I like using every little last bit of things I have; I find it difficult to throw away the tiniest of scraps, ends of threads, snippets of bondaweb batting and the offcuts of wadding – to mention just a few of my hoarding obsessions. As regards the wadding, I have plans of sewing pieces together to make a patchwork piece large enough to use, but haven’t done it yet.

As a UKQU blogger I received some wadding or batting tape to review, which seemed ideal for me, as it helped me to make a quilt for a new arrival, and to trial the tape. The first step was to take off the plastic wrapping that covers the tape – and there was quite a lot of it! I have added this in here, as only a couple of weeks ago at my quilting group, one of our members was asking me about using batting tape, and she hadn’t removed all of the wrapping, and had tried using the wrapping as the tape (she had had the tape for a couple of years, and the instructions that came with hers didn’t mention the wrapping). Once you get to the white tape, you are ready to start.

The opened batting tape with instructions

I had two pieces of wadding (or batting) that I wanted to join, so I cut a piece of tape the length of the wadding, and then followed the instructions that came with the tape. I set the temperature, and smoothed the tape over the wadding without the pressure of the iron, just using the heat of the iron until the glue was set. I found this rather fiddly, but I was working with my travel iron and a small area – an ironing board would have been a better surface to work on! I experimented by resting the iron on the tape for a few seconds and then moving on. This worked rather well, and it certainly helped to look at the video on the website (www.heatpressbattingtogether.com) .

Working with the tape – it is easier to cut it into strips, and use several strips on a length of wadding.

My main concern was how well the wadding would hold together in my project, as the wadding needs to be manipulated, so it is essential it didn’t separate either during the manipulation, or during the construction of the quilt or quilting. In general it withstood the trials I subjected it to. Like with all things, practice makes perfect – and getting the heat setting and pressing time right takes a while. I looked at the instructions on my friend’s batting tape (the instructions that didn’t mention the cling film wrap that has to be removed first) – and those instructions advised to press firmly for 10 seconds, then lift the iron, and press the next section for 10 seconds overlapping the previously fused area slightly; this certainly worked better for me.

Fused wadding, being cut to size for a block
Wadding pinned to the inside of a block – you can see the join
Block turned right way out, with the joined wadding manipulated inside.

There is no need to reinforce the tape by sewing the wadding too, especially if the quilting design is all over and there is substantial quilting. For a quilt without as much quilting, you may prefer to reinforce the join with additional stitching. At a Project Linus day two weeks ago quilters also used the tape to join fabric pieces together – to mend little holes, tears and snips in fabric, and they reported that it worked a treat! This is a versatile notion, and I will be using it again and again – especially as I have so many offcuts of wadding!

The finished quilt – a mixture of perlé thread hand quilting, and machine quilting

Responses