Saturday, October 29, 2011

Eureka Quilt, pt. 14 -- Quilting

Quilting...  It takes an hour to make one full pass, and I wasn't moving the machine slowly.  Four and a half passes are complete.  I am using Dream-Poly batting.

Back in days gone by, I used nothing but polyester batting in my quilts.  I never recall the stuff getting lumpy; the fabric wore out first!  Polyester battings are generally better quality than they used to be.  If quilting density recommendations are followed, there is seldom a problem with it breaking apart or getting lumpy, even when washed often.

But after reading a number of horror stories about using polyester batting with a longarm machine, I wondered what would happen when I tried it.  A customer had given me a package of Wal-Mart’s batting to use with her Wildlife quilt – and it was thoroughly and tightly wadded and crumpled into that package.

I’m happy to report that I had no trouble whatsoever; my HQ16 handled it with aplomb.  I had to work at it to get all the wrinkles and creases out, and it’s too fragile to just grab it and pull to straighten it out; I had to smooth it down gently and often as I went along.  (Not as fragile as the cornhusk batting a quilt shop owner recently showed me, though!  That stuff disintegrated when I breathed too heavily on it or shuffled my feet in its vicinity.)

The quilting through cheap poly bat being a rousing success, I had no qualms about purchasing Dream-Poly for the Eureka.  It’s sooo soft and fine, and has a lovely drape.  Furthermore, it is much lighter weight than cotton batting.  I have made several king-sized quilts with Warm & Natural cotton batting that were so heavy, I needed a hand truck to transport them from the quilting studio to the bedroom.  And, while cuddly and warm, they press down on arthritic toes something fierce.

The Dream-Poly cost me $36.50 for a piece 120” x 120” – it was $10.95/yd.  A bit more than some battings, but the quilt will be a Christmas gift, and I want it to be extra-special nice. 

I got the batting at a cute little quilt shop in Wakefield, Nebraska, called 'Quilt Shop'.  (That's what I would have named it, too.)  Victoria and I stopped there during our excursion to various quilt shops to our northeast and east Friday, October 28, 2011.

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