Pssst! There’s 15% off Kona until Saturday!

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Good morning lovelies. I thought I’d just quickly let you know that we have a whopping 15% off Kona cotton until this Saturday 15th August. Grab your Kona at only £6.80 whilst you can.

We’ve sold out of some colours already but do have another delivery arriving today or tomorrow so just get in touch if you can’t see the colour you’d like…

Happy Shopping!
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A Guide to Quilt Wadding (Batting)

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Whether you’re new to quilting or a dab hand in that area, choosing which wadding you’ll need for your quilt can be a tricky business. Not only are there loads to choose from, but there are so many words and phrases associated with wadding that just go straight over your head, am I correct? Well we’re here to help answer all the questions you’ve never had answered, teach you the basic lingo and hopefully put your mind at ease for the next time you need to purchase wadding.

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Wadding, or ‘batting’ as it is known in the US, is the layer of material in between your quilt top and backing fabric, and the type of wadding you choose will determine the way your finished quilt will look and feel. The first thing you need to consider is how thick you want your finished quilt to look. This is where the ‘high loft’ and ‘low loft’ come into play.

Loft

A high loft means the wadding is thick with more apparent quilting lines and will ‘puff out’ more, whereas a low loft is thin and better for a flatter finish and for showing off your piecing rather than the actual quilt lines. Most quilters prefer to use a low loft as it’s easier to machine or hand quilt and a high loft can be difficult in this area due to too much bulk. The good news is that low loft waddings are just as warm and cosy!

Composition

The composition is the next factor you need to bear in mind when choosing your wadding. There are various benefits for all types of wadding, whether it be their great quality, durability or economical value. Take a look at a few examples of wadding compositions along with their pros and cons and how you can better understand them.

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  • Cotton

Cotton is a soft, breathable, natural fibre and a popular choice for many quilters. Cotton wadding tends to shrink if not pre-shrunk, creating a classic, wrinkly ‘lived in’ look, and whilst it’s usually a low loft, this can vary, so there are more options when choosing a wadding suitable for your project. Some cotton waddings are needle-punched, giving them extra stability, making them a good choice for wall hangings or items that will be heavily machine stitched. For those who prefer hand quilting, you’d be better off looking for a cotton wadding without needlepunching or scrim. It is one of the more expensive waddings available, but with the price does come quality.

  • Polyester

Polyester is a popular choice which of wadding which has been used by quilters for years as it comes in a variety of lofts, is very durable and is less costly than all other commercial waddings.  It is light, doesn’t shrink and maintains its shape, but it isn’t as breathable and doesn’t drape (how it feels after being quilted) as well as cotton or bamboo waddings. As it is one of the cheaper waddings available, it can have a tendency to beard after a while, which is more evident if your fabrics are dark coloured.

  • Bamboo

Bamboo is an increasingly popular choice because it’s a more sustainable plant than cotton. This wadding benefits from being environmentally friendly and its naturally low lofts gives it a good drape. Plus, it’s soft, cosy and great quality! It is suitable for both machine and hand quilting. You can find out more about bamboo by taking a peek here at our Absorbent Fabrics Guide.

  • Blends (poly-cotton/bamboo-cotton)

These combine the ‘best of both worlds’, and are designed to make quilts loftier and lighter while still providing the benefits of natural fibres. Blends are easy to work with, a good choice for quilters who are unsure which wadding would be best for their quilt and also benefit from being cheaper than pure bamboo or cotton.

Colour

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It might not seem like a big thing to bear in mind when choosing your wadding, but the colour you pick can affect your finished quilt. Waddings generally come in three colours: white, natural and black. Whilst white is the most commercially available and arguably the most popular, black wadding is a much better choice for quilting projects using darker fabrics as it won’t show through. So before you buy, make sure you think about which fabrics you’ll be using for your quilt and which colour wadding would be most beneficial to you.

How much will I need?

It all depends on the size of your quilt. Simply measure up the size of your quilt and buy as much as you need! Most waddings are available by the cut half metre and they can also come pre-packaged in standard sizes for crib, twin, double and king, so you’ll be ready for the project that you wish to make from the get go.

And that should be most things covered! If you’re still unsure about some of the words or phrases used throughout the guide, take a look below at the handy glossary.

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Wadding Glossary

Batting: general term used for wadding in various countries including the USA

Drape: How a quilt feels after being quilted. Good quality wadding will allow your quilt to drape around you comfortably without being too stiff.

Loft: the weight and thickness of wadding. A high loft means it’s thick, a low loft means it’s thin.

Bearding: When fibres separate and push through the top layer of the quilt. Often happens with cheaper wadding

Needle-punched: mechanically felted together by punching them with hundreds of needles, causing the fibres to intertwine and bond together, making it denser

Scrim: a thin grid of polyester/synthetic stabiliser which is needle punched into the wadding to stabilise the cotton fibres and prevent them from bearding. Also adds strength and stops the wadding from distorting and stretching.

No scrim: With no scrim, the stitches must be quilted closer together to keep the fibres separating. Waddings with no scrim are a good choice for hand quilting

I hope that you’ve found this guide useful and that when you next need to buy wadding it will cause you less of a headache! Happy quilting!

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Cloth Nappy Fabrics 101 Part 6: Stay Dry Fabrics

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Hello! And welcome to the last part of my nappy making fabrics guide. Last up we’re going to talk about “Stay Dry” fabrics which are often used as the inner layer of a nappy. We have up to 20% off all fabrics in our “Stay Dry” section and all orders placed over this week that you’ve asked us to hang on to will be dispatched today. We also have 20% off nappy making kits all week long.

Continue reading

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Cloth Nappy Fabrics 101 Part 5: A Guide To Plush and Outer Fabrics

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Hello! And welcome to part 5 of my nappy making fabrics guide (you can read the rest of the series here). Today we’re going to talk about one of the best bits of cloth nappy making – the pretties!! The outer layer is where most of the fun happens so read on…. Continue reading

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Cloth Nappy Fabrics 101 Part 4: Notions and Fastenings

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Hello! And welcome to part 4 of my nappy making fabrics guide, you can read the other parts in this series here. Today I’m taking a break from the fabrics today to talk about some of the notions and fastenings you can use when making cloth nappies.  Today you can enjoy up to 20% off KAM snaps, lastin and Aplix/ Touch tape hook & loop. Wondering what an earth these are? Fret not! All is to be revealed….  If you’d like to get involved in more than one offer this week but are worrying about the accrued postage costs – don’t! Just leave us a note at check out and ask us to hold your order until the end of the week then we’ll dispatch it all together and refund you any postage charges. We also have 20% off nappy making kits all week long. Continue reading

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Cloth Nappy Fabrics 101 Part 3: An Absorbent Fabrics Guide

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Hello! And welcome to part 3 of my nappy making fabrics guide, today it’s all about absorbent fabrics. It’s these types of fabrics which predominantly determine the performance of your nappy and there are a number of different combinations to try. Today you can enjoy up to 20% off absorbent fabrics. If you’d like to get involved in more than one offer but are worrying about the accrued postage costs – don’t! Just leave us a note at check out and ask us to hold your order until the end of the week then we’ll dispatch it all together and refund you any postage charges. We also have 20% off nappy making kits all week long. Continue reading

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Cloth Nappy Fabrics 101 Part 2: PUL Fabric

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Hello! And welcome to day one of Real Nappy Week 2015. In this series I hope to share information about nappy making fabrics as well as letting you know about the offers we have running this week, so let’s talk about the offer first. Today you can enjoy up to 20% off PUL which is the waterproof layer used in a cloth nappy (as well as a whole host of other applications). We will be having different fabrics on offer each day. If you’d like to get involved in more than one offer but are worrying about the accrued postage costs – don’t! Just leave us a note at check out and ask us to hold your order until the end of the week then we’ll dispatch it all together and refund you any postage charges due. We also have 20% off nappy making kits all week long.  Continue reading

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Cloth Nappy Fabrics 101 Part 1: An Intro

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Welcome to Real Nappy Week 2015! Well…. the fun starts tomorrow but I thought I’d whet your whistle and have you all geared up to learn all about cloth this week and enjoy the discounts we have coming up.  If you’re not familiar with real nappies then this annual event is a great time to swot up about all things cloth, bag yourself some bargains and realise cloth nappies really aren’t in any way reminiscent of the the square of terry towelling held together with a big pin of yester-year. Modern fabrics and notions have meant that cloth nappies are a world away from the commonly held vision of the nappies used by our mums and grans.  Continue reading

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What Is A Border Print?

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I recently sent this out as a newsletter and it prompted lots of responses I thought I’d post it here too to preserve it for prosperity!

Print runs "Up the bolt/ roll"

Print runs “Up the bolt/ roll”

I have been asked a few times recently to explain what a “border  print” is. If you’re not up to speed on this particular fabric lingo read on, especially as we’ve had a couple of crackers arrive this week. If I’m teaching you to suck eggs then scroll down to the inspiration part to check put the pretty prints! Continue reading