homemade batting bar

it is said that necessity is the mother of invention. well, i necessarily wanted a batting bar. i was getting tired of stepping on it and having to pick transfer threads from the carpet cause they shadowed through a quilt top.

so i got online (the best research resource ever!) and wasn't too happy with the examples i was finding. i needed something more heavy duty cause i quilt heavy duty :) i talked to my friend bonnie (my other best research resource) and she sent me pictures of her homemade batting bar, which i liked, but not what i had in mind. so about a month ago i had one of those sit-up-in-bed-at-three-in-the-morning epiphanies.

this what i came up with. ( i feel so smart- this came outta MY head. scary) it's 'removable' and basically out of the way....i can still change bobbins, clean the bobbin area, and sit down to quilt. the clothesline hooks make it adjustable up and down, so i can move it for variable thicknesses of batting.

here's the materials list if you LA and want one. if you have a lighter duty frame, just use a wooden closet rod with eye screws in the ends. be aware that the wooden closet rod will eventually bow in the middle though.

all it is : (i got everything at HomeDepot except the rigid conduit)

(2) clothesline hooks 3/8" x 7 1/4"
(1) 10ft stick of 2" schedule 40 PVC pipe
(2) 10ft sticks of 1 1/4" rigid conduit (they need to be threaded on the ends- that is important!)
(1) 1 1/4" rigid connector
(10 ft) of the hook part of industrial sticky back 1 1/2" wide velcro (i used the soft part to replace what is in my brake, well, one day i will)

note! you'll want to connect the two sticks of rigid, THEN cut it to length.

if you buy the conduit, costs around $65. it took me and davis around 30 minutes to put everything together.

now i have to include this little disclaimer: this solved an issue for ME, but also created some 'now i have to figure out how to move around it'. but i'm okay with it...i made it for me and i thought i would share. if you are so inspired by mine to make one for you and it's completely different than mine- kudos.
the batting edge is 'stuck' in the hook part of the velcro, which is stuck to the PVC pipe. then you carefully roll the batting onto the PVC pipe. the rigid acts as the axle. now, to get the batting fluff outta the velcro- i'll figure that out when i get there. bonnie says a toothpick ran down the length does the trick, and i've learned she's pretty reliable when it comes to these things :)

if you want more details or have any questions, email me....


  1. Very clever! My current obsession is to devise a better light situation for mine. I saw one solution on a blog last week that I may give a try.

  2. Interesting! I'll have to put it on the honey-do list!

  3. Oh I LOVE this...I feel a 'wander around Home Depot' day coming on. I better start a list! I was just wishing for a batting bar yesterday. Were you reading my mind??

  4. Shannon, I forgot to ask if your friend Bonnie would be willing to let you post pictures of her batting bar too? more pictures= more ideas! thanks!

    My DH just finished making one for me that's a bit different in that the pole holding the batting rests in a cradle on the floor. THe cradle is made from 2 4 ft concrete forms, which are like very stiff cardboard. He split them in half lengthwise. He laid 2 halves on the floor in front of my GC+ longarm, one at each end of the frame. Then slipped a 3rd half in the center overlapping the ends of the 2 that were on the floor.
    He cut 4 wood braces to hold the cradle in place. Imagine a rectangle laying on one long side with the opposite long side cut into a wide, shallow "U".

    It works very well. I like yours, too!

  6. AnonymousMay 02, 2012

    I just found your blog tonight after making comment in apqs thread ,I love your style of quilting ,you remind me of me ,I have no patience for practice I just go for it as I see you do also ,I am getting a millie next week ,never been to a quilt show ,just test run a juki on a gracie for all of ten minutes and the rest is history .Wonderful blog ,I can see I will be up the rest of the nigh reading !!! Queenie

  7. Estupendo era lo que buscaba, teandate un correo, gracias por compartir

  8. Hi. You can remove the fuzz from the Velcro with a wire cat fur brush.

  9. I love your invention! I think you could eliminate the velcro and replace it with a piece of heavy duty duck fabric (it will stick to the PVC pole because of the adhesive left over from the velcro). I would try to make it encircle the PVC completely. This should provide enough friction to hold the batting in place while you are rolling it up - but will not so much that you will have to pry it away when you are finished quilting.

  10. Hi there, I was browsing the net looking for channel locks ( I have the long arm Bernina and their locks are expensive..anyway, I stumbled on your batting bars- ingenious! I did get pvc to wrap mine on, but laid it across the bottom frame. I like your idea better, so will give that a go, thanks! Gwen/Ohio


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