Want to learn how to make Bias Binding for your quilt?
You might need to grab a cup of tea or coffee for this post. It involves math… need I say more?
You may call me crazy but the binding is really a favorite part of the quilt making process for me… It’s the home stretch after all, and you get to see everything come together… I just love it!!! And I want you to love it too!
Although bias binding is stronger (wears better) than straight grain binding, you really only need to use bias binding if your quilt (or other project) has curved edges. Bias binding strips are cut on the 45 degree angle of the fabric, and therefore stretch easily around curves. There are several methods of making bias binding and I’m going to show you how I make it. I typically purchase my binding fabric right off the bolt so I like to calculate how much I will need based on a yardage cut rather than a square cut of fabric as some tutorials demonstrate. We will assume that your standard off the bolt fabric is aprox 42″ wide with selvages removed. So, let’s get started…
I’m using my Sampler quilt as the ‘math’ demo, and since it has rounded corners I needed to make bias binding. You will need to know your quilt top dimensions and the desired width of your binding strips before you begin.
BINDING WIDTH The key to how wide to cut your binding strips is in your desired binding width or binding seam allowance. The following chart helps to demonstrate what strip width to cut based on the binding seam allowance you are using. When piecing your quilt top the standard seam allowance is 1/4″, therefore if your pattern extends to the edge of the quilt or you have points on the edge (no border) then you may need to go with a 1/4″ binding seam. This ensures that your finished results (quilt top) will be correct (and you won’t sew into your points). Still with me? Here is a chart showing typical seam allowances and possible strip widths:
Cut binding strip width to:
2”, 2 ¼” or 2 ½”
2 ¼” or 2 ½”
2 ½”, 3” or 3 ¼”
You might be wondering… Why the variations in widths? If your using a low loft batting and quilting cotton (like my example) then you will go with a narrower width. But if you are using a high loft batting and perhaps flannel or a heavier weight fabric then go with a wider width strip even though you are using the same seam allowance. This will give you a little extra binding to accommodate the thickness of your quilt.
Another thing to think about (as if that wasn’t enough) is if you like your binding tight, so when you fold it over to the back side it just covers your stitches or maybe you like it a little looser so it extends beyond your back stitches more. If you’re a beginner, go with a wider binding that corresponds to your desired seam allowance, it might be the easiest option. All these things factor into your width choice. Make sense?
Math for a 60″ x 74″ quilt top.
I want to use a 1/2″ seam allowance
My batting is low loft but I have lots of seams along the edge of my quilt top so I’m going a little wider than usual to accommodate a little more bulk ~ 3 1/4″ binding strips.
60 + 60 + 74 + 74 = 268″ perimeter
add 12″ extra (for piecing the strips, corners, finishing etc) = 280″ adjusted perimeter#
Now divide 280″ by 42 (useable width of fabric) = 6.6 and round this number up to 7 (next whole number)
Multiply 7 x the 3.25 (width of binding strips) = 22.75″
I WILL NEED 22.75″ OF FABRIC OFF THE BOLT FOR MY BINDING!
Does your head hurt now? I don’t want your head to hurt, so to make this easier, print off this EASY binding yardage worksheet to figure it out ~ just write in your numbers! :)
Phew! Ok, so how do you cut your bias strips? I’m starting with my 22.75 width of fabric off the bolt and first I like to cut my selvages off ~ and I always cut 1″ off my selvage edge.
As a side note I save all my selvages for a future project… so throw them in a vase or other fun container in your sewing space… you never know when you may want to make a fun selvage project…
Now that your fabric selvages are trimmed off, open your fabric up.
Fold down top left corner to meet bottom edge.
Remove the cut triangle without turning.
Important ~ rotate the cut triangle counter clockwise so the bottom edge of the triangle (shown in picture above) is now the right edge of the triangle (see picture below). Move the rotated triangle over to the right.
Slide the triangle under the larger cut of fabric so they are right sides together and align the right side edges. Pin and sew the right edge.
Open seamed unit and you should have a parallelogram. Press seam open.
Bias strips will now be cut along bias (45 degree) edge.
If your ruler isn’t long enough to cover length of the bias edge, you can move it as you cut or you can fold your fabric keeping the bias edge aligned.
Place your ruler along the bias edge and cut your desired strip width ~ for the example I’m cutting 3.25″ strips.
The ends of your strips will be ready to piece together to form your continuous bias binding.
Place two ends right sides together ~ notice ends are offset slightly ~ sew 1/4″ seam.
Press the seam open and trim off ‘dog ears’.
Note: If you are piecing together straight grain binding or bias binding with a straight end on your strip, overlap your ends an sew on a diagonal from outside edge to outside edge. Trim excess and press seam open
Sew all strips together and press all seams open. Take this long piece to the ironing board, fold and press in half on the length to finish making your binding. I like to use best press, which is a starch alternative, to make my binding nice and crisp. I’m addicted to the Caribbean Beach scent, but it also comes in other scents or scent free.
Now Your DONE with making your bias binding!!!
If you want to see more of this quilt, here are all the
After your quilt top layout is pieced and you’ve added a border (if you choose to) it’s time to plan out your quilt back and make your ‘Quilt Sandwich’. My quilt top is scrappy, and I’m determined to use up ‘stash’ (even the big pieces) so I decided to go with a scrappy back as well.
Remember that your backing will always need to be larger than the top (add 6″ to width and length.) If your going to make it scrappy, you need to plan where your seams fall. You don’t want them close to the edges of the final quilt. The excess backing that extends beyond the quilt top is cut away after quilting so your seams will need to be well inside the ‘quilt top’ parameters.
QUILT SANDWICH Supplies:
batting ~ I’m using warm and natural cotton batting (love cotton!)
painters tape ~ if your pin basting on a surface or floor
quilting pins ~ the bent ones
Your ‘Quilt Sandwich’ consists of three parts:
BATTING ~ I want my batting to extend 2″ all the way around my quilt so I will add 4″ to the length and width of the quilt top.
BACKING ~ I want my backing to be just slightly larger than my batting. I want it to extend 1″ beyond my batting. To accomplish this I will add 2 inches to my batting length and width.
Why do you need to extend the batting and backing? During quilting there can be some shifting of the layers. Extending the batting and backing will ensure this isn’t a problem, your quilt back will be large enough and you’re not quilting tiny bits lined up at the edge. Some quilters are more generous with their extended measurements, so do what suits you and your quilting needs. If you are sending your quilt to a longarmer they may have specific requirements so be sure to check in advance.
Making a Quilt Sandwich
(I’m cheating and using a quilt block for my demo so it’s easier to photograph!)
Lay out your batting on a large surface or the floor. Layer your quilt top over the batting so batting extends at least two inches around. Trim batting to size.
Roll up batting and quilt top together and set aside while you lay out backing. Press quilt back and smooth out on floor/surface with right side down. Using painters tape (girls best friend) generously tape backing to surface. Move your quilt top / batting ‘roll’ on top of quilt back. Center, unroll and smooth out batting / quilt top. This is your quilt sandwich. Now, pin the heck out of it! Be sure to put a few pins the batting area that isn’t covered by the quilt top. Also be sure to fill the pins up. If they are not ‘full’ they will slide and all that work will be for nothing! (boo)
There are other methods of basting your quilt sandwich ~ if you try spray basting be sure to spray outside.
Now Your Ready to Quilt!
Find the Scrap Happy Sampler Quilt pattern
If you want to see more of this quilt, here are all the
It’s been a Wooly Weekend! I had so much fun this weekend teaching my Mitten Workshop! I brought my camera along to take pictures of all the fabulous mittens and do you think I took one picture? Of course not! (boo) This sorta thing always happens to me when I get excited… I completely lose track what I’m doing and just get caught up in the moment.
BUT… All is not lost… I managed to find some time to make some mittens TOO!
I made this pretty red and pink pair…
They have a super warm white fleece lining…. yummy
They are slightly deeper red than they look in the picture – definitely prettier in person if you can believe it! Find the red mittens for sale on etsy.
And check out these brown ones… toasty!
I love the buttons on this pair (is that weird?)
Earth tones with a little pop of color :o) Find this brown pair for sale in my Etsy shop.
This pair is a nice hunter green and blue…
The cuffs have all the colors of the mitten parts mixed in… find the green mittens for sale in my etsy shop.
Another pair with pink and orange…
You can find the pink and orange mittens for sale here on Etsy. This last pair I made for myself… I’ve been a purple fan since birth I think… pretty sure it might have been the first word I spoke… purple! It’s only the second pair I have kept for myself and I love them!
So there’s the latest!
If you’d like a pair head over to my etsy shop where I sell the mittens…
or go to craftsy for the Madawaska Mitten Pattern
The Extreme Coupon Holder ~ Organizer sewing Pattern!
I still had some Cloud 9 fabric from the Geocentric Bag Challenge so I made this Coupon Holder! Want to make one? Here is the Coupon Bag Pattern.
This Coupon Bag has all the bells and whistles…
2″ of space for coupons!
a front pocket for grocery list, store cards and TODAY’s coupons!
a back pocket for checkbook and calculator!
a pen holder!
a clasp for keys and store cards!
it even hangs on the seat of your shopping cart!
Organize your coupons with space for up to 25 dividers… and a handy pen holder to cross things off your shopping list! Use the front pocket for TODAYs Coupons, your phone and shopping list!
The other end of your coupon bag has a handy clasp for all those store cards… you’re ready for checkout! And a second pocket on the back is a great spot for a calculator!
Check out the Geocentric Bag Challenge post
make your own coupon holder with the
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Carpenters Square is the block of the month for August! Another great block for all those scrappy strips of fabric hanging around.
I chose three colors to work with – red purple and blue. Then I just picked scraps in each color! When sewing this block you work from the center out so it helps to press and square up your block as you go…
Hope everyone is having a good summer! Have fun with this block!
As always, this months block pattern is free for the current month (August) and then I will list it.
Find the Scrap Happy Sampler Quilt pattern
Thanks so much for following along!
If you like this, Please Pin and Share!
Challenge, Giveaway AND Tutorial!
It was a little bit hard to contain my excitement when the gals over at SewMamaSew chose me to participate in the GeoCentric II Bag Challenge!
Cloud 9 Fabric is launching their amazing line of organic cotton canvas (YUM!), GeoCentric II! The new line has 3 new fabulous colors and 3 new prints to choose from and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some! Patiently I waited,
stalking the mailman checking the mail each day… until… it… arrived! (alright, it waaaas in an envelope…)
I planned on resisting the Cloud 9 references… I wasn’t going to say anything silly like ‘I was on cloud 9’ but I WAS thinking it! The quality of this fabric is SO NICE! Seriously, Cloud 9 Organic Cotton Canvas just sounds Fabulous! No one else in my house was allowed to touch it (mine all mine) but I couldn’t stop! It’s very soft and not at all like the canvas I’ve worked with before… I only put it up to my cheek once… don’t be a hater!
I decided to make a Victoria Tote and although the pattern doesn’t call for leather I had some that matched PERFECT! So I swapped out the canvas bottom in the original pattern and top stitched the leather on instead. And added leather straps… Could it get any better? I’m super pleased with how it came out…
I’m in love with the daffodil and metal colors together…
This fabric is really a dream to work with, it presses so nicely and is just crisp and soft and not as heavy and stiff as regular canvas / duck cloth. And I really think it looks great with the leather accents… check out the bag bottom…
The pattern has an exterior and interior d-ring and an interior pocket –
All you need is some GeoCentric Fabric! How will you choose what color with so many to choose from? Really… I don’t know! I love the interlock/sprout color in this next photo but I also love the diamonds/sky and the interlock/coral…
I had so much fun working with this organic canvas, I couldn’t stop, so I made a little zipper pouch!
check out the daffodil lining…
GIVEAWAY – Like me on Facebook and and I’ll randomly choose someone August 10th to win a free Vicotoria Tote Pattern! Please be sure to comment below that you liked me on Facebook so you’ll be officially entered.
Make your own Zipper Pouch using this TUTORIAL.
You can find the pattern for the Victoria Tote here!
Go check out Cloud 9 and SewMamaSew!
UPDATE! THE PATTERN WINNER CHOSEN BY And the Winner Is:
Robin August 5, 2013 at 8:53 am
I am following you on Facebook. Love the bag, love the fabric. thank you!
ps – I haven’t forgotten about the gorgeous Blueberry Cotton! I made a Coupon Bag! Find the pattern here… Coupon Organizer Pattern
It’s April and I’m thankful that spring is here… although it’s a little difficult to believe after all the late winter storms. I’m more than ready for the sun for sure and I’ve seen evidence in the garden that spring weather is coming.
I’ve put together a tutorial for a Burgoyne Surrounded Quilt Block this month that I think is pretty awesome. I’m really quite hooked on the pattern and just might have to make a full quilt if the free time ever comes! I hope you enjoy it!
I hope you enjoy this months tutorial. Please post pictures to the flickr group I love seeing them! Thanks again to those of you that have posted your finished blocks or projects already!!!
Find the Scrap Happy Sampler Quilt pattern
If you like this post please pin and share!
If you want to see more of this quilt, here are all the
My daughter asked me to make her a checkbook cover so she didn’t have to use the ugly plastic one (gasp!) from the bank! It seemed a shame that someone like myself who can sew, had been using a plastic one too! (the horror)
They are quick and easy to put together and great little gifts. I thought you might enjoy a tutorial. So here you go…
BODY – Fabric A cut 2 – 7 1/4” x 7”
POCKETS – Fabric B cut 2 – 6 1/2” x 7”
Fusible Interfacing cut 1 – 6 3/4″ x 6 1/2”
1) Fold pocket fabric in half matching long ends.
2) Sew 1/8” along fold edge (for decorative purposes only).
3) Center and fuse interfacing to the wrong side of one fabric A piece.
4) Place pockets on ends of second fabric A piece (right side up) with folded edges in middle.
5) Pin pockets in place.
6) Place interfacing/fabric A unit from step 3 on top of pocket unit.
7) Pin layers in place.
8) With all layers together sew accurate 1/4” seam around edges, leaving generous opening to turn.
9) Turn right side out.
10) Sew 1/8” seam along outer edge, enclosing opening.
11) Enjoy your new checkbook cover!
Get the PDF Version of the Simple CHECKBOOK COVER PATTERN
I hope everyone had a nice Valentines Day! I just wanted to pass on another Craftsy Deal to you…
For Valentines day (through the 17th) Craftsy is offering classes at up to 75% off! Craftsy is really great about offering deals and promotions – so when a class comes up that I want to take I watch for a discount! And here it is!!!
Here are some of the classes I have taken…..
I just finished Design Your own Handbag – I will do a full review of this class but I’ll just say it’s fantastic. You WILL be able to design your own bag after taking this class… I’m thinking of designing a messenger/laptop bag. Just saying!
If you like to quilt – Quilts from Small Scraps is a fun class! Check out my REVIEW. I really enjoyed this class – and what I really love is that I can go back and watch any lesson again – which is great if your memory challenged like me!
If you are not familiar with Craftsy – there are a bunch of FREEEEEEEEE classes! Sewing, knitting, quilting, cooking, cake decorating – it’s endless fun!
This Free course on Creative Quilt Backs is FANTASTIC!
I haven’t taken this Quick Easy Bags one yet – but looks good and it’s FREE!
Another FREE one on my watch list! Making Perfect Pizza at home! Who doesn’t LOVE pizza? Can’t wait to watch it!
Enjoy the deals!!!
Thought I’d share with you a little project for my Secret Valentine…
Members of my quilt guild put their name in a hat and much like ‘secret santa’ we all picked a name. My ‘valentine’ likes music and plays the guitar… I thought about it and although we all love a hand stitched item I thought maybe she’d like something different… I decided to paint a little valentine decoration for her. I used some wooden blocks I had kicking around the house. I was just waiting for an excuse to paint them…
I used acrylic paints and gave them a quick base coat, painted the letters and symbols ~ and heart notes of course! I usually sketch out my design on paper that is the same size as my surface so I can get a feel for the placement/size of what I’m painting – then I free hand paint it on the surface. It’s so easy to clean off any boo boo’s that there really isn’t any worries about mess ups. I like the organic look of free hand too. After I finished with all the lettering and notes I added some highlights and floated some dark shading (right side) and light shading(left side) around some of the letters and notes to make them look a little less FLAT. When I was done painting the blocks I gave it a quick shot of clear coat (Krylon 6-Ounce Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating Aerosol Spray) This step is SO important as far as I’m concerned because it really makes the colors POP!!
Easy as Pie! Now I have a nice home made gift for my secret valentine! I’m also giving her a pair of pink mittens… it’s so cold in New England right now ~ that’s a no-brainer!
Next I’m painting a sewing sign for my sewing studio! I’m on a roll!
A couple days ago I saw a Christmas Kissing Ball at my friend Suzanne’s house. It kept catching my eye. It looked…. traditional, fun, bright, and dare I say, romantic! It just made me plain old happy! I like feeling happy! So I asked her about it, and to my delight she told me she made it! And that’s not all, she would tell me how I could make one too! Yippee!!! I couldn’t help but wonder how many Christmas’ her kissing ball had lit up? How many people have kissed under it? How many family members had gazed upon it while dreaming about their new years resolutions? (nostalgia!)
Bottom line was, I had to make one. I love traditions and I was ready to start a new one… The Christmas Kissing Ball.
Good news is – You can start one too… Here’s what you need:
32 – 4.5 oz cone cups
1 set of mini Christmas lights (35-50 light strand) clear or colored
1.5 yard 1″ wide ribbon
32 Christmas ball ornaments 2.5″ – 3″
glue gun and extra glue sticks
15 feet garland (nothing too poofy)
Start by counting out 9 cups and staple them together. Staple them 1″ down inside cup (mine shown were only .5″ which wasn’t really enough)
Next place six cups on top of your set of 9 and staple in place.
You have now completed 1/2 the ball. Make another half identical to this half. Fold ribbon in half and lay across the bottom side of one of the halves and staple on securely.
Next connect your two halves with staples and it’s time to start stringing your lights. Take the end of your light string without the plug and start weaving the light string between the cones beginning at the bottom of your ball where the two ribbon tails are. Depending on the number of lights in your string you may need to have two lights poking out in the same spot – just work them in as evenly as possible. Use your stapler to close cup gaps up as needed and to keep cords from poking out. Finish at the top of your ball where the ribbon loop is.
Next get your glue gun ready and start gluing your ornament balls into the cups. Put a thin ‘bead’ of glue around top edge of each cup and place your ornament inside. Depending on the size of your cup and ornaments – they will sit up higher or deeper into the cup.
When you get to the end, you might have to really snuggle the last couple ornaments in. I had ornaments of varying sizes so I got to cheat a little here. If your ornaments are smaller, you may have more wiggle room between them – no worries – it will all fill in nicely when you add your garland. You can also embellish and fill in with miniature ornaments. There are no rules here!
When you are done with your ornaments it’s time for the last step! Start at the top or bottom and weave your way around with the garland – applying glue from your glue gun here and there to keep it secure.
Now… Light it Up! And test it with a KISS of course! Magic.
Here are a couple variations that my kids made for Christmas gifts…
This first one is for a girls room – pink and silver, very cute…
And another one with traditional Christmas colors…
SO SO SO FUN!
I think these would be great in silver to make for weddings! The sky is the limit…
Thanks so much to Suzanne for sharing with me!
Need to make some quick and easy sew in labels? Here is one way to get it done…
You will need an inkjet printer.
First pick up some inkjet colorfast printable fabric (sew on). It comes in 8.5″ x 11″ sheets that you can feed right into your printer. Set up your design and do a test print on copy paper first to be sure you have the size etc that you want. Then simply print onto the printable fabric sheets…
do some slicing…
and some dicing…
and some sewing…
Don’t forget you can use this for making quick labels for your quilts too!
I’ve been burning the midnight oil in the mitten factory! I love this time of year, the holidays, the lights, the Christmas music… pretty sure I was an elf in a former life :o)
Been doing lot’s of cutting… (oH the DusT!!)