Since I buy my batting by the roll (usually in 25-30 yard lengths of 90″ wide), I end up with various odd sizes of batting leftover from projects that aren’t quite that big. And I’m also stubborn (and lazy) enough that I don’t want to pull out the gianormous roll of batting to cut off just a little bit for a small project like a wallhanging or tablerunner. Enter the Frankenbatting.
In my cutting table, one of the big drawers is reserved for batting scraps. It might be long skinny pieces leftover from trimming a quilt after it’s quilted, odd rectangles, or pieces big enough for a baby quilt. At one point they were folded nicely, but I believe now I am living by the “shove and pray” method of storing my batting scraps.
When the time comes for a small project to be quilted, I’ll paw around in the scraps until I find pieces that fit together to make the size I need. For this example, I was piecing together scraps to quilt one of the recent tabletoppers, which is a rough octagon (think of a rectangle with the corners cut off, like all the paper in Battlestar Galactica). I butt the pieces of batting together for the layout – not overlapping, but edges touching.
I made some hashmarks with a Frixon pen. Since the quilt top and back is dark colored, the marks could have stayed on the batting, but I like that they’ll disappear with heat with that pen. Those blue arrows point to my hashmarks, and I make them about every 6 inches on both pieces of batting. This gives you a way to make sure you won’t have one piece of batting feeding faster than the other when you join them, ending up with a wavy humpy piece of batting for your quilt. You can imagine how I discovered that could happen.
To join the pieces together, I used the biggest, widest zig zag stitch on my machine. This is also an excellent opportunity to use the ugly thread that doesn’t match anything in your stash since this thread won’t be seen inside the quilt. Once you get all your pieces marked and zig-zagged, voila! Frankenbatting.