Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tips, Tricks, and Tuts Tuesday - Pieced Batting

What do you do with all the strips of batting you have left when you trim out a quilt top after quilting it?  Do you throw them away, do you chop them up for pet beds?  What???

I save most of my strips that are left over, especially if they are at least 6" wide or wider and I use them for a Pieced Batting for the quilt.  I square them up, just like a piece of fabric left over from a project.


I then label them with the size and put them in this high class, expensive container....  a moving box (and trust me it was expensive if you consider the cost of the move).

Then when I have a small-ish quilt of my own, or a QOV quilt to quilt, I piece them together until I get the needed size.  

Some piece their battings together with a batting tape similar to this. (I am NOT endoursing any particular batting seam tape, just showing you what the product looks like).  


I purchased a roll of batting tape (quite some time ago) and used it myself.  It worked ok.  It was quick and easy to use.  But I felt it was a bit pricey for me.  (I can be frugal when I want to be.)  I didn't like that it would tend to leave a small gap sometimes between the seam of the batting.   I did resort to making my own batting tape.  I purchased a yard of light weight tricot interfacing (which I use as a stablizer for t-shirt quilts) and cut it into 1 1/2" wide strips.  It worked just as well as the more expensive roll.  I still use the batting seam tape sometimes if I'm in a hurry or lazy.

However, my favorite way to piece batting is by sewing machine.  I use a "stitched zigzag" or "mending stitch" on my sewing machine.  I like it much better than a regular zigzag.  I set the stitch width to the widest my machine will allow and set the stitch length on 2.5  You'll have to test your machine and find the specific settings that you like.  This is what the stitch looks like when stitched on a dark piece of fabric.


And this is what it looks like when stitching 2 pieces of batting together.  


If you don't have a "stitched" zigzag on your machine, you can use a regular zigzag.  I find that a regular zigzag tends to ripple just a little, like this, but if you lengthen the zigzag more it won't do it as bad either.



When I'm ready to piece a batting for a quilt, I just go to the box and choose pieces that are similar in length and enough to get to the needed width I need.  A word of caution when stitching the batting together.  Be careful not to pull or tug on the batting.  Just let it feed through the machine without any restraint.

Give it a try and see which method you like the best for your Pieced Batting.  



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2 comments

  1. I save all my scraps too. I use them in my smaller projects. I even save the long strips on the edges of my quilts. I make a lot of tote bags and use those scraps in the handles.

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  2. I save my batting as well and will zigzag them together to make a batting large enough for a quilt. I'll look for another stitch because I like the way yours lays so flat. I tend to quilt my quilts to death, so in the quilt no one can tell. I've even mixed different kinds of batting - Dream Green with Warm and Natural - no different when quilted. I do put poly with poly and wool with wool...their density is so different that I'm not willing to gamble!!

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