5 Things Every Quilter Should Know about Batting Rolls

5 Things Every Quilter Should know about Batting Rolls | Shannon Fraser Designs

I’ve been participating in the Canadian Virtual Trunk Show and while I was sharing my Blue Dresden quilt, I was asked about quilt batting.

It totally took me off on a tangent about my love for good quality batting.

If you get my newsletter then you know what my ride or die batting is 😉 but for this post, I’m not focusing on my favourite brand, but on the size of batting I buy.

It was about a year into my quilting journey when I stopped and pondered the pros and cons of quilt batting bolts.

Read on to see why I took the plunge and 5 things I think every quilter should know about batting rolls.

Batting folded in a bundle | 5 things every quilter should know about batting rolls | Shannon Fraser Designs

ARE YOU TIRED OF RUNNING OUT OF BATTING?

After spending a year running back and forth (by which I mean a solid hour round trip) to the fabric store to get my batting, I finally took the plunge in 2016 and purchased my first bolt.

I'll be honest, I was a little worried. Could I make it through an entire bolt?

Or, had I just spent a whole whack of money only to have it sit there.

My rational side kept telling me this was the more cost effective way to go, but committing up front to SO much batting was a little intimidating.

Retro version of the Cloud Surfing quilt laid out on the floor

Pictured above is the Cloud Surfing Quilt - pattern available in the shop.

CAN YOU MAKE IT THROUGH A WHOLE BOLT?

But it finally happened!

I finished off the last of that roll of batting. Whaaa?

It's true, while basting my Double Windmill quilt back in August 2019 I hit the end of the bolt. That was just crazy to me!

That’s a lot of quilts represented in that bolt.

It’s like finishing your first big spool or cone of thread, it’s an accomplishment and represents a moment in your making journey.

Finishing off that bolt was super inspiring and encouraging.

Wow, I’d done it. I actually made enough quilts to hit the cardboard center!

I don’t say this to brag, I say this as a moment of awe. 

Blue and Yellow Double Windmill quilt on the dock

Pictured above is the Double Windmill quilt pattern, available in the shop.

 

LESSONS LEARNED

But here's what I've learned:

  • Yes, the upfront investment is a little tough to swallow, but it's a better bang for your buck in the long run (I did the math 😉).
  • I never worry whether I have batting on hand - I know I do. Which gives me quilty peace of mind. (don’t underestimate quilty peace of mind!)
  • I end up with remnants that are usually large enough for baby quilts, wall hangings, table runners and other small projects. So, I'm making use of every inch of that bolt.
  • Since it's on a roll, there's a little less ironing involved than the batting folded in a package.
  • The only con I can think of is storing the sucker. My current solution is just to lean it against my fabric cabinet. I'm hoping that when I have an actual sewing room all to myself I'll be able to incorporate a better storage solution, but I'm making it work.

Sit 'n Sew Pincushion pieced but not quilted yet shown with spools of Aurifil Thread

Pictured above is the Sit 'n Sew Pincushion pattern, available in the shop.

I'm now well into my second roll, this time king size and white (the first was natural). White purely because I use so much white in my quilts, otherwise I love the natural. Truth be told, I’d love to have both natural and white on hand. That just seems excessive…right?

So, I'd love to know, have you taken the batting bolt plunge? Share in the comments below!

Happy quilting!

xo
Shannon

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12 comments

  • Yes! I took the plunge last year and it’s been such a good decision, especially now when shopping is more difficult. I was nervous though and I definitely had second thoughts when that big bolt showed up on my doorstep! But, I love how it’s always on hand, crease free, and I only cut what I need so way less wasted or hard to use scraps.

    Faye
  • I just got an order of 2 full rolls, 96 in X 30 yards. We don’t have a local shop and have to drive over an hour to any place that may or may not have any batting. I was so tired of not having any on hand. In most cases the price of a roll averages out at just over 50% of the per yard price. My Hubby helps me squeeze it back into the plastic bag after cutting some off. I’ll never buy a package or by-the-yard again.

    Mara
  • I went to bolts way back because I live too far out to keep driving in for batting! When Joanns stopped carrying Warm and Natural, I had to rely on my quilter, and now she says “I can’t get any so you’ll need to provide your own”. I did see that Joanns is now carrying W&N again though.

    Betty A.
  • I was frustrate each time I was short of batting so at the end of the year ( November or December) I bought my first bolt. Since then, I make a lot of quilt top and no basting or quilting but at least I have a bolt 😁.

    Carole Pilon
  • I love having a bolt. I hung mine high on a wall and just roll it down. Unfortunately the first time I did this, it just kept rolling. Very fun pic if interested. I rolled it back up and stuck large safety pins every 90" or so to avoid it happening again. Useful tip there for you.

    Lacey Roberts

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