Batting Choices

On Thursday I went out to JoAnn’s to buy batting for my card trick lap quilt. (I’ve decided not to add any more borders. I’m just going to finish it at this point with binding in either the multicolor print (more likely) or white (less likely)). As I was browsing the various options for batting by the yard, I saw wool batting, which I had never seen before. For almost all of my quilts I have choosen 4 oz polyester batting. But for my tulip applique, which I am hand quilting, I went with Warm and Natural All Cotton batting. One of the women in my quilting group has found it really hard to work with – she said it’s too hard to get her needle through, but I have not had any problems. I don’t notice any difference between hand quilting it and hand quilting with polyester batting. So, when I was choosing batting for the card trick quilt, I initially looked at the polyester but instead went with Warm and White All Cotton. It helped that I had a 50% off coupon, as it’s quite a bit more expensive than polyester. This will be my first time machine quilting with cotton batting.

So, I was wondering, what kind of batting have other Crackpots used? What do you like and why?

2 Responses to “Batting Choices”

  1. Marty says:

    I’ve read that cotton batting is easier to machine quilt with. For one thing, it doesn’t slide against the fabric as much as the poly. Some use 80% cotton, 20% poly. Others use the wool batting. But, of course, these are experts who make prize winning quilts and write books.

    When I started, there was nothing but poly batting available so that’s what I used. And I got it at K-Mart. I’ve used Thermore, a thin poly batting, for clothing. The first few times I bought it, it was quite soft. The next couple of times it was stiffer and scratchy. I asked the Hobbs reps at the quilt show and they didn’t know anything about it. Snarl! I’ve also used Warm and Natural (or White) on wall hangings.

    One thing about cotton or mostly cotton batting is that it will shrink when washed and dried. Whether or not to preshrink would depend on the effect you want. I have preshrunk some cotton or mostly cotton batting, but I can’t quite remember how. I think the info was on the package, and I’m sure it’s online in multiple places–perhaps with multiple different directions.

    I think Rebecca uses the bamboo batting and she likes it. We also saw some corn-based batting at one of the quilt shows. The downside to that was that it couldn’t take the heat of an iron (and maybe the dryer). That’s a flaw, in my opinion.

  2. Rebecca says:

    I’ve used Warm and Natural, and my last couple quilts have used the organic cotton/bamboo batting. I like the cotton-bamboo batting, and plan to use it for my next baby quilt. The batting is super-soft to the touch, and I haven’t had any issues with machine-quilting it. It’s on the expensive side, but when do we crackpots buy batting that isn’t 40% or 50% off at JoAnn’s? There is some shrinkage (I’m far too lazy to pre-shrink), but I haven’t found it to be an undesirable amount. When I buy batting, I always check that the maximum quilting distance is large enough for me to be able to get away with a minimum of quilting, in-the-ditch only, and the cotton-bamboo met my requirements.

    Note that the environmentally-friendly reputation of bamboo fiber is a bit misleading, due to the amount of processing used to create the end product – basically, it’s a rayon made from bamboo fiber, and undergoes the same processing used to manufacture any other rayon.

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