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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Batting, when I use what

By Annemart Berendse

When I talk about batting, I have a preference for natural. Wool, cotton, even silk battings go into my quilts.
In quilts to be quilted by hand I prefer the Hobbs Tuscany Wool. In the Broken Star I am currently working on, is also a wool batting. My needle goes through it like a hot knife through butter, to me it's a soft, breathing and non-aggressive warmth (in comparison to a 100% polyester batting) and is doesn't beard because of the bonding that prevents it.


From the same collection of Hobbs, I used the silk for a silk miniquilt for my Quilt Mom. Silk is expensive, thin, doesn't have a huge loft, but in a silk quilt the only batting I would choose. I am able to quilt up to 20 stitches on an inch with it, upside counted, it's soft, flexible and feels so luxurious to use! Normal silk batting beards a lot, but with this particular brand, the bearding is no issue.


When a quilt is for every day use, but not rough use, I choose 100% cotton, the Mountain Mist White Rose. It's soft, it handquilts great, it's clean, smooth, but hardly available in the Netherlands. Therefore sometimes I have to switch to Hobbs 80/20, although it has not my preference. The 100% cotton and the 80/20 of Hobbs are a whole different ballgame, with the little black seeds in them, that shine through my white fabric, even give a yellow halo. I prewash batting, but with the Hobbs, I even check on removing the black seeds. Imagine, a king size batting, checking every inch front and back for those tiny little things! I really prefer White Rose.

And when a quilt is for rough everyday use, as for the cat, a child, a person who has no idea how to wash a quilt, or a machine quilt with no show aspirations? Thank you IKEA for your Irma fleece! For $2.49 (in the Netherlands €1.50) a 67"x51" batting, I stitch two or three fleeces together with a blanket stitch to get the right size, and I am ready to go!
In the washing machine at 104 F, a perfectly simple and steady batting at a few dollars.

Have fun quilting!
Annemart



9 comments:

  1. Thank you, this are great informations for me. I am a Beginner in Handquilting and i have a lot of questions. Now i know, which batting i have to use for my different projects.
    Greets from Germany

    Iris

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  2. I hope you understand that the use of batting is a personal preference and not "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth"! ;-) There are people who swear on Hobbs 80/20, there are people who love the Hobbs Tuscany 100% cotton, there are people who love Fairfield, or polyester batting from their local market.

    What helps, when you're a beginner, is to try to get some swatches from you local quilt shop, to test drive. Buy a crib-size batting, or ask for samples. I have been on show in the US and took samples wherever I could get them. I listened to others, and tried what worked best for me. What I wrote down, is my world. And maybe that changes in a few months when I visit Houston again.

    Therefore: take my words as a personal experience, and read many more. Then work with what works for you. And if that is a polyester batting from the market, or you swear on silk for every quilt, it's o.k.. As long as you are happy!

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  3. I use the Tuscany silk and wool battings for both hand and machine quilting. I love them and you are right, with the wool, the needle goes through smoothly.

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  4. Is the fleece from Ikea polyester?

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  5. I haven't used anything from the Tuscany collection of batting - do they have cotton also? I always like cotton as it shrinks a little bit and I like that look.
    I haven't ever tried any of the silks or wools.
    Karen

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  6. Great information, I heard the white rose is nice but haven't tried that brand. I have ordered a silk batt to try out.The good thing is that there are so many great battings on the market now but it is confusing for beginners.

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing,talent,knowledge and your time.

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  8. I am looking for SILK batting. Not silk/poly but SILK. I had purchased some, years ago from Richland Village Silk who I have discovered is no longer in business. Does anyone know of another source???

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  9. I just received a gift of 100%silk batting. I have never used it so I was wondering if I could use it in a quilt ? Can it be washed or only dry cleaned? Thanks.

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