The trees are green, the birds are singing and I’m almost positive that it’s not going to snow again here in Chicago – it’s finally summer in the midwest! Do you know what that means? It’s time to bring out the bamboo batting!
Now some of the people in my life expect me to pack up my sewing machine, emerge from my sewing studio and take up an outdoor hobby since it’s warm. But guess what, people in my life? I’m a YEAR ROUND sewist, and I have bamboo quilt batting to thank.
In a previous post on how to choose the right batting, I took you on an inspirational journey through the many batting options (I don’t know about you, but I had the time of my life. *Cue music.*) We talked about cotton. We talked about poly blends. Wool made an appearance. Bamboo was mentioned, too, but I don’t think it got enough attention. So now that the ground and my hands have finally thawed, I’m bringing bamboo batting back into the spotlight.
Bamboo quilt batting is… ok, it’s amazing. Not only is it lightweight, thin and strong (basically the athlete I’ve always wanted to be), it doesn’t mildew or collect mold, either. After washing, bamboo batting dries more quickly than other batting options.
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One question I get asked a lot in the Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group is about quilt drape. Some quilters complain that their quilts feel stiff after they’ve been quilted. Who wants to canoodle underneath a stiff quilt? Well bamboo batting is here to save your love life! Without even a single wash to fluff and crinkle it up, bamboo batting quilts have a silky smooth drape.
I will admit that all of bamboo’s amazing personality traits can make it a bit more expensive. But if you’re working on a quilt that you want to keep around for a long time, it’s worth the investment.
Bamboo Batting Brands
All bamboo batting possesses these amazing traits, but the brand of batting you choose has a pretty big effect on the overall quality and longevity of your finished quilt. I have a couple of go-to brands that I come back to time after time (ooh! Cue music again!) when looking for quilt batting:
- Quilters Dream: Quilters Dream Orient batting is everything batting should be; luxurious, velvety soft, strong and devoid of inconsistencies (like thin and thick spots sadly found in other battings). Dream Orient is a bamboo blend, incorporating some silk and cotton fibers. It’s needle-punched, which means there is a right and wrong side, but that’s no problem for you because we already covered that here on the blog – Is There a Right Side to Quilt Batting?
- Pellon: When I can’t get Quilters Dream Orient, Pellon Nature's Touch Bamboo is a close second choice. If you only have access to big craft shops (or if you shop online), this brand is easy to find. This batting works well for both machine and hand quilting.
Perfect Projects to Use Bamboo Batting
Since we’re talking about summer, and since we’ve established that no matter how warm it gets outside, you can still probably find me sewing away, let’s talk about a great summer project: quilting with lawn.
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As a fabric, lawn is semi-transparent, making it cool, soft and comfortable, even in warmer weather. The smooth silkiness of lawn makes an amazing pair when it gets together with breathable, silky bamboo batting. Just thinking about it gives me a breezy, comfy feeling!
A perfect pattern for this unstoppable duo would be the Weekend Candy quilt pattern. It’s great for beginners, and it works well with the smooth silkiness of lawn! Every time the weather gets a bit warmer I turn to this quilt pattern. There's something about it that screams, "Toss me on the grass and have an ice cream party!"
If sewing with lawn, just don’t forget to prewash and starch. You can read more about sewing with lawn in this blog post.)
Don’t leave your sewing room behind this summer! Pick up some bamboo batting and start telling everyone about your new summer sport… which is the same as your winter sport (because come on, is there anything better than sewing? I’m open to suggestions but I’m going to be a hard sell!)