I talked in my blog on Sept. 19th about using fiberboard in a large piece with wool batting. I've made several of these type pieces in the 18 to 24 inch size, and the batting I used was 100% wool felt from Joann's. The felt comes in 36 inch width and since I wanted to make a large piece, and accounting for shrinkage, I wasn't sure how to work this. Then at the Long Beach Quilt show, I ran across batting from Hobbs that was 100% wool and came in King size bedding size. Perfect. Or maybe not. The piece I made started out 56" x 40". I stitched it with cotton thread covering every inch of the piece. I painted on the dye, batched it, then threw it in the washer, hot water, then dryer. Twice.
It shrunk 4 inches on one side, and 2 inches on the other. Now, this might be great if you are making a regular quilt, but I was really counting on a lot more shrinkage and I didn't get it. The picture above is the post washer/dryer piece, and the picture below is the same, just upside down.
The wool batting is thinner than the felt, and not as dense, neither of which I took into consideration when putting it together. So now I'm trying to decide if I should just leave it alone, cut it up, or add more processes to it, maybe discharging or paint. And if I make another one, and I want it large, can I stitch together 2 pieces of felt, and will it hold during the wash and dry cycle? I guess I'll just have to try it, this time on a much smaller basis.
This is a close up of the finished piece.