Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

I am posting a photo of some roses I picked in the back yard this morning. I know a great many of you are in the grips of winter and I thought you might like to enjoy them with me. Wishing you all a GREAT New Year with much happiness and good health and if you have things to do once in a blue moon tonites your night! The second full moon in a month called a hunters moon or blue moon! Happy New Year! Be Safe as your celebrate!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Interesting- link to a visit to a batting manufacturer

I was surfing around different blogs sites and came across this blog about a visit to a batting manfacturer
I thought you all might find interesting too. I know I did…
Thanks Karen for posting these great photos of the processes!

Thanks Crispy

Well I see that Crispy at Crispy Quilts has been testing quilting on the sample piece of Quilters Dream Orient batting I sent her. Sorry the piece was so small Crispy but thats what they sent, pre-cut pieces.
 She liked the way it needled after she got it sandwiched between two pieces of fabric she could pass a needle through. :) lol (I have been there, done that, after buying yards of such a fabric for a backing, getting it layered and basted, only to discover the only way to pass a needle through it was if I shot it from a cannon!)
 I have to ask her how she hooped it? I had so much trouble trying to figure out how I was going to do the hand stitching on these little samples, the small hoops kept getting in my way- I ended up using a border hoop. Wonder what Crispy used??
 Thanks for taking the time to test this little sample Crispy!! Oh I forgot to ask if she laundered it when she was done so she could see how wonderfully it puckers up! You can learn more about Orient here. If I make a quilted garment of any kind this is the batting I would choose for it drapes so nicely.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Working up the samples from MM and Warm

Well I think I have enough samples ( I have 54 and will have around 60 when I am done) and materials to begin bringing this information to quilt guilds. Good thing because I believe am starting to get a repetitive task injury in my shoulder from all this machine quilting. It hurts when I am quilting and then later in the day on the days I have been quilting, my hand starts to tingle.
 I still have to buff and fluff my hand out materials, but that and the completeing of the samples will have to wait for the new year as I want to enjoy every second of my holiday. I don't plan to blog this week so I wanted to take this opportunity wish all my readers a wonderful and joyous holiday! I'll be busy making memories with my family, watching my grandchildren delight in the wonder of Christmas! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wool - Usually associated with fiber or fabric made from the fleece of sheep or
lamb. However, the term "wool" can also apply to all animal hair fibers, including
the hair of the Cashmere or Angora goat or the specialty hair fibers of the camel,
alpaca, llama, or vicuna.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Warm Samples Arrived!

Finally got the samples from the Warm Co. I know what I'll be doing tomorrow

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Wicking - The ability of a fiber or a fabric to disperse moisture and allow it to
pass through to the surface of the fabric, so that evaporation can take place.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


The batting samples from Mountain Mist have FINALLY arrived! They are going to be a real challenge to work with because they are  only about  5" (so small) I am going to have to piece 4 together to be able to cut the them the same size as all the other samples which is finished 8 1/2" because quilting "takes up" some in the process. They did send samples as handouts for my guild so that will be nice when I do the presentation for my TAS chapter in July. I'm off to start quilting. Maybe the Warm Co. package will arrive this week.

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Thermal Bonding-Typically the batting fiber has a binder mixed/blended in it that melts at a lower temperature than polyester fiber. The blended web then is passed through an oven where the low temp melt fibers will flow and bond to the surrounding polyester fibers. Problems with this type of bonding are the surface fibers are not secured and allow for migration. They cannot be dry cleaned and break down with regular washing faster than resin bonded products. This type of bonding is sometimes referred to as Glazine.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the day

Tencel- A natural, manmade fiber. It is the trade name for the generic fiber Lyocell. Tencel is made from cellulose wood pulp, which is harvested from farmed eucalyptus trees grown on land unsuitable for food crops or grazing. This fiber represents milestones in the development of environmentally sustainable textiles. Used in blends it imparts new softness and drape. You will start to see tencel in sheets, exercise wear (as it wicks moisture away), and winter wear insulation, as well as batting.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Splitting a batting-This refers to the peeling apart the layers of a batting into two equal sized batting pieces. The problem with doing this is if the batting is bonded or resin treated once it is “split” only one side is treated and the other size can now beard and migrate.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thank you SEW much for your comments!!

Thank you for your posts about what battings you have tried, I really appreciate hearing from you all. Finally got the box from Mountain Mist!! I'm off to quilt~

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Spinneret - A metal nozzle type device with very fine holes used in the spinning process of manufactured non woven fibers. The spinning solution is forced or extruded through the small holes to form continuous filament fibers. The holes in the spinneret can vary in diameter to produce fibers of various denier.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Giving  you a few today to make up for yesterday-
Silk Fiber-A fine strong continuous filament produces by the larva of a silkworm when constructing its cocoons. Silk is noted for its strength, resiliency, and elasticity. The major sources of silk are Japan and China.

Size- Batting is available pre-packaged, cut in standardized bed sizes or on rolls in several different widths, by the yard.

Standard pre-packaged sizes: Include- Craft 34X45, Crib 45 X 60, Throw 60 x 60, Twin 72 x 90, Full 81 x 96, Queen 90 x 108, Super Queen 121 x 93, and King 120 x120.

Under the weather...

So sorry I did not get the terminology word of the day up yesterday I have been sick and did not have the strength or inclination to do it. I started antibiotics yesterday and got a good night’s sleep so I am feeling just a little improvement over yesterday. This weather doesn't help one day I have the A/C on the next I am burning a fire in the fire place.
I would love to tell you I am working on samples but I still have not received the samples from Warm Co. or Mountain Mist. It has been two weeks since I called. This is so frustrating to me as I have written 3 letters and sent at least 3 e-mails and called and was told they were on the way 2 weeks ago.
 I have added a few more words to the terminology so they will be coming at you out of alphabetical order here real soon. Would love to hear from any readers who have had issues with any brands of batting or have tried any of the new battings appearing on the shelves with your opinions.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Siliconized- Treating fibers with silicon to make them softer, slicker and easier to needle.

I need to hear from all of you!

What brands of batting have you tried? What are your favorites? Do you use the same brand over and over like I did afraid to try somthing new because you were unsure of the results? Have you tried a batting and had a bad experience? What went wrong? Please let me hear from you!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Scouring-The use of high temperatures and caustic agents to remove seed wastes, oils. lanolins and debris to prepare fibers for bleaching or dying.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Scrim- A very thin, sheer layer of polypropylene that is needle punched to one or both sides of a batting that helps to hold the fibers together and make it more stable. Generally makes it more difficult to hand needle.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Shrinkage- When exposed to water and heat the batting draws up and becomes smaller, this will be referred to in percentages.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Resin- A resin coating sprayed to one or both sides of carded/garnetted fibers, this coating is then dried and cured to form a bonded batting, generally referred to as bonding or bonded. This is used on a wide variety of fibers including polyester, cotton, wool, etc. This bonded batting resists bearding better than any other type of batting. There are many different types of fiber and resin combinations to give the desired “look” and”hand”. Combining processes, fibers and resins makes the resin bonded process the most versatile.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Here is Caprice showing her animals the house she made.

Hope this finds you all are making holiday memories with your dear ones too!

...and that makes TWO gingerbread houses this weekend!

Well I baked off another house for my grandaughter to decorate. Boy we are is the Christmas spirit now! Caprice did a very good job on her first Gingerbread house. I am off to put my feet up and reload all my software into my computer. Whew, am I ever tired!

The 2009 Gingerbread House

Let the decorating begin!

Holiday Mayhem

During the month of December we normally have a family get together for the annual orange harvest and OJ squeezin'! Everyone picks the tree in our backyard clean and we all squeeze gallons of fresh orange juice. We celebrate my daughters birthday on the 11th and we build & decorate our Christmas gingerbread house. Somehow we managed to do all those things this weekend. I kept my grandson last night for a sleepover and we made the gingerbread for the house. I made a big holiday breakfast this morning and called my daughter and her husband and said "Breakfast is ready!" They came over and we decorated the gingerbread house, picked oranges, juiced them and because Katrina & her husbands family will all be going away to Disney for her birthday we went ahead and did that too. I thought I would share some of our holiday with all of you. (You'll have to excuse my grandsons haircut he cut his own hair the day before Thankgiving and a buzz cut was the only option, it has actually grown quite a bit)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Resiliency- refers to the battings ability to retain its loft; to spring back when creased or folded.

Having computer Issues

I am writting you from my lap top on this rainy, chilly Florida morning as mydesk top computer operating system crashed yesterday when I attempted to load Windows Seven. Hope to be back up and running later today and will post the terminology at that time. Still have not received any new batting samples but I am ready for them when they do finally arrive.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Pre-Soak- Some batting manufactures recommend you pre-soak (shrink) a batting to ensure there will be no shrinkage in the finished quilt. This is usually done by filling a washing machine w/ hot water submerging the batting and allowing it to soak (No agitation) and then spinning the water away. That is followed by laying it flat and allowing it to air dry or tumble in the dryer. Follow manufactures’ instructions on the package.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Plain Batting-Plain or garnetted batting is fibers that have been processed through a garnett or carding equipment and layered with no other processes. It is not bonded together in any manner it is very easy to quilt (needle) but has the potential for migration, bunching and shifting between the quilted lines. Requires quilting no more than ½” apart or less to prevent migration.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Piecing/Splicing Batting- Refers to stitching two smaller pieces of the same batting together to make one larger piece to fit the size of a quilt. This is best done by hand with a herringbone stitch and a curved seam.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Spoke to Warm Co. and Mountain Mist yesterday should have samples of their products next week.

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

‘Open’ Wool batting- Open wool refers to the cleaned, combed and carded wool that has not been bonded or needle punched and tends to beard (migrate) excessively.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas is coming!

My mothers Christmas cactus plants are begining to bloom!
I always feel she is with me during the holiday season when I see her cactus bloom.
Posted by Picasa

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Migration/ Bearding- The movement of batting fibers through the quilt top or back.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Pre-Soak/Pre-Shrink- The process of pre-shrinking a batting. This is usually done by soaking in water about 95 degrees (no agitation) and spinning the water out, followed by drying in a dryer or rolling in a dry towel and air drying flat, this is done to prevent any shrinkage of the finished quilt the during subsequent washing and dryings.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Needling-The act of passing a threaded needle through the top, batting and back of a quilt during the quilting process.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Needle punched- The process of punching hundreds of tiny barbed needles through the fibers which causes the fibers to interlock similar to needle felting. Needle punched wool or poly tends to migrate. But will not bunch or shift like plain carded products. Needle punched products can also be thermal or resin bonded.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Glazine Finish-Typically the batting is passed through a mechanical process that applies heat to the surface of the web. The surface is “sealed” or “glazed”. This helps minimize the potential for bearding, bunching and shifting and results in good stability. Not to be confused with Stearns and Foster’s (Mountain Mist) Glazene® finish which is a water soluble starch based product that is applied to the surfaceof their cotton batting and washes away when laundered.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Batting samples total near 50 now

Well I have nearly 50 samples of different battings made into quilted samples I sure hope this will be something that the quilting world wants to see and I have not just made myself a lifetime supply of potholders. Hoping to get the Warm samples this week Still have not heard from Mountain Mist.

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Finish-The method used to treat the fibers in a batting. This can be needle punched, bonded (thermally or with resin) or can have a layers of scrim added.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Drape- The hang or stiffness a finished quilt or quilted clothing will have which is directly affected by the loft of the batting and the density of the quilting.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Color-Batting generally comes in natural-off white (un-bleached), White (bleached) and black. Although there is a new “green/eco-friendly” batting that is made from recycled bottles and it is green in color as well.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Earliest Batting Company Union Wadding Pawtucket, RI

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Alpaca- A member of the camelidae (camels and llamas) family this fur bearing animal who is native to the mountainous regions of South America are now being raised commercially in the US and Australia. Its silky fleece is as soft as cashmere and comes in over 20 natural colors. Alpaca fleece contains no lanolin and requires much less scouring than wool.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wow Alpaca Blends needle like butter!

Alpaca Samples are done! Slight bearding on the wool/alpaca blend.

The Alpaca samples arrived- WooHoo!!

I have my thimble on my finger & I'm off to stitch!

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Carding/ Carded-The process of combing fibers between two cards to cleanse and untangle them and prepare them for spinning. This process can also be called garnetting.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Bunching/shifting- When batting fibers bunch up and or shift inside the quilting lines, it will appear as clumps of fibers in the corners of a quilted area.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Watching for delivery

I am awaiting delivery of more batting to make more samples.I sent another letter and e-mail to one of the manufactuers that I have contacted 3 x's. The Alpaca samples should arrive this week and the ones from Warm. I'll keep you posted!

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Bonding/Bonded- A process that uses sprayed on binders and/or resins or uses heat (thermal bonding) or needle punching, to treat/bond batting fibers to prevent bearding (migrating), and allows the batting to remain in one smooth sheet this helps prevents tearing and stretching as it is unrolled and spread

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Bleaching-A process used to remove the natural pigment from a fiber. The chemicals used also help disintegrate cotton seed and boll husk waste that is left behind after the fiber has been processed through ginning, carding and/or scouring. The process uses chemicals such as sodium hydroxide or hydrogen peroxide.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hobbs line is complete!

I have finished all the battings in the Hobbs line. Now its time to clean the sewing studio as it looks like the thread fairies paid me a visit!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Todays activites

Today I spent the morning cutting squares of muslin for the samples and 2" strips for bindings, I wound 20 bobbins and plan to mark the 3/4" grid on the tops while I watch TV tonight. Hope to make some more serious headway tomorrow morning.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Batting Terminology-Word of the Day

Batting (or Wadding) - A non woven sheet of short loose fibers used for padding.
Bearding- Refers to the migration of batting fibers through the quilt front or back.
Blends-A combination of fibers blended together, can be a blend of natural and manmade fibers or two natural fibers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Recieved an e-mail there are two batting samples on the way Alpaca/Wool and Alpaca/cotton, can't wait to needle those two!

bamboo batting fiber debris in bobbin area

Double click this photo to "see" why it is important to clean the bobbin area after aboutevery 3 bobbins of quilting.This batt makes Lots of lint!!

Muslin ready to sandwich samples

A view of what each sample consists of

My bag of finished samples
Here is a list of battings I have made samples of. I am currently working on the Hobbs line.

Machine 60/40
Fairfield Soft Touch
Fairfield Quilters 80/20 Blend
Fairfield Cotton Classic
Fairfield Bamboo
Poly-fil Low loft Polyester
High Loft Ploy
Extra High Loft Poly
Traditional Craft Poly
Quilters Dream
Dream Cotton Request
Dream Blend Select
Dream Cotton Select
Dream Poly Request
Dream Poly Select
Dream Orient Select
Dream Green Select
Dream Angel
Simply Cotton White
Soft Soy Blend
Bamboo Blend
Simply Cotton un-bleached
Earth Blend
Simply Bamboo
Soft and Safe
Poly Perfect
Soft and Elegant
Super soft Cotton 50/50 Blend
Moda Luna
Soy Soft
Kyoto bamboo blend
Loft Luna 80/20
Warm Co.
Warm and  Natural
Warm and White
Warm and Safe
Soft and Bright
Mountain Mist
Cotton Blossom 95% cotton/5% silk
Heirloom Premium 80/20
Heirloom Natural w/ scrim
Heirloom Bleached Heirloom Natural
Heirloom 80/20 Black cotton
Heirloom 80/20 bleached
Heirloom 80/20 Fusible
Tuscany Washable Wool
Tuscany Silk
Tuscany Polyester
Back to Back
Alpaca/Cotton Blend
Alpaca/Wool Blend
100% cotton flannel
Being as I started these batting trials a few weeks back and just started blogging about it today I thought I would share the way I prepared each sample and what brands I have tested so far. So here is the recipe I used for my samples;

How I prepared the batting samples

Each batting was cut into two 12” squares for the quilting samples; they were layered and quilted by machine in ¾” grid between two squares of bleached muslin. One sample square from each brand of batting then received a single line of hand quilting to test for ease of hand needling. These quilted squares were then rotary cut to 9 ½” squares and bound. (Note: There are a few brands of samples that are cut to 8 1/2” because the what I received from the manufacturer were pre-cut 10”squares) One of these bound samples was then hand washed in hot water (as hot as my water heater would allow, which turned out to be 127.4 ˚F) with powdered detergent and dried in a hot electric dryer. Each brand tested will include an unquilted sample of each batting so you can examine each brand for hand, neps, scrim, bonding seed waste debris, loft and color. Every sample of batting, and quilted samples, washed and unwashed, were then labeled as such.
All muslin used in the samples is 100% cotton and was pre-washed in hot water and dried in the dryer and ironed smooth using a steam generator iron. The thread used for machine quilting is mercerized 100% cotton. The thread used for hand quilting is glazed 100% cotton.

How it all began

I was in my local Jo Ann's the other day looking for batting for a quilting project. I saw this woman in the batting aisle picking up packages of batting reading the labels. If they had a twist tie closure she was opening the bags and feeling the battings. She looked really confused and frustrated and I felt like I could so relate to that frustration. I picked out the same old batting I always get not because I am all that thrilled with it but because I have used it over and over and I know what results I can expect. That woman stuck in my head for days while I was quilting my project. I kept thinking how many other quilters like me have only tried one or two brands of batting and stick with those for every project because we know what to expect? I started to think -"What if I made washed and un-washed samples of all the battings on the market and tested them for hand needling and took them to guilds so quilters could see and feel the results..."
I bounced the idea off a few of my close friends and some of the gals in my online groups. They were very interested. So I compiled a letter and sent an e-mail to a few batting manufactures requesting samples of their products. Three days later I returned home from running errands to find a box on my front from the Quilters Dream Company... and that was the beginning of me going completely batty.