Batting Roll Storage Ideas for Longarmers and Avid Quilters
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I had a lightbulb moment this past week. It was one of those moments where I thought, "this will either be a game changer and solve a problem for many quilters, or it will be an epic fail that I can laugh about later". Worst case, I would only be out $30, so I decided to give it a try.
I have a batting bar under my longarm frame that stores two bolts of batting, but I always have at least four bolts of batting, in addition to pre-packaged cuts, and I was needing a better solution than having them lean in the corner of the room.
I have seen many different ideas floating around social media or in online groups over the years, but many of the ideas that involved drilling hanging hardware to the wall were not an option when we were renting homes. Others did not fit my budget, skill set, or multiple batting bolt storage needs.
I will share some of these ideas first, as some of they may fit your needs or budget.
Single Batting Bolt Holder on a Budget
I had seen chatter and photos over the last couple of years in some of my online quilting groups that an IV pole could be repurposed into a vertical batting holder. It keeps it off the ground, has wheels so you can move it where you need, and takes up minimal space by storing the batting roll vertically.
A pro of using an IV pole to store a single roll of batting is that they are able to be adjusted 30"-40", meaning all sizes of batting bolts would work on this.
Most IV poles I saw online were around 45" tall, and could be adjusted to 75"-80" tall.
Remember that batting is folded in half before being wrapped into a bolt, so a 120" wide batting will be approximately 60"-65" tall. A 90" bolt would be approximately 45"-48" tall.
The down side is that it only stores one bolt, and most of the wheels I saw were small and could not be locked, so I am not sure how much weight they would effortlessly wheel around.
The IV poles also do not have any other storage options and would only hold the one roll of batting, however, they are a great option if you only have one roll of batting that you need to get up off the floor.
IV Pole PROS
• Highly adjustable height should accommodate all batting sizes
• Keeps batting off the floor
• Wheels allow the bolt to be moved where needed
IV Pole CONS
• It only stores one bolt
• Most of the wheels I saw were small and could not be locked
• No other storage options
Storage for a Bigger Space and Bigger Budget
If budget and space are less of a concern, The Quilt Caddy Batting Rack has been on my radar for the last few years. It can hold up to four bolts of batting (three comfortably according to my friend Kerri @beautifulstitchesbykerri), and it has a cutting mat surface where you can trim the batting, a tape measure, as well as a spot to put scissors or rotary cutters.
It will remain on my wishlist for the time being, as it is not in the budget at the moment, but hopefully one day I will have one of my own!
Quilt Caddy PROS
• Highly adjustable
• Sturdy construction
• Can hold 3-4 bolts
• Cutting surface and storage nook built in
Quilt Caddy CONS
• Expensive ($599 + approx. $120 shipping)
• Takes up more space
DIY Projects for Multiple Bolt Storage
If you are on a smaller budget and cannot afford something like the Quilt Caddy, but need to store multiple bolts, I have seen many makers DIY their own. You could make a similar rack to the Quilter's Caddy out of PVC pipe or plywood, or various closet and curtain hardware can be used to install a wall or table rack with long wooden rods.
This DIY batting bolt storage under the table (pictured below) looks like it holds four bolts and has some sort of wooden plank frame underneath to hold the hooks and rods. There are many ideas like this one by @vintagestitch_by_janae that I found on Pinterest.
If you have wall space that you can use, it works really nicely if you can have them installed next to your cutting space, so that you can easily measure and cut the batting to the length that you need. This idea from Heidi Profetty's website (pictured above) looks like a great set up for that style of batting storage.
• Save money
• Customize it for your specific needs
• Time consuming
• Tools are an additional cost if you do not own what you need
Now back to my brilliant idea. The Quilt Caddy is currently out of my budget, and I was needing to store a minimum of two bolts. As I envisioned items with long, vertical poles, a clothing rack came to mind. I quickly went online to research the typical height and diameter of clothing rack bars to see if it could work.
The poles of the clothing rack would need to be less than 2" in diameter for the batting bolts to fit on them, and I needed them to be a minimum of 48" tall for 90"-96" batting bolts. The top of the rack would also need to be capable of being left off in order to hold longer bolts.
I selected this particular clothing rack for the larger, lockable wheels, necessary height of the vertical poles to fit my 90"-96" batting bolts, and the fact that I could leave the top section off if needed. Oh, and of course, the price.
I also wanted to make sure the rack had two horizontal bars on the bottom to support the bolts, and I did not want it to curve towards the bottom of the vertical poles like some clothing racks. There is some "dead space" between my bolts, but this space will be narrower when each bolt is full, and some lofty battings like wool will need that extra space. In the meantime, it will work nicely to hang quilt tops that are in the longarming queue!
Clothing Rack PROS
• Can hold two bolts
• Wheels allow the bolt to be moved, and can be locked
• "Dead space" between the bolts can be used for hanging quilt tops on hangers, a hanging closet organizer to store pre-cut packages of batting or other items
Clothing Rack CONS
• Limited to two bolts
• The top piece(s) need to be left off for batting wider than 96"
• Need approximately 30"-48" width of space to store
REMEMBER, if the clothing rack you select uses these same pin-style poles to assemble as mine, and you choose to add the top portion, you MUST remove or disengage the pins (I twisted them 90 degrees). Otherwise, the pins will click inside the cardboard center of the bolt and will be VERY difficult to remove when you need to put on a new bolt.
Overall, I am quite pleased that it worked out and I am glad that I took a little $30 leap of faith. I hope that this helps solve the storage problem many of us quilters have-- especially when we want to buy more than one kind of batting by the bolt.