What Kind Of Batting To Use?

When I was a little girl in the 70s, my mom made a basic patchwork quilt that she tie-quilted with polyester batting. It was fluffy and squooshy and great until I wore it out by the early 80s. I wish I had a photo of it – matching burgundy and cream calicos. The poly batting was just kind of weird and it wasn’t really mendable. My mom made me a second quilt in 1989/90 and it’s a double Irish chain in solids of lavender and white.

Double Irish Chain Quilt
Double Irish Chain Quilt

It was hand-quilted with a cotton batting.

80s Lavender
80s Lavender

It is soooo beat up. I feel like such a little sh*t looking at it now. Of course my mom wanted me to use it, but now that I appreciate these things so much more, maybe I wouldn’t have spilled black candle wax on it (no, not on Halloween…I was a teen in the 90s, every day was Halloween, boppy-bop-bop).

Black Spot
Black Spot

I used the paper towel/iron method to get that wax up, but it still stained. I’m such a bastard. It’s so worn out that anymore I just keep it folded and out of harm’s way.

Worn Out Quilt
Worn Out Quilt

I’ve used poly batting for a dragon tail & spines, for a furry bat costume, to save a cuddley here and there and for the Christmas stockings.

Baby's Stocking
Baby’s Stocking

For a craft here and there, I’m ok with it, but it hasn’t been my favorite to work with.

As I was finishing up the pillows for Liam’s chevron bed set, I thought I’d test it out to see if I really didn’t like it or if it was my imagination. Time to set up sewing area as test lab again!

I really don’t like it.

Here is a pillow top pieced, basted with batting and backing, and quilted with the Sulky thread.

poly batting
poly batting
poly batting testing
poly batting testing

Here’s a close up of those stars – do you see how wonky they got? Ms. Viking Did Not Like. I tried and tried, but she was not having anything to do with it.

embroidery w poly
embroidery w poly

Compared to how the cotton batting turned out, I think it’s a safe bet to say I’m sticking with cotton batting or bust.

top finished
top finished

Now, I do mention using an organic bamboo/cotton blend here in the baby quilt and in the Liam quilt. If you can afford that every time, more power to you. It is very, very nice to work with and is my favorite so far. I haven’t tried wool yet. If you can’t afford bamboo/cotton every time or just don’t want to, the Warm and Natural cotton works just fine for me and Ms. Viking. You won’t be seeing me buy poly batting again any time soon….well, until I need to make another dragon tail.

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