Quilting Explanations

Sometimes when I talk or write, I know what I mean (although that certainly isn’t always the case!) and because I talk quickly and type quickly, I don’t always get my point across. This post will hopefully clarify what I was thinking but didn’t say in my previous post.

Using Muslin Backing – I love muslin for the backs of my quilts. It feels very soft, especially after a few washings. The quilt that mom made for Chad when he was 5 or 6 has muslin backing and it has held up as well as has the front. The reason I don’t use muslin or anything solid on the backs of quilts I might want to enter in shows is the that stops and starts show.

If this quilt had a small print on the backing, none of these stops and starts would show. I was as careful as I could be to keep them from showing but they’re still going to show. This is the worst one I could find, and while I’ve certainly done worse and seen worse done by others, this is still enough to count against me if I were entering this in a show.

Using the small print backing hides the stops and starts but it also hides the beautiful, time consuming quilting to some degree.

Polyester Batting – What can I say? I just don’t like it. I know it serves a purpose and some people like it but I don’t have to like everything, do I? Remember . . I don’t like chocolate and I’m definitely in the minority there. In my pea brain, the poly batting, especially with this much quilting, doesn’t snuggle. As far as batting goes, I’m a batting snob. I have my preferences and come hell or high water, I’m not changing my mind. I think part of that comes with my Miller heritag and part of it comes with old age.

My very favorite batting is Mountain Mist Rose. So soft, so snuggly, so drapable. I use it in all my own quilts that are for beds or snuggling. My very close second favorite batting for my own bed quilts and snuggle quilts is Quilters Dream Cotton, Select Weight. In a quilt that is finished, I cannot tell whether it has Mountain Mist Rose or QD Cotton, Select. I prefer working with Mountain Mist on the longarm though . . seems to be a little stronger for the pulling and tugging that goes on.

For quilts I’m going to enter in shows, I now use Mountain Mist Gold which is 50/50. It has enough poof to give feathers definition but doesn’t feel 100% like poly (because it isn’t!). Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 used to be my favorite but I quit using it because I got tired of picking leaves and tree branches (ground up of course) out of their batting. Quality control seemed non-existent at Hobbs for a few years. Lots of quilters love Hobbs and wouldn’t use anything else. I understand completely. It’s a fantastic product when it’s good but when it’s bad . . yuck!

I had pulled out a roll of Quilters Dream Poly, which is great as far as poly goes) which I had used in the first overall feather quilt I did and it gave nice definition to the feathers and is going to be a donation quilt anyway so . . poly is great for that one. Holds up to the rigors of washing and drying that some people put their quilts through. If a quilt is going to a sick child or an injured soldier, there’s no telling where or how it will be washed — in hot water, or washed daily — but that’s the life for which some of these quilts are destined.

The roll of batting was sitting right there, right in front of the roll of cotton batting, so what’s a girl to do — choose the poly because it’s easy to get to.

Yes, I could have taken an hour or two to wash a different backing, unload the backing from the machine, load another backing, remove the poly batting that had already been cut for this quilt, insert a cotton or blend batting but even by the time I took the first stitch on this quilt, I was still battling within my head about what type quilting to do.

Now I sit here and think . . I probably spent 50 or 60 or more hours quilting the quilt, what would an extra 2 hours have mattered? When I started, with the overall feather plan, I would have been completely finished with the whole quilt in 2 hours . . but that didn’t happen, did it?

It’s pretty, I love it and maybe I’ll have it all bound and ready to hang for Mardi Gras. Those are Mardi Gras colors, you know?

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  1. 1

    Vicky says

    Well, I understood you perfectly. Of course, we probably have the exact same accent!! The quilt is beautiful – your quilting is fabulous! (Hugs)

  2. 2

    Mrs. Goodneedle says

    Your quilt is gorgeous, starts and stops and all! Thanks for the batting tutorial.

  3. 3

    Deb says

    It is gorgeous Judy! The quilting is beautiful. I love plain backs because you can see all the beautiful quilting and colors of thread on the back. But you are right that the stops and starts do show on a plain back.

  4. 4

    Susan says

    I never enter quilts in shows, though some of my clients did. I don’t care if the starts and stops show – it’s a part of the quilting. I did them all by hand anyway, not with the machine button, and I think that helps tone them down. I like the shading of color that comes from the threads crossing a lot in one spot and then swirling out to quilt more. =)

  5. 6

    Darcie says

    Oh the quilting! Your work is exquisite as always!

    Do you purchase the Mt. Mist on a roll to sell to your clients? You’ve bot me quite intrigued…so any info that you can share I will greatly appreciate! I don’t get anywhere on their website.