Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Going Batty

I've been totally distracted from my work since a box of goodies arrived last week, generously sent by Harriet.  Inside the box were some lovely threads, some nifty tools, some stencils and a load of batting samples.

What's in the box?

The batting samples are 14" x 14" and there are 3 of each type.  From these, I need to make up a collection of quilting samples.  Here is a list of the samples Harriet sent:

Hobbs Heirloom Bleached Cotton -  100% cotton
Hobbs Heirloom Natural Craft Cotton - unbleached - 100% organic cotton
Hobbs Heirloom Natural Cotton - 100% cotton
Hobbs Heirloom Premuim Cotton - 80% cotton/20% polyester
Hobbs Tuscany Silk - 90% silk / 10% polyester
Hobbs Heirloom Premium Wool - 100% wool
Fairfield Natural - 100% cotton
Fairfield Soft Touch - 100% cotton
Mountain Mist Blue Ribbin - 100% cotton
Moutain Mist Natural Cotton - 100% cotton
Mountain Mist Gold - 50% cotton / 50% polyester
Mountain Mist Cotton Blossom - 95% cotton / 5% silk
Mountain Mist Cotton Blossom - 95% cotton / 5% wool
Mountain Mist Echo Friendly Batting Blend - 50% cotton /50% PLA (corn fibre)

I've also added a few local ones, and will add more as I find them

Matilida's Own Premium Cotton - 100% cotton
Matilda's Own Wool - 80% wool / 20% polyester
Hobbs Heirloom Tuscany Wool - 100% wool (not local but I managed to find some here)
Warm and Natural Cotton - 100% cotton

The idea behind all the samples is to quilt them up and compare the look and feel of them after repeated washings. I expect to find out that all cotton battings are not the same!

I've made up a spreadsheet sorting out as much information as I can find on each batting. - scrim or no scrim, needlepunched, bonding, quilting distances, expected appearance and recommended uses.

There are 3 of each sample - one to be sandwiched in pre-washed fabric, one to be sandwiched in unwashed fabric and one to be kept un-quilted with a results sheet attached for future reference.  In the centre of each sandwich is a 6" square - to be re-measured after quilting, then again after washing.  The backings are pieced from both white and black calico (quilter's muslin), so I can check for bearding and shadowing.

I spent a long time making up the sandwiches, which now have to be marked for quilting.  On each one I want a sample of free-motion quilting, grid quilting, hand quilting, and applique.  So far I've completed 1. This is going to take a while!!!

Matilda's Own Cotton batting - front of sandwich - back of sandwich - this sample is unwashed fabric

Testing, testing...1..2..3

Free motion border and centre motif, some gridding, blanket stitch applique (yes I know this needs work) and some hand quilting.  I wonder what it will look like after 15 washes!

As well as excellent batting references - I'm going to get a lot of quilting practice!

From the back - oh dear - black really shows up all the dodgy bits!

I'll continue to work on these between projects - I really must stop playing around and get back to my borders.  Honestly though, this is such a worthwhile exercise - after I'm done I'll be able to select the best batting for the job, not only in function, but with the look and feel I want in my finished quilt. 

If you want to give this a go, batting samples are available through Harriet's website, or alternately just pick up a selection of battings from your local area and quilt 'em up!



  1. chica no desesperes, poco a poco te sadra bien, yo estoy empezando con el acolchado y uuuuuuuuuuuuuuffffff es un poco complicado cogerle el truco, suerte y mucho animo

  2. October 2010 is when I took Harriet's class on machine quilting. In two days, she had me doing double feathers - amazing! I had never machine quilted before, but I knew, after taking her class, that I could actually do this. Creating a booklet of samples is exactly what Harriet asked us to do and spend an entire six months on machine quilting ONLY before piecing. Wow! I have to admit that I didn't adhere to that, but I do have several samples with different battings that I can refer to from that class and intend to do more. I need to purchase Harriet's kit and get busy! Thanks for the inspiration!