Tag Archives: piecing

You Can Piece the Backing and Batting Too!

Yup, it’s time for another post on frugal quilting. Here are some of my past articles on this subject. They’re mostly about scrap quilting and using up all the little bits of fabric you have.

Crumb-ing With Ami Simms

Megan Bags Courtesy of My Friends

Binding Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

Did you know that you can also piece your backing fabric and the batting? I haven’t bought batting in a while but I continue to finish baby quilts. I have three tops ready to be spray basted so I can quilt them and get them into my etsy shop. (Two of them feature the crumb quilting you guys love!)

Here’s how I do it. First, I take small leftover batting scraps like these and cut them so that at least one side has a straight edge. I set two pieces side-by-side, straight edges together, and sew them together with a zig-zag stitch on my machine.

batting scraps

Continue putting two and two together and then joining those pieces until you have a big enough piece of batting to be usable. This one works for a baby quilt that’s up to 35 x 40 inches. It’s made up of 20ish scraps sewn together. Yes, it will lay flat. No, you won’t be able to tell that the batting is pieced once the quilt’s all together.

Pieced batting

 

It’s difficult to see since I used white thread on white batting, so here’s a closer look. Can you see the different pieces? When you piece batting, join like with like. I buy mostly Warm & Natural but also have some scraps of other battings friends have given me. Warm and Natural scraps go with other Warm and Natural scraps. That way everything wears and shrinks evenly… plus it has a uniform thickness and needles the same. You can piece almost anything though! I’ve even done this with fusible fleece and flannel with good results. Close-up batting

As for the backing? Yup there’s nothing wrong with piecing that too. This backing (upside down in the photo, ready for spray basting) is for a kid’s quilt. So the fun bright fabrics add some interest and make it so I don’t have to run to the store for that extra-wide backing fabric. I’d rather use up my scraps!
pieced back

 

One last tip for frugal living enthusiasts: The Dollar Store’s version of children’s liquid allergy medication works almost as well as Benadryl. So buy it there and take a tad more, for great savings! Can’t beat a buck.

 

 

Crumb Quilting: Crazy or Improvisational?

Since the beginning, I’ve categorized my crumb quilts as crazy quilting. And looking at them, you can see why. Visually there’s a lot in common with crazy quilts…. at least initially.

 

I’ve changed my mind. It isn’t crazy quilting. Crazy quilts use many kinds of fabrics, showcase embellishments, and are usually foundation pieced. My crumb quilting has much more in common with improvisational piecing, which is a modern approach to creating shapes without using patterns or templates. Here, let me show you. This is an improvisational pieced block that I made for a recent group challenge.

 

I just cut and sewed things together in straight lines, over and over, until I liked the shapes it made and the overall look. It’s regular machine piecing. That’s what I do with crumb blocks, just on a smaller scale. Here is the back of a crumb block in progress. See?

 

This little epiphany will help me explain my process more clearly to others. Though the finished project may look similar to a crazy quilt, that’s not how you get there. Improv. piecing is a completely different way to do things. No wonder I was getting so many confused looks! Here’s how to do it:

  1. Sew a straight line to join two tiny pieces of fabric together. Press the seam to one side, doesn’t matter which one.
  2. Repeat #1 until you have a small pile of two-fabrics together (2’s)
  3. Sew two those new pieces you’ve made out of two fabrics together. Press. Now you have some 4’s.
  4. Repeat #3 until you have a small pile of four-fabrics together (4’s)
  5. Sew the 4’s together. Press. Repeat until you have a big enough piece for whatever you’re making. My large quilt has 3.5″ squares.
  6. Square it up! It’s going to be a weird shape after all that work so take your ruler and rotary cutter and cut it to the size you want.
  7. Use the cut-off leftovers to start the next block.