I recently tried using a high quality polyester batting for one of my quilts because a few professional quilters I admire recommended it. However, this is one of those instances where quilting on a domestic machine versus a long arm is quite different.
On a long arm, the 3 layers of the quilt are held in place separately and evenly while the quilter rotates the machine over the surface of the quilt. However, on a domestic machine, there is a lot of shifting and bunching of the quilt, to scrunch it underneath the arm of the machine. Here’s the backside of a polyester batting disaster in progress:
Unfortunately, the polyester batting is so “slippery” that it migrated and bunched while quilting. I originally pin basted the quilt but decided to rip all of it out and start over with new batting and basting spray instead.
While I am definitely not a perfectionist, this amount of wrinkling was just too much for me to handle, especially for a quilt that is going to be shared in public. I actually quilted it a lot more than what the photo shows above, but in order to keep my sanity, I couldn’t bear to take any more pictures!
So after a few tears, an evening of Downton Abbey, and a healthy dose of tenacity, here’s the newly quilted back. I ended up going with a blend of 70/30 cotton/poly and I utilized Ann Petersen’s tip of ironing the quilt after spray basting with a natural fiber batting.
There is still a small amount of wrinkling but I”m adding a lot more quilting in between each “anchored” section and it’s quilting out nicely. However, I think I’ll stick with zero % poly in my quilts from now on. (The Quilter’s Dream Orient batting I used in my last quilt had no puckering at all!)
This sneak peek shows a much happier quilting session after I fixed most of the puckering!
A word to the wise on batting – the only way to truly know how a batting will perform is to test it on a real quilt. 🙂 Now I just have to finish the binding and wait for the big reveal!