How to Piece Quilt Batting

A friend of mine has been bitten by the quilting bug and is rapidly moving from novice to intermediate quilter. I'm quite proud of her. But because she's been working on more traditional-style quilts in a larger format than I usually work, I don't always have the technical answers she's looking for when she hits a construction dilemma.

Recently she came to me for advice about batting. The quilt she is working on is wider than the batting she has: what to do?

Typically, I just abut two pieces and zigzag them together. But I usually work fairly small and my quilts hang on the wall–they don't hang out on a bed or a sofa. I was worried my method wouldn't hold up to that kind of use. So I looked into some options for her.

I happened to have Quilting Line and Color: Techniques + Designs for Abstract Quilts on my desk, and I thought I had remembered seeing something about grafting batting. Sure enough, there was a handy diagram and easy-to-follow directions for joining two pieces of batting.

1. With your hands, peel back one layer of the quilt batting about 3/4" to 1-1/8" (2-3 cm) along the edge where it will be grafted.

2. With scissors, cut away one of the flaps that you peeled back.

3. Peel back and cut away one of the flaps along the facing edge of the second piece of batting (along the edge that will be grafted).

4. Overlap the cut edges of the two pieces of batting. Double thread a needle and baste along the edge to graft the batting.

This results in a very smooth, even joining that's also sturdy.

I love Quilting Line + Color for author and artist Yoshiko Jinzenji's innovative take on patchwork and design. I especially like her "code quilts" where the patches make up words in different languages, translated into code.

Yoshiko's quilts are simple but require precise construction, and the book is full of pictures, diagrams, and instructions that show you in exquisite detail how to put together beauties like these. The book contains paper patterns for you to follow, too.

I picked up lots of techniques, like how to make a sheer, spiral block filled with felt balls and how to use reverse appliqué to make free-form lines.

I'm definitely going to recommend Quilting Line + Color to my friend, and anyone else who appreciates simply stunning quilts and expert techniques. The tutorials alone are worth it!

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2 thoughts on “How to Piece Quilt Batting

  1. A friend of mine just gave me a great tip for piecing batting, and it’s so easy! Butt the two pieces of batting together and iron on a 2″ strip of lightweight fusible interfacing where the edges meet!

  2. I love thepiecing batting article above and that is how I used to join batting pieces before I experimented with felting… I have a Huskystar felting machine and have found the perfect way to join two pieces of quilt batting is to overlap the two pieces by approximately 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch then felt on the felting machine…Through trial and error, I have found that if I felt it well from both sides (top and back), you have a seam that is virtually invisible to the hand and no ‘bump’ can be felt in the finished project. This is a very economical way to save and reuse those ‘too big to throw away’ pieces of batting you have paid for….tarirat-st petersburg, FL