Franken-batting:I buy my batting on 40 yd rolls when possible. I use Warm and White, Warm and Natural, and Pellon cotton batting. I buy each in a 90" width which means I usually have at least a 10" - 20" scrap strip after basting a quilt. I finally sorted all of these the other day. This pictures shows one of my two scrap piles. I first measured each piece and pinned a post-it with the size to each. Then I sorted and paired pieces to match up. Most of my Franken-bats were made by sewing at least 3-4 scrap strips together.
After completing each bat, I pinned a tag to it with the completed measurements. Note how the completed zig-zag looks. It should lay flat with no puckering or ripples on either side.
After sorting through two large bins and additional bags of scraps, I have 10 ready-to-use bats rather than the useless scraps. Plus, they take up much less space now that they are folded nicely. Each bat is a random size based on the scraps I had, but each is a usable size. Most are around 60" x 75" or baby quilt size as well as a few 22" squares for pieced pillows.
- Handling this much batting bothered my eyes and made my nose itch like crazy. Keep that in mind and even consider wearing a dust mask to minimize the lint you breathe if this is a problem for you.
- Remember to clean your machine after the fact.
- I used Sew Fine polyester thread.
- The edge joining foot I used for this method is my second favorite sewing foot after my 1/4" foot with a guide. I use it for edge-stitching and sewing my binding to the back of my quilt (tutorial coming on my binding technique). The link provided is for the Brother foot as that is the machine I have, but I'm assuming there is a similar foot for all machine models.
- Sew pieces together such that the grain is going the same direction.
- Feed pieces slowly as to not stretch them.
- In the future I intend to measure and mark my batting scraps before putting them away to make this process easier in the future.
- Because I quilt my quilts fairly densely I haven't had any problems using Franken-bats in the past, although I'm not sure I would recommend it for hand quilting. I would be afraid of shifting and wear on the zig-zag seam without the added reinforcement of dense machine quilting.
As I'm considering topics for this tips series, I'm curious if there are specific posts you'd like to see. If so, leave me a comment. Thanks!