Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bias Binding Tutorial

I've received several inquiries on how to make bias binding and although there are several ways to make bias binding, some easier than others, I thought I'd develop a tutorial on my favorite method.

I always use binding made on the bias because it provides a stronger finish than binding cut on the crosswise or lengthwise grain. In addition, it easily follows curved edges while giving a professional looking finish and it isn’t any more difficult to make once you have found a technique that works for you.

I purchase fabric specifically for binding in one yard pieces. After I have several prints, I spend the day making binding for use on future projects. By making my binding ahead of time, it allows me to keep my momentum instead of having to stop working on my project to make binding. I probably have at least 20 different prints of binding at any given time in my resources.

After ironing and starching the fabric, lay your fabric on a flat surface with the selvage edges on the side. Take one upper corner and bring it even with the lower edge of your fabric. The folded edge is your bias. To double-check you have a true bias, gently pull on the folded edge. A bias edge will stretch.
Cut off the excess fabric.

The next steps involve folding your bias fold. To do this correctly, you will need to ensure your bias edge remains perpendicular with itself. This will maintain the 45 degree angle of your fabric piece.

Taking the upper point of your folded bias edge and bring it down to match with the lower point.

Taking those two points of the folded bias edge, bring them perpendicular to the fold to the opposite side.

Your piece will look like this, with the original bias edge fold perpendicular to itself, giving you four layers.

Turn your fabric, with the bias fold to your left.

Using a Shape Cut ruler, I line-up the lower edge with the bottom fold and the left edge about 1/8" from the fold so I can trim the fold off and straighten my fabric edge before cutting my strips. If you don't have the Shape Cut ruler, you can use an acrylic ruler to cut your strips. I like the Shape Cut ruler because it allows me to straighten my fabric edge and to cut several strips without having to reposition my ruler.

Cut your strips at 2 1/2" widths.

I reposition my strips as shown in the above photo before repositioning my Shape Cut ruler to straighten the edge of my strips.

After I've straightened my edges.

Lay one strip on top of the other, as shown. By overlapping the edges instead of lining the edges up, you ensure you will achieve a true 45 degree seam.

Placing a pin in the inside corner, line the edge of your ruler from corner to corner. (Corner to corner is actually the edge where the strips meet.) Using your favorite marking tool, draw a seam line at the 45 degree angle.

Stitch your seam line.

Open your seam to verify it has been stitched correctly.

Trim to a 1/4" seam line.

Press your seam open and trim the 'ears'.

Matching the long edges together, press your bias binding being careful not to stretch it. For this demonstration, I cut four 2 1/2" strips which made approximately 280" of binding, enough for a couple of projects.


Marlene said...

Great Tutorial Dena. I've never seen a Shape Cut Ruler. From the picture am I right that it has cutting lines through it so you don't need to move it at all.

webbsway said...

Hi Dena,
I absolutely adore your tutorial on the bias. Thank you so much for taking the time and patience to do it1!

I also loved your "free motion" you have been working on. I don't know how to do that yet - but I love it! It really makes my heart go pitter-padder!

Love and best wishes for more wonderful projects.With Christmas coming I fill there will be more treasures up your sleeve!
Hugs, LInda

Millie said...

Thank you so much for this great tutorial. I made a bias binding before and it was a pain...your way look so easy! I have a Sape Cut ruler and will try your method the next time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dena! What a great tutorial. I appreciate how you took the time to do such great pictures to demonstate what you were demonstrating. It will be a great help.

andsewon said...

Great TUT Dena!!
That is an excellent idea about doing some up to have on hand.
Will try to do that soon.

webbsway said...

Hi Dena,
I was so tickled to hear from you today!Thank you for the tips.

When you said, "I'm working on a group challenge using a Christmas Carol theme. It's my first challenge like this and I'm hoping it goes well"

I was so excited. I am dieing of curiosity to see what you decide to do with your project! I will be anxiously waiting ! Good luck and have fun at it!

Hugs, Linda

Connie said...

You make it loose so easy.

Mariana said...

Never made it that way! I think i'll give it a try as i have a uge quilt with no bias yet!

Bronny said...

Thank you for this easy tutorial - I knew there was a way to get this done, but I was having brain-fade - You've helped me with my project - thank you again

Myra said...

Thanks for the tute Dena!! I shall have to try your method sometime! 8-)