By Glenn Dragone
I’m in the same camp as some of the others when it comes to the brand and content of batting I like to use for hand quilting. By far, my favorite is wool, which to me has the best hand and makes hand quilting a pleasure. I use two brands and like both for different reasons.
My favorite, Quilter’s Dream Wool, is my go to batting in general. I like that Merino Wool is incorporated into the batting, and it seems to be cleaner wool than others I've tried. It also has a bit of a lift to it that isn't too puffy. Quilting is easy and enjoyable with it.
My second choice, Hobbs Tuscany Wool, is very good quality wool with similar qualities to Quilter’s Dream Wool, so much so that it’s hard to tell them apart. For me, it’s a matter of price and availability when it comes to choosing between the two.
My least favorite, Hobbs Standard Wool, can be dirty and quickly falls apart. At times, the texture reminds me of a spider web. The packaging is bad too, basically it's a rolled mess. But, I like its lack of loft, and when finished, the quilt has a real antique feel to it. I love that very flat effect.
If I use cotton batting, I always use Quilter's Dream "Request" or "Select". "Request" for a very flat antique look and "Select" if I want a bit of a loft to the finished piece.
On to Needles… I think I’ve tried every quilt needle on the market, except Piecemakers, which I’m currently awaiting a shipment of. Simply put, I like a very pointed tip on a strong size 12 needle. Right now, I’m using the Clover betweens, which are a bit longer than what I normally like, but it doesn’t seem to be an issue. I like the point as well as the fact that they don’t easily bend or break.
There you have it. Nothing really new from what the others have already said, just my spin on it.