Sunday, March 3, 2013

Batting Cheat Sheet...

At our February meeting we discussed lots of lovely batting options, here are some of the great tips we learned:

Thermore-- by HOBBS was designed for clothing and miniatures but is very versatile and should be used where thin batting is needed or preferred. Our Thermore® is made with 100% polyester and is surfaced treated with our unique process, creating a polyester batting that is guaranteed not to beard or migrate. May be quilted up to 8” apart and will not shrink.

Nature's Touch-- 100% Cotton Batting by Pellon® is made of 100% ultra clean cotton fibers which provide softness and durability. Quilters and crafters trust and love natural cotton due to the time proven qualities it lends to all projects. Cotton shrinks 3-5% [pre-soak as needed). The lightweight and soft stabilizing scrim binder provides strength and allows for a stitching area of up to 8-10" apart.

-- Lightweight and breathable
-- Needle-punched with scrim for extra stability
-- Soft and durable for beautiful draping
-- 1/4" loft
-- Washable by machine or hand. Dry Cleanable. 

Inn-Control Plus-- provides the resiliency of polyester foam combined with the dimensional stability of knit fabric but in a time-saving, double-sided fusible version. Your quilted designs have wonderful definition without added bulk or added weight. Easy to stitch, even multiple layers. Machine washable, permanent adhesive

Insul~bright--  consists of hollow, polyester fibers needlepunched through a nonwoven substrate and through a reflective metalized poly film. The needled material is breathable and won’t break down with washing. The hollow fibers resist conduction while the reflective metalized poly film resists radiant energy. The energy, hot or cold, is reflected back to its source.
  • Needlepunched Insulated Lining
  • Reflects Heat or Cold Back to the Source
  • No Pre-wash Necessary
  • Machine Wash and Dry
  • Made in the U.S.A.
*At least one layer of cotton batting is recommended with Insul~Bright when used as Oven Mitts or Pot Holders. Insul~Bright is heat-RESISTANT, NOT heat-proof.

Quilter's Dream-- 

Cotton:starts with the finest USA cotton and is carded, crosslapped and specially needlepunched. 100% natural and environmentally friendly, our batting proudly bears Cotton Incorporated’s seal.  Our special process prevents shifting and lumping.  It has a very high thermal value (R=3.8) warm yet light.
Stitching up to 8" apart allows quilters wonderful freedom of design. Needles (by machine and hand) glide smoothly through the fine, consistent, even webbing. The finished quilt may be machine washed and dried. Shrinkage is minimal. Drapes beautifully giving a traditional look and feel to your quilt. 
Like yesteryear’s treasured quilts of cotton, your quilts of today deserve the very best. Time tested 100% cotton, with its beauty and durability, has been the first choice for generations of quiltmakers.
Available in four lofts:

  • Request: Natural or White. Excellent for hand and machine quilting.
  • Select: Natural or White. Midloft for hand and machine quilting.  Excellent for crafts.
  • Deluxe: Natural or White. High loft. Machine quilts beautifully. Excellent for crafts.
  • Supreme: Natural or White. Thickest cotton batt of all. Excellent for kitchen crafts & comforters.
Poly:is not polyester as usual! The production of Microfibers (very fine denier, high quality polyester fibers) is one of the biggest breakthroughs in polyester. In Dream Poly there are over 60 million microfibers per pound (other polyester batts average only 5 million fibers per pound.)
Dream Poly has an exclusive blend of these revolutionary microfibers giving it a very soft hand, exceptional drape, breathability and comfort which surpasses all other polyester batts. You will feel the difference! The combination of our special needlepunch processing (like our Dream Cotton) and the use of the finest microfibers eliminates the need for resins, glue or plastic scrims as stabilizers; allowing your needle to glide smoothly through our fine batting.
Like natural fibers, this soft fine denier resists bearding. Dream Poly resists bunching and shifting and is strong enough to stitch up to 12" apart allowing the quilter more freedom of design.
Thinnest loft. Excellent for hand and machine quilting. 

Midloft. Perfect for hand and machine quilting. 

Weighty loft. Wonderful for machine quilting. Soft and warm. 

 Angel: is made of fibers that are engineered to be flame retardant. The fibers are designed not to melt or flow when in contact with flame.  The fibers are inherently flame retardant with no chemical additives and no PBDE's.  Dream Angel can be machine washed and dried and will not loose the flame retardant quality.  Dream Angel was tested byDream Angel was tested by an independent laboratory and meets both international standards and the NEW DRAFT CAL 604.
Dream Angel has a wonderfully natural look and feel. The fibers are needlepunched into a beautiful, soft, cozy batting, very resistant to creasing. No need to prewash! Heavenly for both hand and machine quilting. Confidently stitch up to 6" apart. It drapes beautifully. Finished quilt may be machine washed and dried.  

Puff:  is a lusciously light batting with exceptional insulation and a soft resilient loft of 1/3 + inch.  Dream Puff is 1.5 times warmer than down and almost twice as warm as high loft polyester battings.  So light, breathable and wonderfully comfortable, you will be amazed at dream puffs superior insulation.  Dream Puffs 100% special fine denier poly MicroFibers are thermally bonded* and 'sealed' for a light airy resilient batting. Pure white.

  • Dream Puff Adds Volume and Definition to your Quilting without Adding Weight. For Additional Loft, Dream Puff Can Be Layered. 
  • Stitches Can Be Up to 10 inches Apart. Needles Glide Through the Fine Silky Soft Fibers.
  • Dream Puff Will Not Shrink, and Resists Creases and Fold Lines.
  • Excellent for Hand and Machine Quilting.
  • Also Perfect for Tied Quilts, Trapunto, Comforters, Wearables and Crafts. 
Wool: is made with a Scoured and Super Washed Domestic & Fine Merino Wool that has been blended, carded, crosslapped & thermally bonded.*  The wool is scoured and super-washed for superior cleanliness and to eliminate shrinkage.  Quilters Dream's unique processing creates wool batting with exceptionally soft drape, uniformity and strength.   Dream Wool is a beautifully consistent batting that is truly a 'cut above'.  
  • May be Machine Washed and Dried without Shrinkage.
  • Confidently stitch up to 8 inches apart.  Dreamy to Quilt.  No Scrim or Resins to Resist Your Needles.
  • Light, Luxurious and Wonderfully Warm with a Lovely Soft Loft that Beautifully Accentuates your Quilting.
  • Resistant to Creases and and Naturally Resilient Dream Wool Springs Back to its Original Loft.
  • Quilters Dream Wool is Exceptionally Durable, Rich and Resilient Ensuring that Your Quilts will be Treasured for Generations.
  • Dreamy for Hand and Machine Quilting.  Also Excellent for Tied Quilts.
  • Ideal Mid Loft for all Your Quilted Projects

We also learned a few tricks when you want to pre-shrink batting:

Top Loading washer: Fill with hot water, then stop the cycle (DO NOT LET IT AGITATE WITH BATTING). Push batting down into washer and let sit submerged for 15 minutes. Change to spin cycle and then dry in dryer. 
Front loader washer: use the gentle cycle with warm or hot water and then dry in dryer. 

If you decide to pre-wash the batting, make sure you account for shrinkage by adding at least a 1/4 yard extra. You should only pre-shrink the batting if you are also pre-shrinking the fabric. ALWAYS wash flannel first before using. 

Right and Wrong sides of batting:
Scrim is a polyester grid that helps anchor cotton fibers. If you buy batting that says it's 97% cotton, it's because they've added the grid to stabilize the cotton fibers. It helps keep the cotton fibers from separating when the quilt is washed.

When you use 100% cotton batting, you need the quilting stitches close together to keep the batting from separating. With scrim added to the cotton batting you can use wider spacing between your quilting stitches because the scrim will keep the fibers stable.  

A lot of cotton batts are needlepunched through scrim now. Makes the cotton much more stable, can quilt lines further apart, etc. Scrim can make handquilting more difficult, but is fine for machine quilting. In general, you want the scrim side touching the backing of the quilt so when you machine quilt, the needle is punching the batting in the same direction as in the factory. (That's if you can tell which side has the scrim. Warm and Natural describes how to tell which side theirs is, but I don't know about other manufacturers.)

Incidentally, not all batts that are needlepunched are needlepunched through scrim. Quilter's Dream cotton is needlepunched but does not have a scrim.

Piecing Batting
Here are a few tips for using up odd sized pieces of batting for larger projects--
  • Using Curves--overlap the batting pieces and cut a wavy line then butt the pieces up against each other and sew with a zig zag stitch
  • Whip stitch two pieces together by hand with quilting thread
  • Butt up two pieces against each other and zig zag with machine
  • Use a piece of fusible interfacing to join the two pieces

What a long post... this was an amazing meeting with lots of great info and fun show-n-tells. See you at the next Meeting!!