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How to join batting pieces

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If you’re like me (and most quilters for that matter), you probably keep the batting scraps you trim off before you bind a quilt. I used to keep them thinking I’ll make coasters and other little things from them, but somewhere after my second or third quilt, I quickly realized that nobody needs *that* many coasters.

So what do you do with all those batting strips and remnants? You make “Frankenbatting” as my friend calls it. Here’s a quick photo tutorial on how I do it.

First off, select a few pieces that will make up the size you need. Make sure they’re all the same kind of batting.

Lay them out the way you want to join them, making sure they’re all facing the same side up. If they have wonky edges, you’ll need to straighten them up first. If two adjoining pieces are wonky, put them right sides together (we’ll just call the side you put facing up the right side, since batting doesn’t have a pattern), and cut a straight line across both layers to straighten out the edges.

If one piece already has a straight edge, just trim the adjoining piece to give it a straight edge, too.

Once all pieces have straight edges and fit nicely together when butted up against each other, you can start sewing them together.

Butt up the pieces edge-to-edge, don’t overlap them. Select the widest zigzag stitch on your machine, at a normal stitch length, and start stitching the seam together. Using a walking foot will help to make sure both pieces of batting move through the machine at the same speed and you don’t get puckers.

You should have a nice, flat zigzag seam on your batting with no puckers or hard ridges.

Keep adding pieces until your batting is done. Then you can just use it the same you would any other batting.

I often use these bits of joined batting for table runners because I don’t need many to make it big enough for the project. Other small projects work as well, or if you have large remnants from a prepackaged batt, you can also join 2 or 3 for a baby quilt. I would just try to make sure you don’t need to join more than 3 or 4 pieces, just for simplicity’s sake. But there’s nothing saying you can’t make a king-size batt from remnants. After all, making do with what you have is the founding principle behind patchwork and quilting.

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