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
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!