A few people have asked me what is the best batting to use for hand quilting. That is not a question that can answer as a blanket statement for everyone. Every quilter is different and has differing opinions and differing objectives. The batting choice will have an effect on the overall look of the finished quilt.
My preference is for the antique look. When I finish a quilt I wash it and dry it (in the dryer) because I want the slight puckering that is caused by the shrinkage. I most often use cotton batting because I like the way the finished quilt feels, I like the shrinkage, and I like how it quilts.
So which batting to use? I have tried several and Here are my thoughts on each.
Tends to be the least expensive and if you want a lot of loft you can get it in poly. (you can also get it very thin) It is not difficult to hand quilt (with the exception of the fusible). I do find that it can beard , fibers are pulled through the batting by the thread and show on the front of the quilt.
Here is a quilt I made with polyester batting
I wanted a lot of loft on this one and the poly worked for that.
there are many blends of batting and I have used the Hobbs 80/20 often. It has the feel of cotton, a mid loft, and I like the shrinkage. I find that it gives the antique look that I like. here is a wedding ring quilt that I made using 80/20
and a friendship quilt with 80/20
I used Hobbs 100% cotton on my trees quilt
And my tumbling blocks
One of the things that I hate is basting so I tried a Hobbs fusible 80/20 once on this quilt
I did not like it!…the fusible did not really hold the layers together well and I had to pin baste it anyway and the fusing made the quilting harder so I am not a fan.
Warm And Natural
Warm and natural I like because it is available by the yard (90″ wide) at my local store. I like the loft, I like the shrinkage. It is a denser batting and it is not as easy to hand quilt as some but It is one of my favorites.
Here are a few of the quilts I used it on.
I like the loft because it shows the quilting very nicely. I used it on my pineapple quilt
Quilters Dream Cotton
Available in four lofts:
- Request: Natural or White. lowest loft for hand and machine quilting.
- Select: Natural or White. Midloft for hand and machine quilting.
- Deluxe: Natural or White. High loft.
- Supreme: Natural or White. Thickest cotton batt of all
I have read great reviews so I tried it out. I started this one with request
It is so thin that it feels like quilting through nothing. I have yet to finish this one because I was so disappointed with the lack of definition in the quilting. To me the loft is too low. I imagine when the quilting is done and it is washed I will like it more. It is lightweight so I think it would be perfect for a summer weight quilt.
I am currently using the select on the pyramids quilt
So Far I like it…I will save my final verdict for after it is washed.
Pellon Natures Touch Cotton Batting
I love this one and have only found it locally once, but I know I can order it on-line.
It has a very soft feel and drape, quilts beautifully, and washes great. I used it on this quilt.
The quilting always shows best in pictures from the back.
I love it! I quilted this one with Hobbs heirloom wool
I love the loft of the wool batting, and wool is great because it is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. What I also like about wool is that it doesn’t have a memory, which is to say that folds and wrinkles do not stay in the quilt like they do with cotton. Wool is more expensive but it is my new favorite. I wash it in the machine on gentle and dry it on low and it comes out beautifully.
I used it on the houses quilt
And I plan to use it for my next quilt.
I know that every quilter is different, and if you have good luck with other things you should definitely use them! There is no right or wrong, just what works for you.