Later this week during my do it yourself quilt-along, we are going to be basting our Jolly Jelly Roll quilts so I thought it would be an appropriate time to talk a little bit about batting.
From my experience, the type of batting you choose can really make a difference in creating a well-done quilt. Since all of my quilts are machine quilted, I need to use battings that are easy to quilt through and are not so bulky that they won’t fit under my machine.
So far, my two favorite battings are Warm-N-Natural 100% cotton, and Pellon Legacy Wool. (Unfortunately I don’t carry these in my shop because they are too bulky to ship!)
I like Warm-N-Natural because it’s very flat and relatively inexpensive. I can actually buy it buy the bolt with a discount coupon from Joanne’s for about the same price that I can get it wholesale. It does shrink up a bit, but it gives that nice antique wrinkly look when washed. Here are some machine quilting closeups using Warm-N-Natural.
These were both densely quilted with an allover free-motion quilting design.
If I want my quilting to really pop, or if I am doing intricate quilting like feathers, wreaths or focus designs, I will use Legacy Wool batting. It’s a little more expensive but it’s very clean and white so it’s a perfect choice for quilts with lots of white backgrounds like in my Bungle Jungle quilt below. It also allows me to achieve a “faux” trapunto look if I densely quilt the background areas. The pictures below show quilts using Legacy Wool.
As far as polyester battings go, I’m not too fond of them as they are usually too lofty for me. I haven’t tried any of the newer blends out there like bamboo or silk yet. One batting that is next on my list to try is Quilter’s Dream Cotton.
If any of you out there have favorite battings that you like, please add your comments!