Making blankets or quilts are a hobby for many people, as well as a profession for others. Based on how you want the designs to turn out, there are a lot of ways to make blankets.
The batting, the backing and the top layer in a blanket – just like when making a quilt – are the three most important layers of a blanket.
The better you choose a batting for your blanket and the better you sew the blanket to the batting, the more comfortable the blanket is going to be.
While it might be perfectly acceptable to go to the store and pick up a blanket that looks nice to you, a homemade blanket means you can customize it to feel as comfortable as you want your blanket to be.
To perfectly sew the blanket to the batting is one of the best ways to make sure your blanket is both comfortable and perfect, which is what you are going to learn in this article.
What is Batting?
A quilt batting or a blanket batting can be used in a number of quilting and sewing projects.
It is also known as a wadding, used as a thick layer inside the top and the bottom layer of a blanket. Battings are mainly used as insulation inside a blanket, also used to make blankets heavier and more comfortable.
Depending on where you live in the world, everyone needs a thick or a light blanket to help keep themselves comfortable at night.
It depends on the batting how comfortable and warm your blanket is going to be. If you are making your own blanket, you can decide on the type and the thickness of the batting you are going to choose.
Choosing the right batting is extremely important for the blanket that you are making, but sewing it perfectly to your blanket is also an important step.
What Type of Batting is Used in a Blanket?
In most homemade and handmade blankets, battings are made from 100% cotton, polyester or a blend of cotton/polyester.
In the last recent years, batting made from bamboo, wool and silk have also gained popularity, although they are comparatively more expensive.
Cotton, polyester and cotton/poly blends are more affordable and more widely used everywhere compared to wool, silk or bamboo batting.
Polyester batting is more durable and less expensive compared to any of the other kinds of batting.
The ones made from cotton are usually thicker and feel like flannel, but still breathable and light. Cotton and polyester blends use a mixture of 80% cotton and 20% polyester, and they don’t shrink over time.
Wool batting is also made from 100% natural fiber but more prone to shrinking and reducing; eco-friendly bamboo is breathable and makes a dense blanket.
Therefore, the most affordable, durable and comfortable choice of batting for a blanket is a polyester or a polyester-cotton blend batting.
How is Batting Sewn to a Blanket?
When you’ve chosen the right batting for your blanket, the next logical step would of course be to sew them together. This is an important step of sewing the blanket and preparing it, and all the steps are definite and precise.
- First of all, you need to decide on the batting. You can of course buy pre-sized batting for twin-, king- or queen-sized blankets in the market, or you can resize store-bought batting according to your customized sizes. Whatever size you choose, the batting should ideally be equal to the top and the bottom layer of the blanket.
- Your sewing process will also depend on the thickness of the batting you choose. Thin batting will make your blanket flat but it is easier to sew with; on the other hand, thicker batting will make the blanket fluffy and thick, and will require special needles to sew. You can determine the thickness of the batting in the label that comes with the batting.
- You’ll also need the right accessories for sewing the batting to the blanket, which are mainly single strand sewing thread or embroidery floss. If you are going to hand sew the blanket, it is better to use a 6-strand embroidery floss, but with a sewing machine, the edges will need to be finished with a 6-strand embroidery floss. It is always better for the embroidery or the single strand sewing thread to match the color for the design of the top layer of the fabric.
- You’ll also need to find a needle with an eye large enough to accommodate the thick 6-strand embroidery floss.
- Before you actually start sewing, it is important to wash the fabric in cold water. This will shrink the fabric if it is a shrinkable one, so that the fabric wouldn’t shrink later and damage the shape of the blanket after you are done with it. If it is a pre-washed and pre-shrunk batting, you won’t have to wash the fabric before sewing.
- If your batting and your top and bottom part of the blanket don’t match, you can trim any of the fabrics so that they match exactly in size and shape. Then, pin the batting to the top and the bottom layer for the blanket that you have chosen for yourself. If you are using multiple pieces and types of batting in a single blanket – i.e. a flannel, a batting and a plush fabric, you can pin them all together, too.
- You can also use a piece of masking tape to pin all the fabrics together. Both pins and masking tapes are effective solutions to pin your fabric pieces together, so you can choose whichever is convenient and comfortable to you.
- If you are sewing by hand, thread your needle with the 6-count embroidery floss. Start stitching from the bottom layer to the upper layer of the blanket, creating a loop with your fingers. Make each single stitch tight so that none of the fabrics move away from each other. Repeat the same steps over and again until you’ve completed stitching the whole thing, except one of the corners left so that you can flip the whole thing down.
- Use a pair of scissors to trim the excess amount of fabric around the edges of the blanket. You can also use a rotary cutter to do the job, around ¼” away from the seam that you had made around the blanket’s edges. Peel off the masking tape or pull out the pins that you’ve used to keep the pieces of fabric together.
- Now that you’ve finished stitching all the sides, you can use the remaining corner to flip the whole thing inside out. This way, your top and bottom layer of the blanket will be revealed and your blanket will start to look like you want it to look. Stitch the part of the corner that’s left with your hand so that your blanket is complete.
Although it might look like a daunting task, sewing a batting to your blanket is actually quite easy in the end.
All you need to know are the steps and the tricks, and you can make your own personal blanket in no time at all.