The Tip Jar

August 16, 2007 § 5 Comments

A mountain of scraps covered the floor of my sewing room yesterday. There are birthday gifts in progress. I can’t show you anything yet. Soon, my dears, soon. I’ll just say that they have been a blast to make. And, just like cooking, it’s the clean-up that is a pain in the neck.

Since I can barely remember a time in my life that I wasn’t sewing something, there are probably a bajillion little sewing or quilting tips that seem everyday to me, but may be new to some of you. So… let me share this one with you.

How to join smaller pieces of batting to make one big piece.

It seems that the quilts I make never fit the batting sizes available. There’s always bits and pieces left over. I can’t bring myself to throw them away. Sometimes I do make smaller things – table runners, totebags, placemats, whatever. But, another way to use up the batting scraps is to join 2 or 3 of them together to make one bigger piece.

I don’t use this technique on quilts that are heirloom quality, or art quilts, or gifts. But it’s great for an everyday item that is meant to be loved & used, not critiqued & judged.

1. Find 2 pieces of batting that are the same brand, quality or weight. Trim the edges that you want to join together so that they are absolutely straight. We don’t want any jagged or wavy batting edges.

2. Butt the 2 straight sides up to each other underneath the presser foot of your sewing machine.

3. Select the zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine that sews the width of the stitch in 3 or 4 stitches. Make the stitch width as wide as possible. On my sewing machine it’s called a Multiple ZigZag Stitch. If you can see it in the image, it’s stitch no. 13. The owner’s manual describes it this way.

The multiple zigzag stitch looks like a zigzag stitch with straight stitches in the “zig” and the “zag” of the stitch.

4. Start sewing, keeping the 2 edges of the batting side-by-side, no space peeking through, and in the center of the presser foot. Sew all the way to the other end. Now you have a bigger piece of batting that can be used! And there are 2 less scraps of it laying around the house! It’s all good.

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§ 5 Responses to The Tip Jar

  • joyce says:

    Good hint on the batting. I have tried serging them together with moderate success. My granddaughters have used up lots of scraps stuffing pillows that they piece together. I can’t throw even small scraps of batting away so it’s good to have a use for them.

  • joan debolt says:

    Now I can hardly wait to see what you are sewing. Intersting that both of us used what I call a “multi zig zag stitch” yesterday. This is the one I use to gather with elastic. Yes Thursday was a great sewing day.

  • Emily says:

    That is a lot -a LOT- of scraps! I can’t wait to see what you are making.

  • Jacquelyn says:

    Thank you for the tip!

  • Tina says:

    We definitely share the same sentiments on material scraps. Thanks for the tip on joining the batting, i wondered what was the best way.

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