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Quilting hoop sizes: the dilemma returns, along with a batting dilemma - Hand Sewing and Quilting

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October 22nd, 2008

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11:05 am - Quilting hoop sizes: the dilemma returns, along with a batting dilemma
I'm having a hell of a time finding the right quilting hoop for me. I'm 4'11 and quilt in positions that range from sitting on the sofa or bed with my legs up, to practically lying down, due to disability. So far I've tried:

16" round wooden hoop - I still don't know how I got through my first quilt on that, it's really too big for me, although it has the advantage of enclosing a standard-size quilt block well, so sometimes it's worth it.
14" round wooden hoop - better, but still a little big for me.
11" square plastic Q-snap - you get less space on this than you would with an equivalent wooden hoop as the frame is much thicker. Small enough to reach around easily, and good for edges, but it's hard to get the fabric tension right with such a small size, especially round the edges, and the small working space is frustrating.

So currently I'm considering splashing out on the £28.95 12" square hoop here, though I've also seen a 13" square hoop on eBay (it claims to be an embroidery hoop, so I'm e-mailing the seller to check). Square gives you a bit more area than round for the same diameter/width, plus it does seem to do a better job with the fabric grain. You can't position it at absolutely any angle as you can with a round hoop, but while I have yet to master quilting in all directions and can only quilt towards me, I can now quilt at a bit of an angle, plus the rounded corners give a certain amount of leeway. What do you reckon? It's an awful lot of money for yet another quilting hoop.

In other news, I'm considering battings for the bedspread I'm making. So far I've made quilts using cotton or poly (thinnest weight Quilter's Dream for both), and got on well with both, although as the poly bearded like nobody's business when the quilt was put through the wash, I don't think I'll use it again. However, I'm contemplating a cotton/poly 80/20 blend, I remember the Hobbs Heirloom one being quite nice to quilt when I was doing samples (though as I was learning to quilt on them, it's harder to compare). I've a feeling it might have been different for basting, I know it felt very different to the touch. I'm looking for a flat batting that won't shrink (I prewash my fabrics but don't want to mess around with prewashing battings), will feel nice and do nice things with regard to warmth, and won't have a canary fit if put in the washing machine. Any thoughts?

cross-posted to quilting

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 22nd, 2008 12:08 pm (UTC)
I've been using the Eco-Friendly PLA Batting I found at JoAnn's for my latest hand quilting project. It needles well, and I'm really liking it. I tried it on a machined quilt for my mother-in-law but didn't like it as well there. I have no idea yet if it'll beard, I haven't tried washing anything yet, though my mother-in-law did wash her quilt with that batting and hasn't had trouble.
[User Picture]
Date:October 22nd, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC)
*looks it up* 50/50, I see. I forgot to mention that I'm in the UK, so I don't have anything like the choice of materials you get in the US, plus I'm paying twice as much for stuff. I just spotted that poly/cotton batting needs to be quilted more closely, and since I plan to do my quilting lines as far apart as I can get away with (the quilt is 87" x 89", I don't want to be quilting for a decade), that's probably going to make the decision for me. I haven't tried washing quilts with cotton batting yet, so I don't know if they'll beard, but bearding is generally meant to be a poly problem, so I'm guessing little to none with cotton. Indeed, when I was quilting I had some bearding occur with the poly batting, but not with the cotton one. I might mess around with the poly/cotton batting for another project some time.

Any thoughts on the quilting hoop business?

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