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

  • I have gone through so many rolls of batting it’s unbelievable Since I am a hand quilter the batting is nice and smooth when it comes off the roll and there isn’t a difference in the thickness that sometimes you get in package batting also when I’m ready to sandwich a quilt I want everything on hand.

    Louisa Leone
  • I have been buying bolts for many years now. I make quilts for Project Linus, and a 40 yd. roll of queen size is enough to make approximately 60 baby/toddler size quilts. I also have them leaning up in a corner in the living room, not having enough room in the back room where I sew. I am working on clearing things out so I can have my midarm, craft table, fabric, and sewing machines all in the back room eventually!

    Peggy Terzian
  • I do keep both a roll of white, as well as a roll of 120” natural! I love the wider width, because I can often get a couple of quilts out of one length! My bolts live in a closet, along with a storage box of the batting remnants marked with the size of each piece! Work for me!

    Ann Richardson
  • Yes, took the plunge. When I heard Angela Walters say she used fusible batting when quilting on her domestic machine, I thought, well that would help. Because fusible batting is no longer available in the big box stores… well, I had to order a bolt. 🙂 Yes, storage is a problem, but I’m hoping it will encourage me to do more of my own quilting. Per quilt, less expensive than spray basting.

    Marcia
  • I just bought my first bolt of batting (96"wide), waiting for delivery. I was tired of running low on batting and trying to find the best deal!

    Diane Lalumiere

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