FRANKENBATTING. Sure sounds like the right thing to be talking about with Halloween right around the corner, doesn’t it? I promise, this isn’t as scary as it sounds!
Frankenbatting simply refers to piecing together batting scraps in order to make batting big enough for your quilt top. Once used in a quilt and quilted, you can’t tell at all that your batting was pieced.
“But Eliane, won’t my batting come apart?” No! Your batting is totally safe and secure and in one piece. Use the quilt, wash it, and never have a worry.
Why do this? Well, you paid good money for that batting, didn’t you? And now you have all these scraps laying around! Frankenbatting puts all those scraps to good use, saving you money and a trip to the store!
Let’s get to the good part. First, pull out all your batting scraps.
Okay, this is an aside to talk about batting storage. I use three different types of batting, and I store all my scraps in labeled, clear plastic containers to make it easy to rummage through them to find what I need. When I’m in peak form, I will trim my batting scraps, measure, and label them right away so it is easy to create frankenbatting. When I’m in my lazy mode, I just throw all the scraps in the container as-is and deal with it when it comes time to piece together my batting.
Rummage through to find like-sized length pieces. I also recommend sticking to one type of batting per frankenbatting. Don’t try to mix different brands or types of batting together. The easiest quilts to make frankenbatting for are baby quilts. I frequently do it for throw quilts as well. Aim for no more than 4 pieces to make up your batting. I have, once, created batting out of 12 scraps (#desperate) but I don’t really recommend it. Stick to 4 pieces or less.
If your batting storage consists of “throw all the scraps in a bin and forget about them”, you’ll have to trim the edges so that they are straight. I only trim the sides I’m going to be piecing together, I don’t worry about the rest.
Time to line them up! Make sure your pieces are going to fit your quilt top. (A measuring tape helps here).
Okay, so we’re about to sew our batting together. Batting has a right and a wrong side. One side will feel smoother than the other. When sewing, make sure you’re sewing the same sides to each other.
With a very wide and very large zig-zag, stitch the batting pieces together. I recommend a walking foot to help the batting move easily. Batting tends to pull or stretch, so go slow. You simply want to line up the two batting pieces right next to each other, not overlapping, and zig-zag stitch to connect them together. Piece all your batting pieces together starting at the same side. When it comes time to baste, you’ll have one level edge to work off of.
Look at that amazing frankenbatting! You’re ready to baste!