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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wool Batting

Quilting Season (aka Autumn) has officially started and I'm about 9 hours into my first go with wool batting.
I pulled the Mayan Heron out of the UFO pile.  It is a reverse applique of a Dover Clip Art design.
After years of having people as "how long does that take you?", I am finally keeping track this time.  There's a series of pics from the first 5 hours on my blog.  The pictures are taken from the back so you can actually see the progress.


The background batik is a dragonfly print.  I am quilting around select dragonflies.  The wing-span is 2-2.5 inches and I am trying to limit the empty space between them.  Normally, I over-quilt.  This time I want to emphasize the loft of the wool.
Here's the 9 hour progress from the back picture.

Now it's time for your in-put.  I am a wool batting virgin and have many questions that I hope y'all can help me with.  The batting I purchased at JoAnne's on a roll and the only information on the bolt label is "100% virgin wool.  Hand Soak. No Wringing. Dry Flat."   On-line sources vary on their options about quilting distance and washing directions.

As you can see from the ruler I included in the picture, there are spaces 6" long without quilting but  with narrower space between.  I was planning to machine wash, cold,  on "delicate" setting and dry flat. The material was not pre-washed, as I had planned on quilting with cotton looking for the 3% shrinkage to give the wrinkly look I love.

Your thoughts?

12 comments:

  1. This is pretty :) I love wool batting, but I've only ever used Hobbs washable Tuscany wool. I wonder if the virgin wool, labeled hand soak, will shrink far, far more than you want?

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    1. Hoping for shrink, worried about the way that it does so.

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  2. That's really good-looking, both the bird and the background!
    Machine washing the fleece is unfortunately a really good way to create felt.
    Lumpy felt.
    Many *spun and woven* woolen fabrics can be hand-washed even if the label doesn't say so, but the spinning into thread semi-permanently aligns the fibers so they aren't so likely to bunch up and become felt. Seriously, unless you have a scrap left over to make a washing-swatch, follow the care instructions.

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    1. Brilliant idea. I do have required scrap. Thanks for the reminder.

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  3. I love all your dragonflies so far. I have only used Hobbs washable wool for quilting. I do know that felting takes place with the change in temperature and agitation, so if you gently wash in cool water and lay it out to dry you should be ok. The hobbs washable wool shrinks less than cotton batting does so it is a different look. Not sure what your virgin wool will do? Sure hope you share that experience also.

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  4. I would definitely wash a swatch and see how much it shrinks. I have only used the Hobbs Tuscany and it quilts and washes well. I'm not sure what yours will do either. Fingers crossed!

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  5. I have never used wool batting either, but am curious about it. Does it needle nicely?

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    Replies
    1. It is as wonderful as everyone claims that it is. I mostly notice that my hand doesn't get tired as fast.

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  6. I have never used wool batting I keep intending to but never get around to it.

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  7. You'll need to give us an update after your "test wash". I am also curious how it works.

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  8. Just to say I have loved looking at your blog - I know nothing of wool batting, but I do know that I love the dragonfly quilt; it is really effective. I have also tried to time myself when working, but I always get in a muddle when I start deducting time off for a cup of coffee, answering the phone, etc. All gets a bit complicated! xCathy

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    Replies
    1. Timer app on phone. However, I do occasionally forget to un-pause.

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