Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Batting Battles: Warm & Natural vs. Mountain Mist Cream Rose

I am a total cheapskate, but one thing I have never dreamed of skimping on was my Warm & Natural (or Warm & White) cotton batting. The last quilt I ever did in poly batting did me in- I hate stitches in my big toe and every time I walked over the quilt as I was basting it, the poly fibers pulled at my stitches. It turns my stomach just thinking about it. I hated the slide of poly batting when I was basting, and that was just the straw that broke the camel's back.

I recently learned that Warm and Natural is NOT 100 percent cotton.  Cotton is needle punched into a thin, artificial layer.  I decided to hunt for 100 percent cotton battings at my next excursion to Hobby Lobby.  Enter a contender: Mountain Mist Cream Rose.

As you can see in the photo, Mountain Mist (on the left) is thinner than Warm and Natural (on the right).  It has a silkier feel to the hands.  It touts being easier to hand quilt because of the silky feel and thinner batting.  I've tried hand quilting Warm and Natural, and I can't help but think that is probably right.   Living in South Texas, the idea of a thinner batting is appealing to me, so that is not a pro or a con...just a difference worth noting.

My next test was to stretch the hank out of both pieces of batting.  This is how they looked after stretching.  W&N on the left, MM on the right.  Th

This is how they looked after I tried to fix them by smoothing then back into place. W&N on the left, MM on the right.

Here is some Katie Jump Rope Fabric that has been free motion quilted over a Warm and Natural batting...the crinkles so many of us love.

Here is the same fabric and the same FMQ design  over Mountain Mist Cream Rose.  Good crinkliness, as well.

What about the cost?  With 40% coupons at Hobby Lobby, I can get Warm and Natural for 6.54/yard.  I can get an equivalent amount of MM for 4.99/yard with a coupon.  Warm and Natural is about 32 percent more cost-wise.

My final test was to measure my quilts before and after washing to test for shrinkage.

Warm and Natural Quilt:
Before Wash- 48x56
After Wash- 47.5x56

Mountain Mist Cream Rose Quilt:
Before Wash:74.75x92
After Wash: (brace yourself) 70x88

I lost about 4" due shrinkage both ways.

MM was cheaper and easy to use.  It is 100 percent cotton which I like.  It would be MUCH easier for a hand quilter to use.  It's thinner which might be a plus if you are hot natured or live in a hot climate.  I'm not against using it again, but I really like using one type of batting so I can piece all my scraps together without having to sort by brand first.  I will piece the tiniest batting scraps until I have what I like to call "Franken-batting."  It's got more seams than Sally from "A Nightmare Before Christmas."

I have to say I think I will stick to warm and natural for any quilt where I need a specific size.  Ive had Warm and Natural shrink before, but never anything that was drastic enough to worry me.  I'm glad I made the hourglass quilt with the MM bigger than it needed to be, because if I ended up with a skimpy sized bed quilt due to shrinkage, I would have a serious urge to get all kinds of ugly with somebody.

By the way, this review was not sponsored by a batting company (but I would be totally okay with free stuff from a batting company, AHEM, AHEM!)

So what batting do you use?


  1. Hmmm, I am glad that you posted this review. I am not a hand quilter, so I am not sure all that shrinkage is worth the price difference. I'd have to make up the price in extra fabric to make the quilt larger if I was after a certain size!

  2. Wow. This is really good information. I have only purchased batting, for a quilt 2 times. One is still in the bag. :o) So as you can see, I am very new. I will keep this in mind, and luckily bought the warm and natural both times. I just like how it felt. :o)
    Have a wonderful day.
    Sincerely - Trish

  3. Tina H. in CaliforniaOctober 27, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    Just wanted to say, great review!

  4. I haven't used the MM 100% cotton (I'm a warm and natural girl myself!) but I have used the HOBBS 100% cotton batt and I HATE it. I used it in a quilt for my daughter (I bought it on super duper sale/clearance and it was 100% cotton so I thought what the heck.....) It is SOOO thin. TOO thin in my opinion. I like some loft and this feels like none. I used it to make the "make life" baby quilt on the moda bakeshop page and I use it for my daughter to lay on the floor and roll around on. After several (5 or 6 maybe) washings, it feels as if there is no batting in the quilt. I am SO disappointed!

    Anyone use Quilters Dream?

    1. Hi, this is the reason why Warm & Natural has a artificial scrim - cotton fiber on its own is too unstable and thins out over time. However, The Warm Company is coming out with a new addition to the batting family that is 100% ultra-clean, natural cotton called "Warm & Plush". Warm & Plush has no scrim, but we make it with 6 OZ of cotton per square yard - it's thicker and more stable. This product is still new but please keep on the lookout for it!

  5. I use Warm & Natural most of the time. If I want a light weight quilt I use poly. I bought some Hobbs 100% cotton on sale, but have not used it yet. I think the W&N is hard to beat, just wish it didn't cost so much.

  6. This is a great and much needed review. I've only ever used Warm and Natural, and honestly, after reading this, I think I'll stick to it.

    I'm wondering though... the quilts were different sizes. Do you think the 100% cotton shrunk so much because the quilt was much bigger? What I'm trying to say is do you think the rate of shrinkage only appears to be more on the all cotton just because the quilt was bigger and therefore had more room to shrink? Does that make any sense? : )

  7. The larger quilt also had more background fabric which is not as good as the Katie Jump Rope fabric that was on the smaller quilt.

    I am currently quilting equal sized placemats with the same fabric to get an apples to apples idea.

    I don't know that I will be able to make my potholders with the MM because it is thinner. I don't mind the thinness in my quilts, does give a lovely drape.

  8. I am a hand quilter ... I tried W&N on a queen-sized bed quilt ... UGH is all I have to say about that. I had actually purchased 2 pieces of W&N, 1 for another quilt after I was done with the queen-sized bed quilt. I hated hand quilting with W&N so much that I gave the 2nd piece away. I currently use 100% polyester - low loft - for the old-fashioned look that I love with adequate warmth without too much weight. I'd love to switch to a natural product, but my #1 priority will be how easily it needles. I'm having a hard time finding any comparisons done by hand quilters so I continue to use 100% poly. :-(

  9. I am SOOOO glad I found this review! I have been driving myself crazy with worry about using the Cream Rose batting for the first time on a KING size quilt that I need to ensure ends up big enough. If I had ended up with 4" of shrinkage I would have died! So thank you thank you thank you!

  10. Thank you so much for the comparison. I bought MM on sale and am quilting it on a BOM quilt that will go in our camper for use on a bunk bed for a toddler. I was concerned that the size of the quilt would be too big, especially wide, but I am relieved that there will be considerable shrinkage. On the other hand I have purchased W&N for the king size quilt that will go on our bed. I will be quilting it as a block by block. I chose W&N because I had some scraps of W&N that I will be using to add to the queen batting I purchased. Your review confirms my instincts never to mix battings. Again, thanks for sharing.

  11. I'm so glad I googled around and found this. Picked up the cream rose on sale but I'm not going to use it now on a big project I was planning. That's way too much shrinkage for my taste. Thanks so much for the thorough testing.

  12. Mountain Mist Cream Rose is my absolute favorite quilt batting. I also like MM Heirloom wool batting for some projects, but for everyday quilts, give me Cream Rose every time. I buy it by the case. Have not had any of the issues you mention.


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