Friday, 16 May 2014

Waddings....How do I choose? & what about Quilt Backings?

How do I choose which wadding to use?  this is a question I ofter hear.

Ok, its down to personal choice. You need to consider -
a) the desired effect - do you want your quilt to be flat or do you want more loft?
b)What is it going to be used for? - is it going on a wall or is it going to be used on a bed or is it a cuddly blanket?
c) the budget
d) how are you going to quilt it

You then need to know a bit about each main type of wadding available -
Almost all the modern waddings are made in just a couple of factories in Texas.

Polyester Wadding - eg Hobbs Polydown, Sew Simple Polyester, Dream Poly, legacy by pellon etc
Usually the cheaper option, great for charity quilts too.
Poly does not breath - it sweats, so if its for your bed, this may not be the best option. Virtually no shrinkage. Produces a slightly more 'stiff' result.
Hobbs Thermore is very thin, orgionally designed for clothing, but is great for hand quilting.

80/20 -eg Hobbs 80/20, Sew Simple 80/20
Probably the most popular type.  Great for tops which are not pieced very precisely.
If put in a commercial dryer, the poly can dissolve, so turn the temp down.
Good loft - which can help disguise problem areas.

Cotton - eg Sew Simple, Warm & natural, Hobbs 100% Cotton etc
Cotton creases and may not keep its shape as well as some others - therefore its not great for wall hangings. It also has the most shrinkage, but it is very cuddly. When quilting it may beard. If so try a polyester thread rather than cotton.
For machine or longarm quilting the  smoothside goes towards the back, but for hand quilting its the other way. See Scrim below

Wool eg Hobbs Wool, Sew Simple Wool etc
More expensive, but does not crease. Wool breathes, it does not sweat. Gives warmth but disperses excess heat well. Good loft.

Luxury feel, more expensive. Light and warm.

Does not crease.

Often sold as being 'green', but the process involves breaking down the bamboo canes with caustic soda.  My personal experience of bamboo so far is not good - the quilt turned out very stiff and hard. Other quilters have reported that the bamboo fibres break down after several washes.

Plastic recycled Bottles - eg Dream Green
Nice and soft and cuddly, although feels a bit plastic. Little or no shrinkage.

What is Scrim?
Scrim is like an interfacing, it holds the layers together and helps keep its shape. You often find cotton wadding with or without Scrim. - my personal advise is not to buy cotton wadding without scrim.

Very Light Coloured tops
Look for a beached or pale coloured wadding.

Double layers of waddings
Many quilters use double layers of waddings - often mixing them for different effect. Very common when more loft and dense quilting are going to be required.

Joining Wadding Together
Several companies has brought out joing tape which enables you to stick two pieces of wadding together.
Personally, if I need to join wadding I use a large zig zag stitch and butt both edges of the wadding against each other and join together this way.

Quilt Backings
Can I use a sheet instead of backing fabric? Another very common question.
I would recommend that you don't do this.  Sheets have a very high thread count and it is more difficult to quilt. its too tight and it may also cause bearding.
Patchwork fabrics and quilt backing fabrics have a less dense thread count to enable quilting and to work well with todays modern waddings.

What about Batik?
In general batik fabrics are quite densly woven and these would not be a great choice for backing.
SewBatik and a couple of other companies do a great range of extra Wide Batik Backings, and these are specially manufactured so are of the correct thread density for backing your quilts.

Can I use patchwork Fabric?
Yes of course, but you may find that you need to join this on larger quilts. If you do it is important that you remove the selvedges for the joining seam as this will contract inside the quilt. The joining seam needs to be wide - generally recommend around half inch and press open.

Extra Wide Backing Fabrics
These are generally 108 inches wide and are fantastic as they save the need to have a join in your quilt backing.  They can be 100% cotton or brushed cotton /flannel.

Minky Fleece
This can also be used as a backing fabric and produces a cuddly soft back and a quilt which is light but warm.
Double sided minky is also great and both can be used with or without wadding.

I have a range of wadding and extra wide quilt backings in my is the link!shop/c50p

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Quilt Retreat

We have been running patchwork and quilting retreats with famous tutors for several years now and our regulars have requested a retreat where by they can be looked after, fed and watered but have no new project - just time and space to do their own thing.

So by popular demand we have launched the ME-Time retreat.

You can bring you UFOs, sewing, dressmaking, knitting, cross stitch, embroidery, papercraft or any other tryo craft you want and just enjoy time and space and our full board hospitality. You can even bring quilt tops for quilting - but please let Fiona know in advance so time can be scheduled on the longarm if you want these done whilst you are here.

I shall be around throughout, if anyone needs a hand/ second opinion.

Here is a short video

Dates for ME Time -

28th July to 5th August 2014   & 
21st Sept to 28th September 2014

Click here to get details!workshops/c24c2

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Extra Wide Backings - New Fabric & and On Line Shop !!!!

A long awaited delivery of fabric has now exciting. :) We will have probably one of the best ranges in the UK.

Even more exciting...... I have spent the day setting up an e shop so you can purchase extra wide quilt backing and wadding and have it shipped to you direct by carrier.

Of course, for those who are visiting us here at The Royal Bridlington, you will still be able to purchase in person.

Extra Wide Quilt Backings 

108 wide fabric

click this link to view!shop/c50p

and dont forget to 'like' our site :)



Monday, 5 May 2014

WOW - Our first International Quilt Tutor is booked..........

How exciting.......I have our first International Quilt Tutor booked to teach here at The Royal Bridlington.

Jacqueline de Jonge, BeColourful from Holland will be here 2nd,3rd,4th & 5th March 2015.

Although Jacqueline has taught extensively in the USA & Canada, this is her first retreat int he UK, although we has been invited to teach at Festival of Quilts this year.

Jacqueline will be teaching 2 x 2 day workshops. The slighlty easier one is Happiness -

and the slightly more complex is called Colourful

Due to the complexity these workshops/retreats are limited to just 15 spaces and they are filling if you want to come, dont delay.

Contact Fiona on 01262 672433  or email to obtain the full information leaflet.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Fantastic Retreat with Jan Hassard

All those many months ago when I was conducting research on different and interesting quilt teachers who I might be able to get to come & teach at The Royal Bridlington, as soon as I saw Jan Hassards work, I loved it. I made contact with Jan and got her booked.

Our first workshop on Tuesday was Dazzling Diamonds. This is Jan's

Here are some works in progess

Day Two - We chose to do Curved Log Cabin.

Here are a couple of Jan's quilts

This quilt is made from just two blocks.........

and here is some of the students work

For our final day we selected 3D Honeycombe. The blocks can be made from scraps or a jelly roll.

Students tumbling blocks in progress

Jan also brought along a selection of her quilts

We all really enjoyed the retreat with Jan and we have booked her again for Autumn 2015.