It’s done, the quilt I talked about in my blog post from March 9th. Things were going well, in fact I had fun designing intuitively and making decisions along the way. I started quilting (my Bernina 820 did well with the cotton in the bobbin and rayon as the top thread). I wanted to support the modern theme with dense (almost matchstick quilting) and was well aware of the possible implications: the dreaded distortion.
I used cotton fabrics and 100 % wool batting in anticipation of possible distortion. When the quilt was fully quilted (I worked from both directions) the distortion was so great that I was ready to use the quilt as a floor mat! I used light misting, steam from the iron but the reduction in distortion was marginal, and not really noticeable. Several times I wrapped the dampened quilt around a tube, pinning it in regular intervals. Every time I unrolled it the distortion remained.
To provide you with a mental picture (I didn’t make photos as I was so frustrated), the distortion was about 3″ on the diagonal! (A definite hair-pulling-out moment!)
Last Saturday afternoon I decided to give it one more try. All my energy went into the straightening of the quilt. I thoroughly dampened it front and back using a water mister. I used long T-pins every 2 ” constantly measuring, stretching, remeasuring, re-pinning the quilt. It took 3 hours, a lot of gentle coaxing and about all the patience I could muster. The quilt was straight. Sore fingers crossed, I left for the weekend.
On Wednesday afternoon I removed the pins and checked for square… Success: The quilt only needed a very small amount of trimming. The empty floor space in front of my design walls was well utilized for the victory dance!
I proceeded by attaching the binding (the diagonally lined primary background fabric) and the hanging sleeve. I am now ready too introduce to you “Wabi Sabi Modern: The Grid Conquered”. It will be exhibited at the Quilt Canada 2016 Invitational in Mississauga this June.
Why did I choose to blog about my experience? I wanted to share with you the attributes of 100 % wool batting. I have known about wool batting for the last 15 years. I have even used wool batting in one of my large assessment pieces for City & Guilds, but I suffered sticker shock every time I looked at it in the quilt store. No more! I am a complete convert and will be using wool batting exclusively from now on.
Wool batting is light weight, can be doubled for extra loft if so desired.
Wool batting aids in the prevention of wrinkles when storing and/or shipping your quilts to competitions. (Note: As a quilt judge, I often suggest to the entrant to either roll the quilt for shipping or switching to wool batting when unsightly folding creases distract from the overall presentation.)
Wool has “memory”. Have you noticed how wool sweaters maintain their shape during prolonged wear and when washed? When using wool batting in quilts this memory function is priceless as I demonstrated in my story above.
Had I not used wool batting I would not have been able to block the quilt into the 53″ x 40″ rectangle you see in the image above. Have you considered switching to wool batting? I hope this personal story will help you get closer to an educated decision.
Thank you for stopping by today! Feel free to weigh in with your personal stories about using or not using wool batting, and how you rescued a quilt after many hours of work on a quilt.