Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I May Be "Biased"...

Thank you for joining me for this "Cutting Corners" tutorial for Riley Blake Designs!   Learn some terrific tips for cutting and using Bias Binding!  Plus, bonus instructions to make your own Bias Tape!

Here is my favorite "cinnamon roll" method to make bias strips. 
Use whenever you need to bind a curve on any unfinished edge: quilt, jacket,
armhole, apron, or make your own bias tape.

  • Rotary Cutting Supplies:  Mat, Ruler, Rotary Blade
  • Fabric:   Binding gives a defining edge to your quilt or garment.  I recommend using tone on tone, solids, or small motif, check, stripe or plaid.   Basically, avoid large prints, extremely wide stripes or florals for best results.
    Crib size (40 x 54")     1/3 yard
    Twin (63 x 87")           1/2 yard
    Full ( 78 x 87")            5/8 yard
    Queen (84 x 92")         3/4 yard
    King (100 x 102")         7/8 yard
Note: 5/8 yard will produce fifteen 2" wide x 30" long strips.  That's 450 linear inches of binding yardage!

1)  SQUARE UP fabric perpendicular to the selvage edge.  FOLD fabric in half and match up selvages.  ALIGN the fold of your binding fabric along a line on your cutting mat.  TRIM cut edges.

square up fabric 

2)  LAY OUT fabric, wrong side up.  FOLD left corner up to cut edge at a 45-degree angle.  Allow selvage edge to overhang by about 5/8".  PRESS, or finger-press to crease.

fold at 45o angle, finger press

3)  CUT on folded line.

cut on 45o folded line

4)  MOVE cut piece to opposite end of fabric; PIN selvage edges, right sides together. 

move cut piece to opposite end 

5)  STITCH using about a 5/8" seam allowance, enough to trim off selvages.  TRIM seam, PRESS seam open.

stitch, trim, press seam open

6)  FOLD your parallelogram in half, then FOLD point of fabric down along cut edge, keeping fabric even.  Keep folding into a roll as needed to fit on your cutting mat.

fold in half, lining up cut edges 

fold and align cut edges

7)  ALIGN folded roll along a horizontal line on your cutting mat.

align horizontally

    8)  TRIM end, then SLICE into 2" strips.

slice into 2" segments 

8)  JOIN strips right sides together, end to end, and STITCH from valley to valley.  Because you squared up your fabric at first, you should have 45-degree angles on the ends of your strips.

stitch from valley to valley

9)  TRIM seams, PRESS seams open.

press seams open

10)  PRESS binding in half lengthwise.

press in half, lengthwise

11)  FOLD pressed binding into a figure eight, tuck ends and store until needed.  See video:

 12)  PULL binding from the middle to use without getting twisted or tangled.

tangle-free binding

TIP:  For best results when applying binding to curves, stretch it a little on inner curves, and ease around outer curves.  Beautiful!

curved corners

For more binding information and application, see my BINDING BASICS tutorial.



Use the same method as above to cut strips to make bias tape.  There are lots of bias tape-maker gizmos and gadgets on the market,  but here is a tried and true do-at-home method to make your bias strips any size you'd like.

make your own bias tape

1)  CUT your bias strips. 
     For example:  1" bias strips = 1/2" finished flat bias, or 1/4" folded bias tape.

2)  Place a PIN through your ironing board cover leaving a space as wide as you'd like the finished size.  Add a second pin to the side, with enough space for the tip of the iron to press.  The fabric should be about twice the width of that space.

3)  STARCH bias strips, then PRESS as you gently pull the strips between the pins, being careful to keep your edges folded.

Use to create vines for applique, to bind seams, or use for other decor.
Hope you learned some fun tips in this tutorial!  If you have questions, please leave a comment or email a note I'd love to hear from you!  


Comments from RBD 

  1. So clever!! Thanks so much for the tip! Found you on Pinterest. :)
    by Jeni
    August 04th, 2012 at 9:31 a.m.
  2. I just love all your short cuts & ideas...it really saves alot of time when you have great ideas like yours. I have not been sewing for years,but I found you on you tube, and have been following you ever since.I have made your UFO & your wrist pin cushion... and I am going to do a quilt next..just brushing up on my skills..I have never made a quilt,I've made some pillows, now I have to be brave & take that next big step...Hoping my old machine will pull me thru...
    by Jenny
    August 05th, 2013 at 4:32 a.m.
  3. You are amazing. Thank you for sharing your talents. I just purchased the tree skirt on Craftsy and have others of your terrific patterns. I'll be watching for more and I know I will be pleased with anything you share. The tips on bias tape binding is very much appreciated. You make it so clear that I actually feel like I can do it.
    by Betty
    November 30th, 2013 at 9:01 a.m.

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