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Tammy V.

Poor quality backing fabric?

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Hi All! Two quilts I’ve gotten lately have me really puzzled. I think it’s the fact that some backings(usually the 108”) don’t play nice with Hobbs 80/20. I’ve changed needles as well as batches of needles and made sure the batting was loaded properly. Not only have I gotten a lot of pokies but each stitch turns the fibers over to expose the white underside of the backing fabric. The tension is good and I don’t have the layers rolled too tightly. It’s embarrassing to ask the client for new backing. I’m wondering if some of this backing is just so loosely woven. It seems like my Hobbs batting on the roll is becoming a little inconsistent in quality as well. Am I doing something wrong? Has anyone else had this problem? Does washing the quilt help?

Thanks for your feedback!        Tammy

 

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You are not doing anything wrong. My very biased opinion is that the wide backs are "economical" for a reason - manufacturers still need to make a profit so quality suffers.  If I get a chance to encourage a customer to make her/his backing from regular yardage, I will. The issue is with the wide back, not the batting! The holes will "heal" over time. Washing will help - but not all quilts will be washed. When you take the quilt off the frame, let it rest (unfolded) for a couple of days if you can before returning it. The holes will probably diminish some. Reassure your customer that the holes will close over time. When quilting a wide back, I often use a one-size smaller needle - if the thread choice and type of quilt will allow - to make smaller holes. You are doing fine. I keep Warm and Natural and Warm and Plush on the roll. No problem with consistency - always the same.


Sharon

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I thought it was just me who was having this problem and thought I was going nuts or being too particular.  I even have a wide backing that was very difficult to square because it didn't seem to be wound very good very full in the center of the backing.  I used to love the wide backs for ease of loading and know that it will be smooth through out but the one I have on now I have to keep checking with each roll that it is completely smooth under the quilt.  As for the hobbs backing I don't like the packages, they seem to compress the batting so tightly that even with some heat I still have a difficult time getting them to lye flat and even and there have been areas where the batting is very thin in spots.  I have also encountered the holes that appear on the back and even with the smallest needle that I could use they just seemed to make it look awful as I quilt.  But like Sharon Deming said they do close up after I spray with water and they dry.

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I have a friend who always buys wide backing at a local large well known craft and fabric store.  The backing has been more like cheese cloth than nice fabric.  I, too, have used smaller needles and thinner threads to quilt them.  I have spent a lot of time marking the pokies on the back with a permanent marker.  I like it when she brings me light colored or  patterned backings.   She is a new quilt maker and I don't think she could piece her backs without some assistance.   I may have to have a chat with her.  

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I have not used a lot of Hobbs batting, but I know Warm Company battings have "right" and "wrong" sides.  Loading the "wrong" side up definitely makes pokies on the back of the quilt.

Do any Hobbs fans know if those battings have right and wrong sides?


Betsy

quilting with Emmeline, a 2011 Freedom SR

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I believe all needle-punched battings have a right and wrong side. You want the quilting needle to pass through the batting the same way the needle went through during the needle-punching process. If you take a close look at your batting you can see which side is which. Sometimes feeling it might be easier. "Dimples up, pimples down" is the way you are supposed to put it on the frame.


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Some (but not all) wide backing fabrics are made with a lesser grade than those fabrics that are made 45" wide. I read this at a reliable source. 

The suggestion is to buy the 45" wide fabrics and piece those together.  However, I have found that some of the wide backings are a better quality grade. You have to shop around to find them. 


"Of all the things a woman's hands have made---The quilt so lightly thrown across her bed---The quilt that keeps her loved ones warm---Is woven of her love and dreams and thread." excerpt from The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt by Carrie A. Hall
 

:rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes: 

Shana in North Pole, Alaska ---- The Farthest North APQS Sales Rep  
 Always quilting with her faithful friend, Mademoiselle Madeleine Millennium, Bliss-fully skating gracefully...and having lots of fun with IntelliQuilter

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I just completed two quilts with solid navy backing and used Hobbs 80/20 batting, and encountered the same problem. When I took the quilt off the LA table I freaked out to see all the pokies!  Very disheartening.      Those backings were made from 45" wide Kona Fabric.  After consulting with other quilters, the general consensus was a thinly woven backing.  It was recommended to me to dot each pokies with a navy permanent marker, which I eventually did.   Also recommended was to use a smaller needle.
I'm currently working on another customer's quilt, again using Hobbs 80/20 and not having that problem.  

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Deetz:  The problem might be the backing, but in my experience Hobbs 80/20 is a bit problematic.  I've eliminated that problem by using Hobbs' wool.  Don't use the 80/20 much anymore.  When I did use it, if I had a dark backing, I'd use the black 80/20, not white or natural.  You might consider either of these alternatives in the future.  Jim

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I recently had the same problem. Backing was black Moda. Front had a lot of dark colors. I used black batting and black thread. Lots of white pokies on back. The only white in the quilt was the back side of the Moda backing.

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I dislike Moda fabrics for exactly that reason. Rather than being dyed, it appears that the fabric is "painted" and the back side is very light colored.  When you sew on it, some of the threads roll over showing the light color of the "wrong" side.  The "pokies" aren't really the batting showing through but a problem with the under lying fabric.  Jim 

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