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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

Reply

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
Select
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.
Fairfield/Nature-Fil
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
Editor

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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Quilt Batting and Machine Quilting Distances
by: Linda

If I'm using a batting that requires no more than 3 inches between quilting lines, is it OK to just parallel lines within 3 inches, or should I also add perpendicular lines?

Thanks!

From the Editor:

In my own work—especially if this quilt is to be washed regularly—I'd add the perpendicular quilting, too. Anything that gets loose in during use or washing, will stay in that 3" space and could get lumpy.

If this quilt were to hang on the wall and not be washed and the parallel lines of quilting suited the quilt, then I'd do the parallel line.

It comes down to the expected use after the recommendation from the manufacturer.

Actually, if the manufacturer said it could be quilted 8" apart, and I knew it'd be washed and used (think kids bed, the couch, etc.) I'd never use lines 8" apart. I don't feel it's enough quilting to preserve the work I put into the project.

I hope this helps.

Piecefully,

Julie B

T- shirt quilt batting
by: Anonymous


I am making a t-shirt quilt, too for my grand-daughter. I would like batting but my squares are 12 inches. I don't know what I can do. It will be backed with cotton.
I think quilting corner to corner will spoil the looks of it.

Thanks!

From the Editor: I would look for elements that I could quilt free motion in the blocks, i.e. stars or some other simple shape, relative to either the recipient of the quilt or the particular t-shirt design.

I agree with you, quilting from corner to corner will probably be distracting from the artwork on the t-shirts.

I hope this helps.

Piecefully,

Julie

denser quilting
by: Bonnie Copeland

What I wanted to know is if a quilt is too densely quilted, will it take away from the warmth of the quilt. The denser the quilt the stiffer they become. Less likely to cuddle your body.

From the Editor: No, in my experience, heavy quilting doesn't take away from the warm-factor.

Piecefully,

Julie Baird

quilt distance
by: Penelope

"I am using wool batting on a crib quilt for my 15-month-old granddaughter.

If I quilt 2" apart around the border (parallel to the edges) will this be sufficient or do I need to add perpendicular stitching also?

Thank you

From the Editor: Yes, I believe that will be enough stitching in that border if it falls within the maximum quilting distance recommended by the manufacturer.

Piecefully,

Julie

THANKS!
by: Nedra Olenick

This is exactly what I needed to know! Short of pulling up separately each type you’ve done the work for me! Good article! Thank you!

From the Editor:

You are most welcome, Nedra. Glad to be of help!

Piecefully,

Julie

memory/t shirt quilt
by: Marycor.na

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.

Piecefully,

Julie

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.

Piecefully,

Julie

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