Open Line Friday–Batting

Free Motion Quilting, Batting

Welcome back to another episode of Open Line Friday. First, I’d like to mention that I have opened a Flickr Group –The Inbox Jaunt Quilting Guild.  If you would like to add a photo–search the Flickr groups.  I will be providing more information on how to upload a photo to Flickr in an upcoming post, but if you are already Flickr-savvy-please add your photos anytime.  Also, you can follow The Inbox Jaunt on Instagram.  Even better, if you add  #theinboxjaunt to your photos–we can get our own quilt guild going on Instagram as well!  It is extremely easy to post a photo from your camera to Instagram–so give it a try!

I have had a lot of questions about marking and batting  This week we will discuss batting and we’ll save marking for next Friday.

Last year, I stitched two “college quilts” for my twin daughters.  I used Hobb’s Wool Batting–which is “100% Washable”.  The manufacturer recommends hand or gentle-cycle washing.  They also do not recommend using a dryer.  By those standards, my daughters’ quilts were abused for the last year–washed in a harsh, college dorm washing machine and dried in the equally harsh, dryer-for several minutes and then hung to dry.  Even with this unfavorable treatment–these quilts feel fabulous!  The wool gets better with age and use!  Both of these quilts feel cozy and warm and like a quilt should feel on a cold winter day!  I have used wool batting for several years, because I also like how resilient it is with heavy quilting, but until the College Quilts, I had not washed any of those quilts very frequently.

Free Motion Quilting, Batting

Back of college quilt

When I am stitching a small table runner or vase quilt, I don’t always want the “bounce” or loft of wool. In that case, I use cotton.  I have used both Warm and Natural and Quilters Dream Cotton and I like them both.  They both wash well and hold up to heavy quilting.  Overall, cotton is flatter than wool-though with heavy quilting, both are quite nice.

Free Motion Quilting, Batting

I have heard good things about silk and bamboo batting and have even heard that some people layer batts.  I would love to hear from YOU

Free Motion Quilting, Batting

Depending on your point of view, you may have a different choice of bats?

Baseball Bats

Let’s get the conversation in full swing!


46 thoughts on “Open Line Friday–Batting

  1. I use Hobbs Heirloom, 80/20 cotton/poly batting. It has a little loft and drapes well. It also washes and dries well. But since you say the wool also launders well, I’ll give it a try.

  2. I too love the Hobbs wool. It is snuggly, lightweight and shows off my quilting. I have heard though, that drying in the dryer might cause it to beard. On dark quilts it especially be noticeable. I suggest my customers machine wash gentle, in cold water and then lie it flat to air dry. That is just to assure they don’t have any problems. It’s good to know that some quilts do fine dried in the dryer–but I like to cover my bases. It is a dream to quilt on. Highly recommended. I do use a flat cotton if it’s going to be a table runner or small wall quilt. Right now I am working on a small quilt (44″ x 44″) I intend to hang on the wall. I’m using two layers of batting–a Hobbs 80/20 on the bottom, to give it some weight, and a lofty poly on top (wool might have been better but I was trying to save $$) in hopes that the quilting will really show. I intend to heavily quilt it. When I am finished, I will put it on my blog so you can see how it turns out. It’s for our guild’s quilt show next week so I need to get cracking!

  3. I use the Hobbs Tuscany line of battings. Mostly the 100% cotton, but have used the washable wool (good resiliency) and the silk is quite lovely, too, and lightweight–think “garments.”

  4. Personally, I love the Hobbs 80/20, both for hand and machine quilting, and have used it for years. We began carrying the Winline battings–cotton, cotton/poly, 100% bamboo, and 50/50 bamboo/organic cotton blend–and like them very well, especially in my longarm, since I find they don’t throw a lot of lint into the bobbin case. FYI they also carry a black poly/cotton blend that is great for dark quilts.

      • I’ve used Winline bamboo and it is my favorite so far. Very soft, drapes nice, even when heavily quilted and has a warmth factor like wool. A bit more spendy but for a bed quilt, it’s wonderful. I haven’t used it for wall quilts as I think cotton layered with poly works better in that application.

  5. Hi, love your top quilting Lori!
    Haven’t tried bamboo . . would like to see comments on that.
    I use Hobbs 80/20 for almost all my quilting of table items and wall hangings.
    I don’t think one can beat ‘wool’ for bed quilts>it’s just lovely! Now I have used wool other batts seem so heavy. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Honey–Your work gives new meaning to “heavy quilting.” Do you always –I don’t know– quilt so close together? I have trouble filling in a 12×12 pillow top, let alone a bed quilt. What can make me go faster? Better planning? Bigger motifs? I also hate to waste time on an area that the fabric design doesn’t let the quilting show well.

  7. I am about to sew a baby quilt that will have a medium amount of quilting on it. Would you suggest using the wool or low loft polyester batting?? I heard the wool batting shows less wrinkles or fold marks, but I have never used it. I am a new follower of yours, Lori, and I am totally inspired by your great free motion quilting. Your tutorials are fantastic! I found you on Pinterest.
    Thank you so much for sharing them.

  8. I mainly use Warm & Natural or Heirloom 80/20 batting since those are available locally. I did use a bamboo batting once in a quilt and found it bearded and produced a lot of lint when quilting. Recently I took a class and the instructor commented on bamboo batting…that it isn’t very eco-friendly due to the processes and chemicals req’d to breakdown the bamboo so that it can be made into batting. I don’t know what the process is but it does make me wonder about that.

    • I had the same experience with bamboo: bearding and very dusty. When I use up the amount I purchased, I will not use it again. Can’t wait to now try wool.

  9. The quilting you did on your daughter’s quilt is gorgeous. I’ve used Quilters Dream Cotton (lowest loft), Warm and Natural and like them both. I’ve never used wool batting but it seems everyone who has used it likes it.

  10. I tried Hobbs Wool on a king size quilt for our bed that gets washed twice a year and I have found it great, washes well, and it goes into the dryer until its damp dry. It’s lightweight and warm. I did use Warm and Natural until the local price went insane and switched to Arctic Cotton which is an 80/20 blend. I can get it wholesale, it’s a lighter weight than Warm and Natural but I don’t mind it at all.

  11. I use either Hobbs Heirloom or Hobbs 80/20 and have been pleased with both of them, but will try the wool. I’ve bought a batt but was reluctant to use it-I sure will now after what you shared about your daughters quilts.I tried anw batt by warm and natural called Soft and Bright and was very disappointed. I quilted what I would call medium quilting and my quilt was kinda stiff. I’m going to try washing it but usually don’t need to do that. Love your site!

    • Hi Joann, I have found that many of my quilts feel stiff when I am finished quilting. It may be in part the heavy quilting I prefer. All of my quilts have gotten much softer with a few washings–no matter the batting. I would wait to judge the Soft and Bright until you’ve washed it.

  12. I use Warm and Natural for the most part. I have tried the green (from plastic bottles..forget the brand), wool and bamboo. I LOVED the wool! BUTTAH! That quilt was for my DD who lives in South Dakota.. The green batt and bamboo were fine. I dont ‘remember much so didnt’ make much of an impression. I have a quilt on the frame I am using double batt on- customer request. (QD poly request and QD cotton request) those are both the thinnest in that line. I wish I had gone up a thickness in one as she wanted a bit more loft.

    • I have never used two layers of batting before, though it seems everyone is doing so. Do you have any problems with the battings shifting relative to one another?

  13. So nice to be living in North America. Out here in Madagascar there are no battings of any kind to be found. I use two layers of prewashed flannel. It seems to work well for small quilts and bed quilts. I heavily quilt my pieces and they aren’t stiff.

    • Elizabeth, I’m curious, does it get cold enough there to need batting in a quilt?? Good idea using the two layers of flannel. I have also used an old fleece blanket as batting, just have to make sure you don’t stretch it out too much when sandwiching, I can pick them up in thrift stores for $2 or $3.

      • Yes it does get cold in the winter. Especially in the high interior 10 to 15 C. When you are used to 35 to 40C even 20C seems cold for the Malagasy.

    • Have you always lived in Madagascar? My husband has a college friend from there–what a wonderful island–and home of the lemurs? Is it possible to order batting online or is the cost prohibitive? We know we are lucky to have all of this at our “fingertips” (no pun intended)-but thanks for reminding us again.

  14. I use Hobb’s 80/20 a lot and Quilters Dream wool batting. I love them both! The wool is very lightweight and has a nice drape to it. I was at a quilt show today and Winline was there selling bamboo batting. She developed this batting at the request of her brother-in-law (I think) who is a fabric rep. She had a quilted sample that was 5 years old and had been washed many times. It had a nice feel to it and a beautiful drape. It had a little more loft than cotton batting. It feels silky smooth and hers isn’t green. I might have to try it for myself.

  15. I use the Hobbs 80-20, as that is available to me in a very local fabric store. The quiltstore, a little further away, has different batts on offer, but the prices are outrageous. A quilt I made last summer for a friend has gotten a lot of use, and now it is so soft! I had never guessed it would keep this well. I have ordered nore of the Hobbs!

  16. I was recently introduced to Thermore batting and have really liked it – thin, light weight, and drapes well. Good price on Amazon.

  17. Lori, don’t know why the leave a reply box was not showing up until today. I want to try the Hobbs wool next. Have been using 80/20. What would you recommend for comfort quilts for chemo patients? Thank you so much for your FMQ tutorials. I started using them on my currents quilts. I have one machine with a large quilt, and another with a lap comfort quilt going. Thank you, thank you for your generosity!

    • Hi Linda,
      I’m not sure about the reply box…one of the computer mysteries…I am so glad you are enjoying the tutorials. I will be over at your site later today. I really love the wool batting and would recommend that for chemo quilts. I haven’t tried the 80/20 but it was the most popular in the informal survey last Friday. I would give the wool a try and I am going to give the 80/20 a try. It think its always fun to try new things.!

  18. I saw the posts about bearding and dusty lint with bamboo batts. There are several manufacturers of bamboo batting, so don’t judge them all the same. Winline batting is cream colored and I do have a Longarm machine. There was very little if any lint in the bobbin case, no dust and I used it in a quilt with black fabric front and back …….no bearding. So you might try Winline and be very surprised. And no I don’t have any money to gain by this recommendation

  19. Lori, after coming back and looking at your college quilts again, I am amazed at the quilting designs you come up with. How do you decide what and where you are going to quilt when planning out a quilt??

    • Hi Laura,
      Thank you. I’m glad you liked the college quilts. When I make my “doodle quilts” I usually start by drawing out a few large squares and large borders. I had a triangle ruler, so I added the triangles around the quilt, too. Then I just start filling in the different shapes with quilting. I do very little pre-planning. I like to work spontaneously. I am always doodling, so when I finish one area, I just look in my notebook and find another motif. I quilt that and look to my notebook again. I try to mix linear shapes with more curvy shapes for contrast. Check out this post: Divide and Conquer I will be writing more about this method in the weeks ahead… Thanks for your great question.

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