I haven’t bothered to enter homework much on the blog. It is not that I haven’t been doing any, more that I have just been doing bits and pieces most nights each week. However this weekend I ended up on a mammoth task of preparing my fabric and wadding ready for quilting.
As I have not quilted before, earlier in the week I spent a fair amount of my evenings researching quilting techniques (hand and machine), types of quilt wadding (or batting), and how to tack the quilt layers.
Quilt wadding or batting
Historically a quilted petticoat would have most likely been padded with cotton or possibly wool flocking, but not many woollen ones have survived because of moths (quilt history).
Most of the class have bought polyester wadding, but I’m not keen on this idea as I would rather use something natural. The problem is polyester is so much cheaper than the natural alternatives.
I decided to research various paddings and found these links very helpful:
- Batting…Reading Between the Layers – Tamara Bostwick
- Batting FAQ on Quilt.com
- Guide to Quilt Batting on Suite101.com
I was worried that polyester would be difficult to quilt, but I discovered that actually cotton is quite hard to push the needle through, wool is easier, and polyester is not too bad. I also remembered I had a old duvet which was looking rather ratty and taking up space in the cupboard.
Once I unpicked the seams and took the cover off, the wadding didn’t look so bad. It was thin and worn in places, but overall it was too thick, so I had to separate it in to layers. It was quite difficult to do this evenly.
After I separated the duvet in to two layers, I put it round my dressform to see how it looked and if the hem circumference was wide enough. The duvet is 2 meters x 2 meters, but to fit over my under petticoat which has a hem of 2.5 meters plus a frill, the quilted petticoat will have to be over 2.6 meters, so I will have to use more than one drop.
Tacking the layers of the quilted petticoat
I found Sharon Schamber’s videos very helpful, especially her one on hoopless hand quilting. The video below is Sharon explaining her method of tacking (or basting depending on which side of the pond you are on).
On Saturday morning I went up to B&Q to try and get a couple of bits of wood as Sharon describes in her video. I thought I was going to have to buy a £9 pine shelf and cut it in half, but luckily in the end I managed to get two MDF offcuts for 20 pence. The MDF pieces were slightly larger than needed and quite dense, so heavy, but I couldn’t argue with the price.
After sewing together two drops of the muslin base fabric together, pressing both the muslin and the blue cotton top fabric, putting both fabrics on the MDF boards, and placing the wadding between them, it was on with the tacking. Easy really (just time consuming).
This is how it looked at the end of the extended version of Gladiator.
As the blue cotton top fabric I am using is 2.6 meters wide, I realised rather than making another panel, I could just extend the wadding in between the muslin and cotton layers.
And after all 5 episodes of Kirstie’s Homemade Home, it was done…
Now I just need to sort out the quilting design.