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Continuous Bias Binding
& Bias Tape Maker

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Also see: Notions: Cording for Piping
Also see: Assemble & Bind Quilt


Continuous Bias Binding

Although binding can be purchased, it is far more economical to create your own - plus you can choose from your own fabrics. Bias binding is used to finish off the edges of placemats, quilts, table runnders, hems of appliance covers and other items that need a finished edge. It is also used to cover cord to create piping. Piping adds a very nice finish to decorator pillows. Learn how to create your own continuous bias binding, and learn how to quickly create an ironed bias strip using a bias tape maker.

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Continuous Bias Binding

A long, continuous strip of binding can be made quickly and easily by the following method. By creating binding on the bias, the binding has more flexibility; this flexibility allows it to bend around corners and curved areas. Bias strips can be used for applique (stems of flowers, for example) as well as binding for quilts, placemats, pot holders and other items that need a nice finishing for raw edges.

1. Cut a strip of fabric (cut straight rather than on the bias). A 5" x 44" strip will yield approximately 2.5 yards of 1/4" wide finished binding. Lay out strip of fabric wrong side up.

strip of fabric

2. Fold down the upper left corner. Press to create crease. Unfold.

fold down corner of fabric

3. Using a fabric marker, draw lines parallel to the crease (crease shown in light green below). Draw segments four times the width of the finished binding. For example, for 1/4 inch finished binding, mark the segments 1 inch wide.

draw segment lines

4. Cut away unmarked corners.

cut corners

5. Pin strip right sides together, lining up marked lines. Align the segments so that one width of binding extends beyond the edge on each side.

pin together

The strip will form a tube as you pin the sides together. Stitch right sides together along pinned edges, using a 1/4" seam allowance. Press seam open.

pin together

6. Begin cutting along the marked line. Cut around and around the tube until you come to the end of your line. You will now have one, long, continuous strip of bias binding.

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Bias Tape Maker

Once the bias strip is made it must be folded and pressed. The outer edges are turned under 1/4" and pressed to create nicely finished edges. This is a tedious task that is made easier with the use of a bias tape maker. These inexpensive, but clever tools fold the edges so that they can be ironed.

1.  Snip off one end diagonally so that you have a sharp point. cut one end
2.  Begin feeding the pointed end through the tape maker (feed through widest end of tape maker). jpull through
3.  Pull And Iron. Pull the metal handle to the left as you iron from the right. This takes a bit of practice, but is worth the small effort. The fabric is ironed as it emerges, quickly creating finished bias tape.

Below is a photo of a Bias Tape Maker

bias tape maker
iron from the right
iron and pull

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