I hesitated to add this topic to my list, due to the fact that I am not well versed on the wide variety of brands of batting on the market, but since batting is in integral part of each quilt, I thought I’d share a few opinions. Basically, I am a simple kind of girl, and if it works…I don’t fix it. This is why I only stock two types of batting, Hobb’s Heirloom Natural, which I have used since I began quilting, and Quilter’s Dream Cotton in White – Select Loft. On rare occasion, I have ordered a different batting for a client (for instance a black batting for a mainly black quilt), but by and large, most of the quilts that I work on include one of these two battings.
I order both of these options on a roll, so I generally have plenty in stock. I charge retail price, by the linear inch. This is a good option for most quilters in that there is little waste, and they only pay for what they need for the quilt. This is a good option for me in that storing the batting on the rolls keeps them relatively wrinkle free.
The fewer wrinkles a piece of batting has, the better it behaves on the machine’s frame. As I progress on the quilt, and the batting is caught between the layers, it is sometimes difficult to detect and remove wrinkles. Sometimes this happens as the batting gets caught on the seams, and I have found that both of these brands of batting are stable enough to “take a tug” if I can’t reach the wrinkle from the side of the quilt.
Although both of these brands are of high quality, there are a few differences, which is why I keep them both on hand. The reason I started stocking the Quilter’s Dream batting is because some of my clients preferred it’s slightly thinner loft, and thought it had a better drape than the Hobb’s. I have always appreciated the fact that the Hobb’s didn’t shrink when I washed my children’s quilts. Although thinner, the Dream Cotton is definitely heavier (you should try dragging a 30 yard roll from the front door to the quilt studio!) Neither of them has shown itself to have a problem with fiber migration between quilting lines, or pilling on the outside of the quilt. I also usually recommend the Quilter’s Dream cotton for quilts with a very light background, due to the fact that it is white in color and won’t dull the look.
All in all, I have been pretty content to offer these two types of batting for my clients. Sometimes, quilt-makers prefer to bring their own batting, which I am happy to accommodate. I can also special order batting to achieve the loft, or drape a client is looking for. Do you have a favorite batting? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments.