If you had uncensored access to my diary, you would find a long, emotional entry about the day fusible batting tape entered my life and changed it forever. Oh, you think I’m being dramatic? Like some sort of lovestruck middle-schooler? Like the type of person who actually has a diary WITH a lock on the outside?
Sounds like you have not yet experienced the crush-worthy magic of fusible batting tape for yourself. You’ll want to doodle about it in the margins of all of your notebooks. This is an actual page from my actual diary. ..
You guys all probably know that I like to quilt my own quilts most of the time. (As opposed to sending them to a longarm quilter.) You also probably know that when you’re in the business of quilting your own quilts, you end up with a lot of leftover batting scraps. You may be like me and have random, inconveniently-shaped chunks of batting coming out of your ears. It’s so wasteful! Unless… you don’t waste it.
All the Things to L.O.V.E. about Fusible Batting Tape:
- Waste not. Want not. Just like grandma said time and time again when you ate only half of the steamed broccoli on your plate. (She's gotta know I want not!) With Fusible Batting Tape, there's no more throwing away puny-but-perfectly-good pieces of batting.
- Stop zig-zag sewing batting together. Batting tape is smooth which means no mid-quilt lumpy areas, AND LESS PINNING AND SEWING. Aww yeah.
- You can usually make it work. No more panic moments when you realize your batting is like half an inch too short. We’ve all been there, amiright?
- Patch holes. You can actually patch holes in batting without lumps or thick spots, for those times that your really cute and lovable dog/toddler decides a nibble of batting might make a nice mid-morning snack. Also, if your batting came scrim-free, it's more likely to pull apart and tear. (Read more about batting and scrim here.)
- FBT is another acronym for BFF. Fusible Batting Tape will never take you for granted, or forget your birthday. (Technically it will never remember your birthday either, but let's not get overly technical here. That's not the way of loooooove!)
Now that you, too, have been charmed by the ways of Fusible Batting Tape, here are some tips on how to use it: (and by use, I mean cherish. I would never want you to feel used, dear Tape.)
- Layer your 2 pieces of batting slightly on top of each other. Make sure your batting scraps are about the same loft (thickness) and weight (density).
- With fabric scissors, cut through both layers of batting in a curving "wave-like" pattern. The reason for this is so that if your pieces get slightly off, there will not be an obvious gap in batting.
- Remove the excess batting.
- Place small sections of Fusible Batting Tape, textured side down (this is the fusible side), over the seam.
- Use your fingers to hold the pieces of batting together while you place a hot iron onto the FBT for a few seconds. Different brands have different requirements, so read the packge instructions on how long it needs to be under heat.
- Repeat until your entire seam is secure. I like to do this on the floor so I don't have to move the batting around and possibly get it out of place. NOTE: Just make sure you aren't messing up your floors with heat from your iron. After many years of doing this, I've yet to have a problem, but don't say I didn't warn you if you do. Be safe and test first.
My FBT Recommendation
I've actually used a few different brands of Fusible Batting Tape and have never had a problem with any of them. The one thing I do prefer, however, is a bit of thickness. My first roll was only 3/4" thick and I had to scrap it together more to cover my wavy cuts.
What's your favorite FBT? Or are you about to be a new convert? 😉
57 thoughts on “Fusible Batting Tape: Why You Need It & How to Use It”
New convert! All those random pieces of batting are going to be put to use! Thanks! Great post!
Oh yay! Try it out and let me know what you think!
first, let me say thank you-keeping a blog up is a lot of work along with the excellent pictures, humour, etc!
I use Bosla Foam products and like the wider tape as well but all have worked fine for me.
I use a pressing cloth just in case the batting or tape should melt. I cut it an inch longer on each end
and fold over to the back side and stitch ascoss the end. Sometime I use the wavy line but if I still
have the factory cut edges I line those up. If possible I prefer to use pieced batting on a darker quilt,
not one with alot of white.
That’s a great tip about using pieced batting with darker quilts. Thanks, Sally!
“No more panic moments when you realize your batting is like half an inch too short. We’ve all been there, amiright?”
Yeah, only every quilt I’ve ever made… It’s like a skill that I always underestimate.
Maybe it’s your superpower! hahaha!
wow! Thanks for this!!! Now I don’t have to zig zag stitch those pieces and hope they don’t bunch up when I quilt the piece!
I didn’t know this existed, now I can pull that bin of scrap batting out of their dark hidey holey and put them to work. Your posts are so enlightening! Or, I’m so out of it. Hm….. Thanks, Susy.
I just used some on a quilt batting yesterday. I did not know about cutting the batting with a curve, I trim both pieces I plan to fuse together so there are smooth even edges. It works great. I used to sew the batting pieces together, but it would sometimes buckle, that doesn’t happen with the tape and the process is way faster. Yes, I am a convert.
Thanks!! I need to buy some fbt and I keep forgetting and just shoving my batting scraps in a bin under my desk… eeek!
I saw this for the first time at QuiltCon but had already blown my budget. Looks like I need to get some since I have a growing mountain of batting remnants. It should pay for itself! Thanks for another great tip!
Cheaper, slightly more work option: make your own with the fusing that comes on bolts by cutting it into strips!
Ashley, what kind of fusible do you get on the bolt for this? I’m a new quilter and have a lot to learn about fusibles. Thanks for the tip.
Hm, I’m not 100% sure what I used. I’ll bet if you pop into your local quilt/sewing store they’d have lots of advice!
I’ve been so curious about this ever since you shared it on your IG Stories – definitely a new convert! I have a STACK of batting scraps I couldn’t bring myself to chuck as it seemed so wasteful. I can always count on Suzy to come to the rescue with nifty quilting tips 😉
i just shorted my last quilt. and pieced together batting. where was this then??.
hahaha! It’s awesome stuff!
I have been a sewer of batting forever, with your tip no more sewing and I can use up .all my extra batting scraps TKS
I’m wanting to back some small swatches of fabric with tape so they have some stiffness to them for cutting and also I will be adding 2 sided tape to affix them to an acrylic stick. Will fusible batting tape work or should I be looking at fusible interface for this?
I’m tracking with your idea until you get to the stick part. You want swatches on a stick? Like a plastic dowel rod? If that’s the case, I would probably use a glue stick to stick the swatches to card stock (for stiffness) and then use liquid glue or super glue to adhere that to the rod.
I’m a fan of cutting my own strips of fusible basting tape. Pellon makes several different weights of fusible interfacing- I usually use either the lightweight or featherweight interfacing and cut into 2″ strips across the width of the interfacing. It only comes about 15″ wide so I overlap the strips a little and usually fold over a little at the edges of the batting so some of the interfacing is on the back side. A serpentine cut is good but I’m too lazy so just cut a straight cut so that the pieces but up against each other and fuse away- I generally use low loft cotton or 80/20 cotton/polyester batting, not sure how it would work on a high loft 100% poly batt- The Warm Company makes a 100% low loft polyester batting which actually feels and looks like a 100% cotton batt and does provide a little more texture with the quilting than the 100% cotton. Saw you on The Quilt Show and loved your idea of the miniquilts.
I do the same thing, straight cut batting, use very light weight interfacing, but I use Quilters Dream Select poly batting. I press with low heat and use a Teflon pressing sheet to protect my iron. It works great 👍🏻
Thanks so much for this tutorial! There were no instructions on the brand I bought. The curve is a great idea! Thank you!
I snorted out loud in the dentist’s office at your diary drawings. 🤣 Thanks for the Giggle and for the great info! Can’t wait to give FBT a try.
Oh my gosh no more zig zag piecing!! Thanks for the tip!! I thought I was the only one trying to add an incb of batting at the end to finish a project!! Hahaha!! FYI after watching your hand quilting tutorial I was inspired and just hand quilted a quilt for the first time! My fingers are sore because I couldn’t decide which thimble I liked best or one that felt comfortable and I bent the needle and I am not sure if my hand, wrist or arm or all of them were sore BUT I DID IT!! The lines weren’t straight but it had bees on it so I just figured it was a bee flying pattern 😀
Thank you! Thank you!
I love batting tape! I ran out and HAD to have some to finish a project with a deadline, but the nearest store is over an hour away. I cut strips of Pellon sf101 and it worked like a charm.
I haven’t tried the wavy line with batting tape and it will definitely keep it all flatter. Thank you. I love your fresh new ideas and being a very new first time grammie, I especially love your family pic. Thank you.
Love love love this product. Could never manage to zigzag batting together without it being really lumpy. I have even used it with different(slightly) weight battings ! That was interesting but it worked for a baby quilt.
Perfect timing! I was about to quilt wall hanging Christmas tree with scraps batting. I will now follow your instructions on batting tape! Thank you for sharing this right on time!
I just bought a twin size batting product for a lap size quilt so I will probably have left overs for my next project. Love this idea. I have a rather stupid question, though. Do you add the tape to both sides of the batting? Or is only one side enough? Thanks!
Great question! And thankfully, one side is enough.
Just read this post and your new wool batting post. I am already a really big fan of wool and I have a lot of quilters dream wool batting scraps I’d love to fuse together to use up. Will fusing tape work with that type of batting?
It will work great! I’ve done it with no problems.
Thanks for the demo. I LOVE your sense of humor too!
I have quite a few leftover pieces of batting as well but don’t necessarily have them labeled as to type or brand or have them in original packaging. Do you label your scraps in some manner or do you mind combining different types of batting as long as they are fairly similar? I possibly haven’t done enough quilting to have a consistent type on hand.
Great question! I keep my batting scraps in pull-out bins from IKEA. Each bin contains the same type of batting. This is really helpful when the time comes to piece small bits together.
I’ve just used my batting tape on top of the 1/4 inch seams on the back of a “quilt-as-you-go” project. The fabric pieces are actually sewn and quilted right onto squares of batting! Then the squares are sewn together. Your quilt top and batting become one layer with backing and binding added to complete your project. Because this quilt will be washed more than most, I used strips of batting tape to completely encase my seam allowances so there would be no fraying edges inside the quilt. Works beautifully!
Scrolling thru older blog posts, and I found this. Fusible batting tape? YES!! I had no idea this existed. Gonna get some This week. Thanks!
This sounds like fabulous stuff, but I’ve never used it. I’ve always taken viable scraps, straightened them with a quilting ruler and zig-zagged pieces together with a somewhat loose tension (so it doesn’t buckle). I use these pieces mostly for items such as small wall hangings, microwave cozies, potholders, and coffee cozies, etc. I have on occasion done this with larger pieces and used them in a baby quilt with no problems. Maybe this isn’t the “right” way to do it but it’s quick and costs nothing extra beyond the thread. Guess I’m just a frugal old broad.
** Note – this does NOT work well on poly batting – it’s too puffy. But with natural fibers it works fine and I use cotton for the most part.
I’m just learning how to quilt and got alot of information from you. It’s very nice to receive sewing tips & information from a experience quilter. I never would of saved pieces
of batting, but with your information on fusible basting tape, I will save all my pieces of scrap batting, And I love all the comments and information from your followers, they also give great ideas,
is the textured side shiny ?
The textured side has the glue and is more rough than shiny. That’s the side that will fuse to the batting, so once it’s fused you only feel the smooth side.
I am late to this party! Why have I not known about this?? I can’t wait to try this!! Ordering the FBT now!!!
I have all manner of shapes, sizes of the same batting. (it was the 1st I used) 20 years later, still a novice.
Definitely a new convert! I have only pieced batting on a couple of occasions because I extremely dislike having to zigzag multiple pieces together. I am now anxious to purchase some FBT and try it out!
Hi–I tried this product & found it created stiff areas in my finished quilt. Anyone else notice this? I washed the quilt only once before giving it away–hoping it would fluff up along those strips but not too confident it would.
Oh no! Do you remember what brand you used?
It was the Marti Michell–funny, others seem to think it’s great. I’ll try it again some time. I did improve my zig-zag sewing for a while though 🙂
I too adore batting tape. I’ve never been able to see or feel it in my quilts. At this moment I’m machine quilting a small project using a “Frankenbatt” and it is working flawlessly. I agree that the wider tape is easier to use than the narrower one.
One year, when batting tape was a new notion, I gave it as a small Christmas gift to my quilting buddies. One mistook the plastic film covering for the product and melted it with the iron. I think she was happy with the actual tape, though.
I use Marti Michell’s fusible tape and love, love, love it! It has many more purposes than just fusing batting pieces together. I also use it for quilting in sections. Marti has a marvelous class on how to do this and it’s been a life saver for me on large quilts. She also has books available that explain it, but I much prefer the class. Love your tips, Suzy, and congratulations on becoming a designer! Very exciting!
I, too, bought the skinny width tape the first time. Never again. It is hard even if you straight cut the batting. The wide one is so much better. I love your tutorials. Thanks Suzy.
I was sewing mine together, I’ll have to try the tape.
I use the Marti Michelle FBT. Just demonstrated this great monew-saver to my Project Linus chapter last week!
I have some 3/4 inch FBT and some big chunks of batting, so I’m going to give it a go for my Garland Quilt. It is already scrappy, so this will make it really an authentic scrap quilt! 🤣
& p.s. with the really too small pieces, I made cat beds for my local SPCA where they’re always needed. 2/3 batting + 1/3 fabric scraps covered with flannel.
I love this tip. I have been doing this for a while. The fusible tape makes it so easy to use up all those scrapes for small bags and smalls in general. Love all your work.