Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Little Bit about Batting

Now that one of the teens has resumed school for her final year after a 2 1/2 month Summer break, I have  quickly come to realize that late nights and early mornings do NOT mix.  Only a little sewing has taken place so far this week:


A lot of unproductive time filled with distractions (as well as two days of 40C ~ ugh!).  As you can see I have unrolled my Sherbet Pips Jelly Roll (first time Jelly Roll user here folks ~ and also discovered that they're a little messy) and have stitched up a really simple quilt top and basted it.


Today I also cut into a new roll of batting ~ a wool/cotton blend batting (I buy a whole roll at a time which lasts for quite some time).
I am a long time fan of 100% cotton batting because it is a natural fiber with a low loft (height) which makes it easier to work with, and has great stability.  Cotton batting makes for a thin quilt with less bulk and a beautiful drape ~ and that's just how I like my quilts to look.

However, I am really keen to give this new Cotton/Wool blend product a try!  The Cotton/Wool blend batting is slightly more lofty than the 100% Cotton batting but I don't think it will make a noticeable difference in the quilt. This batting is all natural, great for allergies, cool in Summer, warm in Winter and machine washable.


Although polyester batting has many fine qualities (lightweight, cheap, easy to wash, quick to dry) I avoid it, preferring an all natural product over synthetic.  All bats are suitable for machine quilting, the product you use is a personal decision and one that very much affects the look of the finished quilt.

Preparing batting for use:
I have previously written about preparing/washing batting ~ see here.


Although the manufacturer's instructions indicate that batting does not shrink noticeably I do wash the batting  with a no-rinse cleaning product called SOAK before use.  It takes at least 4 hours for the water to be absorbed into the closely compacted fibers (I often leave it to soak overnight). I then drain the water and spin it in the washing machine at high speed to extract water. I either line dry the batting or if pushed for time, I will dry it in the dryer.   As I use an all natural batting product I remove wrinkles and creases (if any) with a dry iron.

I have not had any problems subjecting this brand of batting to this rigorous procedure.

Ready to start quilting ...
Rita

18 comments:

  1. As a newish quilter, I very much appreciate your thoughts on batting. It's so helpful!

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  2. Thanks for the batting tips! Happy quilting!

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  3. Hi Rita,
    I'm new to quilting to and as yet to make my first quilt (but am waiting for fabric to arrive to get stuck in). I really appreciate the info you put on your blog.

    I'm a bit confused about washing batting before quilting or after. I have read a few blogs where people talk about the satisfaction of washing a newly finished quilt and it gets all puckered up. Do you still achieve this when you have pre-washed your batting?

    Thanks
    D.

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  4. Hi Rita, As you have brought up the subject- have you any thoughts on bamboo? i have seen the batting and also bought some cotton/bamboo fabric at Patchwork House the other day. Any insider knowledge? thanks, and happy birthday for this week!

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  5. We don't have cotton batting in Poland, only polyester. And this topic is in my mind from couple weeks. I'm still looking for a perfect batting to my quilts and I haven't found it yet. I feel that batting that I'm currently using is too thick. Thank you for your post! Maybe I will look for cotton batting abroad.

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  6. let us know how it quilts! I've thought about trying it and would LOVE the wool blend for a bed quilt - these New England winters are f-f-f-freezing!! ;)

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  7. Thanks for your thoughts on batting. I have heard of SOAK before but never though to use it for prewashing!

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  8. Thanks so much for this...I really love the look of cotton as well. And your quilts looks so gorgeous and the drape is so lovely I always like to know what others use.

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  9. i like to use cotton batting as well. i wait for it to go 50% off and i buy a bunch. that lowers the cost quite a bit!

    can't wait to see your pips quilt!

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  10. I always appreciate any new hints on basting, batting, etc. I'm determined this is the year to learn how to do my own quilting.

    Your new header is beautiful! I would love to see the fourth quilt (from the left) in more detail. Is is possible to get info on the link on that?

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  11. Live a Colorful life said it all for me. Thank you for your insight and the great new banner!

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  12. Wow, your new header is FABULOUS. Wow. I'm a little dumbstruck.

    But, what I meant to say is that when I am a good enough quilters that my quilts look smooth and nice before washing, I'd like to try your presoaking method. Because I for one am not a fan of the wrinkly, just washed quilt look. I love yours!

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  13. Thank you for this information as I know very little abot batting and usually buy it at Michaels or Joanns. I think I would like to try this and thank you for the washing information. That is priceless!

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  14. If that was me, I'd think I'd been uber productive!
    Curious to know if you've tried the cotton/bamboo batting. I'm a fan!

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  15. Rita,
    I was just poking around your website. Don't have a comment about batting but your quilts are beautiful. I love the ColorStory quilt. And Wow, you have finished quilts for 2011 - impressive.
    Jodi

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  16. Hi Rita

    I have just tried SOAK in little sachets and am converted. So much less water waste when I am prewashing.

    Where do you buy it in Melbourne? - I am having a hard time finding the larger bottles in the unscented.

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  17. Hi Rita

    I have just tried SOAK in little sachets and am converted. So much less water waste when I am prewashing.

    Where do you buy it in Melbourne? - I am having a hard time finding the larger bottles in the unscented.

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  18. I have been on a batting testing journey for a couple of years now so far I have tested 83 different ones. Matilda is one I would love to get my hands on but they never responded to my request for samples. Maybe they thought most people in the US would use US products. Looks like that cotton/wool 60%/40% blend is wonderful! Today I tested a fusible product for batting. Come on by and follow my batting blog at: http://quiltersbattinguniversity.blogspot.com/ there is so much to learn with all the new fibers on the market making their way into our batting like soy,tencel,bamboo,rayon,silk and corn.Thanks for the info on Matilda's!
    Debra

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