11 Apr 2017

Recycle your Batting Scraps

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Over time, like most quilters, I end up with a lot of spare quilt batting pieces in all kinds of sizes. I don't throw any of these bits and pieces out, however. I keep them in a batting scrap box until I'm ready to recycle them. Here are three ways I recycle batting scraps. I hope this tutorial will encourage you to save your batting scraps and find a use for them.

  • stuffed toys
  • pin cushions
  • zipper bag stabilizer
  • post cards
  • quilted coasters
  • One of the best ways to reuse batting scraps is to join them to make larger sheets of batting for your quilting projects. Below are two simple ways to do this.


1. Trim the rough edges of the batting.

2. Butt the trimmed edges together. Do not overlap them.

3. Join the two pieces with a wide zigzag stitch.

I normally zig-zagged my pieces together but in a rush one day, I used a quicker method that I now prefer. I now recycle my batting bits by joining them together with fusible interfacing. It's so much faster than stitching them together, and they hold together very well this way.

  • batting chunks you want to join
  • rotary cutter
  • quilting ruler or regular ruler
  • strips of fusible interfacing. (I used Pellon Sheerweight interfacing, but a medium weight interfacing will work just as well. I'm also pretty sure there is such a thing as batting tape but the interfacing does the trick).
1. Get your batting pieces and check if they are jagged on the edge or not (these are pretty jagged).

2. If the batting edges are jagged, trim a little off to make both edges straight.

3. Butt the two edges together as shown; don't overlap them.

4. Following the manufacture's instructions press the fusible interfacing securely to the batting.

5. This is something like what your batting will look like. Any puckers are not an issue because you won't see them once you sandwich your quilt.


  1. I do hope you mean that you don't "throw" any pieces away.

    1. All my scraps are used for doll stuffing for my Christmas Gnomes, pin cushions, etc.

    2. Hi! Would you use them for yoga cushions since we sit in them, would we feel some lumps??

  2. I also found that when I overlap the two pieces and then cut into a wavy line then herringbone them together I don't have a bulky seam

    1. That's a good idea. Thanks for sharing that.

  3. What do you mean by herringboning them together?

  4. For years, I've been zigzagging pieces together to re-use but there's still those itty-bitty bits that I hate letting go to waste. So-o-o-o, they go into the bag with my teeny-tiny unusable fabric scraps. When I have enough, the bag goes to a friend of mine who makes dog and cat beds for the local SPCA. A good use, no waste. Makes me happy.

  5. Love this post, thank you so much!

  6. How do you herringbone?

    1. Herringbone is a stitch on the sewing machine which has a straight stitch up the middle with alternating zigs and Zags shooting off the straight stitches. It kind of looks like climbing alternating branches on a bare tree.

  7. I just saw this! Thank you for sharing. I do the same (zig zag stitch) with Wrap N Zap with 100 percent cotton thread.

  8. I do exactly what you do. Buying batting can be expensive so I love to use every bit of scrap. I even add it if I need a little more to finish my quilts sometimes the batting is shy an inch length or two.

  9. That's awesome, thanks for the upcycle!

  10. I use these ideas too - they're great! Another good idea is to use both those really tiny batting bits and quilt fabric scraps as stuffing for dog and cat beds. My quilting group saves everything and we sew up unwanted fabric into the beds, stuff them, then give them to the local animal shelter. The shelter is glad to have them because they're washable and I think because they never seem to have enough.
    Something I like to do is to take the somewhat larger pieces of batting, sandwich them between fabric that I may not want or think is just plain ugly and use it to practice free motion quilting patterns. Sometimes I'm surprised when I end up with pieces that coordinate and can be sewn together as a hot pad, or a mat to go under the dog's water dish, or a top piece for dishtowel that I can sew a button on, make a button hole in and have myself a hanging dishtowel! My parents lived through the Great Depression so their thriftiness rubbed off on me.

  11. Another great way to "recycle" scrap batting is to cut it to size and use it on your Swiffer Sweeper. They work just as well as the "real thing"! 🙂

  12. There is also iron on tape that can be used to attach pieces together with. As a hand quilter, we use the small scraps to gather our threads tails on so they aren't all over the quilt.

  13. I measure & label my scrap wadding and then record the measurements in my quilting notebook so I can work out which pieces to join up rather then just spend ages pulling out each piece. I fold my wadding like fabric, attach a dymo printed label ( I just use an alpha ref. ... a,b,c) to the top fold. Safety pin a small paper label to each piece with measurements its alpha reference). I do not waste a scap. It's incredibly satisfying