Quilter’s Dream Batting Review

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Quilter's Dream Poly Batting

I’ve been working with a new (to me) type of batting, Quilter’s Dream Poly Batting. For my current project, I needed something that has virtually no shrinkage, and very low loft. Quilter’s Dream is nearly the only thing on the menu in the way of poly batting at the Heidelberg Arts & Crafts shop, so I had ITMan pick some up for me while he was out one day. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that the stuff comes in at least three different weights (or lofts, I suppose), and he brought me the Deluxe loft, and it was so thick I don’t think my scissors could have cut through it without damage! To be honest, I can’t imagine using it for any large quilt project, because it would be horribly heavy!

Back to the store that went, to trade for the Select loft, which is considerably thinner. I decided to try it on a smaller project, to see how it went, but it still felt thick and stiff to me, and I thought that a 60″ square quilt would still weigh a ton even with this lighter weight batting, so I ordered a Request loft version from Virginia Quilter (as an aside, VQ is about average on shipping costs and times, nothing stellar, not super cheap or super quick). The Request loft was so thin I was worried that it was going to feel like the quilt had no batting, but I decided to give it a try anyway.

The machine quilting was going pretty well actually. I’m used to puffy battings like Hobbs Polydown or Tuscany Wool, so this low loft thing is quite a bit of a departure. The Dream Poly feels wonderfully stable, and the quilt top and backing aren’t slipping around as much against the batting as they tend to to with the Polydown or the Tuscany Wool that I usually use. The Dream Poly grips the fabric well, just like a cotton batting would.

Now comes the major issue: The quilting was going well, until I used a lint roller (the tape on a roll kind) to remove some of the cat hair and fuzz from a section of the quilt before I started quilting it. Cat hair on quilts during construction is just a fact of life around here, though I do try to sweep it off with a lint roller as I go so as not to quilt too much of it into the quilt which makes it harder to remove later. Unfortunately, a major portion of the “fuzz” that’s visible on the black parts of the quilt top is not cat hair, but batting fibers that have bearded already, and the quilt has been basted together less than a week, and only handled on the machine bed for quilting. 8O

I’m in a little bit of shock actually. I’ve never had a batting beard this badly, BUT, to be fair, I haven’t made a quilt like this one before. When I’ve done quilts with a large amount black fabrics or a black background, I’ve used black batting, and it was Hobbs 80/20 anyway, so that’s not much of a comparison. When I quilted Butterfly Houses, I used a black backing, and I was concerned about bearding on the back because I knew that using black batting wasn’t going to work because of all the light fabrics on the front of the quilt. I compromised by adding an extra layer of white fabric between the white Polydown batting and the black backing to hopefully cut down on any bearding potential, and it seems to have worked (though that quilt has never been washed…)

This current quilt project has solid black fabrics and nearly solid white fabrics on the front, with a light grey backing fabric. I didn’t figure it would be a good idea to use black batting, since it would probably show a bit under the white fabrics on the front, but I’m not sure what the best answer would have been at this point. Maybe the black fabric was too loosely woven or something, but it’s not like it looks that way upon close inspection or anything, and for all I know it’s the same on all the other fabrics in the quilt, it just doesn’t show as much because they’re not black. I’m too far along in the quilting to rip it all out and start over with a different type of batting, and I don’t know what I would use anyway. I think I’m stuck with this now, but I hope it doesn’t get really bad after it’s been washed, since the quilt does have to be washed at least once to get the markings out. Meh.

So, after the cat has run out the door already and it’s too late to close it, anybody have any suggestions for a low loft poly batting that doesn’t shrink and doesn’t beard, or am I asking for the moon?? What have your experiences been with Quilter’s Dream Poly?

Nadine Quilting smiley from myemoticons.com

20 thoughts on “Quilter’s Dream Batting Review

  1. I had this problem with solids when I made a quilt for my nephew. The quilt was all gradated solids and I loved it until I noticed it, too, wore a beard. I realized the weave was not as tight on the solids I used. In time it resolved and the bearding ran its course. I hope this is not your Inchies, though.

    Kelly

  2. Hi Kelly, I do think maybe it has something to do with the solid fabrics for whatever reason. I’m pretty sure this is a Kona Cotton even, but maybe Konas are just as bad as any other solid, if that’s really the problem. Unfortunately, time isn’t on my side on this one, to wait for it to resolve itself…

    I don’t listen to Craft Sanity, but I’ll check out the link. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the review of Quilters Dream batting. I’m searching for something that won’t beard through my Kona black backing and thought QD might be a good choice. Thanks for saving me from making another batting mistake!

  4. Hi Crystal and Welcome! I’m glad this information was helpful. I’ve heard from a couple of other people as well about the bearding, so I know I’m not the only one to experience this issue with Quilter’s Dream. Sad, but true. Have a look at Thermore from Hobbs; I’ve used it on a couple of projects lately, and have had no problems with bearding so far.

  5. I guess I’m curious after your experiences, given your choice of a very thin black batting, what would you use now?
    I have a black flannel quilt top appliqued with felted wool, so I need the filling to be the thinnest black available. Hobbs 80/20 has been mentioned.
    I will be using Keepsake Amish Black for the back.

    Thanks,
    Dee Robinson

  6. Hi Dee, and Welcome! I really have no answer for you about a thin black batting. I’ve started using Hobbs Thermore in all my current work, because no matter the color, the Quilter’s Dream just beards too badly. Thermore just doesn’t beard at all that I’ve seen, so you might consider it for your quilt. I’ve used the Hobbs 80/20, but there is some shrinkage, and it’s not the thinnest thing out there.

    Other than that, would it work to just leave the batting out? Or, how about another layer of the black flannel that you used for the quilt top itself?

    Good luck with it, and I’m curious as to what you decide and the results, so check back in and let us know! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Thank you, Nadine.
    That’s it for me. Hobbs Thermore it is.
    I read their claim to be the thinnest, beardless batting out there.
    Best regards,
    Dee

  8. Hi, I am making my first quilts for my twin daughters who are going to college in the fall. I want the quilts to be warm and machine wash and dryable. The girls don’t like scratchy wool and prefer some puffiness. The battings that look the best are both from Quilters Dream: the Dream Puff and the Dream wool. Has anyone tried these? Does the Puff beard? Can you really machine was and dry the wool? Anyother suggestions?

    • Hi Karin, and welcome!

      I haven’t tried anything but the Quilter’s Dream Poly in the Request Loft and the Select Loft (thin-loft and mid-loft, respectively), so I can’t comment on the Puff or the wool. I have used Hobbs PolyDown for years, and more recently Hobbs Heirloom Wool and Tuscany Wool and never experienced bearding with any of those. The wool is really machine washable and dryable, and not scratchy since it’s inside the fabrics. Visit the Hobbs Retail & Crafts Products page and look through the links in the left column. There are links to charts which include care instructions and specifications for the battings Hobbs manufactures.

      For a really cozy-feeling quilt, put flannel on the back, but note that machine quilting might be harder if you do that, believe it or not! Some flannels actually feel like they are sticking to the machine during free motion quilting rather than sliding better than regular quilting cotton, as illogical as that seems. If you plan for longarm quilting it probably wouldn’t matter.

      Good luck, and let me know what you choose and how it goes!

  9. I have been looking for a batting that is warm. I have used Warm & Natural low loft 80/20 and of the six quilts I made not one of them are warm. Want a warm batting that does not puff up the quilt. And has to be machine washable. Help!

    • Hi Nancy! I’m not sure I can be much help really. It’s air space that will create insulating warmth, which a flatter cotton or poly batting doesn’t have. Battings with a higher loft, like Hobbs Tuscany Wool or Hobbs Poly Down, are warmer in my opinion. When I really want to be warm, I use a down duvet/comforter on the bed, and the quilts are just for show!

  10. I just found this post and found it very interesting! I only use Quilters Dream Poly in the Request loft and I have to say I really love it! I buy it by the bolt and was just considering buying the quilt size bolt (I’m almost at the end of my 60″ width x 30 yds bolt) and was googling around to see who else uses this batting when I found your post! I have made about 20 quilts with this batting and haven’t had any problems with bearding even on solid backings. Could it be because I quilt them on my longarm? hmmm. Now I’m nervous to order a huge bolt because of the fear of getting a “bad” roll…

    • Hi Vanessa! I think if it’s worked for you, just stick with it. As I said, it could have been just that quilt, or that combination of fabrics, though of course I haven’t used it on anything else since, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. Also, my experience is a couple of years old, so things could have changed.

  11. I have a quilt with that wool batting, no solid fabrics, quilted by a long armer. Was great, until I washed it the second time. It now has little fur balls all over it. No inside animals. The dryer lint filter was FULL. Will never be used in this house again.

    • HI Janetta,

      Sorry to hear that! I haven’t used Quilter’s Dream Wool though, the batting I used and had problems with was the polyester version. I will keep your experience in mind though!

  12. I have been quilting for 35 years I started out using polyester batting. You think your quilt is bearding now. Wait until you find out that in 20 years your quilt will have no batting in it. If you are using polyester batting you are wasting your time quilting. My first quilts have NO batting in them, needless to say I have switched to cotton.

  13. I’m almost finished with an “Amish baby” quilt top made with bright, saturated solids and a black (Moda Bella Solids) background fabric. I am thinking I want to try a black batting for the first time because this quilt will likely be frequently washed and dragged around by the kiddo, and I don’t want any white bearding to detract from the look of the quilt over time. The only two black battings I am aware of are the Quilter’s Dream Midnight Dreams poly, which is supposed to be just like their 100% Poly in Select Loft, and Hobbs 80/20 which is supposed to be just like their regular 80/20 Premium batting except that the cotton and poly fibers have been dyed black. Here’s the other monkey wrench in the equation: I’m probably going to back this with Minky Cuddle fleece, which adds plenty of warmth and bulk so I want the thinnest black batting possible. I know some quilters skip the batting altogether when they use Minky backing, but I think that results in a quilt that is just too limp and not “quilty” enough for my taste. Given your experience with Hobbs 80/20 and Quilter’s Dream Poly Select Loft, which would you recommend? In the past, I have used only thin 100% cotton batting or Hobbs Heirloom Wool, which I loved. Would the Hobbs 80/20 have a similar loft to the wool, or is it going to be a much puffier batting?

    • Hi Rebecca! If I recall correctly (and I don’t have any of either of the black battings handy to check at the moment), the Quilter’s Dream Midnight (in the medium loft whatever that’s called) and the Hobbs 80/20 are about the same weight. The Hobbs 80/20 is a lower loft than the wool. The 80/20 will shrink a bit because of the cotton content; the QDM won’t shrink.

      Based on my experience with QD battings and bearding, I can’t honestly say I’d use it for anything where bearding could cause an issue, though as I’ve said, it could have just been the fabric that I used. Everyone’s experiences will vary, but I hope that helps a bit!

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