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Thread: Help! I'm going batty over batting!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Pollytink's Avatar
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    Unhappy Help! I'm going batty over batting!

    There's a big sale on batting at CT and I want to get some. However, I am very confused about it. I'm trying to stop procrastinating and get a baby quilt finished and was going to first use a poly crib quilt batting I had. Then decided no, I'd use some W&N that i'd gotten several years ago to make twin quilts (Yeah, in my dreams!!) So I dragged it out of the closet and cut off enough for the baby quilt. I'd posted about this baby quilt a week or so ago....my friend in Italy just had a baby and I had this quilt that I'd pieced a few years ago while in a guild but never finished it. So I thought, great....that will be fine for Lila! You'll note that everything was a few years ago? I had a stretch of some surgeries and "life" and havent' done any sewing for a long time.

    So after I saw the sale I pulled up a bunch of threads about batting...what's best, etc. and saw posts about pre-washing it. I'd done 2 or 3 little quilts, very simple, and never washed them--before or after being made! So the thought of washing batting freaked me out!! I may go back to the poly for this little one. The thing is, if you don't prewash it, W+N or Hobbs 80/20 will shrink, right? It says 3-5% on Hobbs....I'm not sure I WANT it to shrink so what will W/N or Hobbs look like after the quilt's made and washed? I can't see myself washing batting...I'm lucky to have gotten this far! I was going to try to get one Hobbs 80/20 and one Hobbs Poly-Down (if there are any left when I finally decide!).

    Some pre-wash and some don't....some like the "puckered" look of not pre-washing.....how can I tell what it will look like?

    At the rate I'm going, baby Lenora will be lucky if she gets this quilt for Christmas!! I know I just need some confidence about doing this and that finishing this little quilt will help that. I'll probably never make anything bigger than a lap quilt so I can cut the large batts up for smaller things. Help! and Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I have made my great grandaughters quilts and didn't wash the batting until quilted. Then I washed them. They look fine to me. I made one for a grandson and washed after quilting. No problem for him. My quilts aren't very puckered.

  3. #3
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    The Warm & Natural will just shrink a little. It'll shrink evenly, so that the quilt just looks like an "old-fashioned" quilt. I like the slightly puckered effect, as it seems to make the quilt more cuddly. It's not enough, to distort the quilt. Quilt and then wash a small item, such as a pot holder or place mat, to get an idea of the amount.
    Neesie


    By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
    ~Richard Dawkins

  4. #4
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    My Hobbs batt has 3% shrinkage when washed after quilting. I wash my quilt and put it in the dryer until almost dry. I block it out on a clean sheet to finish drying and it doesn't get the wrinkled look. Sometimes I want the wrinkled antique look and then I leave it in the dryer until dry.

  5. #5
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    As long as you have the W & N and don't mind the 'hand' of it, you can preshrink it. Put it in the washer with warm water. Let it soak a few minutes, spin out the water, then dry it on warm. I haven't done W & N because I don't buy it, but I have done several cotton/polys that need a lot closer quilting than W & N. The only one I damaged was the one I forgot and actually washed which means it was agitated twice. Oh, oh. I can use most of it for smaller projects.

    I've used Hobbs PolyDown and their 80/20. I liked them both for different reasons. Both were soft ( I preshrunk the 80/20) and both FMQed nicely.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I mainly use poly batting, holds up great. I don't pre wash batting and I love the crinkly look I wash all my finished quilts and dry them. Connecting Threads batting is too thin for my liking, I buy a high loft poly batting, not as high as the manufacterer thinks. Very warm without the weight. It has been talked bad about, but, those remarks are not right. My Son has two quilts I hand quilted probably 38-40 Years ago, most of the fabric blocks are gone but the poly batting is still perfect, looks new.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  7. #7
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    I've used nothing but W&N for the last 10 years. I do prewash my fabrics (unless they are pre-cuts and I use VERY few of them). I DO NOT prewash my batting. I also handquilt. I wash my quilts upon completion. Shrinkage is minimal. Does give the quilt the 'crinkled' or 'vintage' look - but I like that. So have all the recipients so far. I don't see any need to prewash any batting.

  8. #8
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    These comments only apply to 'warm and natural' 'cotton' batting:

    I had to wash one warm and natural batting twice before I could use it - held up very well - but I kept the agitation to a minimum

    Follow the package directions - In most cases, the manufacturer does know what it's talking about.

    If you prefer a flatter look, wash it before using it (assuming you washed the rest of the fabrics before assembling them)

    If you did not wash the other fabrics, just assemble the layers and go from there - there will be some shrinkage -

    If it's 5 percent, if you had a quilt that started out being 45 x 60, (2700 square inches) - you would lose about 135 square inches. (I don't know which way you would lose them)

    It the shrinkage is 3 percent, and you had a quilt that started out being 45 x 60, (2700 square inches) - you would lose about 111 square inches.

    If you had a 10 x 10 square - 100 square inches - 5 percent shrinkage would leave you with 95 square inches.
    If you had a 10 x 10 square - 100 square inches - 3 percent shrinkage would leave you with 97 square inches.

    Some people like the puckered look that happens when it shrinks. Some don't seem to be aware of the change in size. Whatever crinkles your cookies (or your fabric)!
    Last edited by bearisgray; 09-25-2012 at 06:24 AM.

  9. #9
    Super Member amazon's Avatar
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    I had my cat Bella, make a piece of warm & natural into a cozy little bed. I found it covered in black fur. grrr. I figured either way, trashed or torn up in the washer, it was ruined.So I washed it, by itself on small load. I was wrong, it did shrink a little ,but was still in one piece, and it still quilted up nice and I didn't wash the fabric so it still puckered a little bit.I like the crinkled ,puckered look. I'm with Neesie, make a couple of samples,unwashed and washed, pot holder size to see which style you prefer.
    Deuteronomy 10:12-13

  10. #10
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    I do not pre wash fabric or batting.I prefer cotton-Warm and Natural is my favorite-but Hobbs 80/20 is good too.I have used Warm and Naturals poly-feels like a cotton-but stiffer.I am using a quilt made from this on my bed and do not like the stiffness of it.
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Upnorthcrafter

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