Wednesday, July 25, 2012

(Almost) Everything You Wanted To Know About Batting

*This post will also showcase pictures from the Denyse Schmidt workshop (randomly interspersed :) )*
At our July meeting, we discussed batting and passed around samples of different kinds. Even though we are quilters of all levels, the batting discussion took off and seemed to enlighten us all!

Some notes:
  • We passed around samples of 100% cotton, cotton/poly blend, wool, hi-loft and low loft poly batting, 2 brands of Hobbs and Quilters Dream batting, and a very inexpensive batting. We also looked at how quilting looks with high loft batting.
  • We talked about how there is both a right and wrong side to batting. Sometimes it is difficult to visually tell sides apart. Did you know (or have you experienced) “bearding,” which means that bits of batting appear through your fabric if the batting is not layered with right side up?
  • One way to discern the right and wrong side of batting, if it is not visibly obvious, is to poke a pin into batting several times. Whichever side the pin pokes through the most easily is the side that should go facing up directly under the pieced top. (I'm going to try this!)
  • Each batting manufacturer recommends quilting lines to be a maximum number of inches apart to keep the batting flat and not bunch up. These requirements should be found on individual packaging, so it's a good idea to look before you start working with your batting!
  • TIP: Pre-washing or, at least, putting the batting in a dryer for 5-10 minutes guards against it shrinking after quilting. If you desire a more “crunched up” look, do not pre-wash. I wrote in my notes that this works well with cotton batting - I don't know how it works with other blends, though.
  • When hand quilting, the needle slips through wool batting much more easily than cotton batting, which saves you from sore fingers! Maybe try wool batting on your next hand quilting project. 
  • Cheaper batting does not take well at all to the pull and tug of machine quilting, and members could see how easily it pulled apart. It's probably a good idea to get "good" batting, if you don't already. You don't want your projects to get ruined in the long run!

Alllright! Okay, it wasn't everything you need to know about batting, but there are some interesting tips in there, right? (hope you enjoyed the pictures, too!) And thank you so much to Sandy for an excellent write up of our discussion!

Hope to see you at the Sewcial tomorrow night! (see previous post)
-Jess H.