Friday, January 19, 2018

Frankensteined Batting

Top:  cutting interfacing.  Bottom:  ironed together batting
Years ago, I learned how to piece scrap batting by hand:  cut the abutting scraps straight with a ruler, then whip-stitch them together.  Years later I found out I could replace the whip-stitch with a machine zig-zag stitch.  Much faster with a flatter, stronger seam.  When I trimmed Sunshine I had more batting to frankenstein, but really didn't want to pull out the Graduate to stitch it together.

The last time I was at Ryco, I commented that I didn't want to switch machines to zig-zag the batting.  I was told:  why do that?  You can use lightweight iron-on interfacing to bond them together.

Really?  How cool is that?!?

I have a bunch of iron-on interfacing that has been tucked in a drawer for decades.  Goodness, I think I lived in Dedham the last time I used it.  Couldn't throw it out; it just takes up space.  No longer!  I cut it into strips about 1½" wide, pieced together my batting, placed the interfacing over it and ironed it together.

I was told to iron the interfacing to both sides of the seam, which I tried first.  I'm not sure I like how it feels.  The batting is smooth where the interfacing is, instead of the soft fuzziness I'm accustomed to for batting.  These scraps are long and narrow, so the batting is mostly covered by the interfacing.

The next seams I tried ironing it to just one side of the batting, alternating which side I adhered the interfacing.  Then I googled it, to see what others wrote about this technique.  I found a lot of tutorials about how to hand or machine stitch batting, but far less on using interfacing or seam tape.  Some say to iron it on just one side, others had better luck doing both sides (no chance of the seam overlapping or crawling).  One person skipped all of that and just spray basted it to place to the fabric and went straight to quilting.  I guess it's whatever works best for a person!

I'm happiest with my zig-zagged batting.  None of it is going to peel apart, no matter how tight or loosely it gets quilted.  It feels like a single piece when I run my hand over it.  Ironing my batting together?  Well, it's fast.  And easy.  Even trying to get the hang of what I was doing, I bet this took less time than stitching it together.  I bet it's perfect for adjoining large pieces of batting.  It looks/feels odd for the little scraps I put together.  I'm curious how it will feel to quilt it.  I use this super-scrap batting mostly for mug rugs - they'll be the perfect little project to try this out.

Do you frankenstein your batting?  If so, what's your preferred method?


5 comments :

  1. Now that is a brilliant idea. Thank you for sharing it, Sally.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I stitch mine together with #12 stitch on my Bernina most of the time. The iron on tape would work for me on small quilts that I was not going to hand quilt or wash a lot. Whatever works best for your purpose is the way to go.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I frankenstein my batting leftovers too. I prefer to use my machine and I found I have another zig zag-ish stitch that works better for me. It is like two stitches for every zig and zag: (I'll try to ascii-art it)
    \
    \
    /
    /
    \
    \
    /
    /

    It might even be 3 stitches for each zig and zag. Anyway - for some reason this is even flatter for me than a regular zig zag.

    I love reading your blog and look forward to every post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That ascii art lost my spaces. :-( I'll put -'s in where I had spaces.
      \
      -\
      -/
      /
      \
      -\
      -/
      /

      Delete
  4. I´ve never joined batting but the zig zag method sounds best to me, no fear of slipping and quick to do.

    ReplyDelete

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