My sister is visiting this week and we have been cleaning and organizing. Today I tackled my mountain of batting scraps. I use my leftover batting for making coasters, quilted purses, and doll quilts, but I don't use it fast enough. I have several larger pieces set aside, but they aren't quite large enough for baby quilts. For my latest WIP, I pieced my batting for two reasons:
1. My favorite batting has increased to $10.99/yard. (ouch! even with a coupon.)
2. The storage space in my closet is nearly maxed out.
What I did:
First, I find two pieces of batting that are going to be large enough (once they are combined) for the quilt. I draw the line at one seam per quilt. :)
I look for the straight edge from the manufacturer and place the two straight edges together.
Using hand quilting thread (that matches your batting), make large whip stitches and join the batting. (I used contrasting thread here to show the detail.) It takes a bit to get the right tension to join the seam without buckling. You want the batting to be joined without any gaps, but you don't want to pull too tightly to cause a ridge where the seam is. Whip stitch the length of your seam, and knot at the end. That's it.
For this baby size (about 46" long) it only took me about 30 minutes, which I didn't think was bad at all. But of course, I don't mind hand stitching.
I have also heard that you can use your sewing machine set on a zig zag stitch to join the batting, but I have never tried it, as my JUKI doesn't have a zig zag stitch function.
Have you pieced batting?
I haven't pieced batting yet, but i'm really considering it. I have a few totes and table runners i'd like to get done, and since they aren't that big, i think i can pull off trying to piece the batting. We'll see. Thanks for the reminder that we can use our scraps on something other than coasters and bookmarks. :)
I have pieced batting together as well. I used the blind stitch on my sewing machine and it worked really good. You know the stitch that looks like this _ _ ^ _ _ ^ _ _ The little ^ stitches catch one side of the batting and the _ _ stitches lay against the other side.
I use the zig zag stitch on my machine...works out great...plus saves me money...which is wonderful!
I do what you do. My mom is more of a maniac about it, and divides four inches from the edges into two thin layers, cuts the top layer off from the one end and the bottom off the other. Then she puts the two thin layers together and hand sews in place. I tried it once but it was too much work for me.
I have pieced batting once but I didn't do such a nice job as you did. Thanks for the directions!
As an FYI, Warm and Natural and Warm and White are currently on sale at my Joann's for $5.99/yard until March 7th. I don't know if they have the same sales nationwide but it's worth checking out!
I pieced batting for my tree shirt quilt (your pattern) and I did the "super slacker" method of overlapping two pieces and sewing (with my machine) two straight seems. so the layers kinda looked like this: ----====---- the batting overlapped by about 4 inches where they met. As I was pinning (basting) it, I thought it would be ugly and obvious when it was quilted, but I didn't notice it at all. I wouldn't do this for a throw size or bigger, but for a baby quilt I'd probably try it again, although I trust your method much more. :)
yes i piece batting, but i zig zag mine on the sewing machine. but i think hand piecing looks better.
I have pieced batting, but never with my sewing machine (yet). Did use a slightly different stitch.. How do I explain... I will go down inbetween the two pieces of batting and come up throught part 1, go down inbetween again and come up in part 2, about 1 cm higher... Got it? I feel it is less likely to get the tension to tight and the two pieces will make a ridge together.
I use my rotary cutter to get straight edges.
I piece with the zigzag on my machine. Just butt straight edges together ( I cut first if they aren't straight), and stitch away. It goes together surprisingly well!
I overlap my pieces, too, and sew them on my machine (2 minutes max!). I haven't noticed any extra bulk when I've quilted it--And no one has said anything about a big bulky line running thru the quilt. I have done this with my warm and natural batting and other types that aren't as nice.
Since I am into speed, I usuaully machine zig zag together, or I hand stitch with much larger stitches than you are using. And since I quilt with a long arm maching, sometimes I just but two together as I go. It works.
i did it with my sewing machine and it was a breeze. ;)
I use the edge joining foot on my Bernina to join batting. This was suggested in the class offered when buying a new Bernina, and it works great!
I never really knew if it was *okay* to do this, but I've done it quite a few times. I always just zigzag with the Bernina - works great. I honestly can't tell once things are quilted. This is the only time I've ever admitted to this - glad to know I'm not alone :))
I do it too and the way you do it, I have not tried the machine yet, but I might give that a try.
I haven't tried it yet, but my little pile of left overs is getting bigger. I will be piecing soon. Thank you so much for your fabulous blog!
visit me at:
I use my machine on a zig-zag setting and it works great. I wonder if you could do a zig-zag type wave on your machine using free-motion stitching?
Thank you so much for posting this. I was just asking someone yesterday if they knew how to do it. What perfect timing.
I have done it. I use the zig zag on my machine. It goes together so easily and it really looks great. You can't even tell there's a seam.
I have machine zig zagged batting together if you want to have matching edges butted to one another over lap the batting and cut through both layers then sew together I also use my rotary cutter...
I've pieced batting before--the way my grandma taught me was to overlap the two pieces and cut a wavy line through both of them, then remove the scrap ends and sew the wavy edges together by whipstitching. I have pictures of this in my quilt basting tute at my blog :).
thanks for the tips! i'm sure i'll be having to do that in the future. :)
I have pieced by hand and on the machine. I would like to try just putting the seams together and ironing on "stitch witchery" or some bonding you can iron on. Anyone tried that?
I often piece my batting using a similar method as you do. But I overlap the two edges that I am going to join about 2" and then I use my rotary cutter to free hand cut a narrow wavy line. When I remove the scrap edges, the curve fits together perfectly. I do this because curves are less noticable than the straight lines.
your juki doesn't have a zig zag stitch???
I too have pieced with my machine, SLOWLY with the zig zag, works like a charm!
I have pieced batting on my machine using a large zig zag stitch. I also use an edge-joining foot which is kind of like a piecing foot for quilting that has a piece of metal as an edge guide but the edge-joining foot has it in the middle. There are other uses for this foot but I'm not into that just quilting. I've pieced batting for all sizes of quilts and am not afraid to have more than one seam. Also I find that the manufacturer's edge isn't always straight so I use my rotary cutter and make my own straight edge. Happy stitching.
I zig zag with the machine, but I actually curve the joint so that there isn't a straight seem. Don't really know if it makes a difference, but Aunt Betty taught me!
I have pieced the cotton batting together using the joining stitch. It is similar to zig-zag, it just zigs and zags opposite each other and straight stitches in between --^--v--^--v. Seems to work well. I like the idea of a curvy line I will have to try that. I pieced batting together the same way you do for a polyester batt.
I did this once. I just overlapped the batting and cut down the center of the overlap. Then carefully pulled the extra pieces away which created a perfect abuttment of the batting. Then I pinned a lot in that area. No sewing together at all!! It has held up really well. :)
Sweet!! Piecing batting is a great way to use the leftovers!! Thanks for showing us your technique!
Yes, I've used the flat joining stitch on my Bernina to piece batting. Works great!
I piece batting frequently. I will often zig zag stitch it on my machine, butting the straight edges together. But I've also overlapped with a small (1 cm) seam that is fine for quilts that are going to be washed and used. If it is cotton batting, it will wrinkle up and the little seam inside isn't noticed. It's a great way to use the batting and saves you the expense of buying more and more and more.
I do it all the time!!!
I haven't been able to buy a bolt of batting yet . . . so this has come up a couple of times :)
I do zig-zag it on the machine, quick, simple and you would never know in the end!
I haven't done it yet but I'm glad to hear that you do. I've been thinking about trying it because it makes me crazy to have pieces of batting all over the place go to waste or wait indefinitely for a project small enough to need it. Thanks for sharing! Bring on more tutorials. You are really good at simplifying intimidating techniques for regular humans.
I have lots of batting in scrap mode and I would give it try to mend it together to size I wanted. Will be a good money saver!
I have used fusible interfacing to join cotton batting. Works great.
Funny you would ask about piecing batting. I just read a tutorial yesterday that promotes the overlapping and cutting a wavy line through both pieces with your rotary cutter, so when you take away the scrap edges, your two pieces will butt up against each other like two puzzle pieces. Supposed to be much less noticeable in the finished project. Good luck!
Fuse it! with long scraps of fusible interfacing - 2 scraps used to create something useable!
I was also going to recommend an edge joining foot for this and zigzagging it on the machine. The foot just helps hold the fabric in the proper place. I use my edge joining foot for topstitching clothes with the needle offset from center, and for stitching "in the ditch" too, with the needle set to center. It was one of the best accessories that I ever bought for my machine. I have never pieced batting, but I have thought about it. My problem is that I have several different kinds of batting lying around in pieces and not sure how well they would work together. They might all shrink different in the wash and that could be a real mess.
I dod the same thing today. Only I butted the two (actually ended up pieceing serveral pieces to make it large enough) pieces together and used the zig-zag on the sewing machine to sew them together. It works. But I'm not sure it would work for all kinds of batting. I use the bamboo or the Warm & White. I try to always keep my pieces of one type of batting together so I know I have the same kind when I am piecing them together. Love your blog.
i have never done this, but i am sure i will be doing it soon. my quilting habit (along with all my other crafts) is getting expensive. love this idea.
I just pieced batting for the first time last week. I used a wide zig zag and butted the factory edges together, looks great.
I just did this very same thing with my last quit, and I hand quilted the top. I could sort of figure out where the seam was, but it was difficult. When the quilt was done, you couldn't find out where the batting seam was!
yep i piece it. most of my table runners, toppers, have pieced batting. ;o) ooxx`jodi
Yes, I pieced batting recently to make a table runner. I held the pieces side by side, using the manufacturer's straight edge, and used the zig zag on my machine. It worked like a charm!
Clever idea. I've always wandered what to do with all the extra pieces instead of making all baby quilts. Thanks for sharing. :)
Yep, I did use the zigzag stitch to do it once. It worked alright, but it takes a careful touch. Not only do you want to be careful to join it without getting a lump, but you also have to be careful not to inadvertently stretch the batting out, creating other odd lumps! Practice makes perfect, I imagine. :-)
i hate joining batting! it is better doing it by hand though, i find using a machine it can bunch up when sewing it
I've never pieced batting but it looks like a great idea! Amanda I finished a ragged red squares quilt, take a look if you have a chance, thanks for the inspiration. Love your blog!!
I've never pieced batting but I just might try it now. It's nice to know it's been done. I'll have to give it a go. Thanks for the idea.
I often piece batting using a special zigzag stitch on my Pfaff. I'm not fond of hand sewing.
I always piece my binding, but i'm almost embarrassed to tell you what i do, because it leaves a tiny lump in the batting.
using my sewing machine i sew the two pieces together using a straight stitch at the longest stitch length. then i trim the 'seam allowance' super close to the stitching, until it mostly lays flat. I can never find the seam once the quilt is washed and dried.
your way is probably much better...i wish i wasn't so lazy.
I've joined batting plenty of times - butting straight edges together and stitching by hand using herringbone stitch or by machine with the largest zig-zag. Works a treat.
I piece batting together by machine all the time. And in really small pieces too - I have been known to have 3 or 4 seams in some of my 6" memorial quilt squares.
I've pieced batting before, but I'm way too lazy to do it by hand. I use a zigzag on my machine set to the longest stitch length and width. Thus far, it has worked pretty well, I think.
I was taught to whip stitch just like you're doing, fitting wavy edges together. But I decided the other day to try a zig zag stitch on my machine and it worked wonderfully! It was so easy and fast, and you cannot tell AT ALL that I pieced the batting! I didn't overlap the edges, just cut them straight and butted them up against each other. Definitely the way to go!
My favorite used to be Warm and white until I discovered Quilter's Dream cotton. The hand of their batting is like heaven. Bed quilts drape so nicely with this batting. I have pieced batting but prefer not to do it if I don't have to. With the economy like it is I may be doing more of it anyway!
No, I haven't done this yet but am learning from you everyday. I am still working on the star quilt. The other quilt along you did, I am almost finished. All I need to do is sew the front part of the binding on. I need to do that this weekend so I can say that I am finished with that quilt. I cannot thank you enough for all you teach us.
Nice! I find myself piecing batting a lot. I'm frugle and since I long arm quilt I always have a lot of usable scraps that I just CAN'T throw away!!
I have pieced my batting. I zigzag it and it works great. You can't tell once its finished.
yep! i piece mine with a zig zag stitch, and no one ever notices a difference in the finished piece.
I piece batting all the time, using the zig-zag on my sewing-machine. It works great and it’s a wonderful way to use all the bigger batting scraps!
I do it all the time!! And I dont always stitch it together either.Maybe not so smart!? I wonder what batting is your favorite??
you better believe i've pieced them. somehow, there is a long strip that is 20 inches wide left over. too much to waste, too little to be convenient. so piecing it goes. i use the zig-zag on the machine. it works great too!
I did piece batting too. When you don't have 2 straight edges from the manufacturer you just put the 2 pieces overlapping a bit on each other at the sides you want to piece, cut through the 2 layers and thus have 2 exactly matching sides which then can piece easily. I am not sure that this explanation made sense to you, but I tried anyway :-)
I also use the zigzag stitch on my machine. I have even pieced my batting with 5 pieces. No one ever notices :)
Nop, I've never pieced batting as I've just been born to patchwork, but now I DO know how to when the moment comes. Thanks!
Sewing on a curved (wavy) line is supposed to be better when piecing batting. (I'll send you a URL with the rationale & a diagram of that wave.)
I piece batting all the time. I lay one piece on top of the other and free hand rotary cut a long wavy line. Remove the extra and the pieces will lay together. My Pfaff has a staggered zig zag - which is instead of one stitch for every zig or zag - it sews three. This help keep the batting from getting that ridge. Maybe your can find a friend who has a zig zap machine and have a sew-in and put batting together.
Yes, I piece my batting quite a bit! I also use the zig zag stitch on the 2 straight edges. I just finished a small lap quilt with a pieced batting and I can't find the seam at all!
Glad to know I'm not the only one who does this :)
I piece my binding the same way you do. However, I am going to try the machine zig zag method this weekend on a doll quilt I need to finish up.
I also zigzag on my machine - but that's only after I whip stitched pieces together for a very large quilt (112x112). The long arm quilter told me that the batting wanted to shift because whip stitching is not as strong or tightly sewn as a zigzag. The next time I needed to piece batting, I zigzagged pieces together. It took a fraction of the time, and it didn't show at all. I plan to keep using all my batting scraps to finish all the wall hanging size quilts that I've been saving for a rainy day!
i should try piecing my batting, i am forever looking for a big enough piece for my project and only finding scraps bits. i have a ton stuffed away in my fabric closet
I piece batting by using the zig zag stitch on my sewing machine. It works out great and saves me money which is wonderful.
Oh, yes I have pieced my batting!
I lay the two pieces of batting so that they overlap a little, and then cut. Then I place the two edges together, they are now quite even, and sew them together with the triple stitch zig-zag. Works great, no bulks, and you can't tell where the seam is when the quilt is finished!
I am a Warm and Natural girl and I always have my coupons ready for when I need more.
Here's how I piece for small baby, wallhangings and stuff. I overlap and cut a gentle wavy line with very few waves then I use a HERRINGBONE stitch to join by hand. Have you ever tried that stitch? It doesn't pull or bunch and I love it much better that just the whip stitch. Try it once and see how you like it. I'm sure you can find directions by googling herringbone stitch, if not, I can draw it out for you!
I was taught the same way, but to have the edges wavy. Any mistakes are not as visible this way.
The other thing I've discovered is that I now only buy king size batts. I can get 4-5 quilts out of it, depending on the size. Better price point then, on a per quilt basis. You do get the scraps, but I find I am using every last bit now that I am doing doll quilts.
I have joined batting. It seems to do pretty well in a quilt too.
I piece all the time. Check out this severe case of piecing: http://auntiefafa.blogspot.com/2009/01/rounding-out.html
I use a modified zig-zag (I have no idea what it's really for) and it works great! ...of course, this all coming from a semi-novice.
I too am a piecer. I buy King Size Batting and leftovers usually make it possible to get one more quilt out of it. I use my machine on a large zig zag stitch.
I piece my batting by machine with a zigzag stitch. I think it works out great and helps me use up all those leftovers. I lay my batting out and overlap the edges to be sewn and use my ruler and rotary cutter to give me matching straight edges. Its great!
I have always pieced batting by laying the two edges overlapping each other on the cutting mat and then cutting a swirly line instead of a straight edge together. I then remove the odd scraps and hand whip (in large running stitches) the cut edges together. That way you do not have straight seams of batting to deal with when you are quilting. You cannot tell that you joined batting at all.
I piece mountains of batting and use them in quilts. Check out, if you're interested, photo
I was actually just considering piecing my warm and natural leftovers! I had heard how to do it, just like you describe, and was going to give it a try. I only sew by hand, I don't own a machine, so it will be easy for me :)
I just found your blog through Moda bake shop. I fell in love with your stacked coins quilt! I love your ideas. Thanks for sharing. We have a few things in common. Of course I love to quilt and am a momma as well. I lived in Wisconsin while my hubby attended Marquette Dental School. We absolutely love it there and miss living in Milwaukee. Keep up the fun posts!
Thanks for sharing your way.
I piece batting quite often, especially for the biggest quilts, when the batting width is not enough.
Still most of the batting scraps go into dolls as they are too narrow to be pieced.
I have pieced it. I find it hard to throw any scraps away, especially batting that cost a lot. I do it the same way you do. I figure that after it's all done and quilted that it's just fine and no worries of it coming apart.
It's thrifty, it uses what would otherwise be considered waste, and it clears off your desk a bit - perfect!
Yes, I have. Blanket stitch with the machine. Really skinny, medium lenght. Just caught the edge. No lumps. No bumps
Worked out GREAT!
Yes just the way you described on my machine. I did this for a quilt I was going to machine quilt. I did not have any issues.
Yes, I've pieced batting together as well. Only on small things so far. I just can't part with the scraps either.
Don't know if this is helpful, but I found that buying batting (Hobbs Heirloom) at Michaels with a 40% coupon is a deal. Costs about $14 Canadian on sale for what is considered a queen size piece of batting.
I have pieced a time or two. I do use my zig zag on my machine. It worked great. You couldn't even tell it was pieced batting. I overlapped the two edges to be sewn together and cut with a ruler down the center of the overlap with a rotary cutter, then sewed away.
I haven't yet seamed batting. I usually use up scraps of batting for rag quilts or to stuff knit animal toys.
I've thought about piecing batting but have never actually done it. Now you've inspired me to try it.
Thanks for your version of piecing batting & for opening up the topic. Lots of good information here on this post. I have lots of larger pieces of batting but "not quite big enough". I hear what you are saying on that batting, I like the warm n natural or warm n white & it has gotten very expensive...along with everything else :(
I have pieced batting and it works well. Considering your going to quilt it anyway you only have to have it hold together long enough to be quilted. I had stitch it together with a large "X" stitch. I am not sure where but I read that was one way of stitching it. At the time I was using polyster batting, but not that I use cotton or bamboo I think I would zig zag on the machine.
I forgot to mention that I overlapped the two piceces first and then cut through both pieces to give you a perfect line between both.
Yes, I have pieced batting and do it by hand just like your sample showed. It feels great using up the leftover pieces and of course, is more thrifty! Everything is getting SO much more expensive!
I've been piecing batting for years... guess I'm just a fruggle Gus! But, one seam? If the quilt is to be quilted or tied anyway what difference does it make? It's up to you, but to me as long as I do a good job at putting the pieces together, it will work just fine.
Also, I will some times shred the small pieces and use it to stuff projects. This way I'm not wasting any of the extra's! I just hopped over from Flowergarden
Yes, I piece batting quite a bit. I use my machine with a zigzag stitch, though. Just from looking at your picture, I'm going to guess that handsewing will leave a less "stiff" seam.
i piece my batting too..used to use your method and now i zigzig. works like a charm and feeds my frugal nature!
I've been dying to try this! I, also, have a bunch of too small pieces of batting but can't bear to toss them (and I'm too "busy" to make coasters etc.)
Thanks so much!
What is your favorite kind of batting?
I've just started enjoying your blog.
I have pieced my batting by using my machine's triple-stitch zig zag set on it's widest stitch width. It keeps the edges lined up and not pucker and is secure without being stiff.
I've just started a lap quilt project and really want to learn to free motion so I am reading as much as I can and have picked up a LOT of pointers from you and all the comments.
Never pieced batting, but now after reading your post, I will try it! Thanks for sharing!
I do piece batting from time to time. I zig zag it on my machine.
quiltefia and momawake,
my favorite batting is warm and white.
You do a great blog! Thought I'd tell you that I got to see some of your quilts "in person" at the RF library this morning. Very, very nice!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing!
I piece my batting together using the zig zag stitch on my sewing machine. I just butt the two pieces next to each other.
thanks for sharing this tip! I've always wondering if I could somehow salvage the scraps of batting that I have
I've pieced the pieces of batting for several years, one way of being thrifty. I like the idea that several have of overlapping two pieces then cutting a wavy line, then piecing them together. Makes sense that it wouldn't be as noticeable...though really on the baby quilts I've done, it hasn't shown up.
I use the zig zag stitch on the sewing machine - works for me. I am sewing batting together more and more over the last year or so.
Yes, I've pieced batting. I too only did one seam as I remember it. I'm just getting back into sewing and hopefully quilting after several years of having little children. I'm looking forward to the experience.
I piece batting with the triple-step zig zag on my machine.
I overlap the pieces slightly, then, with them stacked together, I cut a gentle serpentine curve through both pieces, going side to side. Then, I take away the two small scraps and stitch the curvy seam together.
This helps prevent a line from showing through onto the quilt. I also feel it secures things better if the quilting isn't dense (so it's less likely to come apart in the quilt if the seam curves around under the stitching). Or so I think. :D
I love your site! I would never have thought to do this. But thanks to you, I just saved a lot fo $! Thanks :)
Hi All, I piece batting (only if the pieces are fairly large) the smaller pieces of the softer batting, I pull apart and use for stuffing my pillows for our Church Bazaar. I use my walking foot and the zig-zag method. I like the idea of overlapping and cutting a swirly line instead of a straight edge, I probably could make a better seam that way. I love this site, if I am not careful I will be quilting 24/7. thank you all for sharing.
I had to piece batting because after purchasing a pre-cut piece the size of my quilt, I decided to work while I had a bad head cold and managed to cut it in half when I only wanted to trim it up by 10cm on the sides... lol
Well I fed the two pieces together through my machine with a walking foot and a wide zigzag - the kind that takes 3 stitches per zig. It held together fine until I could get it in the sandwich and start quilting.
Thanks so much for this great idea. I was wondering what to do with pieces of batting and how they could be used. I have also enjoyed reading everyone else's comments about this.
I have used a sewing machine zig zag stitch for thinner batting, but a whip stitch by hand is far better for thicker batting. If you have really large pieces, cut on a curve and sew like that as the batting then doesn't bunch up and separate in a straight line.
First of all, congratulations for your blog. I use to visit a lot of quilting blogs, but yours is reaaaally good. Great work!
I'm used to piece batting with my Bernina 440 sewing machine, using a zig-zag stitch, and actually the result is perfect. Some people recommed to cut the batting borders doing a wave first. But I think that it's not necessary. The machine foot press firmly enough both sides of the batting.
Yep. I piece batting all the time. I use the longest, widest zig zag stitch that is on my machine. Works beautifully and doesn't pucker or bunch up.
I Fuse it! with fusible interfacing - I use my rotary cutter to make straight edges and then cut light wt fusible interfacing in 1/2' strips and but the straight edges together and iron on the interfacing covering both edges of the batting. It works very well and I can't notice any difference once I have finished quilting my piece. I use the batting for large and small itemsz like table tops, runners and coasters - saves $
I have so many long pieces of batting that come from the bottom of my large quilts would be like 20x70 so now I can make them more 40 x 35. Yeeehhhhh for every big person quilt I make I can make a little person quilt as well with no wastage.
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