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Batting Recommendations?

This is an embarrassing admission, but I’ll share it anyway.  I’ve been quilting with the cheapest Wal-Mart off brand batting I could find since I started quilting in 2005.

I know! I know!  I’m not supposed to put cheap batting into quilts made with $8 a yard fabric, but come on!  My little boy has to EAT!

Between fabric skyrocketing in price and my latest paint / paintstick addiction, there’s very little room in my budget for high dollar quilt batting. I’ve dabbled with Quilter’s Dream Poly in a couple different thicknesses, not because I felt drawn to it particularly, but because my husband uses it in his fish tank filters and it happened to be on hand.

Eye of the Forest

Eye of the Forest

I’m managing to save because I’ve started painting cheap muslin in place of searching high and low for a specific fabric colors.  This is actually working out pretty well, and I may try it for the grass portion of my next landscape quilt.  I have yet to replenish my stock of brown batiks after the Eye of the Forest ate them all.  Maybe I’ll just paint what I want and stop pining for a trip to Mary Jo’s.

So anyway, what batting do you use?  Are you steadfastly loyal to your specific batting of choice, or do you cheat unmercifully with wool or polyester blends?

I broke down and got several yards of Hobbs Heirloom from Alley Quilts last month when I was on my Christmas quilt run.  I’ve since run out and still have 7 quilts ready to baste, but not a scrap of batting in sight.

Okay, that’s a lie.  I have many random pieces of 12″ to 30″ batting laying around, but I am not, I repeat AM NOT going to sew them all together to make one big piece.  I piece the top, I sometimes piece the back, but I will not piece the batting too!

You gotta draw the line somewhere.

You might be wondering why I’ve suddenly developed such a distaste for my Wal-Mart batting of choice.

Oh I wish this were by choice.

Walmart has stopped carrying my cotton batting.  I’ve canvased the Walmarts in Shelby, Gastonia, and Southport and can honestly say that cotton batting can no longer be found within the walls.  In fact, finding any fabric with Wal-Mart at all will soon be a distant memory.

Some may rejoice, for this will definitely help out the small, independent quilt stores that thrive on my local business, and I don’t begrudge them this business.  BUT – I also don’t like spending an extra $30 a quilt either.

I should also add that I’m so upset about Wal-mart closing their crafting section because it was an area I desperately depended on when I was but a fledgling quilter.  Think of how many young minds will never step out of the shoe section to the embrace of fabric and yarn! Think of how many people we will lose to TV and video games because Wal-mart offers them no creative alternative!

Okay…enough ranting…Let me know what batting you use and why you use it!




2 Responses

  1. I also use Hobbs Heirloom premium “cotton” batting. Although, as I look at the package it says 80% cotton and 20%polyester! I love the drape of it and the ease of quilting through it. It’s a nice batting for quilts that will not be too hot or heavy even in the summertime. I also have purchased recently their “100% cotton” batting which is sooo soft that I just HAD to get 3 bags-and hang the cost! I have recently come to the realization that with the amount of time I put into my quilts that I need to use the best cotton fabrics and batting-no skimping! I take a lot of time finding the right colors and prints and patterns and I want my quilts to last and to be able to enjoy them for a long time. It’s worth it for me, now that I am a more experienced quilter, to use quality products.
    Keep up the great blog!

  2. I totally agree, especially after having a quilt ruined by cheap batting.

    It’s just hard when most fabric is $8 + a yard and thread adds up too. I’ll keep an eye out for the Hobbs though, thanks for the tip!

    I’m considering just finishing some quilts without the batting. I’m needing some lighter weight blankets for the summer, and rather than pay for a super thin batting, I could just forgo the batting and finish the quilt with a back and be done with it.

    Maybe I just said something that’s akin to quilting sacrilege, but sometimes the point is just to get something done so it can fulfill its intended use.

    Happy quilting,

    Leah Day

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