Sunday, June 8, 2014

Piecing Batting

I admit it, piecing batting is not my favorite quilty thing to do. None the less, I do it anyway, because to throw out usable pieces of batting goes against my grain. I find I get more batting scraps when I am buying packaged batting as opposed to using batting off the roll. If I'm cutting off a roll, I can position the quilt to use the least amount of batting, and I only cut a couple inches bigger than I need. If a leftover batting strip is less than 2.5" wide, I toss it, I'm not THAT frugal.

I spent about half of Friday, all day Saturday, and about half of today piecing batting. I normally don't let the batting scraps build up this much, but I had batting scraps jammed into 1 laundry hamper, a couple trash bags, and various piles around the sewing room. Too many batting scraps and too much mess! I thought about it, and I think it got so out of hand for a couple of reasons. 1) I don't have as much time to sew anymore, and when I'm in a hurry, I don't want to piece a batting. 2) Most of the quilts I've finished lately have been queen/king sized, and I normally prefer to piece battings for crib or throw sized quilts.

When piecing batting, the first thing I do is divide the batting scraps by type of batting. This time I had scraps of Microsafe poly, Dream Wool, Hobb's 80/20, Warm and Natural, and Warm and White. I had very little Warm and White left, I had used most of those scraps for potholders, so I tossed it in with the Warm and Natural.

I try to keep burp rags on hand to give as baby gifts, and I am completely out. My favorite burp rags to make are these. I usually make two or three dozen at a time, and when I'm out, I make another batch. I think we kept about two dozen when the twins were babies, and they are great! Between the flannel and the Warm and Natural they are really absorbent, and the shape really stays of your shoulder well. We still use them if the twins are sick. They work great for wiping runny noses, and don't chafe their faces.

The first thing I did with the Warm and Natural scraps was cut out as many burp rags as I could from any piece large enough. I had enough for 37 burp rags! I'm about halfway finished cutting the flannel for those, but dealing with the batting was my priority.

Since most of my batting scraps are strips cut off the edge after quilting, the next thing I did was divide the strips by length, always keeping the types of batting separate. Once I had that done, I brought the strips to the cutting table, and made all the edges even. I want parallel strips, not wonky ones. Using my widest zig zag, I butt the edges up together and sew the batting pieces together. For Poly batting, I find it easiest to overlap the batting a little bit.

On this pieced batting, you can see I added a piece horizontally across the top, and although it's hard to see, I also added I couple pieces horizontally on part of the bottom, to make the shorter strips be long enough to join to the longer strips. It's a bit like a jigsaw puzzle.

After my long weekend of piecing batting, here's what I ended up with, along with the price I would have paid to buy that size batting at the store, had I tossed my batting scraps instead of saving them.

1) craft sized Dream Wool batting $10
2) crib sized Hobbs 80/20 $7
3) crib sized poly batting $6
4) crib sized poly batting $6
5) crib sized poly batting $6
6) full sized poly batting $15
7) queen sized Warm and Natural $45
8) throw sized Warm and Natural $20

There you go, 8 battings pieced from scraps, which had I purchased them, would have been $115! Add in the batting I had salvaged for those burp rags, and I'm sure it's closer to $150. Piecing batting may not be my favorite thing to do, but saving over $100 is right up my alley.

Here is my pop up hamper now, MUCH better! These batting scraps were all mine, no hand me downs in there. I do have a kitchen trash bag almost half full with Granny's batting scraps in it, but that's going to have to wait. Her batting was all the same, a super-thin dense poly batting, possibly Dream Poly? I haven't even taken it out of the bag to look at it. I don't want to use it on any of my current quilts, so I'm going to ignore it a bit longer. All the battings I pieced this weekend should get used within the next couple of months. 

1 comment:

phxquilt said...

What a great weekened! Like you I don't like to piece batting, but that kind of $$ can make a believer out of just about anybody. :-)