Thursday, January 30, 2014

Adventures with Wool Batting

My mom, thrifter, DIY guru, and now blogger, found 100% wool, farm grown quilt batting at a garage sale a few summers ago for $2. She gave it to me and it lived in my basement for a while before I used it in a quilt.

Patchwork Quilt with wool batting

I pulled a random selection of pink and green scraps and made a charm square top channeling Posy Gets Cozy's projects to the best of my ability. I wanted a really vintage looking quilt and I thought this style would pair well with thick wool batting.

Patchwork Quilt with wool batting

Basting the quilt was quite the adventure because the batting was so lofty. At some points, it was about two inches thick. I originally wanted to quilt diagonal lines with my sewing machine's walking foot. After I attempted one line, I realized that it would cause too much puckering and would be difficult to fit through the throat of my machine.

Patchwork Quilt with wool batting

I changed things up and used some leftover worsted weight wool yarn to tie the center of each square. (Hint: if you use a long enough piece of yarn, you don't have to re-thread the needle for each square!). Here's a great tutorial for tying a quilt that I wish I had seen before attempting this sans directions.

After it was tied, I added a double fold binding. I ended up having to use 4.5" wide strips for the quilt because the batting was so thick.

Patchwork Quilt with wool batting

I tempted fate by using the gentle wool wash cycle on my front loader and everything came out great. Then I laid the quilt flat to dry for a few days. This turned out to be the heaviest, warmest, coziest quilt I've ever made and we always have to share it with Koko and Nuku Nuku.

Patchwork Quilt with wool batting

A couple weeks ago, it was starting to look and smell a little bit too much like fur for my taste, so I threw it in the wash. For some reason, I wasn't thinking when I threw it into the dryer for a few minutes to fluff it up. After 5 minutes in the dryer, I pulled it out only to find that it had shrunk significantly. This was so disappointing! Now I have a super puckery, felted wool quilt. I can't believe I was so careless, especially after always treating my handknits so kindly.

patchwork quilt - after shrinking

I'm afraid this may be Koko's new crate quilt as she is such a fan of the wool fumes in this. I definitely want to make another hand-tied wool quilt, but I've got to get over the wounds this left behind first...

5 comments:

  1. oh, how devastating!! it would take me a little while to get over that! at least you puppers will get to enjoy it.

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  2. I think it is wonderful! You could try blocking it carefully but i love it as is Dont give it to the dog, share it! BTW by her look she really doesnt like it . he he

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  3. Can you undo the quilting and save the top? It's so pretty - I'd hate to see it go to the dogs. (Although I'm sure they are quite worthy)

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  4. Oh, that is painful. So sorry! The top is really pretty.

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  5. it's so gorgeous, i can understand how you'd be devastated!
    i love all the photos of the animals all over it... they clearly have good taste!

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