Monday, June 2, 2008

Batting in My Belfry

Although this is a picture of my soon-to-open poppies, it is what my brain probably looks like as I try to find a new batting. (The opinions expressed below are mine and are MY OPINIONS--remember I officially stated that I am "one very opinionated quilter". Continue reading at your own risk--or just look at the pics.)
After using the same batting for over 13 years, I found that the manufacturer changed the way it was making my favorite batting. I am almost at the end of my private stock and haven't wanted to order more because the newly-minted stuff has been so inconsistent. So I decided that I had better start doing some testing. I tried the bamboo/cotton mix--without presoaking it since that involved the use of a laundry basket and the bathtub (please don't ask) and laying it flat to dry. (I am a big fan of flat quilts--while making them and after they are washed.) But I felt that might be surmountable if I liked it enough. I made a 10 inch sample, black on one side, muslin on the other, using a 30 wt. thread. I must admit that the more I worked on the sample, the more my hands hurt--it was very hard to manipulate for those smaller stitches. I'll let you know how it washes after I bind it. (Supposedly once the piece is quilted, it can be machine washed and dried, but not in its "naked" state. You must contact the manufacturer to get washing instructions.)

Then, with the push to be "green", I tried the cotton/PLA blend and the 100 percent PLA. Unfortunately, the washing instructions were rolled up in the batting, so I didn't see them until I had purchased and opened the packaging. Here are the instructions: "Machine wash cold, gentle cycle. Lay flat to dry. Do not dry clean. Do not iron." Because inquiring minds want to know--they really do mean DO NOT IRON. I put a sample of each between fabric squares and pressed them on cotton--one melted into a dense mass and the other became rather brittle. Yes, I know the packaging said DO NOT IRON. But I wanted to know what would happen--worst case scenario--and now I do.

The search is not over yet--I'll keep you posted on my progress. Any suggestions? Remember it's for hand quilting and I use it for classes in fine hand quilting as well as for my personal pieces.

Good news: I heard today from AQS that my book will be out on CD in about three weeks! I googled the book (which has been out of print for almost a year) and one site had two copies--one for $277 and one for $287! Yikes!

The heel is turned on my second sock--pics when the PAIR is finished.

I'll leave you tonight with what I think is a delightful picture--my backporch woodchucks--mother and baby. Check out those teeth!

Did you remember to do something nice for yourself today?


  1. Sharon,

    Keep up the search for the perfect batting. I'll stay tuned. I hate it when they change things, or "improve" something that does not need improving.

    I ejoyed the woodchucks.

    nj austin

  2. Will you let us know what batting you end up choosing? I'm not really thrilled with any of my old favorites either. Thanks!

    Athens, NY


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