June 01, 2024

Use pre-quilted batting for your Sashiko Projects

How to quilt a sashiko project?
It's a dilemma.
You don't want to machine stitch over your hand stitched work, but you also don't want the filling and backing layers to separate from the top. And you really don't want the filling layer to bunch up or fall apart because it isn't quilted.

Over the years I have used different methods, depending on my project. This one, using pre-quilted batting, is easy and suited to almost any sashiko project, I think.

It uses pre-quilted quilt batting.

Here is an example of a sashiko runner made using pre-quilted batting. Because the batting has a good cotton fabric on one side I didn't add a backing fabric. Instead I laid the stitched fabric and the pre-quilted fabric together and used a binding to connect them. 

sashiko runner

Sewing a binding around the edges is enough to connect the layers together for this runner. 

For a full bed quilt it wouldn't work so well, but as bigger quilts are usually made of pieced fabrics, the solution is to machine quilt "in the ditch" of the pieced fabrics seams.

Many of you have seen this quilt. It is made from 8 of the Olympus  preprinted 12" traditional design sashiko blocks, a printed fabric, and 6 small bunny blocks.

sashiko quilt

In this case the pre-quilted batting I used was channel stitched, and you can see where I have machine stitched through the quilt top and the batting layer along the seams where the edges of the sashiko blocks are stitched to the print fabric. I have used white thread in my bobbin and dark navy thread in the top thread, and again, I didn't put a backing fabric over the pre-quilted batting, judging the fabric on the batting to be sufficient for my purposes. You could add a backing however, and sew through all 3 layers.

back of sashiko quilt Because the batting is already quilted, even the 12" blocks will be fine without further stitching when the quilt is used and washed.  This one has been washed several times :-)

 Here is a tip. If you are making a big quilt you can probably find a reasonably priced light weight white quilt in the bedding department of a big box store that will suit this purpose. The backing on my sashiko quilt here was cut from a queen size one I bought on a discount sale to use for this. That was before I found I could buy it by the bolts so you could buy it from  my website :-D, but it still seems like a good option for getting  a wide already quilted filling layer!

Happy stitching & sewing,