Tag Archives: fusible batting

Going Batty

After years of fealty to whatever quilt batting I could buy on sale at JoAnn’s, I’ve become a batting snob.  The big box store batting I’ve bought lately has felt cardboardy.  It didn’t have the suppleness I expected.

batting shelvesFor fusible batting I’ve been buying Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 fusible cotton blend by the yard at a local quilt shop.  It had been recommended by the shop owner who uses it in her quilts.  Recently I ran out of this, and bought some Fusi-boo (cotton/bamboo/some other stuff fusible) from JoAnn’s as I didn’t have time to drive to the shop.  Bad choice!  The Fusi-boo was very stiff (all fusible batting is stiffer than regular due to the resin), far stiffer than I remembered the product being in the past.  I don’t know if the product specs had been changed or if I had simply become spoiled by the Hobbs product, but I’m not buying any more Fusi-boo.

My new batting love is Quilters Dream request (the lowest loft stuff) poly.  It drapes and sews like a dream in my wall hangings.  Of course, it won’t give you a crinkly finish when washed, being polyester. This really isn’t an issue for many of my wall hangings. I haven’t yet tried Quilters Dream cotton, but I’m looking forward to it.  And I saw the company now has a fusible batting called Dream Fusion.

If I were making a bed quilt I’d give serious consideration to wool batting.  It’s very light and warmer than cotton, and sews beautifully.  Also, it helps prevent wrinkles in quilts, a plus if you fold or mail your quilts off to shows. Of course, it costs more, but if you’re putting hours of work into a quilt I don’t think you should worry about saving a few bucks on the batting.


Filed under Commentary

How Do You Make Your Sandwich?

Quilt sandwich, that is.  The ingredients are constant – top, filling, back – but the methods used to combine them vary.  After my unfortunate experience with the Project from Hades I’ve been looking for alternatives to pin basting.

And what have I found?  The two main alternatives are spray basting and fusible batting, if you plan to machine quilt.  Hand basting is the traditional method used with hand quilting, but isn’t recommended for machine quilting since removing the basting thread is almost impossible once you machine stitch on top of it.

Of course, every quilting instructor has a different preference, just to confuse us poor quilters.  Lynn Peterson uses spray, Wendy Butler Berns and Leah Day use safety pins.  The chief objection to spray appears to be concern about exposure to noxious chemicals.  Well, if you spray outside or in an open garage that should help mitigate such problems.  After all the talk about inhaling bad stuff from basting sprays I was amused at this video about 505 basting spray.  These two ladies seem blissfully unaware of any potential health impacts.

No one except the owner of a local quilt shop seems to favor fusible batting, and she swears by a Hobbs product.  I’ve used something called Fusiboo with OK results.  Everyone cautions against using a June Tailor fusible batting that has clumps of glue stuck here and there.  I bought some of this stuff once and it is truly awful.  Anyway, the shop owner sold me some of the Hobbs batting.  I’ve seen her quilts so I know the product will work on tops with lots of applique.

As I’ve tried fusible batting I decided to go with a basting spray for my flowers quilt.  It has so many bits of fabric fused on the top that I feared pinning would be difficult and wouldn’t hold the layers together well through all the twisting entailed in quilting all those edges.  And I was worried the pins would get caught in my walking foot as I rotated the top.  Besides, I had already cut a piece of batting.

So, based on Lynn Peterson’s recommendation I bought some 505 spray and sprayed it to the wrong sides of the quilt top and backing, being careful to spray out on my porch. Then, following Lynn’s instructions I pinned the backing to a carpeted floor using T-pins, aligned the batting on top, and then smoothed the top on.  I then ironed my sandwich to further smooth and attach the layers.  I did this with everything still pinned to the carpet.  Since then, I’ve noticed some quilters spray the batting, add the top, then turn everything over, spray the other side of the batting and add the backing.  I think the method may depend on the size of your quilt.

The result?  So far I’ve done some stabilizing stitch in the ditch and about half of the narrow zigzag stitching around the fused pieces.  I’m pleased with the hold of the spray, though it’s a bit loose at the corner edges.  I may have used less spray there.  For this quilt it’s not an issue.

And for the future?  I admit I’m sold on spray basting, though I may have a different answer come winter with snow on the ground.  Maybe I’ll use fusible batting then.


Filed under In Process