Chilly winter evenings or cold winter nights – they are absolutely unthinkable without a warm blanket or a quilt to cover yourself up with.
Now there are thousands of them ready for you to buy on the market at any time in the year, anywhere in the world. However, the best quilts are the ones that you make yourself, for you or for a loved one.
Making quilts has been a favorite pastime or hobby of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers for hundreds of years. There was a time when the perfect gift for a newborn or a newlywed couple had been a new quilt made by the elders of the family.
These days, people buy their blankets and their quilts from the market or by ordering them online. Still, there is something unique about a homemade quilt and so, a lot of people still make quilts for their loved ones.
Main Parts of a Quilt
Making a quilt requires three important parts: the top, the batting and the backing.
The top of course, refers to the upper portion of the quilt – the one that has all the different patterns and designs.
The backing is the part that supports the weight of the quilt from the back and is usually made from heavy but comfortable fabric.
The batting, however, is the middle part of a quilt – the part that provides the cushion and the insulation for the quilt. The batting of a quilt depends on what type of quilt you are making, for what season and for whom.
What are Used as Batting in Quilts?
Battings are available by yard or weight for putting inside blankets. You can put as much batting inside a quilt as is comfortable, as long as the whole thing remains even inside.
Batting can be found in hobby shops or fabric shops, and they are available almost everywhere in different sizes, fibers, materials and weight.
Batting is made from a variety of materials: alpaca, polyester, silk, bamboo, cotton, corn, wool, even recycled plastic bottles.
If you get more batting that you ultimately need, you can always use the rest for inside pillows, trivets, wall hangings, bags, pot holders and mug rugs.
What can you use for Batting?
Of course, the most common thing to use as batting inside quilts are store-bought batting that are available in a lot of options.
Common materials for batting are made from polyester, but anything made from wool, bamboo, poly-cotton blend or silk also works as batting.
If you are making a quilt for summer or for a region that doesn’t get very cold, you can simply skip the middle part and not use a store-bought batting.
For comfortable quilts you can double on the backing and skip the heavy batting inside.
For a thin and lightweight quilt, you can create a batting of your own by cutting up old bed sheets or using multiple bedsheets.
In fact, in some cultures, quilts for newborns are made by using old bedsheets, old and comfortable clothes or even old blankets.
Can I Use an Old Blanket for Batting?
Instead of buying a separate batting for the quilt you are making, you can definitely use an old blanket as batting. This can be an old blanket with or without a batting inside it, or a regular blanket that is made of multiple layers of fabrics.
There is a subtle difference between a quilt and a blanket. Quilts happen to be slightly thicker and heavier than blankets; blankets can be used all around the year and quilts are mostly used in winter.
However, the most important difference between a blanket and a quilt is that a blanket, no matter how thick or how heavy, is made from a single woven layer. A quilt, on the other hand, comes with a number of layers, mainly three: the batting, the top part and the backing.
Therefore, logically, it can be said that a single-layered old blanket can be definitely used as batting when you are making a new quilt.
A simple woven blanket with a single layer can be perfectly sewn inside the top layer and the backing to make a new quilt.
In fact, if you have a few old blankets lying around that you don’t use anymore, using them as backing inside quilts would be much preferable to throwing them away.
Even if the old blankets are torn and discolored, you won’t be able to tell when they are inside your brand new quilts.
The most common type of blankets are made from knitted polyester, woven acrylic, wool, fleece, mink and cotton. They are both comfortable against the skin and provide moderate warmth in a cool winter.
All these kinds of blankets can be easily used as batting inside a quilt and sewn together with the backing and the top part just like when a batting is used.
If you want to make a quilt for the winter or for extremely cold weather, using an old blanket inside may not be enough.
An old blanket – especially one that has been used for a long time, weather beaten or torn – will not be able to provide the kind of warmth and comfort as a piece of store-bought batting can provide.
As a result, if you live in a cold region or if you want to make a quilt for the winter, using only a blanket as a batting might not be enough.
Of course, you can always use an old blanket as batting beside a piece of store-bought batting.
This will give you twice the warmth and comfort than using just some batting or just an old blanket. This is certainly a better way to use your old blankets than just throwing them away or keeping them locked up for decades.
Therefore, using your old blankets as batting for making quilts can be a great way to reuse them.
Depending on the type of quilt you want, you can use a single blanket, multiple blankets, or even use a piece of store-bought batting alongside your old blanket.