I have found that a lot of the really good quilting knowledge is usually passed down, person to person. Most of the really good quilting knowledge I have learned, has came from a person directly giving me advice.
It is a lot easier to do the rocking motion in hand quilting with a smaller needle. It actually makes small stitches!
No quilt is ever perfect. You are usually the only person that can see the mistakes in your quilts.
In today's blog post, I would like to share some of my thoughts on batting.
My first thought is this: Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That doesn't make it wrong. Everyone has their own preferences on which batting to use. All lot of this is based on where you live, how hot it is, how warm you want the quilt to be, the use of the quilt, what is available to you, prices, and experience. A lot of what I share is based on what I have learned and my experience.
So let's talk about the different types of batting.
Cotton Batting - This is a renewable product. It is breathable. Someone once told me they use a lot of pesticides on the cotton because of all the bugs so an organic cotton is very hard to find and probably really expensive.
Polyester Batting - Polyester is a petroleum based, man-made product. It is very warm and does not breathe. This kind of batting is good for humanitarian projects, giveaways, or something that needs a lot of strength.
Wool Batting - Wool is a breathable and very warm. Usually it is thin. You can't dry it otherwise it will shrink a ton. So wash very gently and hang dry. It is usually mixed with polyester.
80/20 Batting - This means 80% cotton and 20% polyester. This one is sold the most and used the most. It is soft and drapes well. It is good for fluffy type quilts that need some loft or to show off the quilting.
Silk Batting - I didn't know this existed until recently! It is very light weight and breathable. It is warm and vey expensive and hard to find.
Bamboo Batting - This is a natural batting that does not use pesticides. It drapes well even when it is quilted a ton. It is warmer than cotton, breathable, light weight, and washable. It doesn't need babying. It costs about 1/3 more than the 80/20.
Cotton/ Bamboo Batting - This is about a 50/50 mix. You get some of the properties of both the cotton and the bamboo, but not at the same strength as each one individually.
There are some terms that are used with batting that are good to know too.
Scrim - This is a very thin polypropylene fabric, kind of like a dryer sheet, that the manufacturer uses to needle punch the batting together. This adds strength. and helps it stay together. Not all battings have this. Wool and Bamboo usually don't.
Shrinkage - This is how much the batting is guessed to shrink after washing. You don't have to prewash batting. If you don't you will end up with the crinkly type look. Not a problem. If you want the quilt to be super flat, you can prewash the batting. Prewash in warm water for 15 minutes. Wring it out by hand and lay flat or hang to dry.
Bearding - This is when little bit of batting come through the fabric. This can be due to many things. Bad needles, bad batting, bad fabric, bad tension, etc.
Loft - This is how thick the batting is. Bigger lofts are puffy. Thinner lofts lay flat.
What ever batting you use can also depend on the project. For table runners when I want something, but not a lot of puff, I will use just a piece of scrap flannel.
Most of this knowledge I got from a presentation made by a distributer of Winline Batting. I learned a lot about battings in general, but I also took some of the knowledge with a grain of salt knowing that I was in a sales presentation.
If you have anything you want to share about batting, leave a comment below. I would love to learn from you!
Have fun quilting!