Quilting is a passion of mine of which I have been doing for over 30 years. I have made so many quilts, that I have lost count of the actual number. Over the years, I have read a lot about quilting in books and magazines. Sometimes these articles can be a little daunting to a person new to quilting, as quilting has its own terminology and even specially made tools and items to make quilting easier. No one should be afraid to learn to quilt, as quilting is a simple process involving putting three materials together and tacking them down. To help a beginner understand quilting a little better, here are two quilting terms and what they reference.
Quilting Term – Fat Quarter
Simply put a fat quarter is a specific cut of fabric. Most fabrics are cut in yards, half yards or quarter yards, with a quarter yard measuring nine inches by 44 inches. A fat quarter is also a quarter yard of fabric, but it measures 18 inches by 22 inches (this could vary if your fabric is not 44 inches wide).
A fat quarter is great for quilting because you can cut larger sections of fabric than you can from the standard quarter cut. If you are cutting strips for a strip quilt, you will get twice as many. Fat quarters are so popular with quilters that many quilting and fabric stores will have them pre-cut, bundled by color and design, and ready for sale.
Quilting Term – Batting, Wadding or Padding
Batting, wadding or padding is the “meat” of the quilt because it is the warm middle section. Batting (how I refer to it), comes in different thicknesses and can be made from synthetic or natural fibers. Cotton batting, a natural fiber is my favorite because it is easy to work with, especially for beginners. It is one of the more costly battings, but it is worth it because it gives a more even look to your quilting stitches. It is also very warm. I should be prewashed several times before quilting in order to prevent shrinkage of your quilt.
Wool batting is also a warm batting because it absorbs moisture making it excellent for damp climates. Although it is thin, it makes quilting stitches look great. The only concern you have with wool batting is how to care for the finished quilt, as improper care can completely change the look of your quilt. Be sure to read all care instructions that come with your wool batting.
Polyester batting is not as warm as cotton or wool and its fibers tend to work through the top and bottom fabrics of the quilt. It is lightweight and inexpensive. I do not like working with it because over the years it tends to flatten out, making the quilt appear to have no batting at all.
Making your own quilt gives you a great joy of accomplishment. Besides, nothing compares to snuggling inside a nice warm quilt on a cold winter’s night.
Source: Personal Experience