What batting?

"What batting do you use?" is a common question I am asked.

Well, I am not particularly picky.  I actually prefer cotton or the 80/20 blend of cotton/poly such a Hobbs such as you can get in the states at Joann's or Hobby Lobby or online.  I mostly use polyester, however.

Why? Well, it is really down to cost.  I can get a full bolt of 50 meters of poly batting like this for 150 zl, which, at today's change rate is $37.  I can get about 20 charity quilts out of this. This makes the batting for each charity quilt under $2. This is 100 gram, or a medium thickness poly batting.

It comes about 160 cm wide which is perfect for all those European twin size quilts I make. If I've  not made the top too wide, it fits perfectly with one roll of the batting!

I get the poly batting at a local wholesale shop about 1/2 mile from my house.

If I went with cotton or bamboo - well, it would be much more.  I can't get cotton locally - I'd have to order it. If I can get it locally, I am unaware of where it is. Here's a screen shot of a website where I've found the best selection and price of a cotton type of batting.  I'm tempted to try a bamboo batting one of these days. 

In the above picture, they are sold by the half meter even though I figured it up by the meter length- it makes it more palatable that way to the Polish quilters.  I think most of them make small quilts if they use this batting.

The ones I didn't write on are narrow - as in only 90 cm wide. I really wouldn't want to deal with that unless it was a steal.  I am in no way indicating that this person's prices aren't good - they are quite fair, in my opinion - and she has some really good prices on fabrics. I love the width of the bamboo and cotton batting listed, however - it is nice and wide!

But when you make 10-20 quilts a month - it isn't realistic for me to pay these prices.  So, that's why poly is the option that is realistic.

I'm still trying to find the source for this as I wouldn't be opposed to buying it directly from the manufacturer, or importer, if I could, like I buy the poly batting. I asked my local source if they could find this batting and they said their source didn't have it.

I have brought over some cotton batting in my suitcase, however. Working with it is lovely. The quilt sandwich is heavier to haul around as you quilt it, but the fabrics aren't "squirrelly" and I love that. I seem to have fewer puckers and problems underneath if I use cotton. However, poly is more forgiving if the quilt top has "issues" as there is more air in there. Cotton is also harder to sandwich as getting the batting smooth takes quite a bit more time than for poly.

Where have I gotten my batting? In the states, I usually buy it at Hobby Lobby with a coupon - getting the queen size Hobbs 80/20.  I could get one of those for about $12 plus tax with a coupon.  I found I could squeeze it down a lot in one of the vacuum bags for the suitcase. 

My recent visit from my nephew restocked me (thanks to my family in FL) with my "non poly batting" I found a deal on Amazon where 9 yards of wool batting was $20 (thank you, Deal Chasing Diva on FB) so I bought three of those deals for a total of $60. My nephew managed to bring over one of those 9 yard bolts in a suitcase. I'm eager to try it  

I remember the first time I actually quilted with cotton batting on a small quilt after using poly on big quilts. My reaction was, "Wow, this is a piece of cake!"  (I was especially comparing how easy it was to move around - a baby size - and how little the layers moved around on me - a result of the cotton batting sticking to the top and backing better than poly does. I thought it was great!)

So, now you know.  I'm not picky about batting. In fact, this past summer I actually used a layer of flannel as a batting for my daughter who asked for something a little less warm than the poly for a summer quilt in Florida. I've seen some people here use cheapo fleece type blankets found at Ikea for batting.  

Whatever you choose to use - enjoy it and don't be afraid to try different things.

Now, I've got to go sew.

Becky PetersenComment