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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Batting & Needles

By: Karen Goad

Maybe I am stuck in a rut but I love Quilters Dream  100 % Cotton Batting.  I use the thinnest loft  “request” most of the time but I also use the loft called “select” which is just a little bit thicker. I normally have several packages of battings on hand as I order on line or buy when I happen to travel someplace that carries it (I have no local quilt store).  Most times I get my batting from Hancocks of Paducah but sometimes I get it from other shops if they have a sale.  I have not always found this batting at the quilt shops that are closest to me (85 miles in all directions!) so it is usually more convenient to order.


Quilters Dream Cotton Batting reminds me of a sheet of flannel only a little thicker. This is the thin loft “request”.  I love Cotton batting because of the shrinkage that occurs when you wash your quilt.  I do not pre-wash my batting I wait until my quilt is done.  When washed and dried it gives a little shrinkage that gives your quilt a “vintage” look – I prefer that to a “flat” quilt – my preference.


The needles that I use are Roxanne between #11.   They are tiny-- measuring at 7/8'ths of an inch long.  Most are sturdy although in recent years I have had more bending than I used to have.    You can check these needles out at this site and others.  Numerous quilt shops carry them and many on line stores as well.  I am so used to these needles that I use them for everything – my needle turn applique, hand piecing and quilting.  Again my preference – they do sell these needles in various sizes and have long applique needles as well – but I stick myself with them Smile


The needles come in a little vial that holds 50 needles. I haven’t used any other brand of quilting needles in years but due to the bending that I have had in the past two years I have thought when I begin to run low that I might try another brand.  Because I normally do most of my supply shopping on line I tend to order more than I need – last time I got needles I got 3 vials and I still have a bit to use up.


It is very interesting to read what other quilters like for batting and needles. 


  1. I totally agree about the Roxanne needles going down in quality/strength. The last little vial I had I finally threw out - I bent 7 needles in less than 2 hours of quilting. They used to be much stronger.

    I just ordered a package of almost every kind of hand quilting needle Colonial Needle sells to experiment with and see which one will become my new needle of choice.

    Looking forward to reading other's choice of needles.

  2. I agree about the durability of the Roxanne needles of today. I think the business was sold several years ago and since then the quality has left a lots to be desired. I have tried Jenny Haskin, Fon and Porter, Bohmn and generic brands. All have bending problems and do not last very long. Of all these, I still like the Roxanne brand. Batting--I use Hobbs 80/20 and usually soak in cold water for about 10 minutes, spin and machine dry. I prefer the flat look in my quilts--just my preference. Love you website.

  3. Well I have to say that I also love Quilter's Dream and love the request. Between this and the Tuscany wool, they are my favorites.

    Very interesting about your needles. I wonder what the difference is in why they are bending?

  4. I did read awhile back that the company that sold Roxanne needles either went out of business or consolidated with another company - I'm not sure which it was - it was shortly after that that I began to have more bending with the needles. I would say they are not making them at the quality they were before. I don't have a lot of options when it comes to buying quilting supplies locally though and really need to order several different kinds of needles to start trying more brands.

  5. I have had good luck with John James size 11. The don't seem to bend very easy. I decided that Roxanne bends too fast for me. So I quit using a while ago.

  6. I love reading about what other hand quilters use. I like both the Tuscany wool and Tuscany silk for handquilting. I haven't been able to find the Quilters Dream or Request batts where I live. I like Clover needles - they do have bending issues but I find them so sharp and they glide so easily through the layers I use them anyway. I too do all my needleturn applique with betweens so once they are bent I use them for applique.

  7. I will have to try the quilters dream request. I normally use warm and natural but I have to admit it is not easy to hand quilt but I like the weight. I totaly aggree with you on washing...I love the shrinkage puckers!!

    I have had good luck with John James needles when I can find them...I just ordered some roxanne, sorry to hear that they are benders too :( I can't stand the clovers...I can go through a package of ten in a few hours...they bend so fast when quilting through a haevy batting. I imagine a thinner bat would help with the bending issue

  8. Love to read others preferences for batts and needles. I love the Quilters Dream too and have finally found a supplier in Sydney so no longer have to order from Hancocks - rather an expensive exercise shipping to Australia!!
    I prefer the John James needles and buy various sizes for quilting or appliqué.

  9. I am trying to teach myself how to hand quilt and I think and just plain doing too much research about it and not digging in. Having said that, I read that one hand quilter who demonstrates how to use Aunt Becky's quilter claims that you should use poly batting due to the ease of quilting. What do you think? I prefer to use something natural, but I also don't want to make it too difficult.


  10. Tina a hand quilter can use whatever batting they want to use! Poly batting might be easiest to quilt through but I can't stand the bearding that most have. If you are a beginner practice on various batting's and see what you like. I love cotton.
    I'm glad to see others have bending issues with Roxanne needles - well I'm not glad you have the problem - I'm glad to know it isn't just me messing up!!
    I will order some John James needles and give them a try.

  11. I've been using the John James needles. I like them, except that I've had several in this pack break in half while using. I don't have a bending problem, just breaking! I'm ready to try something else. Open for suggestions!

  12. hmm - looks like I need to order several different brands to try out!! I am tired of the Roxanne ones bending.

  13. Dear all, I use only the Roxanne basting and sharps, because for me the bending with quilting is an issue too. And because I make tiny stitches, bending is a big issue to me. I use the Clover BLACK (can't make it italic to stand out, apologizing for seemingly shouting) gold quilting needles. Expensive ($1 per needle) but they quilt great!
    Btw, also the Piecemakers tend to bend and break a lot more than in the earlier days.

  14. Dear all, fortunately I don't have the problem with bending the quilting needles - maybe it's just because I only take one stitch at the time and I don't have to cross many seams because I do wholecloths. My favourite needles are John James #11 and I prefer battings like Hobbs 80/20 or Legacy 80/20. I am going to try a wool batting very soon. I want my quilts to look very traditional, therefore poly battings are not my choice.

  15. Thank you for the feedback-I will give it a try-


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