Splicing Batting

1 01 2016

Happy New Year! If one of your resolutions is to thriftily use your quilting supplies to best advantage this year, you will appreciate the following tip.

This blog post is about batting – the fluffy stuff that goes inside my quilts. My favorite batting is manufactured by Hobbs. It is bonded (meaning it will not clump up inside the quilt when laundered) and is 80% cotton and 20% polyester. The splicing tip explained below works well for predominantly cotton battings.

Since I’ve yet to make a quilt that measures the exact size of packaged batting, I have a laundry basket full of batting scraps. Some of the scraps I use for potholders and placemats, bags and totes and other small projects. But I like to splice the large pieces together for lap and baby quilts.

I realize there are fusing products on the market for pressing and adhering pieces of batting together. This is an alternative method.

First I lay out the quilt top on the floor. I look through my laundry basket and select the pieces that are the width of the quilt plus 8.” I proceed to cover the quilt top with strips of batting, trimming to obtain the correct width if necessary. Before sewing the batting pieces together, I rotary cut the long, horizontal edges straight.

Laying straight edges of batting strips together, I use a water soluble (blue) or humidity soluble (purple) marker to mark both pieces of batting every 3 or 4 inches. These are similar to registration markings on quilt pieces or sewing patterns.

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I set my Pfaff sewing machine for a zigzag stitch: stitch length on 3, stitch width on 7. Experiment with your machine to achieve a wide, loose zigzag. In other words, it is not necessary to satin stitch the batting pieces together; a zigzag will do.

When I zigzag the long batting strips together, I make sure the wider piece is on my left and the narrower piece is on my right because is easier to fit the narrow piece under the arm of the sewing machine. As I sew, my  left hand is on the left piece of batting, and my right hand is on the right piece of batting. I manipulate the stretchy batting so that the registration marks align.

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After zigzagging all the strips together, lay the piece of batting on the floor. If it does not lie flat to your satisfaction, simply cut apart the zigzags and re-sew. Take care not to stretch the batting as you sew. Also check to see that the batting is 8″ longer than the quilt top. If it isn’t, add another strip of batting!

Once the splicing is complete, I spray the blue registration marks with water to make them disappear. This step is necessary especially for quilt tops that contain white or very light fabrics because the blue marks may show through on very light fabrics.

Do you have some tips for using batting scraps or for joining batting?

 

 

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5 responses

1 01 2016
Pam Bonstead

Great tip! I’ve not thought about this and the savings it affords!

1 01 2016
Debbie @ Shadows of the Blue Ridge

Love the tip about the registration marks! I’ve joined many pieces of batting, but never thought to do this – ending up with some wavy joins at times. I’m going to try your tip the next time I’m piecing my batting scraps together. Thanks Aby!

1 01 2016
scstephquilts

Small scraps of batting also work great as Swiffer cloths. I find them to work better.

2 01 2016
farmquilter

I do this all this time, without the registration marks…I’ll have to try them! I also use my walking foot to help keep it from getting wonky!

18 01 2016
connie

I’ve been sewing batting together for years without marking as you did! Sometimes it comes out good but most of the time I get the wave where I have pulled one side too tight!!! Thank you so much for your simple fix to make my life easier. Like you I never get the right size batting LOL.

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