I know you're thinking this is about the edible stuff - Nestle's. Not exactly. (Though a cup of hot chocolate right now would be most welcome...)
This is about nestling in... curling up. Snuggling.
Given that I'm a "warm weather" girl - aka a "weather wimp" - it also means getting and staying warm and cozy. Quilts are wonderful for that, especially when they're made to be extra "snuggle-y" with a plush, velvety backing.
This is Fireside - it gets an additional finish that makes it a little softer, and gives it a texture a bit like a very soft towel.
This is Snuggles. It feels very velvet-y and plush.
I have to confess that while I'd heard of these fabrics, seen - and even felt - them, I didn't quite see the appeal beyond baby quilts. That's what comes from living in sunny, warm climates for most of my adult life. But then I moved to the Texarctic Circle - a slight exaggeration - and I have fallen in love with all things cuddly, snuggly, toasty, etc. When the parade of "winter" quilts being made for personal use-enjoyment and holiday gifts started coming through the office, I was smitten. (And I immediately started making a quilt that I could "back" with Snuggles.)
Of course I had to ask 2,382 questions about it.
What is it made of? Both Snuggles and Fireside are 100% Polyester, making them safe for machine washing and drying. As fabrics, they're described as "plush" or "plushies".
Do they need batting? No. It's not required but some folks like the extra thickness and weight. It's personal preference. But if you do choose to have a layer of batting, use a thin one.
How difficult are the fabrics to quilt? For machine quilting on a home machine, the Snuggles and Fireside don't need any special treatment. Baste the quilt layers as you normally would, then quilt as desired. Most quilters who have quilted on their home-machines with Snuggle or Fireside recommend starting with a new needle, using a 40 wt. thread - or thicker, and then cleaning the machine after you're finished.
Of the quilts shown above - the blue and red quilts were machine-quilted on a home-sewing machine. The red quilt is an almost-twin-sized quilt that Tammy quilted in about two hours using the wavy-straight-line stitch on her machine. The lines are about 2" apart. (It should be noted that Tammy is really, really fast... her sewing machine has to have a motor by Porsche.)
Both the green and gray quilts were done on a long-arm machine using digitized designs. Some long-arm machine quilters love quilting with Snuggles and Fireside, others don't. (And some won't.) A few years ago, ModaLissa asked our uber-quilter Maggi Honeyman if there were any secrets or tips to quilting with Snuggles.
Here's what Maggi had to say about it...
First - it is very important that the fabric be cut straight. That can be a bit of a problem as the fabric is pretty stretchy and a little slippery. Just be sure and have your selvages lined up really well, then try to cut on a surface that allows you not to have to shift the fabric to accomplish the entire cut. (Something like a large dining room table?)
Next - the fabric must be loaded on the cross-grain of the fabric - the stretchy cut side - and not on the selvages. The selvages would certainly be easier to pin but take it from experience, it doesn’t really work out so well! Also, it's important to put the pins very close together so as not to stretch the fabric.
Now that you have the quilt loaded, be sure not to put too much tension between the top and bottom rollers. Again, you do not want to stretch the fabric. After basting, clamp carefully and then quilt away.
I would always recommend using a new needle and if you're going to use a batting, use a fairly thin one as the fabric itself is heavier than a regular quilting cotton.
Thank you, Maggi!
As for the colors available - there are plenty to choose from.
Fireside - a few of these colors look very much like "school colors"... just saying.
And Snuggles - why yes, I picked the fabrics for the front of my quilt based on the color I wanted to use on the back.
You're not surprised by that, are you? Yes, I'll show you what I made when it's finished - quilted, bound, washed, etc.
So have you made a quilt backed with Snuggles, Fireside or a "plushie"? Any tips?
Are you shocked that it's taken me so long to "come around"?