What About Bamboo Batting?

Posted by on September 25, 2017


Questions about bamboo batting often arise in class.  That led to a bit of research and I thought I would share what I have learned.

First, experience with bamboo batting showed that it makes beautiful, draping quilts. The fibers are silky, soft and even supple.  It is beautiful with either hand or machine quilting.  However, bamboo fibers are also sensitive to heat.  Be careful in laundering and use warm or cold water.

The first generation of bamboo batting was 100% bamboo.  Experience has shown blends are more long-lived and user friendly.  At present the blends are usually 50% bamboo and 50% organically grown cotton in keeping with the bamboo organic farming.

Bamboo is considered renewable. The crop can be harvested year after year without replanting. Some grow two feet a day.  Bamboo fiber is biodegradable and the crop doesn’t require fertilizer or pesticides.  As a result, many products from bamboo are advertised as environmentally friendly.

Inner parts of bamboo are treated either chemically or mechanically. Most, but not all, bamboo fabrics made today still are processed with chemicals to become a ‘rayon soft’ fiber.  Many bamboo battings are advertised as being antibacterial.  While the fibers from bamboo are, the manufacturing process destroys this characteristic unless it is treated with natural enzymes.

Bamboo batting can wick moisture very well.  This is nice for winter warmth similar to wool batting.

Try using bamboo batting in your next quilt.  Stay with a tried and true manufacturer and use warm or cold water in the washer and drier.  Happy quilting!


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What is the difference between Set Quilt Area and Pattern Box?

Posted by on August 14, 2015

When you first turn on your computerized quilting machine the machine needs some mathematical coordinates to begin a digital map. This is called the area. The first thing the screens ask for is a couple of reference points. Once the machine has there points it sets a 1 inch grid.

photo1 If you take a close look at the grid in the background of your touch screen you will see that before you set the area the grid is large. After you set the quilt area the grid represents 1 inch squares.

I think what might be confusing is that the area on the screen appears in red. A pattern box will appear in red also. Edit boxes appear in green.


This is an area.

This is an area with a red triangle pattern box in it and a green edit box. If you had a pattern box with 2 patterns in it the green edit box would be around only one of the patterns. That would mean that particular pattern was the pattern available to edit. If you wanted the green box to jump to the second pattern in the box so that you could edit that other one, you would touch the next button in the edit menu and the edit box would move to the next pattern.


If you are alternating between computerized work and free motion you might be releasing the belts. Every time that you reattach the belts you must click on set quilt area again and give it some new coordinates. Just follow the prompts. You cannot get those belts on in the exact same place so you just reset the quilt area and the picture of your designs will be centered in the screen instead of off to the side or out of site.


The area is not for edge to edge work. You must set a pattern box for edge to edge work. If you try to use the area for pantograph rows you will eventually run out of space. As the pick up roller fills with fabric your quilting area shrinks. You need a pattern box that is smaller than the quilt area. When I set a pattern box for edge to edge I only set it up for 2 rows of whatever repeat I want. I can control the size of the pattern design just by doubling the height measurement and I can measure spacing between rows easy for the next set of row placements. I never will run out of room and bump into the rollers.

Remember—the quilt area is for the computer to set up a digital mini map and the pattern box is where you place your pattern design.

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10 Reasons We Like the Tape Measure Feature on the ESP

Posted by on July 22, 2015

First check it out—it is so easy to use and read.

The tape measure icon is found in the main tool bar across the top.


When you click on the tape measure you will see the next screen where you can begin to use the measuring tape feature.


When you click on the set start button, the set start button changes into a stop button and all the numbers clear and start at 0. The tape measure is reading the needle location, so put the needle where you want to start measuring from. When you get to the final distance just click on the stop button and the measurements will stay on the screen. To clear the measurements just click on the start button again and it will be ready to measure again.



1. The accuracy of the measurement is .01(hundredths) therefore if you are measuring pattern placement you can get a more precision measurement than a standard tape measure which would be measured in 8th of an inch increments.

2. Easy to use. Click, roll, and click.

3. Features a diagonal measurement. A needed feature for borders.

4. You can measure the last space at the bottom of your quilt as the pins roll around for perfect panto placement. When the pins roll around measure and divide the space by the row height and spacing to see how you can manage the last couple of rows and their sizing. This way you will not end up with half a row of design.

5. Finding the center of a block. Take 2 measurements from opposite corners (in an X shape to find the exact center) —works even if the block is not cut and pieced exactly correct.

6. Can be used with the channel lock on for exact quilt width measurement use pattern view to get out of tape measure feature

7. Creating block areas for whole cloth. If there is no clock area then you can create on by measuring and placing chalk marks on the corner points

8. Measuring space between laser light pantograph rows. As a rule of thumb the standard measurement between pantograph rows is ¾ of an inch.

9. Checking and double checking detailed placement of pattern

10. Side border repeats and placement. Once you have the measurement of the repeat on the first or top border you can then create boxes down the side of the border and place on repeat in there at a time. No need to rotate your quilt for borders once you learn to use the tape measure repeat placement.


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How do you reuse the same pattern in computerized quilting?

Posted by on February 2, 2015

 Take a look at this screen and you will see three selections in the drop down box under the pattern box button.

  1. Add Pattern Box is used when you are going to set a new location for a new pattern design. (Note: remember to select the bottom of the box first so your pattern will come up the correct direction.)
  2. Adjust Current really means Adjust the Current Location of the last pattern you had in the screen view.  For example:

If you wanted to use this scroll triangle that is in this picture for more than one triangle in your quilt, you can simply by adjusting the location of this pattern. Here are the steps.

  1. Get the pattern in view on the screen. If the pattern is back a ways in your screens simply tap on the previous arrow to find it.
  2. Click on the home button.
  3. Click on the Pattern Box button.
  4. Click on Adjust Current (location).
  5. Follow the prompts for selecting the pattern box.
  6. Edit you pattern if needed.
  7. Stitch.

3. Remove Current Box is the last selection and if you click on this, the last box will be erased and if it had a pattern inside that will be gone also..


If you have a quilt and the blocks are not all the same in size you have a choice on the scaling. You could scale each pattern to fit each of the different sized blocks or you could scale for one of the blocks and keep the pattern you first sized so that all the designs are exactly the same size. Sometimes keeping the same sized pattern all the way through will make the irregular quilt look more balanced.


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