picture of a cotton stem, quilt patterns, & a sheep

Quilt Beginner’s Guide in Choosing a Pattern & Batting.

In this blog I would like to give a quilt beginner’s guide in choosing a pattern and batting. This is just a guideline because in the end you should choose what you like and what works for your project.

“Sew Many Patterns, Sew Little Time!”

  1. My first suggestion would be to start small. Pick something easy that can be finished in a few hours at the most. Potholders, placemats, and baby blankets are a few ideas.
  2. Start with something simple. Pick something with fewer pieces and square or rectangle shapes. This will be easier to work with as you try and conquer sewing a quarter inch.
  3. Examine the skill level and make sure to choose one that lends itself to a “beginner” or is considered “easy”. Most of the time these are set up using just basic skills.
  4. Pick a pattern that appeals to you! No one enjoys working on something they don’t really like! Chances are good that you might not finish it, so choose one you like!
  5. Consider the fabric requirements. Maybe you already have a small stash that can be used. If not, then consider your budget. Fabric is expensive so shop around. That’s another reason I say, “start small”!
  6. Consider using pre-cuts. Check out my Blog about pre-cuts for more information. I love the idea of not having to cut, or cut very little! Take a line of charm packs, sew all the 5″ squares together, and create a project in minutes! Create your own design or scour the internet for projects made from pre-cuts. The patterns are endless!

Understanding Batting

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I will preface to say I’m not an expert on batting! One of the best ways to figure out what to use is to ask others what they use and why. Join a quilting group like, Quilting Friends of Jerianns Handmade and ask questions anytime. Everyone is always eager to help someone out!

In choosing a batting, consider loft, materials, & use.

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Loft is the flatness or puffiness of the batting. Low loft creates a flatter finish. This might be considered when making a table runner, topper, or when you want the quilting to be the main focus. It handles dense quilting designs well. Medium loft is considered a good all purpose option for most quilts. It creates that “middle of the road” look somewhere in between flat and puffy. High loft is going to be that puffier, thicker look. It’s great for bed quilts. In summery, consider where you will be using the quilt, how dense the quilting will be, and finally the overall look that you are seeking.

The Material

The material the batting is made from is important. There are natural fibers, synthetic fibers, and blends.

First are the natural fibers. Cotton is soft and breathable, but can shrink. It may also require a denser quilting. Wool is warm, breathable, naturally fire resistant, and luxurious. However, it can be expensive and needs to be hand washed. Bamboo is soft, breathable, and eco-friendly. It can also be more expensive, but it’s naturally a moisture wicking batting that is hypoallergenic. Finally, the most expensive option is silk. It drapes nicely, is breathable, lightweight, and extremely warm. Another drawback though is it requires delicate care.

Synthetic Fibers include the polyester batting. This batting is machine washable, affordable, durable, and light weight. It also comes in all three loft levels. However, it’s not as breathable as the natural battings and can sometime “beard”. This is when fibers come out through the fabric.

Cotton/Polyester Blends make up the last type. They kind of create a “middle of the road” option. They offer affordability and breathability. Different loft options are also available.

When choosing batting consider the project, weight and drape of the quilt, and washing needs. As a beginner, a low loft blend would work in most everything and makes the quilting process easier. Once you feel adventurous, try and experiment with different lofts and materials! You got this!

Please don’t forget to join the Facebook Group above, LIKE & FOLLOW my Facebook page, Jerianns Handmade along with Instagram at Jerianns.Handmade. Have a great day, and

“Always find time to sew”,