Wool Batting -#Winning


I’m kind of excited to share today’s post.  Don’t be anticipating anything life changing here; small things make me happy🙂

I’ve been hearing about wool batting, reading things about how to use it, how to wash it, whether or not to let it dry flat or use the dryer etc. I’ve also been hearing and reading things about what makes a finished quilt soft or not so soft; there are people who think it’s about the density of quilting, others who think it’s more about batting.

So I decided to do a little test for myself to see how the wool batting behaves for me.  I want to be able to use my thread and my quilting style and then launder it the way I would expect to launder a quilt that is being lovingly used (which means no hand washing or laying flat to dry because I just can’t be bothered!  Even clothing that requires me to forego the typical laundry day routine isn’t allowed in my house…)

I made this small quilted piece with some open feather plumes and some dense quilting so I would have different spots to compare.  A friend suggested to me that using wool batting can give the quilting a trapunto effect without actually doing any extra work of adding another layer, so I wanted to try that out as well.

Here is a close-up sort of cross section view of the batt I used:


You can see in these first three pictures the lovely loft that the batting has and the texture you can create just by doing your regular stitching.  Open spaces will really pop (like uber pop – even more than with my usual batting) when the surrounding areas are densely quilted.




I tossed this sample into the washer with a load of towels (ie. no special temperature, no special treatment, no gentle cycle) and when it came out I was glad, but not surprised, to see that it was still in tact and there were no obvious issues.  So, into the dryer it went, with the towels, and again with no special settings.

Here is how it came out when it was dry:




It came out of the dryer just fine, no clumping or anything.  It’s softer than my other quilts, made with either 100% cotton or cotton/bamboo blend battings, and I love the  “trapunto” effect.  Win.

Shrinkage?  No more than my other battings, as far as I can tell.  The piece went into the wash at 9.75″ X 25″ and came out at 9.5″ X 24″.  Another win.

Now the practical reality of all this is that wool batting does cost more and the difference in cost for wool for the size of quilts I usually make amounts to approx. 1.5 times the cost of the others.

For example, my typical batting cost works out to around $14.50 for a 60″ X 60″ size batt (I do purchase in bulk).  For this brand of wool, the cost would be approx. $23 for the same size batt.  It sounds like a lot more – and in some cases it won’t be worth the extra money – but for special quilts, it would be very nice, especially if the trapunto effect is desired.

**I do think it’s a bit lighter in weight overall than the other battings I use, so if you are a person who prefers the heavier weight quilts, you might find that it’s better to stick with the others.  I haven’t tried any other brand of wool yet though, so will update this post if I have additional info to share when I do🙂


Custom Quilting for Mom



I just finished quilting a panel that my mom wants to give to a friend.

Even though it fits into the color scheme upon which I recently placed a ban, I conceded because I want to help her clear out her fabric and make good use of it.  I’m also not a fan of panels that are printed in blocks because they are rarely ever printed straight and square and it bugs me.

However, you know how it is with moms; they have that whole carried you for nine months, raised you, fed you, kept you safe, still worry about you and are always there just waiting to help you in any way they can thing going on…so what can I say?  If she wants it, I quilt it!

My happy moment came when I turned it over and saw the back, which for me is ten times better than the top because I just love the look of the quilting on that solid color.  OOH-LAH-LAH!

I’ll just pretend the quilt is actually cream colored with a printed back, and mom will be happy with the colored top!

I think I might have to make myself a solid cream quilt now🙂

Coral Tranquility


It’s always hard to decide what name/title to put on a newly finished quilt.  I number my quilts so I have a record with pictures of them, but when I advertise them I need to come up with something other than just a number, and it’s especially difficult when they are mostly a solid color with just a few prints for accent.

But as I look at this one on my table, all washed and cuddly, and I run my hands over the texture (as Angela Walters does when she’s showing her quilts during an online class!) the word “tranquil” comes to mind, so that’s what I’m calling it.  Just don’t be expecting fantastically creative names every time I post a quilt because that is not my forte!



And because it’s been a while since I posted a new project, I will include here yet another bright strip baby quilt that I did in between quilts number 100 and number 102 (I LOVE the wild quilting but after I finish one my brain does benefit from a little break and a smaller project, just to relax).


Both quilts are for sale and information can be found on my Quilts For Sale page🙂

My plan is to quilt the Downton Abbey print tops that I pieced recently, so that will likely be my next project, but we all know that the best-laid plans can suddenly change if a new idea pops up!

Number 100


100bYAY! My most recent project is now finished and if only bright green fit into my home decor ….

Yet again, upon laying the whole thing out in front of me I was faced with a decision about whether or not to keep a finished quilt, but alas, it isn’t my color so as much as I love it, I know there will be more to come.  I think it’s hard to part with the ones like this that I’ve spent so much time with day after day, putting my creative energy into overdrive.  By the time they’re finished I’m kind of attached🙂  But I’m also realistic and while some would say “you can never have too many quilts”, there is a limit to how many I can actually store!


I thought I was pulling out all – well, maybe most of – the stops on this one as I happily stitched away with my favorite quilting thread, but even as I worked on the finishing touches, I had new ideas spinning around, so it’s a good thing I have another “almost whole cloth quilt” sandwiched and ready to go!

Seriously, this wild quilting on solid colored fabric is just about the most fun I can have without landing in jail.

This one is for sale in my Etsy Shop.



Sneak Peeks

I’m just finishing up quilt #100, so I thought I’d give you a sneak peek at it as well as a couple of other tops that are ready to quilt.


Greens are so hard to photograph!  They either come out too yellow or too blue, but I kept trying until I got this one which is pretty darn close to real life color.  It’s a close-up just to give an idea of what I’m doing, but the full shots should come tomorrow if I get the binding all finished tonight🙂

If you haven’t read my previous post about the special giveaway in celebration of my one hundredth quilt, be sure to check it out before Sept. 19th🙂

Next, I’ll be working on two quilts made with fabrics from the Downton Abbey collection by Andover fabrics.  These might sell quickly as Christmas gifts for fans of the show!  One has light colors from the “Downstairs” collection, and the other has darker colors from the “Lady Rose” and “Lord & Lady” collections.


Stay tuned!

Share the Love



This picture was made for my Facebook page, so please ignore the “see above for details”. I’m not trying to confuse you, I’m just saving time by using the same ad! LOL


Quilt #100 – numbering the ones I’ve made myself from start to finish – will soon be complete and to mark this event I have a special offer for my readers to participate in:

This is your chance to share some handmade love with a person who could use a “quilt hug” 🙂  If you know someone who is going through a very difficult time, you are invited to submit a short write-up telling me why you want them to have the gift of a handmade quilt with only info you feel comfortable sharing.

On Sept. 20th I will choose one recipient from the submissions I’ve received (quilt given will be based on what is most suited to the person/situation).

You may email me at annwalshquilting@gmail.com

Or visit my Facebook page and send me a private message.

(please don’t leave info in the comments for this post)

All info will be kept private, and if your submission is chosen, I will contact you to arrange details of delivery.

Custom quilted wall hanging

Now that this wall hanging has been gifted to someone on the east coast, I can share the pictures with you.

It was pieced by Selma Halhead, Mayerthorpe, AB, and brought to me for quilting.

Isn’t her applique work lovely?


There’s something about white


The Daisy quilt is finished.  And once again I face a dilemma: to keep or not to keep?

I love daisies!  I especially love bright and colourful Gerbera daisies; I have a vase of lovely bright daisies on my piano right now.  I also really love the look of a solid white quilt and the back of this one is nearly irresistible to me!


I do have to say that while white sashing is appealing, it does have its own set of potential problems:

  • if you get distracted while you’re pressing and forget to iron all the seams towards the darker colors (because you’re in the habit of pressing all seams open and you’re watching a favourite tv show on Netflix while you’re ironing) you might notice things peaking through later on that you didn’t intend
  • if there are any stray colored threads – even after you’ve trimmed them – you’ll be using that tiny little crochet hook to dig them out through the sashing one by one after you think your project is finally done!

But in big sections and all over backings, there is just something about white!  No other solid color looks as elegant and fresh when it’s all quilted🙂

Hitting the Ditch (or not…)

Stitching in the ditch … well, I have another phrase to describe it, but for the sake of propriety, let’s just say I don’t like doing it.

I know for a large group of people its seems to be an easy way to get a quilt quilted quickly (say that five times really fast …), a way to get all the sandwich layers sewn together with stability so they can get the pins out, or a means of defining borders all around the edge of blocks to prepare for designs that will require a travel stitching line to follow.

The Myth

For these valid reasons, I sometimes choose to do it – on these occasions, it seems to be “a good idea at the time” – and not long after I start into it, I’m reminded why I don’t like it and then I face a choice:

  1. let the perfectionist in me pick out what I’ve done so far and just  “ditch” the idea (haha), or
  2. let the quilter in me who knows it’s not about the little mistakes but the overall texture push through and do it EVERYWHERE so there’s consistency and maybe the more I do it the more I’ll like it.  After all, practice makes almost perfect, right?

NO. NO. NO.  This is not what happens.  Instead, I get myself into a situation where I’m cursing and wishing I’d never even tried it – AGAIN!  And usually, I’ve made myself persevere because lots of other quilters do it and somehow I feel like I “should” do it and feel good about doing it.  If I can make a wild quilted almost whole cloth quilt without even marking designs first then, for crying out loud, stitching in the ditch should be pretty basic, and if I can’t do it to a reasonable (ie. MY) standard then I need to keep working on it because, because, because…

What is that all about?  I’m not everyone else!  We all have our strengths and weaknesses, things we enjoy and things we don’t, and our own creative style.

The Truth

Quilting is supposed to be FUN.  And I’ll tell you this rather large secret:

I WOULD RATHER PIECE A QUILT TOP THAN STITCH IN THE DITCH.  (Bet you didn’t think there was anything about quilting that I disliked more than piecing!)

The Fall

So here I am now working on this daisy quilt with nice wide strips for me to quilt some modern style feathers (I LOVE DOING FEATHERS) and an open white section for whatever I want to do, and what comes to mind first?

“I should really stitch in the ditch along the sashing lines to define the areas and have a travel stitching line if I need one because the solid white back will look better that way…” SHOULD?  I could feel the cringe in my stomach at just the thought of doing it, and I did it anyway.

On the first two of what would be twenty-one long stitching lines I had three big thread issues (trying to make myself use up a cone I ordered and ended up not liking because of thread issues…) and I wasn’t having fun.  Twice I considered picking them out and getting on with the stitching I wanted to do, and twice I convinced myself to persevere.  At the end of it, I needed a break, which resulted in this post.  I think I need stronger drugs.

Just for your viewing pleasure, I took these pictures for comparison.

THIS is stitching in the ditch.
THIS is trying to hit the ditch while hitting everything BUT the ditch; I would call it “drunkard’s path” but that’s already a quilt design … (and no, I never drink and quilt although, after this ordeal, I might need a drink)

The Reality

I can only get the results I want by going in one direction, which means constantly rotating my quilt, and that’s only reasonably do-able when it’s small and you don’t have twenty-one long lines to do.  I don’t particularly enjoy doing lines and geometric shapes with straight lines anyway, I’m more of a curved line person and that’s how my stitching flows best.  I use lines in areas where I want a dramatic contrast between swirled or curvy patterns, but not in big long sections.  Other people do and it looks really cool.  And that’s fine with me.

My conclusion?

When you find your niche, stick with it and don’t have a care in the world for what anyone else would do in that spot, or on that line, unless it’s something you really like and want to learn to do.  I will practice and take classes to learn new techniques in the areas I really love, but persevering in something you hate doing just because other people find it useful when it really makes no difference to your awesome creative project in the end anyway is just a waste of time (as is comparing our style or stitching choices to anyone else’s!)

And “ditch” the thread with issues.  Ain’t nobody got time for that …

Back to stitching…my own way!

(finished daisy quilt pictures will be coming soon …)