I'm looking for ideas about how to best join pieces of batting. I quilt on my home machine, and occasionally need to piece batting prior to sandwiching. I've been using the 3-step zig-zag, with the edges of the pieces butted up together. One of the pieces always winds up shorter than the other, and doesn't lay flat. What technique works best?
Sharon of Raleigh:I'm looking for ideas about how to best join pieces of batting.
I've only done it once, so I'm no expert, but mine did work. I lived in Norway at the time and couldn't find batting wide enough for a queen size quilt without piecing it. I butted the two pieces of batting next to each other, and stitched them together by hand. What I did was to anchor the thread, then take one stitch parallel to and on one side of the seam, about 1/2 inch long, then go straight across the seam about 1/2 inch, then straight up the same distance on the opposite side and back across. I made sure I wasn't pulling or stretching it, and every once in a while took a small anchoring stitch. The real trick is that I did it on my hands and knees on the floor, starting in the middle, going up one side to the end, then from the middle down. Afterwards, a bubble bath helped.
Sharon--I agree with Judy's method--I've done it by hand, using a whipstitch. It worked well. I've also tried the machine zig-zag, but sometimes it does bunch up.
I join mine on the machine. Just go slow and smooth the batting as you go.
sharon, i've tried by machine and i can't get it to lie flat. now i use a huge back and forth stitch by hand and it works fine gini
gini in north idaho
To do it on the machine you need to set your stitches really large like basting stitches.
Hi Sharon.....when I want to sew batting pieces together, I try to make sure they are all the same length so I trim them before, sometimes after, then I set my machine at a large zig zag and then butt the two pieces together and start with a leader piece of fabric, then when your zig zag reaches your batting, it should just flow right through without bunching up...but I think the key is to have a larger zig zag stitch set....I have tried smaller zig zag and the batting starts to bunch up.
You are right. I don't use anything but the plain jane zigzag at the larger stitch size that my machine will go to. Just enough to tack the pieces together until they are quilted.
sharon, I think you will get tons of different ideas as we all do this differently...
I lay the 2 pieces of a batting with a slight overlap on the table...then I cut a lightly waving line from one end to the other... I then lay my backing down and lay the batting on top of it...
I do not sew them together yet... I spray my backing and lay my batting on top of it... smoothing that section on both sides where I have cut and laid together...
I then lay my top down and spray basted it... if it appears that anywhere do to movement that it is going to separate I will take a few stitches by hand to hold it...
I do hand sew the sides - the edges - together... I also use the water soluble thread for this. I make sure when I am quilting that a quilting stitch holds this area together...
Oh and one thing I forgot to say about this... I do not do that seam where the seam on my backing is going to be - or down the middle either vertically or horizontally.
I have never had a problem with any of these separating after I have made the quilts... I do do this a lot as I have this tendency to buy the biggest size of batting and use it for several different quilts.
Hi Sharon, I like Althea do not sew my batting together but I do lay one piece slightly overlap but I cut a straight line so I know they will match up when I put them on the backing. I pin rather than spray but I am going to try spraying next time. I try to make sure that the batting meets where I will be doing a lot of stitching close together so that both sides only have a slight amount loose. I have only needed to do this a couple of times and it seemed to work fine.
Marilyn - I can't remember who told me as it was so many years ago - but I think I did the slight curve - it curves back and forth about a 2 1/2" wide area... I think it was just for the exact reason that you stated about putting it where you are going to quilt a lot - it was so that you wouldn't basically have to do that - and for me I have no idea where I am going to be quilting and so this way I didn't have to worry about quilting down one side of it and haveing it come loose because I didn't quilt on the other side but about 4" away... if that makes sense....I have had people tell me that they use the water soluble thread to keep it in place - they actually sew it down tot he backing and then know where the pieces are separate when they are quilting...
I usually do it when I am making a twin or lap size quilt as I use those left over pieces from my bed quilts...
I know someone told me about cutting on a curve but wish I could remember exactly why... maybe my brain will let go with that memory in the next couple days...teehee
Althea :I know someone told me about cutting on a curve but wish I could remember exactly why
I think it was me the other day Thea. You cut an S curve to hide where you made the join just in case the join separates a tad or overlaps a tad. A line would notice more compared to a curve. If you looked a t the quilt in certain light the line would be much more visible. If you glue baste then you are more certain to get the batting to stay where you want it. Hope this helps.
"Friendship is like a rose...opening one petal at a time only as it unfolds...day by day does it reveal its true beauty"
Althea, I never thought about doing the curve, I picked up the straight line from a quilt show years ago but the curve makes more sense now. I have only done it a couple of times on crib quilts that I was just doing straight diagonal lines so I knew where the stitching was going but next time I will definitely try the curve. Thanks for the tip.
I was surfing on Judy Martin's website and found this tip. Intriguing.
To Butt Together Batting on the
Sewing Machine "Cut 1" strips of sheer curtain fabric.
Apply one edge to the edge of the batting using a zig-zag stitch. Butt
the other edge against the first so that no space is between them. Sew
again with zig-zag stitch. Trim. You may have to reduce the presser foot
pressure, or the top tension. I am chair of our guild's service
projects and need to use ALL the batting. I found this to be the best
way to use the leftover edges of batting from the quilts we donate to
charity. I have used this method for table runners, and wall quilts.
There is no ridge to contend with and does not interfere with hand or
machine quilting. To butt a piece to a quilt in progress, or "oops I cut
too soon". Align the edges of the batting and the piece you want to
apply, you may need to fray the edges a bit. Cut a 1" strip of iron-on
interfacing. Follow the directions regarding the interfacing and press
on to the area to be mended. I found this method, too, does not
interfere with hand or machine quilting."
There is a new product called: "Heat Press Batting Together". The website is www.heatpressbatting.com. The site has a video demo. and I think you can purchase on line? I found it in my local quilt shop after seeing it demonstrated at my charity quilting group. It works on all batting content and has great reviews on google! I was able to fuse directly on my long arm machine when I got into trouble with my batting measurement.