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Quilt Batting and Machine Quilting Distances

by Joanne

When quilting your quilt, what is the maximum area of your quilt that you can leave untouched.

For example can you leave 2" square not stitched or is it more or less? I hope this makes sense the way I've worded it. Thanks for your help1


This is a very good question. To answer specifically, we need to know the type of quilt batting you are using.

Battings are not created equal. Some are needle punched, some have scrims, some are very loose. Add to that they can be made of cotton, wool, polyester, silk, bamboo, corn...or in combination with each other.

The maximum distance between the lines of stitching is printed on packaged batts. I went to my batting "stash" and these are the recommendations made by the manufacturers:

Type of BattingQuilting Instructions Printed on the Packaged Batt
Quilter's Dream Cotton
100% Cotton
Stitching may be up to 8" apart. Stitch as closely as needed and your quilt will remain soft and flexible. Closer stitching gives more of the "antique-puckered" look.
Hobbs Heirloom Premium
Premium 100% Wool
Heirloom Wool can be quilted up to 3" apart.
Mountain Mist
Fatt Batt
100% Polyester
Especially designed for tied comforters. For best results quilt or tie no farther than 3" intervals.
Bamboo Batting
50% Naturally Atibacterial Bamboo Fiber and 50% Organic Cotton
Quilting distance up to 8"
Mountain Mist
Blue Ribbon All Cotton Batting
100% Cotton
100% Bleached Cotton Batting presents an old-fashioned antique appearance to quiltmaking. To preserve the tradition of 100% Cotton Quilting and to enhance the finished project, we recommend quilting at 1-1/2" to 2" intervals. NOT FOR USE IN TIED QUILTS OR COMFORTERS.
Warm and Natural
Needled Cotton Batting
Almost 100% cotton batting, the scrim is polyester
Needle punched, no glues or resins used
Quilt or tie up to 10" apart

While this is not an all-inclusive list, quilting lines 2" apart should be adequate.

Julie Baird

P.S. While batting manufacturers recommend quilting distances of up to 8" to 10", if your quilt will be washed or heavily used, do consider adding more quilting stitches than that. The closer the quilting lines are to each other, the less stress there is on each individual stitch. Your quilting will last longer as a result.

Comments for Quilt Batting and Machine Quilting Distances

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memory/t shirt quilt

I long-arm quilted a tee shirt/picture quilt for a person who used about 3 1/2 " frames around some of her pictures. One of this is about 3 1/2 by 8 with stitching on either side of the 3 1/2, but nothing long-ways.
Should I use stippling down those long frames although I used stippling and straight line fillers at times.

From the Editor: Yes, if it was me I'd add the extra stitching so that it lays flatter and wears longer. I don't like to leave big areas unquilted in my quilts. I also like to have pretty even quilting in my quilts when using a cotton batting.

Not a problem with wool, because I can block a quilt into shape with wool batting.



Quilting Distance
by: Anonymous

I'm making a t-shirt quilt with 16.5" squares and I'm want to know if just sewing an X on the square will be enough quilting as I'm using the rag quilt method to make the quilt. I have 5 squares across the quilt and 5 squares down.

From the Editor:

While you could probably get by with it, especially if you're using a needle-punched batting like Warm n' Natural, given the amount of wear and tear I'd expect the quilt to get, I'd be really tempted to add a bit of extra quilting to help it last longer.



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