26 March, 2014

Fun And Done!

The Batting Buddy is a  two-piece "template" that nests within its outer frame.
Last week a friend asked me about the "Batting Buddy" ruler when she saw it hanging on the ruler board. It's been awhile since it saw any action and I was happy to get it down and show her how it works. In fact, I decided I could best demonstrate it to her by creating something and you know how that goes... one thing leads to another... and my Batting Buddy leapt out of retirement and onto center stage! I blogged about this back in 2009 when I created a quilt for children; it has been much loved and well used since then.
The center piece of the template is for cutting batting scraps... I have a ton of those!
The outer frame portion is for cutting out the backing pieces. Once the backs are cut the batting piece is placed within the "window" opening and the outer frame template is carefully lifted off. An even margin of backing fabric remains exposed on all four sides.
Scraps and strips are positioned over the batting, and stitched down through all three layers using a "flip and sew" technique until the central batting square is covered with fabric pieces. I happened to angle my pieces acroos the corners but straight sets or even crazy-patch would work just fine. If you click on the "Batting Buddy" link above you can find some beautiful patterns utilizing this tool, for the quilting purists out there, mine is a much more impromptu "stitch up what you've got" method.
The covered piece should look like this, with the added fabric edges irregular and protruding.
Flip the unit over and carefully peel the backing fabric up and away from the batting edge, fold the backing onto itself, this folded edge, of backing fabric only, should be well protected under a ruler before trimming.
Position the ruler exactly along the exposed edge of the batting taking precautions to have the folded backing fabric completely under the ruler and below your cutting line. Believe me, you don't want that blade edge to come in contact with the folded edge of the backing fabric! Trim away the excess fabric strips right along the batting edge, rotate the block and continue this method on all four sides.
Your trimmed block should look like this.
If you choose to join your blocks (I'm constructing a table runner) you will align them WRONG SIDES TOGETHER pinning precisely along the batting edge (check top and bottom to ensure that both blocks are aligned) and stitching right along that same edge, removing the pins as you go. Stitch from the top of backing to bottom of backing using that same line. (I drew a pencil line as a guide on the backing fabric.) 
Turn the raw edges under on the front side. I folded mine in so that the raw edge met the seam line and pressed in the fold. I used a few drops of school glue under the fold and pressed with a hot dry iron to hold the fold in place until I top stitch these joins. I like to use a decorative stitch at this point and have been experimenting with some of the triple stitches built into my machine but any securing stitch will be fine. Join all of the blocks in this manner until several rows are complete. The long rows will be joined in exactly the same manner; wrong sides together, pin to align, turn back the raw edges on the front, and secure. The beauty of this is that once your creation is all joined the edges are finished by this same method and you're done... quilting and all! Just like the template says: "Fun and Done!" Now, who doesn't love that?
These blocks can also be finished individually! In this pot holder I replaced the batting with two layers of Insul Brite and added a hanging loop. This would be perfect for gift giving at any time.
Or, how about a mug (and cookie) rug?

I was born and raised in New England where the old Yankee adage: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" was often heard. Dusting off the Batting Buddy was just what I needed to do as a way to move out the scraps from my latest low volume quilt projects as well as reduce my batting scrap mountain!
 "Why?" You may ask. "Here's why:

The low volume bin is filling up again with new and exciting pieces that I'm just itchin' to stitch.
And, naturally, there will be leftovers that move to the scrap bin... and sew it goes... all over again!
Life is Good!


Janet O. said...

Very clever tool. I've never heard of it before. Thanks for the demo! : )

Quiltdivajulie said...

I'd never heard of it, either . . . now I know!

LizA. said...

Interesting -- don't think I've heard of this before. Thanx for sharing. Love that love volume bin.....I swear, certain fabrics just seem to multiple like dust bunnies....not that YOUR house has any of those!

lindsey said...

I have never heard of this before but it looks pretty handy!

LindieLee said...

Can this be used for rag quilts?