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No Batting VS Batting, and what kind.

No Batting VS Batting, and what kind.

Old 06-29-2013, 07:49 PM
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Cool No Batting VS Batting, and what kind.

I just finished a string pieced, 60" X 60" lap-sized quilt top. It's all sewn together now, and quite gorgeous, if I may toot my own horn! Each block was "foundation pieced" on unbleached muslin. So given the thickness of the string piecing along with the muslin base, a number of ladies in my quilting group are trying to get me to quilt it directly onto the back, no batting. That would be great here in Nevada, where it gets hot, but this quilt is meant for a grand niece in Michigan. I grew up in Michigan, and the winters are cold! I'm not sure this would be warm enough without batting. I was told if I used regular batting, like Hobbs 80-20, the quilt would be too stiff and not drape well. I do have a thinner cotton batting meant for wall quilts or table runners I could use. Would that give me a better drape? Would regular batting make it too stiff? What would you do? Help! It's a graduation present and I want it to be nice.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:12 PM
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I haven't made a quilt like this myself, but I think it's a mistake to believe that Hobbs 80/20 batting would make the quilt too stiff! It will add some weight, but not stiffness. What will make a quilt stiff is too much close quilting (such as micro-stippling). If you just do a regular size meander, it should be fine. I personally always like to use a fine thread for quilting in order to keep the quilt soft. (Aurifil 50wt 2-ply is my favorite for quilting on my domestic machine.) Cotton batting becomes softer with each washing too.

The only thing to watch for with 100% cotton batting is how close the quilting needs to be. If it has to be closely quilted (Mountain Mist Blue Ribbon cotton requires quilting every 2"), then the quilting could add too much stiffness -- especially if a fine thread is not used for the quilting.

Really, I do not see drape as being the issue with using batting. Weight could be, as the foundation adds weight to the top. If weight of the quilt is a concern, then Hobbs PolyDown is an option. The quilt would be soft, but lighter in weight than with cotton.

Personally, for a quilt to be used in Michigan, I would definitely use batting.

Last edited by Prism99; 06-29-2013 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:15 PM
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Here in S. Texas I make summer quilts fairly often - no batting. If the top or backing has light colored fabrics and you could see the top through the bottom or v.v. that won't work. Ig makes a very light weight covering, but may not seem substantial enough for a nice gift. The quilting lines also do not show up with no batting - and you don't need very many quilting lines - no batting to hold together. You might consider a layer of flannel instead of batting. Or something like Quilter's Dream Poly batting. The stitching can be up to 12" apart and it has a thin version. Good luck!
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:31 PM
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In my opinion the best batting for great drape is wool. Wool is not "hot"! It is comfortable for 3 seasons here in Virginia so should do well in Michigan, too.

Or you could use Quilters Dream Request which is their thinnest and lightest weight 1005 cotton batting.
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:03 PM
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I would definately use some form of batting. A quilt is for hugs and snuggles especially when the weather gets colder so. It needs to be warm.
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:45 AM
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I just finished a foundation string pieced lap quilt and I used a Walmart polyester batt. I wanted it to be fluffy and light. I would put some kind of batt in it for warmth.
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:13 AM
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I have a friend here in Northern Michigan who makes 2 or 3 string quilts every year- yes, they are heavy...but she always brings them to me- with batting - to quilt them for her---she has used Warm & Natural, Hobbs 80/20 and Dream Poly...all of them have turned out very nice---and the Hobbs drapes the best (in my opinion) I don't know why your friends would think it would not drape---I think it makes them drape so much nicer than without batting. and makes them soft & cozy. I generally do a nice, large swirly quilting pattern on them-- or big meandering pattern- I love her string quilts- and so do the people she gives them to- I vote for a nice batting- like 80/20.
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:17 AM
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My favorite batting to use for quilts like that is Quilters Dream Request. It is very light and thin.
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:23 AM
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I've made several string quilts with muslin and have always used batting. Given the number of seams when making blocks this way, I didn't want the lumpy feel on the back if I only used fabric.
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:32 AM
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I did my foundation pieced string quilt with Warm and Natural. It seems to drape pretty much like every other quilt I've ever done. I can't really say if it is "too hot" or not. My daughter is the coldest person who ever lived and has 3 or 4 quilts on her bed all winter.
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