A quilter in a discussion group asked what to do with small pieces of batting, and she expressed concern about wasting batting when her quilt was smaller than the batting, and she had pieces of batting left over.
This happens to every one of us. I used to have a big bag of leftover pieces. Like food, I was reluctant to throw leftover batting out, even though I had no idea what to do with it.
Then one day I read a tip from a quilter about how to sew small pieces of batting together to make one bigger piece. It’s almost like a patchwork quilt inside your patchwork quilt!
Since that day, I always purchase queen or king size batting, cut out the pieces I need, and then save the remaining pieces for future use.
If I have a quilt that is somewhat small, I will sew the smaller pieces of batting together. For large quilts (i.e., queen or king), I still like to use one piece of batting.
Handling a pieced batting can be kind of tricky. I piece the batting on top of the quilt backing just before I am ready to baste the quilt together. That way I am sure that the pieced batting won’t get stretched or fall apart, and it will be the right size for the quilt.
Below are step-by-step pictures and basic instructions for the process.
|Line up the pieces of batting side by side.The edges should be straight and neatly trimmed.|
|Butt the two pieces of batting exactly next to each other (do not overlap).|
|Thread a needle. I use a long needle, since I want to feed it into the batting and pull it out about 1″ away. (You will see this below.)Also, I use a light color thread. I used blue thread for this example so you could see the stitches.|
|Make your first stitch by putting your needle through either the top or bottom of the batting. Then work it through the batting, over the cut edges of the batting and then through the other piece of batting.Hopefully you can have your stitches begin and end at least 1/2″ from the edge of each piece of batting.|
|Pull the stitch through the batting. Then cross the needle over the seam and insert it 1-1/2″ to 2″ directly above the first stitch.Notice in the picture how the needle goes through the center of the batting. This is easier on thick batting.|
|Pull the needle through the batting to complete your second stitch.Make sure that you leave a little slack in the stitches as you pull the thread through.The edges of the batting pieces should lie flat against each other.If the stitches are too tight, you will have a little mountain or range of mountains in your seam. That will cause your quilt to be bumpy.|
|Begin your next stitch about 1-1/2″ to 2″ above the previous stitch.|
|Continue making stitches until both sides of the batting are completely sewn together.You can see by my example, that the beauty of the stitches is not so important (at least in my view).The idea is to loosely connect the two pieces of batting. Your quilting or tying will keep the batting in place inside your quilt.|
|I generally end by tying a knot in my thread. Many quilters just leave a long piece of thread both at the beginning and end. They believe that the extra knots leave bumps in their quilts.|
With this technique, you can make more quilts from the materials you buy!