Have you ever heard of “Franken-Batting?
It is the solution when you don’t have a batting piece that is big enough so you attach a bunch of smaller pieces to make one, much like Frankenstein being made out of lots of different parts.
As a quick aside, my FAVORITE Frankenstein was Peter Boyle in “Young Frankenstein”…..
Now back to our regularly scheduled blog…..
My Franken-battings sometimes look like this…..
Here I have overlapped the batting pieces slightly and sewn them in place. You are supposed to butt them up and use a zig-zag stitch, but my machine is straight-stitch only which means that I either pull out an old machine, or I overlap them slightly and sew them together.
BUT, I recently watched a YouTube video from “The Sewing Channel“, and she had a different method. I thought about this as I was preparing the batting for my “Monarch” piece, and decided to give it a try.
The first step is to get the batting flat and mostly unwrinkled. You can do this by laying it out, placing a piece of fabric or pressing sheet over it, and ironing it well.
Then you rotary cut straight edges on the two sides that will be joined…..
Next, cut some LIGHTWEIGHT fusible interfacing into 1.5-inch strips. In the video, she used Fusible Tricot (Pellon EK130 – Easy Knit). Since I didn’t have that particular one in my closet, I pulled another version….
Line up the cut edges and place the fusible strips across the two sides….
I chose to use several smaller strips rather than one long one (mostly because it was the easiest to cut out of my fusible!!).
Cover with fabric or pressing cloth and give it a good pressing…..
Now I had the batting in THREE pieces…..
I joined the two pieces to make the next row…..
…and laid it out again……
The final step was to join these pieces together. I chose to place them together so that the two joins were on opposite sides of the batting and not in line with each other.
Again, I used several pieces of fusible as I connected them……
And in just a few minutes, I had usable batting…..
Since this was only 24″, and since it was for a wall-hanging that would never be washed, I am happy with using the non-woven fusible.
HOWEVER, if I was making a larger quilt and, especially one that would be washed, I would be sure to use the stretchable Tricot fusible. And, I might even stick it down on both sides.
Is this faster than sewing them together????
Probably not!! BUT, it sure made a nicer-looking batting.
I love this idea for using up my smaller strips of batting and MAYBE it will help me clean out the batting-pieces box that is always overflowing!!
How do you make Franken-batting?
One of my favorite things about quilting is to motivate others and help them in their quilting journey. As part of this endeavor, I LOVE to present programs and workshops to groups and guilds around the world. All of my programs work
well with Zoom meetings and I would love to speak to your group.
You can find out more at this link…..
8 thoughts on “No-Sew “Franken-Batting””
Years ago at our church quilting group I watched as one of our members used this method. It does take as long as sewing. I prefer the butt-it-up and zigzag method. I’ve also hand-basted pieces together. The important thing is not to let those good scraps of batting go to waste.
And those skinny strips of leftover batting (you’re not going to bother patching together those inch-wide strips, are you?) are great for cleaning blinds, ceiling fans, and air conditioning vents. At least as good, if not better, than Swiffer dusters, and free!
I agree that it can be a bit slower. My problem is that I don’t have a zig-zag machine set up and I don’t like it when I overlap it and sew it together with a straight stitch. SO….this seems to be a good compromise for smaller quilts. I hadn’t thought about using the smaller strips for housework…..wait…..you DO housework????
I have used a tape made especially for this purpose. They sell it at sew sew
Several people have mentioned it to me today Mary. I had no idea that it existed!! Thanks…..
I use it to wrap wooden coat hangers before covering them.
That is a great use for all of those strips!! Thanks Margaret
A slight variation when making Franken-batts….cut odd batting pieces into strips of widths that are manageable much as you would cut leftover fabric into strips…for example 3”, 5”, 6”, whatever. Then basically make a batt just as you would make a jelly roll quilt top. Sew the strips of same width together end-to-end. Then cut your long strip of pieced batting into preferred length and join those pieces edge to edge. Use whatever technique you prefer for joining the seams.
Great comment and idea!! Thanks so much!!