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

  1. #1
    Super 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


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  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.
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  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.
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  11. #11
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Just my opinion, Hobbs 80/20 or a polly batting generally have a nicer feel for baby quilts then Warm and Natural, heavy and stiff. I often do use it because I have it on hand but I always regret it after wards. I don't prewash batting. Life is too short for that. I do wash quilts after I make them or tell new parents to wash it in their favorite detergent before giving it to the baby. I love the puckered look quilts get after washing so I was on warm and dry the quilt really well in the dryer.
    Anna Quilts

  12. #12
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annaquilts View Post
    Just my opinion, Hobbs 80/20 or a polly batting generally have a nicer feel for baby quilts then Warm and Natural, heavy and stiff. I often do use it because I have it on hand but I always regret it after wards. I don't prewash batting. Life is too short for that. I do wash quilts after I make them or tell new parents to wash it in their favorite detergent before giving it to the baby. I love the puckered look quilts get after washing so I was on warm and dry the quilt really well in the dryer.
    I generally use Warm & White/Warm & Natural and have never found it to be stiff, after washing.
    Neesie


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  13. #13
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    I prewash my fabric, but never my batting. I always use Warm & Natural off the big bolts, but intend to try the Hobbs.

  14. #14
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    I think only washing the outer fabrics and not the batting is a bit like washing only one's outer clothing and not washing one's underwear.

    But to each his/her own way of doing (or not doing) things.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    I think only washing the outer fabrics and not the batting is a bit like washing only one's outer clothing and not washing one's underwear.
    But to each his/her own way of doing (or not doing) things.
    The only reason I prewash the outer fabrics is because of my sensitivity to the chemicals or dyes used, not because of shrinkage or color running issues. Since I don't have to handle the batting much and it's sandwiched while I'm sewing, it's not a problem. Like you said everyone has his own way. ~~ Please trust me when I say, I really do wash my underwear.

  16. #16
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    I'm not a fan of the crinkled/puckered look for children's quilts. Once I heavily spritzed the warm and natural heavily with water and placed it into a plastic bag overnight to get it eavenly damp. In the AM i put it into the dryer until dry. Did it shrink? I don't know as I forgot to measure it. It did have some crinkling in the finished washed quilt but not as much as unwashed .

  17. #17
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    I purchase W & N by the roll and do not pre wash it. I always pre-wash my fabric in hot water and dry in hot dryer.
    I have not had a shrinkage problem when my own quilts need washing, I use warm water, never hot, and dry until almost dry in dryer and then let them air dry
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  18. #18
    Senior Member pinkcastle's Avatar
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    I usually prewash my fabric and batting which is W & N. I'm not a huge fan of the crinkly look. However, I'll have to try Tartan's idea of blocking a nearly dry quilt to get a smoother look. I don't bother prewashing the batting for wall hangings. Right now I'm working on a quilt which has a wool batting - my first time using it. I didn't prewash that as the instructions said not to. I'm curious to see how it turns out after I wash it.

  19. #19
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    I think only washing the outer fabrics and not the batting is a bit like washing only one's outer clothing and not washing one's underwear.

    But to each his/her own way of doing (or not doing) things.
    If I pre-washed the batting, it wouldn't give me the "old-fashioned" look, I so dearly love! BTW, I also wash my undies!
    Neesie


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annaquilts View Post
    Just my opinion, Hobbs 80/20 or a polly batting generally have a nicer feel for baby quilts then Warm and Natural, heavy and stiff. I often do use it because I have it on hand but I always regret it after wards. I don't prewash batting. Life is too short for that. I do wash quilts after I make them or tell new parents to wash it in their favorite detergent before giving it to the baby. I love the puckered look quilts get after washing so I was on warm and dry the quilt really well in the dryer.
    Hmmmm.....I bought my first Hobbs 80/20 and I find that it is too stiff for my taste compared to the W&N I am accustomed to. I am in a bit of a quandry. I needed a king size batting and no W&N that size available. Bought Hobbs 100% cotton. WAY too thin. Bought 80/20 and it feels like card board. Back to the internet to find a W&N in a king no matter the cost!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neesie View Post
    If I pre-washed the batting, it wouldn't give me the "old-fashioned" look, I so dearly love! BTW, I also wash my undies!
    If you are referring to the look of quilts made from leftovers and do-overs from way back when, most of the components of those quilts had been washed almost to death - and the fillings were probably selvaged sheets or blankets - also washed to almost to death - and the finished quilts were tied. And there probably was little or no crinkle/pucker left to happen from shrinkage.

    But if you like crinkled/puckered - go for it!

  22. #22
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    If you are referring to the look of quilts made from leftovers and do-overs from way back when, most of the components of those quilts had been washed almost to death - and the fillings were probably selvaged sheets or blankets - also washed to almost to death - and the finished quilts were tied. And there probably was little or no crinkle/pucker left to happen from shrinkage.

    But if you like crinkled/puckered - go for it!
    I was referring to the old-fashioned quilts, with which I grew up. They were made by my grandmother. They were made from worn clothing, had cotton batting (I've seen it, through worn spots), and were hand-quilted . . . and yes, they were slightly puckered, from the batting shrinking.
    Last edited by Neesie; 09-25-2012 at 02:42 PM.
    Neesie


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  23. #23
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    I was referring to my grandma's quilts - which used old sheets, etc. for filling.

  24. #24
    Super Member Pollytink's Avatar
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    Hi! Update: I went ahead and got one Hobbs 80/20 batt and one PolyDown batt. I also found two small pieces I'd layered 2-3 years ago when I took a free motion class. One has W&N in it and the other has a very thin poly batt in it. The W&N one is "quilted" pretty densely and feels pretty stiff. I didn't practice much after that and the samples are very primitive! But I'll wash them this week and see how they come out. I'm thinking at this point that I'll use a new poly batt, maybe!! I have two, one is a Poly-fil by Fairfield and the other is by Create-a-Craft, both low loft- 1/4", inexpensive/cheap ones I think I got at Hobby Lobby several years ago. I may wait to see what the two Hobbs are like when they come. If the W&N sample is stiff after wash/dry, poly does seem best for the baby quilt. I really appreciate all the input here and will push on to do this quilt and get braver! Will report when finished!! Thanks again!

  25. #25
    Senior Member Judi in Ohio's Avatar
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    You sound like you need to relax and enjoy the process. Just quilt it, forget pre washing, it takes all the fun out of it, worrying so.
    LOL
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