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Thread: Best batting for hand quilting??

  1. #1
    Junior Member RGAY's Avatar
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    Best batting for hand quilting??

    I am trying to get back to quilting, and would like to take advantage of Connecting Threads' batting sale. I do mostly art quilts and always hand quilt. I cannot remember which Heirloom batting is the best for hand quilting - I have all three on hand and can find no notes about which I prefer: all Heirloom brand - wool, cotton/poly 80/20 premium blend, and 100% cotton.

    Can the hand quilters out there remind me which one is easiest to needle and doesn't have little bits pulling through the quilt top?

  2. #2
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    the few times i've hand quilted i have used Quilter's Dream lowest loft cotton batting.
    100% low-loft polyester is also easy to hand-quilt.
    I Quilt, I Nap, I Quilt Some More ... Aaaaah, The Good Life!

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  3. #3
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I don't make art quilts but I love hand quilting. I use Hobbs mainly- 80/20. I like the crinkled look that you don't get with polyester. I think poly would probably be great for what you're doing.

  4. #4
    Super Member MaryKatherine's Avatar
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    wool is my choice.
    marykayhopkins123.blogspot.com

  5. #5
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    Quilters Dream "request" (not "select") is their thinnist batting. I love it for hand quilting. Amazon's prices are as good as or better than connecting thread's sale prices on quilters dream Cotton and with prime there is no shipping charges. (Their wool prices are higher though.....so that is a real sale)

  6. #6
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Wool is the easiest to hand quilt. Cotton is the hardest. Wool is described as “quilting through butter” and gives hand stitches great definition. Cotton is stickier and tends to “grab” the needle, creating a little drag on each stitch. 80/20 is a good compromise when cost is a factor.

    edit: brand is a huge factor. I prefer Hobbs.

  7. #7
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    I love Hobbs Thermor, and if you want thinner, because it is very thin, it can be split in half. Beautiful drape, no stiffness at all. And it is very inexpensive compared to many others.

  8. #8
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    my mother handquilts with Warm & Natural, that's been her favorite batting for years.

  9. #9
    Super Member Sync's Avatar
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    I use the Hobbs 100% cotton or their Tuscany silk/cotton blend. Very easy to needle through and I don't have any bits pulling through to the top.
    We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. Buddha

  10. #10
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Why not make up some muslin sandwiches and try each one out? The sale is good until Feb 5th (assuming they don't run out of inventory, as it is only what they have on hand).

    Another consideration when choosing between wool and cotton is loft. Cotton hand quilts much flatter than wool. The loft of 80/20 is more similar to wool than to cotton. One of the reasons hand quilters like wool is because it gives such good definition to the hand stitches.

    Austin, you might want to get your mother to try Hobbs 80/20 or wool batting next time she hand quilts. She probably does not realize how much easier they are to needle. The scrim in Warm and Natural makes the batting very stable so quilting lines can be farther apart; however, the scrim makes it harder to hand needle. My thought is that the easier a batting is to needle, the easier the repetitive motion of quilting is on the joints. However, this is speculation on my part as I don't know that for sure.
    Last edited by Prism99; 01-11-2018 at 12:27 PM.

  11. #11
    Junior Member RGAY's Avatar
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    Prism99, thanks for the suggestion that I try each one before deciding! Funny how the obvious can be obscured when one is in the midst of a dilemma.... ;-)

  12. #12
    Junior Member RGAY's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone!

    I appreciate all the very helpful responses to my batting question! The best way for me to decide is to try each kind I already have and go from there! Happy Quilting everyone!

  13. #13
    Junior Member stitch678's Avatar
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    I never used anything but polyester for hand quilting ( started in the 70's. Recently, l was helping out a friend, finishing hand quilting her quilt's border. It had a 100" cotton batting...l've never had such a hard time hand quilting. I couldn't get my nice short consistent stitches. I would never use cotton. Wool, l think would needle much nicer.

  14. #14
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I ordered some wool today, Hobbs Tuscany. Can't wait to use it! Thanks for this post about batting.

  15. #15
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    I really don't like the Hobbs that Conn Threads sells and prefer Quilters Dream select for all my quilts, whether hand- or machine-quilted.

  16. #16
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    I recently used wool batting for the first time for a hand quilting project. I am now a convert - a dream to handquilt - needle just glides through.

  17. #17
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    Wool, hands down. It is more expensive, but worth every cent, IMHO

  18. #18
    Super Member judykay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junegerbracht View Post
    I recently used wool batting for the first time for a hand quilting project. I am now a convert - a dream to handquilt - needle just glides through.
    I also am a hand quilter only and have been thinking of trying wool batting but am concerned about shrinkage. What if any shrinkage should I be concerned about.
    Happy Quilting
    Judy in Lower Michigan

  19. #19
    Super Member running1's Avatar
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    I did the same....absolutely loved quilting with wool.... Will use it again and again! Quilting is easy and the quilt looks just wonderful, too. Good luck!!

    Quote Originally Posted by junegerbracht View Post
    I recently used wool batting for the first time for a hand quilting project. I am now a convert - a dream to handquilt - needle just glides through.
    "... let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

  20. #20
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    Many hand quilters say to stay away from Warm and Natural (or Warm and White) as they are a little dense.

  21. #21
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    I agree on using Quilter's Dream for my quilting.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    Wool is the easiest to hand quilt. Cotton is the hardest. Wool is described as “quilting through butter” and gives hand stitches great definition. Cotton is stickier and tends to “grab” the needle, creating a little drag on each stitch. 80/20 is a good compromise when cost is a factor.

    edit: brand is a huge factor. I prefer Hobbs.
    Having used Warm and Natural cotton and then trying wool batting, I totally agree with Prism99.
    I will save up for wool battings. It has made a huge difference in the drag on my hands.

  23. #23
    Junior Member RGAY's Avatar
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    Thank you, all! Wool batting is on its way! Cannot wait to give it a try! Happy quilting!

  24. #24
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    Is Quilters Dream the best cotton batting for hand sewing, then? It also needs to be reasonably robust, for a bed or sofa quilt.
    I can't use wool, annoyingly, because we have a serious moth problem and it will disappear in months! My felt projects have all turned into powder.
    I'm prepared to go with polyester, but am most temped by cotton because I'd like a more medium temperature quilt rather than a warm-and-then-warmer one, and it's possibly more environmentally friendly (at least if unbleached). I've uses two types of polyester before, one was horrid, all stiff and crispy, and one was nice and fluffy.

  25. #25
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    Hobbs Wool is my favorite for hand quilting. It is so smooth and just needles beautifully
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

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