Years ago, probably in the mid 90′s, I fell in love with Hobbs batting. The Heirloom 80/20 was my favorite. It was about all I used in my quilts. I wasn’t making a lot of quilts back then but what I did make, I used only Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 for the batting. For the next 8 – 10 years, that was the only batting I considered. At some point before 2005, I began having problems with Hobbs battings. It seems that lots of people were having problems with them. I was quilting a lot for other folks and going through lots of rolls of batting and it seems that I heard every excuse in the book as to why Hobbs was sending out batting that was not the same as what I had once been getting. The problems I had ranged from finding discernible pieces of something . . which I assumed to be part of the cotton plant (leaves or twigs), to fairly large sections of black fiber mixed in with the ecru fiber (the excuse I was given was that the machine had not been cleaned properly after running black batting). The excuses just didn’t matter to me. If I was quilting a top with a white or off white background and came across a hunk of black batting, that was a big problem for me. At one point, the batting was so rough, I do believe I could have used it to scrub pots. That is when I gave up on Hobbs batting.
There are lots of battings that I like — Warm & Natural, Quilters Dream, Mountain Mist Rose. With the problems I had experience with Hobbs, I gave up being a batting snob and learned to like other battings for other reasons. While I liked these other battings, I never got over loving the old Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 that seemed to have been gone forever.
Six or so years ago, while at quilt market, I was talking with the Hobbs guy. He was a new guy. The man I had previously dealt with was gone. The new guy assured me Hobbs batting was similar to what I had used previously. I gave him an order but then as I thought about the trouble I had experienced, I went back and told him I had changed my mind.
Fast forward to December, 2012. I came across a batting sale and, because I was completely out of the extra wide batting of any brand (120″), I ordered a roll of Hobbs Heirloom 80/20. It’s been standing in the corner now for almost three months, with the plastic still wrapped around it. I would look at that roll of batting and yearn for the old Hobbs Heirloom 80/20. As long as I left the plastic covering over the roll, I couldn’t touch the batting. I didn’t know if it was scratchy and rough, or soft and fluffy. I didn’t want to know. I hoped it was soft and fluffy but I feared it was not.
For Nicole’s New Beginnings quilt, I had to use a wider batting. The quilt finished at 102″ x 102″. 96″ wide batting just wouldn’t work. I opened the roll of Hobbs Heirloom 80/20. It is soft. It is fluffy. It feels exactly like the old batting that I loved. Exactly! I didn’t come across any twigs or leaves or black fiber.
Everything is right in my quilting world again. My very favorite batting is my very favorite batting again! I truly never expected to feel that batting again. I’m not sure what made me decide to order Hobbs when I needed the extra wide roll but I’m surely glad I did.
If you were one of the quilters who experienced the problems with Hobbs products, you may want to give them another try, if you haven’t already.
For anyone who might be wondering, the folks at Hobbs have no idea that I even exist. They don’t know I wrote this. They don’t even know I ordered their batting. This is not an advertisement. I expect nothing from Hobbs in return for this blog post . . except that I expect them to continue making a soft fluffy batting without leaves and twigs and black fiber!