough for 2 people to snuggle under on the couch or to fit a double bed with a 9" drop. I buy bamboo by the foot at Lens Mill Store but I don't think you have any Lens stores your way. They are all west of Toronto. You could check Sew Sisters in Downsview. They have a store but also do a huge online business.

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 7:51PM
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Another option for a poufy warm quilt is Warm & white (or natural) batting and a layer of washable wool batting.
Dream wool is washable. I have used it only one time, and also used warm & white with it.

Recently I used Warm and Bond - a 50/50 blend for a quilt for someone undergoing Chemo and radiation. It was lighter weight, and a had a bit more definition to the quilting.

I've included a link to the Dream wool - I am using next in a king size quilt for us. I bought it on sale at
It is luscious out of the bag. It is also washable.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dream Wool

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 8:08PM
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So I would use one layer of Warm and white batting and another layer of dream wool batting inside the same quilt - basically 2 middle layers? I just put one on top of the other? I've never done a double batting before. This would be cotton + wool, right?

I assume 2 layers give you more warmth and fluffiness. Can you still quilt through 2 layers without a bionic machine, or bionic fingers, lol?

The dream wool doesn't seem as expensive as other wool batting options that I've seen, am I right about that?

Mary, I will definitely check out Sew Sisters. Evelyn's isn't that close to me either, but I'd drive a while to get to a really good quilt store :) I need more time to go through the website, but thank you for suggesting them. I didn't know this store before!

I think I will stick to the 6x7 blocks, the pattern works best that way and it sounds like it will be large enough. I haven't thought about a quilting pattern on top of it yet, just that I want to try to keep the quilting as spaced out as possible for the "pouffy" look...either straight lines tracing out the heart but spaced several squares apart, or perhaps Kate's suggestion of loopy and large all over (which sounds nicer, but I've never done that before).

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 7:36PM
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Yes, you put the Dream wool over the the Warm & White. I suggest you ask for a sample and play with it & see how you like it. I quilt on a 9" throat machine, but it is on a you move the machine - not the quilt.
You could also just use the Dream Wool ~ it is washable.
I think your quilt will be plenty big for a throw quilt.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 9:29PM
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