Batting for cold weather quilts

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dalequilt wrote
on 14 Jan 2012 7:07 PM

I am getting ready to complete a quilt for a women who lives in Durango, Colorado.  She wants her quilt to be warm and "heavy" for cold weather.  I have used Warm and Natural in the past but it seems rather light in weight compared to the quilts she has - they were made by her grandmother - probably from the 40's or 50's.  I'm wondering if Quilter's Dream Wool batting will work?  Any suggestions?   I live in Phoenix, AZ and we don't need "cold" weather quilts.

Thanks!!

Dale

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ckquilter wrote
on 14 Jan 2012 8:13 PM

hi dale

i am not familiar with dream wool batt, but i use their warm and white all the time.

some considerations - you want the quilt to be warm.  does it also need to be washable?? i don't know how washable the wool batts are. you need to check the labels on the package, or their website for that info.

does she really want the quilt to be heavy? or just warm?     i like warm, but heavy is uncomfortable, and a real hassle to wash.   when i need warm, i prefer to keep it light, and use a thicker poly batt instead. they are very warm, and very washable. and some of the newer poly batts are very soft and drapeable, and very comfortable to use.             also - make sure she is not allergic to wool.

some people do prefer heavy quilts - so just check the hand of the batt, and see if it is as heavy as she likes.  you can even use 2 thicknesses of batt if you need it really heavy. or use a thick batt and a wool back.  

the other consideration - are you quilting by machine?? then just about anything goes - but you are gonnahave a hard time getting a large quilt with a thick batt under the sewing machine.   a large quilt with thick batt might be better done by someone with a longarm.

if you are quilting by hand - then many prefer the wool batt because it needles easier.  the trace lanolin left in thewool helps the needle pierce the batt more easily.     many poly batts are very hard to hand quilt.

also, poly batts will beard more than the natural fibers. meaning, that the poly fibers will migrate through the top and back fabrics, and show on the outside. white fibers on a dark top will not lool nice after a few years.   the natural fibers will also migrate through, but are more brittle, and will break off; whereas the poly fibers won't - so they hang around longer and are more obvious.

i have a number of bed quilts, made 20 years ago, with poly batt, and washed numerous times, and they are still looking good.

but i don't like heavy blankets, just warm. (and washable). so these days if i need warm, i still prefer a poly batt, and will often use either a flannel or polar fleece backing.  it makes the quilt very soft, very warm, washable, and light - my preferred combination of qualities. and as i am quilting by machine, needle ability is not an issue.

i am sure there are some other members with more experience with wool batts, and other preferences, who can provide more info.  hope that helps.

ckquilter

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dalequilt wrote
on 14 Jan 2012 8:52 PM

CKquilter, thanks for your information.

 The quilt top I will be using for her belonged to her grandmother and don't think it should be washed - the fabric is made from older pieces of feedsack and some other fabrics,  could have been clothing at one time.

 I think the warmth is most important.  I will be quilting by hand.  I don't think she is allergic to wool, as I mentioned it to her before undertaking this project but will double check again to be sure.  I like the idea of double batting - may be a little challenging for hand quilting but it is certainly a consideration.

I wasn't sure if there was another type of batting I should look for.

 

Thanks again for the info and hints!!

Dale

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Posts 219
ckquilter wrote
on 15 Jan 2012 2:35 AM

hi again

your reply gave lots more info.     i don't hand quilt, but my quilt friends who do, like hand quilting the wool. but it will get harder to do as it gets thicker. many old heavy quilts were tied, instead of quilted - because quilting through thick layers is hard on the hands.

if done carefully, the hand quilting will help to stabilize the old fabrics.    if not, it could make them disintegrate.  so be careful. and be gentle to your hands also - you are gonna want to use them in the future !!

the other thing to double check - although this is not a big issue if you don't plan on washing the quilt - is the manufacturers suggestions for how far apart quilting lines can be, and have the batt stay stable. some can be quilted 12" apart, and will not shift. some need to be quilted as close as 1/2 inch, or the batt will shift and bunch.              so once you have decided on how far apart the quilting lines will be, then double check the label on the batt to make sure it is a good combination.                  ckquilter

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