Silk Batting Test

When I was at the AQS show in Grand Rapids in August I spent some time visiting with the Hobb’s Batting Rep.  I decided to give Silk Batting a try.  I know I don’t need another project but I just felt like a change so I started last night.


She gave me a throw size (60″ x 60″) .  I want to know several things about it before I commit to a full quilt.  I want to know how it needles, how it washes and dries, how it feels, how it drapes, does it beard…etc.   The label tells some things, but you can never tell for sure how you will like it until you try

silk batting test 003

I didn’t want to put a lot into a top in case I don’t like it so I decided to do just a plain whole cloth.

First I tack the backing to the floor with thumb tacks


then lay down the batting and smooth it out


Teddy doesn’t try to help with this part, just watches

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Next I put on the top and smooth out


Then add pins ( I used 72 pins for the 60 inch square )

silk batting test 014

I didn’t do any marking before hand, and I don’t have a set design in mind, so I put it in the hoop, took a pencil and did a free-form feather.  I will do a bunch of these all intertwining over the entire quilt.  I am using #8 perle cotton, and a #5 embroidery needle.  I am doing about 6 stitches per inch.

silk batting test 016 silk batting test 017 silk batting test 018

So far I like it.  It is so easy to stitch.  It is very thin so I don’t think I would like it for all quilts, I like loft on some, but for a thin quilt it seems perfect.  I will know more after I wash it, but for now I will say it is the easiest to needle batting that I have ever used.  so far so good!  More to come as I progress.

Happy Quilting


49 thoughts on “Silk Batting Test

  1. Sharon in Galesburg MI says:

    It’s people like you who take the time to do the testing that make it easier for people like me. Thanks. Love the red on while. Love the Quilt Inspector’s intensity as he watches you. Not everyone is so lucky to have a furry, lovable supervisor!

  2. Kathleen Campbell says:

    Like the Pearl cotton idea. Will be looking for your opinions on the while project. Hope you are all better now.

  3. Kathi says:

    You must be feeling better to put another quilt together and such wonderful stitches… love the rosey red thread you are using… thanks for sharing your process and how well you free hand feathers! Thanks for posting your talent too most of all! Love that you share what you do… it inspires me 🙂 Kathi

  4. Marcia Ahlbrand says:

    great info, Tim, thanks for sharing! (Glad you’re home too .. take care!)

  5. karen says:

    looking forward to your results

      • karen says:

        Tim this doesn’t have anything to do with quilting but could you look at my post on tulips and offer advice 🙂

      • timquilts says:

        the thing they have left out in the instructions is vernalization. In order to bloom, tulips and other spring-flowering bulbs must be exposed to temperatures of 40 to 45ºF for 12 to 16 weeks. Possible storage sites include the refrigerator, root cellar, or an outdoor trench. During cold storage, water the bulbs regularly and keep them in complete darkness. without this you wont get anything but leaves. so put the bulbs in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 months then set them out and watch them bloom….it is very hard to time them exactly for a specific date …different varieties have different growth rates, and home temp and humidity will make a difference as well

      • karen says:

        thanks Tim – I rarely get tulip flowers here because of the winter temperatures – not cold long enough – I will try your refrigerator suggestion and not think about having them for Christmas – I will have to do that another year –

      • timquilts says:

        good luck Karen
        ….I think about doing tulips myself every year, and I never get around to it …and end up planting them in the garden 😦

  6. Annette, NC says:

    I love quilting with silk batting. I used it on my Ladies of the Sea quilt which has a lot of quilt on it. The silk batting is very flat so it is not for all quilts. But once you use it, you are spoiled 🙂

  7. Francie says:

    ANOTHER BEAUTY…you’re killing me, Tim. Recouping and still doing
    amazing quiltwork. Prolific …..putting it mildly…. 😀

  8. kate says:

    Hello Tim, thanks for this post. So how do you think this would quilt up if you were using thinner thread and smaller needle, like on your wholecloth? Was this very expensive? look forward to following your progress.

    • timquilts says:

      I think with a smaller needle and regular thread I could get about a million stitches per inch…..of course that is an exaggeration but I think for very fine stitching it would be perfect! Cant remember the cost but it is definitely not inexpensive

  9. Tina says:

    So glad you are feeling better and better each day. This is amazing, really, love the red and the feathers. You certainly are prolific.

  10. Carolanne says:

    Do you ever use ‘Thread Heaven’ a thread conditioner & protectant on your perle? Your quilt looks great, contrasting threads can be a bit unforgiving by showing up a varying stitch size…..but yours look so even & effortless. Wow!

    • timquilts says:

      I don’t use thread heaven on anything, I tried it before and really didn’t care for it at all. It is very hard to keep the stitches even with the thick thread….I am still learning to do that. since the batting is so thin I thought a thicker thread and a dark contrasting color would make the quilting show up better….with a loftier batting the loft makes the design more pronounced and I use a matching thread and normal sized needle and thread

  11. Sharon says:

    I love silk for thin but wool if I want some loft; I use a thin wool batting the majority of the time unless I’m going for a c1930s look. Most of my quilts right now are machine quilted but I plan to get back to hand quilting again soon.

  12. Marilee Botos says:

    Not quilt related so much, but are you thumb tacking it down on your hardwood floors?

  13. audrey says:

    Looking wonderful! Love the red big stitch look already!

  14. Sharron K. Evans says:

    Gorgeous as always. Do you like the silk over wool? I couldn’t control my stitches the way I like when I used wool. Too easy. Of course you don’t need wool quilts in Houston so it works out. Just love Teddy. He minds so well. Glad you’re getting back on your feet.

    • timquilts says:

      they are two entirely different products. I love the loft of the wool, it makes the quilting stand out…..I think the silk is easy to stitch, but very flat…..I will have to finish this and wash it before I can say if I like it or not.

  15. Judy says:

    Interesting assessment Tim. I tried a silk blend batting about 18 months ago and did not like it, difficult to needle! Don’t remember what brand it was. Have a feeling it was that same as your using!

    • timquilts says:

      this is why it is important for every quilter to decide for themselves what works best….we each have different ways of quilting and therefore will find different results….for me this silk batting is like quilting through air

  16. Gaye Ingram says:

    Lovely. Look forward to seeing your conclusions. Has Teddy commented on it yet? He is a handsome devil!

  17. Christine says:

    I’ve only ever used the silk batting when I’m making something to wear, as it’s nice and thin and drapes well, and is warm. Like you, I found it was wonderful to needle! I wish I’d used the perle cotton thread for the quilting, as I’m a VERY slow hand-quilter, even when I’m doing a lot of it, so I like the faster progress with perle cotton. It would have looked amazing on the jackets.

  18. Janet says:

    I’m glad to hear you’re recovering we’ll enough to do some stitching. I have a large silk batting and you’re saving me the trouble of testing it for myself. Will you measure the quilt before and after washing? I’m interested in the shrink rate. I’m loving the perle stitching!

  19. Victoria Webster says:

    Love this! You are amazing and Teddy is a cutie patootie !

  20. Janet says:

    I love the red stitching and the feathers!! What an exciting new project. I really like how silk batting needles. I find it washes well with minimal shrinkage and no pilling. Certainly it has less loft than wool but it is a nice light alternative to cotton.

  21. Gretchen McClain says:

    Tim, do you use muslin for your whole cloth quilts? I’m planning on doing an 18″ square one that I could put in a frame and wondered what you would suggest. Thanks in advance for your input.
    Gretchen in Russell, PA

    • timquilts says:

      I do like muslin, it is the easiest to mark and to quilt, used muslin on the tree of life quilt, the one I am working on now is not muslin, and it is a bit harder to quilt, and the one with silk batting and red thread is a vintage tan fabric, feels like muslin but not sure what it is, it is at least 60 years old. anyway I think muslin is a good choice

      • Gretchen McClain says:

        Thanks for responding so quickly. I’m trying to get myself outside to do some yard work before it rains. I would much rather stay in and sew. Your work is beautiful and sew inspiring! Have a productive weekend! Gretchen in Russell, PA

      • timquilts says:

        good luck!….the rain is here already so I can quilt without guilt 😉

  22. Linda says:

    Tim, I am glad to see your posts on the Hobbs silk batting. I recently attended the Houston quilt show and purchased a king size Hobbs silk batting. I am doing a batik star sampler quilt with it. I currently have a king quilt on my bed with Warm and Natural cotton batting, and i love the way it looks even after several washes. But my husband complains the quilt is too hot, so I thought I would make a new one using the silk batting. All the fabric used has been prewashed, but I am not washing the silk batting. Am I crazy for doing this size quilt and using the silk batting for the first time????? well probably….. but onward through the fog. lol


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