Welcome to my blog

Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Use the scrap batting

Have you ever wondered what to do with this? Does your batting scraps tend to pile up when you aren't looking? (These are the trimmings from individual battings used for customer quilts.) The batting is too good and too expensive to just fill up a land fill area somewhere.

Have you ever had a customer bring you pieced together batting that was zig-zag stitched like this? Is that how you would do it?

Here is a better way. First, take out some of your light weight iron on interfacing. You know, the stuff you stabilize fabric with before constructing a garment or t-shirt quilt. Cut some 2 inch strips. These could be larger or smaller, depending on your own preference. I just happen to like the 2 inch size. Try this size until you get comfortable with the technique.

Next, find two pieces of batting that are close to the same length, mine are usually about 92 inches because that's what is used for the customer quilts. The width varies from about 4 inches to about 12 inches. The length or width really doesn't matter but to save time I try to match the length. Bigger is nice but I like to use up all the pieces of batting, even the smaller pieces.

Now layer your batting with two pieces overlapping an inch or two like this. I'm working one small section at a time as I move along the length of the batting.. It's important to have the batting on an ironing surface so you can do the next step.

Now go searching for that vintage fabric cutter. (Like the one in this photo below.) If you don't remember how to use those things....the thumb goes in the smaller handle with the fingers in the other handle. You work them by opening and closing your hand. Keep trying, you'll figure it out.

No, you really can't use a rotary cutter on an ironing board safely. It would cut the ironing board fabric to shreds. Ok now.....start cutting a wavy line down the over lapped batting making sure you cut both layers together. Don't make your curves real sharp.....just a gentle curve will do. Why do we use curves instead of straight line cutting? Hmm....it's to hide the break in the batting from the outside of the quilt. A straight line tends to cause a crease in the top while a curved line doesn't.

Remove the tiny cut pieces and lay the interfacing over the curved cut edges. Press the interfacing to the batting with the warm iron. Make sure it's hot enough to fuse but not hot enough to melt the batting. Be sure there isn't even the tiniest gap between the pieces of batting before pressing the interfacing to it. These tiny gaps have a way of looking hugh in a finished quilt.

After ironing it will look like this. It will be very sturdy yet it won't leave a hard line like zig zag stitching does. And...you won't have to fight with the batting to sew it with your domestic machine.

Once that section has been stabilized, move on to the next section and repeat the process.

This is how your batting should look from the other side after the fusing is done.

It's important to fuse like types and weights of batting together for the best use. If you start mixing up types and weights you won't get a nice looking quilt. Fusing batting together this way will save you a few dollars here and there as you create your charity quilts. Once quilted the batting will stay together as long as the quilt stays together.

I keep the tiniest scraps to use in a variety of crafts. I'll describe some of those later.


Anonymous said...

I am SO thrilled that you started this blog! I have been fascinated with your other blog for quite a while now. I am also a longarm quilter, and I am amazed at how much you get done!! I love the post about your 6 month shopping trip. Please keep it up. I think you are one neat lady!!

Diana in Illinois
(by the way, I have been quilting for about 10 years, I do not know anyone else who has quilted as long as you have and does as nice of work).
quilt4u @ verizon.net (without the spaces)

EileenKNY said...

I have the batting on the roll. When I cut it for a customer's quilt, I cut it on the horizontal measurement of the quilt top unless it's bigger than 96". I usually just give the extra batting to the client. I've been losing money!! I'll have to rethink this-hmm!!!!!!!!!!!

Dianne B. said...

Thank you for this, Anita. In addition to stash-busting, I am also trying to use up all my other supplies before buying anything on impulse. This is a wonderful tutorial. Kindest regards from Dianne B. in England.