This post has tons of pictures of how I joined pieces of batting together today. You may want to save reading it until right before you go to bed, as a sleeping pill.
If the photos don't put you right to sleep, I guarantee the descriptions of the photos will.
But for those who really want to know how to add batting while a quilt is still on the frame, let's just dig in!
The batting for this humungous quilt was about 28" too short. I knew this day would come, when I would be fusing more batting to the last 28" of the stabilizing process. I began by running a basting stitch on the quilt top (in the photo that I forgot to take) about 8 or so inches before the end of the batting. I then carefully folded the quilt top back on that basting line. This kept the batting in place:
I didn't have just one piece of batting laying around that measured 102" X 28" so I rummaged through my batting scraps and found 2 pieces that would work. I like to put the factory edges together when I fuse batting pieces to each other because they are nice and straight. I overlapped the two scraps in the center. I made sure the top of the scraps met up nicely with the bottom of the quilt's remaining batting:
To be sure I would join the scraps together in a straight line, I marked a blue line on the underneath piece, tracing the edges of the overlapped piece:
I took it to my cutting mat and trimmed it at the blue line:
And then it matched up nicely:
Which is what it needs to do before it gets fused together.
The ironing board is the ideal surface to bond the Heat Tape to the join:
The heat of the iron does bond it to the batting fairly well, but the hard ironing board surface below the join tells it who's boss. I pressed my iron firmly on the join, let the tape cool, and repeated the process on the back of the join. That's because I am not doing heavy quilting on the quilt, and I want to make sure this join never comes apart.
The ironing board is great for this job, but unfortunately in real longarm life we find ourselves doing this job while the quilt is already on the rack. So the next step was to match up the new piece with the old piece:
I repeated the bonding process down the entire length using my iron right on the join:
To bond the reverse side of the join, I carefully folded it over and repeated the heat bonding process on the back of the join:
I unfolded the batting and smoothed it into place. Just like nothing ever happened:
Back goes the quilt top:
I basted a line down the entire length of the join several inches above it, and one line several inches below it. Then I could work in that area without pulling at the join:
To finish the remaining stabilizing: I did the basting stitches first, then the SID, then the circular designs in the tan fabric. And because I have zippered leaders, I rolled up this giant quilt - completely stabilized! - and stored it away until next time. If you don't already have zippered leaders, I strongly urge you to get them. One day you will thank me.
Up next is this very pretty table runner:
I am planning on doing an overall treatment on it. Something dense so that it lays flat on a table.
Have a great weekend!