Batting-A Machine Quilting Quick Tip

Annie Smith Applique

Happy Monday, Quilters!

It was a busy weekend here–signing and shipping hundreds of copies of my new book–Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3!  You can still get an autographed copy from my Etsy shop HERE

It was great fun to see so many familiar names!!!

I LOVED reading the notes many of you left with your orders–Thank YOU!

I’ve heard a few of you have found copies at your Local Quilt Shop!  Woo hoo!  Have you started working your way through the motifs?  Are you skipping around?


Several weeks ago, I was honored to be asked to quilt Annie Smith’s “Love is Spoken Here” quilts.  The quilts are to showcase her appliqué and her 28wt thread collection for Aurifil.

The 28 wt thread is perfect for appliqué–AND perfect for machine quilting! (See Love is Spoken Here thread collections)
Quilt Batting


As you know, I usually quilt with white thread on  bright color fabrics–so this project was a fun stretch of my skills–and an opportunity to try new things.

One thing I learned….The white batting fibers really showed up on top of the quilt–and it was very difficult to clean.

Next time, I would use black batting for a black background quilt!

Quilt Batting


Cotton batting has dark flecks which may show through on white or very light fabrics.

One side of the batting seems to have more flecks than the other–so just flipping the batting can make  a difference.

Quilt Batting

The other option is to use bleached white batting…

Quilt Batting

My two favorite battings are Warm and Natural cotton for art quilts because it is low loft.

And wool batting (it is washable) for bed quilts.  It quilts beautifully and is as soft as butter with time and use!

What about YOU?

What’s YOUR favorite batting?

We’d LOVE to hear!


PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!

50 thoughts on “Batting-A Machine Quilting Quick Tip

  1. I love Dream Cotton batting. No dark flecks ever. The consistency is wonderful. With white fabrics I use the white version. It comes in many fibers but I like the cotton so much I’ve not felt a need to try the others. And I love supporting my local quilt shop as it is only sold at independent quilt shops.

    • Quilters Dream battings are my favorite, too. I haven’t tried their wool batt yet but plan to soon. I tried Quilters Dream Green (made from recycled soda bottles) and was pleased with the results. Anxiously awaiting delivery of Lori’s book which I preordered from Amazon when Lori first announced it months ago! Thank you, Lori!

    • I LOVE Dream Cotton batting too…it doesn’t have those dark flecks and it’s very soft. It comes in several different thicknesses too :-). Looking forward to the book. I ordered it on because shipping to Canada from your etsy site would have added $20 too the book! So, I’ll just have to do without the autographed part LOL. Maybe someday we’ll meet in person and I’ll take my book along and get that autograph 🙂

  2. I’m glad you posted about batting. I usually use Warm & Natural in my mini quilts, but find that if I spray baste and then try to quilt with my walking foot, the needle in my machine pulls out while I’m quilting. The only thing I can figure is that it’s due to the thickness of the batting combined with the tackiness of the basting spray. Wondering if there is a different batting I should try.

    • Piecefulwendy, I’ve done as you do for years with no difficulty. However, I did try using a different basting spray than my 505, and it was disastrous. The needle kept gumming up and I had to change it repeatedly. Never again. Spraying lightly, ironing, and my cotton batting are all I need. Sometimes, with a larger quilt I will also pin after ironing. Hoping this helps.

    • I also use Warm and Natural for my wall hangings, table runners, and other small projects. I use 505 basting spray and iron it well after both the top and backing are on. That dries the basting spray and it is no longer tacky. I’ve tried other basting sprays but the 505 works the best. I never have a problem quilting with it. Try ironing both sides well before quilting and see if that helps with the adhesive spray you are using. If not, try the 505. I find Nancy’s Notions usually has the best price. JoAnn has the small cans you can get with a coupon. I think you’ll like it.

    • I love bamboo too, for the same reason. It takes heavy quilting really well, and still feels soft. It is a dream to lay out because it seems to have just the right ‘stickiness’. It is light weight, so great for mailing. It suits our humid climate, but is still warm. So many reasons to love bamboo.

      • What brand bamboo batt did you use? I tried Fairfield’s and hated it – it left very fine long fibers on my quilt top while I quilted it – from the exposed batting around the edges of the quilt top. I know I could have pinned the excess backing over the batting, but I don’t think I should have to do that.

  3. Getting your book soon! Love the quilt that you are working on. I learned my lesson as well and had to swap a batting out to put black before I quilted it as fibers were immediately coming up thru the dark fabric. Some lessons you learn the hard way. Have used Quilters Dream cotton but going to try Warm and Natural. I usually use Hobbs 80/20. Lori – tried to reach you over the weekend. Do you go to out of state Quilt Guilds to do workshops? Our guild would be interested. Could you send me how to reach you if you do this? Use my email address to let me know.

  4. Can’t wait to receive your book in another few days! I have a quick question: what do you do about the loose threads from your quilting? Do you hide each one by stitching it by hand in between the quilt layers so that it’s invisible or do you stitch back and forth a few times? I’ve heard that if you are thinking of showing your quilt, stitching back and forth is frowned upon. What do you do? (I did try to find the answer by using the search box on your blog, but couldn’t find a post about this.) Thanks so much.

  5. There is a right and wrong side to batting. The dark fleck side or the smoother side of the batting is always up. This is especially important on a longarm machine. The needle will push batting thru to the other side and make tiny spots if it is upside down. The flecks won’t show thru on most whites, but if they do you are right to suggest an all white batting. I like a heavy warm and natural for my wall hangings if they are larger so they hang flat. I like the wool battings and and I am starting to like Warm and Soft as it has a nice drape.

  6. GREAT tip on the black batting! I just quilted a quilt for my Mom with a black background and it still has white fuzzies all over it – no matter how many times I lint brushed it! Next time – I will use black batting! It was nice to hear what other batting you like too – thanks for all the great information. I ordered your book on Amazon and am so excited about it!

    • Looking forward to your book – have ordered from Amazon. Just rec’d FM Guide for my Viking machine (looks like a little steering wheel) – excited to try my hand at FM.
      I also learned the hard way using a white batting under a black top several years ago (for elder grandson) & vowed never again. It doesn’t matter how much you brush or roller, the fuzzies won’t disappear & heavens forbid if you try pulling — DON’T! I found using a long sewing needle poked thru the top fabric only (between quilted areas) can help slide those unruly fibers back underneath (use a back & forth slide to catch the fibers – works for tails too). I put that on the instructions for him & apologized!
      I’m currently working on another one for younger grandson & used black batting — MUCH better (considered 2 layers as it’s thinner, but as he lives in FL now it should be ok). I’m swearing off black quilt tops for a while (it’s too hard to see to stitch w/ black thread on black background — altho’ I have plenty of black batting left (I purchased at JoAnn’s). Maybe I should try quilting w/ the Aurifil colorful threads!!
      My favorite batting so far is bamboo cotton (80/20), used a few years ago, when it first came out! It has great loft, lt-wt & quilts wonderfully by hand or machine. Because I’m in a hand quilting group, I do not like battings w/ a scrim.

      • I read somewhere that using a dark gray when quilting on black makes it much easier to see what you’re doing, and still blends in well. I haven’t done anything black since I read that, though.

        And I would have to order black batting online–I have never seen it in Helena, Montana!

  7. Because I use different battings I write which is used on the back label such as W for Wool, etc.
    Pat Hawk

  8. Quilter’s Dream cotton is the only one I use because it is free of scrim- the glue coating most other battings have. When fusing on scrim the scrim pattern will show through to the front of the fabric. No problem with Quilter’s Dream.

  9. So excited to receive the book any day now. I’ve bought black batting but haven’t used it yet. Also love quilter’s dream batting.

  10. Same here, awaiting my newly signed book, just love following you daily, I have just started quilting w/rulers on the boarders of a quilt with stars in black and white, oh what a mess I have had with fuzz stuff all over the whole quilt and the fuzz is coming up thru the fabric, I wish I would have known about black batting, 6 months to late, but next time and also to find about the right and wrong sides of the batting??? always learning, thank you Lori, and everyone who partakes in this journey.

    Hi Lori, I thought you were going to do spring flowers of the month??? just love all of it! even the train, I have an idea for it on the next quilt I make for my latest grandson.

    I can’t wait to see what’s next. Take care…

  11. I love using black batting, especially because I use a lot of black rather than white for background. But I find it hard to find. I live in “the boonies” so the only way I can get it is from JoAnns online, and it is 80/20. Seems rather stiff but it quilts fine.

  12. I love Quilters Dream Batting. There is no scrim or glue to gum up my machine. It does not shift nor lump. My quilts are warm, soft and not heavy. I bought Warm and Natural. I did not like how heavy and stiff it was. Some of it is now a second padding under my ironing board cover.

  13. Received a notice that my copy of your book is on the way excited..!!! I plan to try the wool batting next. Someone gave me some high loft polyester…not sure I can tackle that. The photo at the top of this page is heavenly.. I am in love !!! LOL looks similar to my husband’s ethnic culture background. Thanks for sharing it.

  14. I use Warm and Natural (just opening a new roll, in fact), although I will be using Quilters Dream batting on the next quilt going on the frame. Anxious to compare the two. Funny the subject of black batting was addressed since before clicking on your blog, I was shopping around for black batting. May try the new quilt shop I’ve been anxious to visit and see what they have in batting. This will be the first quilt I will be making using black as the background and possibly for the backing and I definitely do not want light pokies when I quilt it!

  15. I like Quilter’s Dream, request, it’s low loft and quilts beautifully. I do have a question for anyone. Is there a WHITE wool batting available? Lori, am getting ready to order my book! So excited!!!

  16. I love love Quilters Dream wool batting!! I will never go back to Hobbs. Quilters Dream is so consistent, soft, fluffy and a Dream to fmq through. No pesky bumps and lumps from being stretched out of shape from packaging either! I also use their cottons and love it too. Washes up great, all of it. I still like Warm and Natural Cotton, it’s affordable too.
    I pin baste everything. I tried the spray baste everyone seemed to use…made me so sick for days! Horrible headache and gummed up my needle although I do have to say I am not good at waiting for it to dry. Also if you read the can on the 505 it scares me off using it especially on baby or children’s blankets. I do wash them before I give them to the kids but still…it’s scared me off.
    Lori love the pic of you and your books!! I need to get mine ordered! :). Been busy around here!

    • Vanessa, thank you so much for your post. I have 505 on the shelf, i take it down and read it and put it back- scared to use it because of history with many allergies. I am going to give it away now.

      • Martha I have two cans to give away too! I will never use it again. My head hurt so bad for so long I could hardly function. I have a huge downstairs I sew in so not like I was in a small room or something…where do people use this…can’t take it outside in the winter…even so…mines out of here. :). Vanessa

    • I use 505 -sparingly, while running a table fan to keep the air circulating, and (in warm weather) a window open- and then I pin-baste. I’ve been doing mostly wallhangings and lap quilts, so if I were basting a bed quilt, I might be inclined to not spray-baste, or at least do it over several hours or even a couple of days. But if you are sensitive to airborne chemicals, yes, better to avoid them.

      • I have been thinking about taking my big tables that I use for basting outside to spray 505. I’m kind of scared of it, too, and have heard that the spray that escapes makes things sticky.

  17. I’d love a copy of your book but the postage is prohibitive to Australia. I’m hoping a local bookshop will stock it so I can buy it without having to pay the cost of the book in postage !

  18. I love Winline’s 100% Bamboo batting–drapes well, and quilts like a dream–and resists mold & mildew, an important consideration where I live!

  19. I have a batting/backing question. I am getting close to done with a quilt top, and I’m envisioning it with a snuggly, fuzzy flannel backing. But I already purchased wool batting for it. Do you think the flannel and wool together will make it TOO warm? I live in Montana, which, while not as cold as Minnesota, does get chilly!

  20. My UNeducated opinion….baste it together with pins thru the quilt top. Try taking a nap under it and see how it feels. Then decide?

  21. Ellen, I baste on my dining room table which has thick pads. I use newsprint or kraft paper to catch any overspray and I’m careful not to spray heavily – just enough to keep the layers from shifting. Then I pin baste and stitch in the ditch to secure the layers before doing the remaining quilting. Outdoors, I would think that any overspray would not be enough to make anything sticky. I would still protect the exposed table surface, though. Although I’ve never tried it, I’d think a cheap vinyl tablecloth would work, too, and it can be cleaned up with a damp cloth afterward. Good luck!

Comments are closed.