More Answers – Batting

I knew I’d forget something.

I was asked about batting.  I’ve had a love/hate relationship with batting for a long time.  While I don’t want to put any company down, I’ll share my honest thoughts here.

Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 used to be my favorite batting in the whole world.  I used it exclusively.  Then about 8 or 9 years ago, it seemed the quality began going downhill.  I’d get a roll that had what appeared to be coarsely chopped leaves or even twigs in it.  Then I’d get a roll that had what appeared to be shredded black batting woven into the white or unbleached batting.  Then I’d get a roll that felt a whole lot like a pot scrubber.  Each time I’d call Hobbs and complain, even returning swatches of the worst of the batting to them.  Each time they had a very good “excuse” as to why it happened . . all of which I felt should have been their problem . . not mine.  Finally I gave up and switched to something else.  In fairness, some of the powers that be have left Hobbs, new people are there but at the last quilt market I attended, I was almost talked into giving them another try, then I felt some of their samples and decided it wasn’t enough of an improvement to get my business.

Quilters Dream batting is great.  Never ever had any quality problems with them.

Warm & Natural is great.  I love it for wall hangings and I like it for quilts too but it’s heavy and when I’m shipping 20 or more quilts at a time, the weight adds up.  These could be quilts going off to be photographed or quilts being donated to an orphanage or as QOV’s so I have to take that weight into consideration.

For the past 5 years or so, Mountain Mist Rose batting was my preferred batting.  Mountain Mist has a new owner, the lady I always dealt with there is gone and I’m not sure if anything has changed with their batting so I hesitate to give a definite recommendation even on them.

There are so many new battings out there.  At quilt market, I was really surprised at how many batting names I’d never even heard of.

Ask any quilter or any shop owner about their favorite batting and you’re going to get probably as many that prefer one batting as another.  It’s a matter of personal preference.  I don’t think you can go wrong with Quilter’s Dream or Warm & Natural and probably not Mountain Mist.  Go in a quilt shop and asked the ladies what they prefer and why.  Feel the different battings and see what works for you.  Buy one, try it and then try another til you find one you love.

The qualities I like in a batting are qualities some don’t like.  I like cotton because it shrinks when washed and I like that look.  I like a little bit of poof if I’m making feathers.  If I’m making quilts to be mailed, I like lightweight batting.  If I’m making quilts for children or injured soldiers, I know they’ll be washed a lot and poly works good for that.

The more you know about the content and character of any batting, the better your chance of getting a batting that will work for your specific project.  There’s probably not a once size fits all type batting that works for everything.  If I were making only quilts for my own beds, then I’d stick with Mountain Mist Rose or Quilters Dream Cotton.  If I were making only wall hangings, I’d stick with Warm & Natural.

So . . I haven’t answered this question at all, have I?

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Well now that brought up another question… you send your quilts out to be photographed? I just purchased a backdrop stand, and will probably invest in some photographer lighting next.

  2. 3

    Julianne says

    Quilters dream green quilts up nice and is warm washes up OK and light weight for mailing.. made from recycled bottles. Not sutiable for all quilts because it is light green in color. I have not used it a lot but I will use it again..I like it.

  3. 4

    says

    My two-bits as a machine quilter with long arms, not a long-arm quilter. I buy the rolls of the Warm & Natural as it is my favorite. There have been times when I have quilted large tops that became heavy towards the end, however I like the way they finish. I also like the way W & N sews together when I am using up all the little pieces for smaller quilts. In all fairness, I also have used and liked Mountain Mist. Thank you for all the posts on long-arm quilting…quite an eye opener.

  4. 5

    says

    I’ve tried Quilter’s Dream Green for a couple of wall-hangings and table toppers and like it so far. Mostly, I’ve used Warm & Natural. Thanks for giving us your honest feelings on this topic.

  5. 6

    Donna in KS says

    I like Quilter’s Dream products too. What’s your feeling about or experience with wool? bamboo?

  6. 7

    says

    Yup, not all battings are the same and each of us have our favorites. My most favorite is wool, preferably QD but Tuscany is a very close second. I just love the feel of the stuff and sleeping under it is a dream.

  7. 8

    Alison in UK says

    There is no one size fits all batting, you should look at each project and decide what you want in finished look and feel, whether you’re hand or machine quilting, how often it’ll be washed, etc, etc. If you make mainly bed quilts quilted on a long arm then you would probably use the same batting most times, but it makes such a difference to the finished piece that you need to give it careful consideration and not just use what your LQS sells. I sell batting (in the UK, don’t worry I’m not going to start plugging my store!), we stock over 40 different varieties from Hobbs, Quilters Dream, Warm Co and Matilda’s Own (must try to get some mountain mist), I have quilted up samples using about 20 different ones, and it is astonishing how different they all feel. If you can find someone online doing a good sample pack, you should get one and just see how different they all are.

  8. 9

    says

    I tried Hobbs Heirloom last month – we were Stateside and I picked up 2 rolls of Hobbs 80/20 and 2 rolls of Warm and Natural. The Hobbs felt like a sheet of compacted polyester – it was awful – I think it’s 20/80 c/p – not the other way around, lol. No more Hobbs for me. I really like Warm and Natural, and I want to try Quilters Dream and bamboo batting – I hear good things about both of them!

    • 9.1

      says

      My feelings exactly. The 80/20 of years and years ago was so hard to beat. I can’t help but long for the days when that batting was soft and fluffy, had just enough fluff to give feathers definition but wasn’t so fragile as to stretch too much when pulled and tugged on at the longarm. I have quite a bit of batting in packages that I had purchased before I began buying it on rolls and most of those packages are the old 80/20. Every time I open one, I smile at what the batting used to be and then I’m sad that it is no longer that way.

      But, no reason to be sad — there’s plenty of batting out there and you can bet there’s a perfect type batting for our every want, need and desire.

  9. 10

    says

    Hi Judy! I used to use 80/20 all the time, and then had the same problems you mention. I love it because I could hand quilt as well as machine quilt it. Warm and natural is very hard for me to needle through, but I love it for it’s stbility properties in wall hangings. I will try the quilter’s dream, have not tried that one yet. By the way…I used TWELVE yards of old, old stash this week!!

    • 10.1

      denise says

      The only thing Warm and Natural is good for is a wall hanging that is not expected to drape and you are not trying to show off fancy quilting. Years ago I bought a entire box of 4 king size Warm and Natural batts. The first one I took out of the package had a huge melted wad in the middle of it. I called Warm and Natural and they sent me another box and told me to use what ever batting that was still good in the first box for charity quilts. So I have had a lot of experience with this batting. My kids did not like any of the quilts I made from it! The quilts were stiff as a board. It is terrible for fancy quilting. It just lays there getting stiffer and stiffer. Quilting looks more like embroidery. There is just no puff. However it made an excellent design wall, since it’s as tough as nails.

  10. 11

    Darlene B says

    I was so glad to hear about your experience with Hobbs 80/20. Last year I made a king size quilt for my parents and bought Hobbs. When I opened the package, it felt really rough and scratchy…..so I thought maybe pre-soaking it would help. I followed the directions on the package, but then it seemed really thin in spots, and I didn’t dare use it. I was really frustrated! (I kept it to use for smaller projects, but then I still hesitate and tend to use up scraps of other battings instead.) So I bought Warm & Natural and had it quilted with that. But it certainly is heavy!! I’d really like to try wool sometime, and maybe bamboo since a friend of mine just used that in a few quilts and loves it.

  11. 12

    says

    I like Mountain Mist for most of my quilting. I use the poly batts for my charity quilting…same reasoning…lots of washing, need to be quick drying. I haven’t tried the QD green yet, sounds like one I would like. I do like W&N, but I agree that it’s heavy, stiff and doesn’t draw up when washed like the cotton batts.

  12. 13

    Cindy says

    I used one of the sample batt’s you gave me for a small wallhanging last week and it was made from Soy (is there anything that bean can’t do?) I’m going to try to dig for the label. It was sooooo soft. I’d like a blanket made out of just the batt. Or a sweater maybe. Nice, nice stuff. It’s hard to tell how it worked up because of the fusible I used, but I would imagine it would be really nice to hand or machine quilt.