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.