Choosing a Batting

Choosing a Batting

For a long time, I didn't put much thought into which batting I used. I didn't buy the cheap stuff, but I didn't seek out anything in particular.  But a couple years ago started to think: which batting should I use for this quilt?  Should I use different battings for different quilts?

And the answer is yes!  Well, you can do what you want, but for me the answer was yes and I wanted to share a little about batting with you.
My personal preference is Quilter's Dream batting.  They are one of my sponsors, but I asked them if they would be interested in sponsoring me because they are my favorite, not the other way around. So I am going to talk about few batting varieties that I like to use, or that I would like to try.
My #1 favorite batting is Quilter's Dream Cotton Select.  It is the second one down in this photo.  Cotton batting is great because it will keep you warm, but it won't make you hot.  When washed, cotton batting shrinks just a little and gives quilts that nice, crinkly texture.  It comes in 4 different lofts.
Request - the lightest weight, this was designed for hand quilting but is also great for machine quilting.  It is very drapey, and is perfect for summer quilts or warmer climates.
Select - my favorite.  It is still light weight, but has a little more substance.  Perfect for hand or machine quilting.
Deluxe - I tried this for the first time on my Loominous quilt and really enjoyed working with it. There isn't a huge difference between the Select and Deluxe, but it is a little weightier.  It was still easy to work with.  This type of batting is best for machine quilting. 
Supreme - The most dense of their cotton battings, this is great for showing definition on machine quilting and for warm quilts.  I haven't tried the Supreme loft yet, but it is on my to do list.
There are a lot of quilters out there who like to use an 80/20 poly-cotton blend batting, but I have never tried it.  What I have been thinking?  It is so soft!  I would have guessed that it would be more stiff and poofy, but it had a nice drape and was a nice thickness.  Some advantages of the 80/20 batting are that it doesn't wrinkle as much as cotton and it has minimal shrinkage.

When I first heard about the Dream Green batting, I was surprised that there is a batting made from recycled bottles, but I tried it and it is great!  It feels similar to poly batting, and it also resists wrinkles and doesn't shrink.  This is my go-to batting for quilts that are more modern looking because it doesn't get that traditional quilt crinkle.  Normally I love the crinkle, but sometimes I like a smoother, more modern look.  It also has the advantage of being a little less expensive than the other varieties.
When I want a quilt to have a puffier batting, I usually use Dream Wool.  It feels light, but it is fluffy and doesn't shrink. You can see a couple quilts made with this batting here and here.  
You can see the difference in batting puffiness in the photo above. The batting on the left is Dream Cotton Select, the one in the middle is Dream Wool, and the one on the right is Dream Puff.  
My favorite batting for baby quilts is Dream Orient.  It has the best drape of any batting I have used and it is easy to work with.  If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it for machine or hand quilting.  

This post is not comprehensive, there are many different types and brands of battings out there.  Do you have a favorite batting?  Do you use the same type for all quilts or do you like to mix it up?

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