Saturday, April 30, 2011

In a Bind

My current project requires 800" of bias binding.  No, it's not a stained glass pattern or celtic  designs.  But it is a secret.  Sssh.

However, I thought I'd share with you my favourite method for making bias.  I've tried the bias maker, but I get nasty little creases.  800" is too long for using "Bias Bars" even though  I have both the plastic and the metal variety.  My method is quite basic, no fancy tools required.

First cut off the selvedge.

Then fold a large square piece of fabric on the diagonal so it resembles a triangle.  Place the horizontal line of your ruler against the long edge of the triangle and make your first cut from the base of the triangle through to the tip.

Remove the cut left hand side of the fabric to use later.

Now place your ruler against the left hand edge of the right side of the triangle and cut a 3/4" strip, the length of the fold.   Sorry, southpaws, these instructions are for righties, but I imagine you are used to turning instructions upside down to accommodate your left handedness.

Cut as many 3/4" wide strips as required.

To join them, first check that they will fit together.  If they don't look like the photo below,  try the other end.  They  should match correctly.

Now place the two strips together right sides facing

If you look closely you can see that the two strips are offset by 1/4" .  Pin in place and stitch a 1/4" seam.  Press the seam open.

Cut the little bunny ears off.

Here you get to see my dirty ironing board cover.  It's actually quite new but I use a hot iron and the cover  gets that scorched colour  quickly.  Honest.

Use an iron to press a 1/4" fold on the bottom edge of the bias.  Eyeball it.  As quilters, we use 1/4" so frequently, it's not hard.  Press about 20" at a time before turning your attention to the top half of the bias.

Before pressing  use a spray starch.  Don't be dismayed if the bottom bit you just pressed pops open.  It will press down easily  the next time the iron comes into contact with it.

 Now fold the top edge down and press.

Finally roll the bias up 20" at a time.  It is a handy way to store the bias and if you roll it up firmly it keeps its memory and stays just like you pressed it indefinitely.

Secure the roll of bias with a pin.

I use this technique because it works for me.  I know there are other techniques and if you are comfortable with them there is no reason to try this.  But if, like me, you found other methods unsatisfactory, give this one a try.

Now all that I need is another royal wedding to entertain me while I stitch my bias on.


Crispy said...

OMGosh Liz!! 800 inches!!!! I can hardly wait to see what you are sewing this on. Thank you for showing your method. I'm going to give it a try next time I need bias, looks easier than what I've been doing :0)


LynCC said...

Yep, Can't wait to see what it's for. :) I, too, get a better bias doing it "by hand." I don't get creases with the bias makers, but I just can't pull it through and iron it without it stretching so that it's too thin!

I need to wait and spray the starch AFTER the first side is pressed down, though - Doh! Get it to stick closed better.


Carol G said...

800 inches must have taken FOREVER. I have 2 different sizes of the Clover bias maker that I like and a smaller Simplicity one I haven't used yet. All 3 are manual requiring ironing as you pull the fabric through the little tool. Don't know if you have these Downunder.

bettyp said...

thanks for the tip!!!

Cheri said...

Wow, 800 inches of bias, can't wait to see what it is for. I will have to try making bias this way.
Happy Stitching,

Julie Fukuda said...

I guess everyone is waiting for the outcome.
If I am making bias for the border, I sew it as I go because I don't want that seam to fall at the corner. I have also done the one where you sew the side into a tube and cut one long piece but still to prefer to have control over where the seams fall.

Kathie said...

800 inches of bias...ok, that will be interesting to see what you use it for.
I like the bias tape makers but have learned to not got those creases is to add a tad more to the size they say to cut, this way the folded edges really touch each other and form that cushion to prevent the creases as well as I lay a bath towel on my cutting board for cushion.
works for me!

Rose Marie said...

These are great tips .... many thanks for sharing!

Michele said...

Thanks for the tips! That's a lot of bias!