Sewing Together Batting Scraps

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I was taught a technique of piecing batting together so there would not be any waste when I was young.  There was always stories that went along with why this was done.  In the early 20th century women was still carding their own in remote rural areas.  All the trimmings was saved and used from commercial bats by the women I grew up around.  The smallest pieces could be used in stuffing toys and larger pieces would be sewn together in lap quilting as you go. This is a hand technique that I still use today.  I like the process of quilting and tend not to be in a big hurry to finish.  Also the price of batting is very expensive now for a bed size quilt.  I like to stick with one type of batting from the same manufacture.  My favorite is 80% cotton and 20% polyester.  There are several new types of batting made with different fibers that are new to quilting. My choice is because I live in a hot climate and this is a comfortable choice to sleep under.

I decided that I had enough scrap batting that I could use for my sampler quilt.  Since this project is a quilt by section technique, it was an ideal way of using up this scrap.  I have two bags of Fairfield Cotton Classic trimmings.

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To sort all of this out. I use an ironing board and iron set on low.  The temperature is just warm enough to smooth out the batting. I don’t want to melt the polyester that is worked into the cotton.  There is enough polly to make this batting easy to needle by hand. It is also soft and breaths so it is ideal for hot climates with cool nights.  Polly you sweat under and cotton is too heavy.  I use my rulers to measure out the size of the block with the pieces that fit together.  I am only going to piece at the most 3 pieces together for my 16 inch block. In this next picture I have 15 blocks sorted out ready to stitch together.

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I have chosen black thread and large stitches for illustration. This is a basic a modern taylor tack stitch that is used to add interfacing to suiting.  There are times when iron interfacing will not work.  You don’t have to put a knot in the thread and you use one strand to stitch with.  The two pieces are butted together and not over lapped so make a smooth seam.  This is important if you were hand quilting.  You start by inserting the needle away from you and take one stitch on one side.  You can leave a thread tail.

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Now you cross over to the other side and take the same stitch. Pulling the thread gently until the sides butt together.

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Continue until you have finished the seam in completed. You can leave a tail at the end and no need to knot it. I use a smaller stitch for this.  I usually do this in front of the TV using a tray for support.  It goes fast and don’t take too long.

This holds the pieces together and will remain that way. Quilting helps hold it in place.  I rough cut the pieces and after it is sew together I will square it up to the size I need.  If I need to I can pull the thread out of the first or last stitch so I don’t have to cut through the thread and keep the tail. You don’t need a long tail just enough so you don’t pull the first stitch out while working with it.

Most of us today have wonderful stitches on our machines that can be used to butt together batting with.  The elastic stitch that goes back and forth is a good choice.  Just set it at the widest and longest stitch length.  I still like doing it by hand in a quilt like this.  A charity quilt I would use my machine.  I want it to feel like it was cut from whole pieces.  There will be plenty of quilting on each block to hold it all together while washing. This is a good technique to know how to do in case you need to add a piece of batting to a special quilt.

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21 Comments Add yours

  1. I am going to pass this on to my quilters, I would say the older ones know this to, but probably not the younger ones. Thanks for the info. Therica CAM Cabin Crafts

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    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thanks for stopping in. I found that many new quilters don’t realize that you can sew your batting together.

      Like

  2. Jamie Dedes says:

    I’ve never done any quilting, but it holds a rare appeal. Maybe one day. I like the idea of saving the scrap batting.

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    1. trkingmomoe says:

      In the first half of the 20th century almost all the quilts were made from fabric scraps. Women enjoyed the process more then they do today. Today everything is in a hurry to finish up.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Like

  3. bonniehull says:

    I JUST found this iron-on tape for batting and have been busily using all my scraps…not as majestically as you though! xo

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    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Batting is expensive and it is nice to be able to use every inch of it because we pay for every inch of it. I have never seen the tape.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  4. This reminds me of how my grandmother used to sew– she never wasted anything! She would take my aunt’s old dresses apart and cut and sew them into dresses for my sister and me. Fun post!

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    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Also take wool winter coats apart and turn the fabric so the wool in the inside was being used for the outside of a new coat for a child. We did that too.

      Thanks for your comment.

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      1. And my Gram used old wool blankets for batting– made the heaviest, coziest quilts… (you’re making me want to get out some scraps and start sewing!!)

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  5. I thought I was the only one who sewed batting pieces together! Yes, batting is expensive and it feels good to save where we can. Thank you for your tutorial.

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    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Many of us do. I just thought I would pass along a quick hand technique that is inexpensive to do.

      Thanks for stopping in.

      Like

  6. KerryCan says:

    Useful information! I just bought a queen-size batting and it was SO expensive! I’m going to use every bit of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      I usually buy double size when on sale and get several. Then I just use them as needed. I trim and add depending on the size. I just only buy one or two kinds of batting so it always matches.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Quiltmouse says:

    I use up every inch of my batting scraps-thin ones for tote/bags handles, larger ones for placemats & neonatal quilts, larger pieces I join with simple zigzag stitches & scraps used to stuff toys. Can’t waste a bit! Thanks for the hand stitching tip!

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    1. trkingmomoe says:

      You are welcome. It is good to hear all the ways we use the scraps.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Deborah says:

    What a great post. I save my scraps, but mostly for small projects. I will try this for a larger one someday. Thanks!

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    1. trkingmomoe says:

      It is handy to know how to do this. Sometimes you just need to add a little more. I hope you are not effected with the typhoon that is hitting Japan. It is really packing some wind. I live in Florida so I keep a watch on this kind of weather.

      Thnaks for your comment.

      Like

  9. suth2 says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I will certainly make use of it in the future. I have quite a lot of scrap batting that I just wouldn’t throw away. It seemed wrong. Now I will be able to use it.

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    1. trkingmomoe says:

      I had almost enough to make a whole quilt as you go queen size quilt. The scraps do add up after a while.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Like

  10. I never throw the extra batting that we cut from the edges away, and I go around ‘collecting’ the bits my friends are getting ready to swoop in to the trash. I have a big tub of it, and often use it for projects that are small. I was working on a table runner and pieced the batting like you suggest. The smaller pieces get used in pillows that I quilt the tops of. You are right about expensive! I hate to go out to buy batting and pay full price. I am pleased that when I see a 50% off sale, I am able to stock up.

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    1. trkingmomoe says:

      I always did the same thing when taking a class I would clean out the trash can for scraps. You pay for every inch you should be able to use every inch of it.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Like

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