Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Splicing Batting

I had measured and labeled a fairly large piece of batting.  However, as I neared the end of the quilt, I realized that I was a few inches short.

First, let me be clear that I would not do this in most instances.  Normally, I would just fold up the batting and get a larger piece. But, this is kind of a salvage quilt anyway--it's a way to keep those 20+-year-old blocks from aging unseen in a box somewhere.  I'd also use it if I encountered a similar problem with a quilt that would spend a lot of it's life at outdoor events or a quilt that a child would drag around and wear out--or even a quilt for a pet.  And if I were quiltmaking while snowed in, I might even splice batting for a nice quilt; who knows.

Here's how I did it....
First, I laid a strip of batting on top of the first piece so that about two or three inches overlapped.
I slipped a narrow cutting board between the quilt back and batting and cut both layers of batting in a nice, gently curving line:
I pulled away the narrow waste pieces and abutted the two pieces of batting.
Then, using very fine thread, I lashed the two edges together so they met but did not overlap.  I used my KwikKlip tool because it helped me grab the needle.

And, truthfully, I stitched most of it with a quilting needle, not with the large needle shown above.  My stitches, perpendicular to the cut edges, about 1/8 inch into the batting.
I left the narrow cutting board beneath the batting and moved it along as I stitched so that I wouldn't have to worry about catching the quilt back.

The reason for the wavy cutting/sewing line is that the place the batting joins could create a ridge in the finished quilt if the line were straight.  This way the join will be less noticeable in the finished quilt.

This particular batting is a Quilter's Dream Request--it gives a thin antique look.  More often, when making the kind of "drag-around" quilts where I'd find this technique acceptable, I'd use a thicker batt.
As you can see, the joining is barely noticeable.

I hope this technique will work for you if you're ever caught just a little short in the batting department.

Happy quiltmaking........

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