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Are there any homesteaders who are quilters? do you have any suggestions for a cheaper batting? How about knitters? Ive lost a pattern for a multi-sized raglan sleeve sweater done on circular needles, any help would be appreciated.

-- Julie (, February 04, 2000


Hi, Iam a quilter,most of my life revolves around quilting. The best way to get cheap batting is to watch for sales, Jo Anns has a $1.00 a yard sale fairly often. I buy a whole roll and have enough for several quilts. If you go to all the time and expence to make a quilt you want batting that will last as long as the fabric you use for the top and back..Hope you love to make quilts as much as I do... Doris in Idaho

-- Doris Richards (, February 04, 2000.

Some folks buy inexpensive blankets (light colored) to use as batting, and a lady in one of the postings here said that she used old nylon hose wadded up, I guess for more of a comforter effect. I would be more likely to go ahead and buy the batting though as the rest of the quilt is a lot of work if you are making a pieced top.

-- Carmen (, February 04, 2000.

Hi, Julie, I'm a quilter too; I make three kinds of quilts and use three kinds of battings.Hand pieced,hand quilted quilts usually call for a cotton batting, these are heirlooms and the $10 or so for the batting is worth every cent.Machine pieced quilts usually get a polyester batting that I have gotten on sale and had sitting around for awhile. If it's not big enough, I sew together scraps of poly batting until it is big enough, using a loose overhand stich, without overlapping the two edges being sewn. Utility quilts are going to be used hard and then wear out, so I use old blankets in these, the synthetic kind that looks like thick felt. They can be had cheaply at thrift stores. Or if you have a lot of REALLY ugly fabric, you can layer it until it is thick enough and use that. I just tack my utility quilts so I don't care if they are going to be hard to quilt through. I have seen an old quilt at oour local museum that has a batting made entirely of cattail down and it is hand stitched very closely. Some people have used carded wool and that is supposed to be very nice.

-- Rebekah (, February 04, 2000.

I've been keeping my eyes open for old down comforters to use in my quilt making.You might look at thrift shops for old blankets or tag sales.

-- Patty Gamble (, February 04, 2000.

My husband's grandma uses up big hunks of donated polyester doubleknit for quilt fillers!

I like the cattail down idea - if you had the time, I bet you could make cattail felt for a filler. I'd be more apt to try a "puff quilt" with the puffy squares filled with cattail down.

You may want to check if there is a sheep farm nearby. I have a friend who gets wool for free from a local sheep farm - she just has to clean it herself or pay for the cleaning and carding. There are advertisers in the back of the magazine who card your wool into batting for you - it may be an option.

-- Becky Michelsen (, February 04, 2000.

I have sheep and use waste wool (thoroughly washed skirtings from fleeces, short fibers left from handcombing rovings, etc.) to stuff comforters after carding it on a drum carder to fluff it. It's the height of luxury and doesn't shift as badly as down will. I shear my sheep myself with "blades," hand powered shears, spin and knit. I have two copies of a booklet from Leisure Arts with the multi-size raglan pattern. I have no idea where they are at present I do know which room in my house though. Quilting isn't my life like the spinning/weaving is but I do it to use up bits and pieces as was the way our grandmothers did it. Julie, e-mail me your snail mail address so I can send photocopies when I do find the booklet.

-- Marilyn Dickerson (, February 05, 2000.

I have had several instances where I bought batting at yard sales, very inexpensively. Problem is, you have to wait for spring! But keep an eye open!

-- Leann Banta (, February 06, 2000.

My Mom, God bless her, gave me the first quilt she ever made, with 2 USMC wool blankets as innards. We call it the stay pressed quilt because when you use it in bed its like being pinned to the bed, its so heavy.

-- john leake (, February 07, 2000.

I too quilt, but the other year I was at our local dump, and beside the dump was a box of old quilts. Now I don't normally pick up things like this, but I craft, and use pieces of old quilts for christmas stockings, tree skirts etc. So I picked them up, brought them home and put them in the washer with a small amount of clorox.

after drying I sorted them out and noticed that a new top had been put over a one inch square hand made top. I carefully removed the newer top (which was fairly old) the inside quilt was only good in places, so I was cutting squares out of this when I noticed the back was made of old feed sacks from the depression. Inside was old dresses cut and pieced together and an old coat that the seams had been cut out of and flattened. Talk about your hard time quilt. I have saved the feed sacks whole, used up as many of the quilt pieces that I could to make a hairloom tree skirt for our family, and the rest I have made into other crafts.

As far as quilting goes for the inside I always try to use the best that I can afford. If you are going to put that many hours into something use the best you can afford.

Sometimes I make two or three tops, and wait till a sale comes along before putting the quilt together.

anyway just wanted to pass the quilt story on, you can use whatever you have to if the budget won't allow better, just be sure to put a lot of love into the labor.


-- Beth (, February 09, 2000.

I just happened to surf in here. Am not a quilter, though I've always wanted to make at least one quilt. Someone once gave me a homemade quilt as a gift, and she used a flannel sheet for the batting. She used a pretty bedsheet with a strawberry pattern for the bottom layer. The quilt was a family favorite of ours for years. It was warm, and the weight of the sheet caused the blanket to settle down around our bodies comfortably. The quilted cover finally wore out, but 19 years later, we still have the bottom two layers, the flannel sheet and the bedsheet, and it is still a family favorite because it is so comfortable. If I ever have the opportunity to make a quilt, I'll do the same. I hope this helps.

-- Candy (, February 16, 2000.

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