Sunday, May 3, 2015

Oh Scrap! : Pieced Batting

I thought today I would share my method for piecing batting.  I use batting off the bolt, so I end up with lots of batting scraps.  I do try and use them in smaller projects but the big chunks of batting, I piece together for some of my quilts.

I would not suggest piecing all types of batting.  I generally use Hobbs 80/20.  I would suggest testing how your batting looks when it is pieced.  And I would only piece like batting together so the shrinkage is the same on your quilt.

The first thing you need to do is cut nice clean edges on the pieces you are going to join.  A 60mm rotary cutter works great for this.  I also use an old cutting mat or flip my mat over as the batting fibers get into your mat and it cannot self heal.  (This will extend the life of your mat.)

I have seen some quilters piece their batting by barely overlapping and stitching with a straight stitch.  My first seam left holes where the pieces didn't meet (see the scissors) and the one on the right where I overlapped more, left a big ridge that will probably show on a quilt.

I used to piece my batting by using a wide zigzag stitch.  This works fairly well, but I find the batting doesn't lay as flat as I would like.

So now, I piece my batting using a serpentine stitch. It lays flat and the ridge where the two pieces meet is broken up with the stitching so it is not noticeable in a quilt.

If you have never used a serpentine stitch, it looks like the #2 stitch above. 

I will say I am selective about what quilts I put pieced batting in.  The small ridges may show if you put it in a quilt with a lot of negative space. And so you don't feel the ridges, I like to make sure the quilt is fairly well quilted - no big unquilted spaces.

Now it is your turn to share how you are using your scraps.  
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Love Laugh Quilt


  1. Well, that looks a lot easier than a hand-stitched herringbone, which is what I've used when I pieced batting. It's now on my list of things to try! Thanks!

  2. Thanks for your tip. That will help!
    Love from Amsterdam

  3. Thanks for the tip, I've tons of scrap batting that I keep saying I'll stitch together and use.

  4. That's a good tip about using the Serpentine stitch for piecing batting, I shall use that next time.

  5. I hadn't thought to consider pieced batting among scraps, but of course... I also hadn't thought about different rates of shrinkage. Oh well,the current quilt is the experiment quilt.

    Oh for a serpentine stitch. In its absence, I use herringbone. And the join is so flat that I have to mark it in order to find it for careful quilting.

  6. Have you ever tried the iron-on tape to piece the battings together? I've used it a couple of times, and it seems to quilt up nicely. It is an added expense, though, so stitching is preferable! I added a link to my Bee Blocks. A little behind the times, but, oh well.

  7. Thanks for great advice! I have pieced batting lots of times and use my zigzag stitch. I so wish I had a serpentine stitch on my machine. I have seen lots of quilters using that as a quilting stitch, too.

  8. My olden 1954 Singer 316G has discs for stitches. I do have this disc. I will try it.
    I agree on all of your points here, particularly of using same batting. I usually ID my scrap batting in zip bags, and toss them in a box. That way later I can see if there are some of the same from other projects. I usually use these pieces for small projects as well. The big reason here is because I have quiltophobia, and have yet to finish anything bigger than a lap quilt because I am afraid.... and you know time is a problem right now with the parental care. I could have taken a class on using the big machines at Quilters Studio in Fairfax but I just do not have time. Anyway back on topic. I like this serpentine stitch and I will try it, I agree that the zigzag is too chunky
    Love to you for all of the knowledge that you share

  9. I love quilting with my serpentine stitches but never thought to use it for joining batting. I join batting alot and will certainly give this a try. Thanks for sharing.

  10. When I piece my batting (Hobbs 80/20 most always)I just "float" it in. I use Sharon Schamber's method of sandwiching my quilts (all sizes) but use pins...LOTS..... and make sure that where the pieces meet it is well pinned. I do a lot of E2E on these types of quilts with a fairly heavy even density. I've never had a separation problem with this method.

  11. What a good tip -- I'll piece some of my scrap batting for pillows.

    I'm crashing your Oh Scraps! party for the first time today ...

    Thank you!

  12. I too have peiced batting and so far no problem with sewing and it looks great when done! YAH!!! Thanks for the scarppy linky. I'm so into stash busting this year...not intentionally but never the less it feels great!

  13. Great tip. I will have to try it - faster than the herringbone handstitching I currently use. This is my first time on your site. Thanks again.

  14. I must be the worst of quilters--I don't sew my scraps together in any way. I just make sure the two edges touch, but I quilt 'em to death! If they overlap just a smidge the quilting takes care of it, and a slip of a gap gets a slip of batting between the two pieces. I guess I should do better, but I don't to use pieces on anything larger than baby quilts. Also crashing for the first time :-) and had fun!

  15. I've never overlapped my batting when stitching it together. I'll have to give it a try.

  16. I cut batting scraps into 7" squares. They are great for reversible scrappy quilts. I plan each side of lap-size quilts, sandwich the batting scraps between the planned fabric squares, serge all sides down to 6" squares, and zigzag into rows--no hand sewn sashing needed!. All the polyesters "play together" well enough that differences are imperceptible when completed.


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