Friday, 1 May 2009

Spot the difference?

This entry owes a little to the Yarn Harlot, and a lot to Imagingermonkey!

A while ago I told the Internet about the difficulties I was having with batting (wadding) for a table runner. After that, a kind person (that would be Imagingermonkey!) undertook to send me a sample of the batting you can use for a table runner.

What a difference there is between this:

(which is lightweight polyester batting as purchased in John Lewis, kind of fluffy)

and this:

(which is cotton batting sent to me in elucidation, like a thick flannelette sheet.)

If only I had known, I would never have tried to stitch the first one into my runner! And I would have waited till I had some of the second one before finishing my runner (now nicely top-stitched, but not quilted at all).

Still, it's only partly my fault. Impatience is my fault. But Sew Hip magazine, being aimed at beginner and improver sewists, could have defined more exactly what was meant by "natural batting". And also, the staff in John Lewis haberdashery dept should really have known what was meant when I asked for "natural batting". Especially because I did explain, to two sales-ladies, what I wanted to use it for.

Earlier this year I laughed and laughed my way through Things I Learned from Knitting (whether I wanted to or not) I particularly smiled at the section on assuming a new knitter knows absolutely nothing, as I had myself once tried to knit from a skein without first winding it into a ball. (Oi! Stop sniggering over there!)

Obviously the same applies to sewing. I am a new-ish sewist when it comes to producing a quilted item, and therefore there is no such thing as too much information.


  1. I'm so glad you have discovered the natural cotton wadding - the difference really is like night and day to the polyester stuff. Your runner looks lovely as it is though (I may get drummed out of polite quilting circles for this but.... not everything has to have batting - sshhh!).
    If you've a sewing question of ANY kind I'd really recommend, we've had questions ranging from how to make a ferret hammock to how to repair the hood of a convertible car, and everything inbetween :-)
    Also, I've always found The Cotton Patch very helpful for anything quilting and patchwork related
    Happy sewing :-)

  2. I didn't know about natural wadding either, although it does look like curtain interlining. I know when I made a handbag from a Melly and Me pattern it called for a type of iron on interling and I used bondaweb and a pieces of curtain interlining. Still blissfully unaware what I was meant to use!

  3. Sometimes I use felt when I want a layer of wadding/batting but I will look out for the natural batting and see how that works. Wadding is often too thick and bouncy. Is it for the hexagons runner? I had a quick flick through the pictures and it looked good.

  4. Thanks for the kind comments on my (unquilted) hexagons runner! For a table item, I think the cotton batting would probably be ideal, because it's also machine washable. I'm going to try using some of the cotton batting in some table mats in matching fabric and will let you all know how I get on!