Monday, November 15, 2010

Cutting Bias Binding (or Stems)

I'm posting a little tutorial on how I cut bias binding for a friend.  Many people in this area use the tube method to do bias binding and she knew that I cut mine differently ;)

When I was first learning to quilt the only method of cutting bias binding that I could find was the tube method.  That seemed like an amazing amount of work for something as simple as cutting on the bias of fabric!  True bias is a 45 degree angle between the lengthwise grain and the crosswise grain of fabric.  So I figured why couldn't I just use the angel lines on my ruler instead??

First find the 45 degree line on your ruler and place it parallel to the selvage.  I placed mine just above so that you could see the line; but, regularly I put it right on the line.  You can enlarge this photo if you want to see it closer.  Cut on the diagonal with your 45 degree line on the selvage.  You will be cutting off a triangle of fabric.  This you can use for other projects or cut up into 2" squares for your leaders and enders.

Next line your ruler up with your new cut edge and cut your desired width of binding and as many strips as you will need.  You are now cutting true bias strips since you are cutting at a 45 degree angle to both the lengthwise and crosswise grain of fabric.  Easy huh??

Your fabric will eventually get too long to cut with your 24" ruler so simply fold the fabric with the raw, bias edge together and continue cutting your bias until you have as much as you will need.

Now bias is the stretchy edge so don't go flinging this around your head or anything ~ just handle it with a little bit of care; but, it is truly nothing to be scared of.

I prefer to cut certain fabrics on the bias for effect.  Stripes and plaids are a couple of these.  When you cut stripes on the bias for a binding you get a candy cane effect for your binding and it looks amazing! Also, any time that I bind a garment or anything with lots of points or rounded edges I use a bias binding.

Need a binding tutorial now that you've got your bias strips cut??  You can find mine here Binding Part 1 and Binding Part 2 and also Squaring up a Quilt here and Attaching a Hanging Sleeve here

I hope that you have found this useful!  If you need more information or if something wasn't clear please leave a comment here and I will do my best to answer it!  I always love to hear from you.

Happy Sewing!

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