Bias Quilt Binding: Three Ways

Posted by on Mar 30, 2013 in Quilting | Comments


If you don’t want mitered corners or if your quilt is finished with a curved edge, bias quilt binding is ideal for its ability to gently stretch around the edges of your project. Bias binding looks especially nice with fabric that’s printed with stripes and plaids.

Curved Bias Binding

What is bias quilt binding? The diagonal or 45-degree angle of woven fabric is also known as the bias grain. By cutting along the bias, you can capture a fabric’s natural stretch in order to easily sew around corners. Alternately, straight-grain binding is cut from selvage to selvage, and works fine for quilt binding with mitered corners. Fly Little Ladybird Pot Holder by 3patch uses bias binding around the curved edges of the oven mitt.

So, how do you make it?

Pieced Strip Borders

Pieced Strips Method

The most straightforward way to make bias quilt binding is to cut fabric along the 45-degree angle and sew together strips from end to end to make one long piece. The Bias Binding Tutorial from For The Love Of Craft utilizes this method, for which you’ll need an iron, sewing machine, fabric a ruler and sewing pins. One drawback of this method is the effort it takes to sew together the ends of the bias strips accurately. When you’re working with long bias strips, it’s especially common to flip one the wrong way and sew on backwards on accident.

Fabric Tube Method

Fabric Tube Method

By cutting a large parallelogram of fabric and marking diagonal lines, it’s possible to skip the end-to-end stitching of bias strips in pieced strips method above. In the fabric tube method of making bias quilt binding, the quilter offsets the drawn lines by one and sews together the parallelogram into a fabric tube along the pinned edge. Later, one continuous line is cut in a spiral around the tube. One drawback to this method is that the continuous binding must be cut with scissors, so it is not as quick or precise as cutting strips with a rotary cutter and ruler. Learn how to make continuous bias binding via the fabric tube method at Khaos Kostumes.

Rotary Cutter

Fabric Tube with Rotary Cutter Method

This method merges the best aspects of the previous two. Pat Bravo shares her continuous bias binding tutorial on the Art Gallery Fabrics blog. By creating a fabric tube and cutting on drawn lines, you can follow this method to rotary cut continuous bias binding. Just follow the diagrams and remember to leave several vertical inches of the tube uncut, which you’ll later offset with diagonal cuts across the rows. For step-by-step photos of this method, visit Craftsy instructor Yahaira Ferreira’s blog, Bitter Purl. She also includes a helpful chart which shows you how much fabric to cut for your quilt binding.

Although each of these methods creates a long strip of bias binding, there will still be a few visible seams where the fabric was pieced together. To make the seams lie flat in the finished binding, press them open with an iron before folding the binding in half lengthwise.

Binding Curves

Binding Curves

Make a scrappy bias binding from leftover fabric strips with this tutorial from Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts. Julie also shares a great tutorial on how to bind curves by using plenty of clips, sewing pins and a walking foot on her sewing machine. Tip: Use a strip of blue painter’s tape to mark a 1/4” guide on your sewing machine to help guide you as you stitch on quilt binding.

Do you prefer straight-grain or bias quilt binding on your quilts?

Come back to the Craftsy blog tomorrow for eye catching machine quilt patterns you don’t want to miss!

Comments

  1. Barbara says:

    Good info, thanks!

  2. Rosalee says:

    These are all great tips and articles! I truly appreciate all the info to make my projects easier and look nicer! Thanks “sew” much!! Keep up the great work! Happy Easter to all!

  3. I am linking up to this tutorial tomorrow at http://www.notionnanny.blogspot.com. I am doing 15 questions on my blog about binding for a demo I am doing in September.

  4. Gene Black says:

    I like bias and think it is more durable. I have a simple tutorial on my YouTube channel.
    http://youtu.be/bsB9cmeHQcs

  5. Caraline Howden says:

    I cannot believe that each time I do something, it appears on here. Somebody is watching me. I have just done a hem, with mitred corners. I found that since I know how to do them now I should do it. But yes on the bias works great for curved and even straight bindings.

  6. Caraline Howden says:

    ooops I forgot to write that I am in the process of making a pot holder, not quite like that, and would you believe that I have spent the best part of the day trying to find the pattern, and there is one right there……..But now I have found mine. Will post a pic when I get it finished.

  7. pat probst says:

    I always use the bias tape for bindings,I have an electric bias press and it really is a good aid.

  8. crystal says:

    sooo, does one of the above tutorials cover how to use the bias binding on a square corner(not a mitered corner). maybe im just not seeing it :)

  9. Nancy Swift says:

    This is a very nice guide on how to MAKE bias binding, but not how to apply it.

    1. Hi Nancy! You are right… we don’t have a tutorial on how to apply bias binding just yet. In the meantime, I really like this comprehensive guide at Jaybird Quilts, with several methods of binding: http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/2011/01/quilt-binding-basics-part-1.html. Hope this helps!

  10. Jodi says:

    I appreciate all the good information you provide. The site is clear and very user-friendly. I have shared the link with my blogger friends and your tips with many of my customers (I’m a long-arm quilter). I love learning new shortcuts and tips for creating better quilts. Thanks!

  11. Laralee Nelson says:

    I’m trying to visualize if you took your square of fabric and made your parallogram if you could also lengthen it by joining it to others for even longer strips. If doable, this would make it pretty easy to make bias binding from assorted squares or mix the triangles so you’d have multi-patterned strips.