Doing quilts for the Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project, I went far beyond my original goal with more tops and backings sent to me than I had batting available. Thanks to some kind friends, I was gifted with several to help fill the gap. One of them was a raw wool batting that I have not seen before. It looked like it would be a really high loft, but what the hey, free batting is free batting. So I unrolled it and loaded the longarm with this lovely donated top and backing. I have lost the piecer’s name that I had put with the top, so please let me know if you did it. I loved the large squares that showcased the beautiful blues, it reminded me of the ocean.
I had difficulty from the start, as the batting didn’t unroll smoothly. Note that this quilt top is lovely and flat, and in no way contributed to the difficulty in quilting this quilt.
This is the batting in its package so you will know if you see it to pass it by. That orange paper inside tells you how to unroll it, using a paper ribbon rolled inside. That was my first clue that this wouldn’t be the easiest thing to work with, when they have to tell you how to unroll it, but I went forward anyway.
There was no scrim to hold it together, so it had thick and thin spots.
It tore easily too. I had to keep arranging it and overlap it in places to be sure the batting came out even all the way across the quilt.
I chose a quilting design that was really simple and wide, a low density clam shell.
The loft of the batting is really high, and filled up the clam shells. Overall I liked the effect, but not the batting itself. I really liked the backing fabric that was sent, it was a wild pattern that went very well with the top.
Getting nearer to the end, the edge was uneven. The thick and thin spots are apparent.
The high loft made it difficult to get the bottom edge even.
Pinned and repinned, then I just had to sew it and move on.
Finally finished and trimmed, I thought it turned out nicely in the end. I bound it by machine and sent it on its way to Wilmington. The puffiness is really apparent at the bottom of the photo below.
Now that I know, I won’t ever use a no-name ‘natural wool’ batting like this ever again. The second one I received was donated to the thrift store. I taped a label over the word ‘batting’ with the note that it was really fiberfill and not suitable for quilting. Moral of this story – only quality battings for me from now on!! Hobbs, Quilter’s Dream or Warm and Natural, or it goes to the thrift store for use as pillow stuffing.
And while I’m on the subject of what NOT to do, don’t sew with old thread either. Use old spools in craft projects.
Do you have a lesson on something NOT to use?
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