How To: Continuous Binding Bias Strips and Scrappy Bias Binding

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

0 - Making continuous bias cut binding
If you're putting your quilt on a bed, you need to make bias binding strips for the edges. This means the fabric needs to be cut on a 45" angle from the weft/weave. If your quilt is going on a wall, then you can use straight of grain binding, but making continuous bias binding is simple enough, so why not go with the sturdier, stretchier version? You've spent all this time piecing and quilting, why wimp out now?!

Alrighty, now that I've got you psyched about bias binding, you can find a difficult-to-navigate series of comprehensive tutorials at JaybirdQuilt's Quilt Binding Basics Part 2 (Method 2). I've redone them below with my own commentary/navigation, because there's a learning curve to figuring out JaybirdQuilts' navigation.

Tips and tricks:
  • If you tend to not be accurate with cutting and 1/4" seams, then by all means, cut your binding to be 3" wide. It'll save you tons of torture.
  • Always do continuous bias cut binding. It's not too tricky once you get the hang of it.
  • Spray starch.
  • Store the binding rolled up.

1. Determine How Much Binding You Need

First you need to determine how much binding you'll need to produce. To figure out how much binding you'll need, you essentially add 10" to the perimeter length of the quilt:
length of binding = 2*quiltLength + 2*quiltWidth + 10"

ex: My quilt is 98" x 101": 196" + 202" + 10" = 408" binding is needed

2. Determine How Large a Square is Necessary

To make continuous bias binding, you'll need a square of fabric (I've used a rectangle, but then I end up with the last part of my binding being too thin). To determine how large a square you'll need to make to produce enough binding, use the following formula:
square size necessary = roundup (sqrt ( bindingWidth * bindingLength) )

ex: I need 408" of binding that is 2.5" wide: sqrt ( 1020) = 31.9 = 32" square necessary for continuous bias binding

I made my binding with leftovers from the Triangle Quilt Back (freeform waves). With the scraps from trimming, I made a square and then also a light grey square, so I just had to punch in the numbers for two squares (one 22" and one 28") and ensure that the resulting amount of bias binding was enough by doing the math in reverse. I overshot by ~100" simply because I didn't do the math in advance. This meant I could cut out the bits of binding that were a bit wonky. I don't exactly recommend using the continuous bias binding method for a square of strips. Try the 'Making Scrappy Bias Binding' section down below.

3. Make Continuous Bias Binding

  1. Cut square of fabric
    1 - Fabric Square
  2. Cut 45 degree angle
    2 - Cut 45 degree angle
  3. Move top triangle to the left, and bottom to the right
    3 - Move top triangle to the left, and bottom to the right
  4. Sew triangles together
    4 - Sew triangles together
  5. Mark every 3 inches on one horizontal edge, on wrong side (this seems to produce binding 2.5" wide). Repeat the same for the other horizontal edge, but start from the same side of the parallelogram. (If you started marking the first edge at the corner, start marking the second edge at the seam)
    5 - Mark every 3 inches on horizontal sides, on wrong side
  6. Connect marks on either horizontal edge (45 degree angle), using a marking pen
    6 - Connect marks on either horizontal edge (45 degree angle), using a marking pen
    6 - Close up of the 45 degree lines (these are cutting lines)
  7. Flip parallelogram so right side is up. Fold up one corner such that the cutting/pencil lines are horizontal
    8 - Fold up one corner such that the cutting/pencil lines are horiztonal
  8. Fold other corner over such that cutting/pencil lines match up
    9 - Fold other corner over such that cutting/pencil lines match up
  9. Shift top fabric left & up one lines, and bottom fabric right & down to match. You essentially want two 3" strips unmatched at the top, and one strip unmatched at the bottom. One of the two unmatched top strips is actually being matched to the seam corner, but it has to be finagled a bit to make that happen.
    10 - Shift top fabric left & up one lines, and bottom fabric right & down
  10. Pin lined up pencil/cutting lines and sew. Iron seams open.
    11 - Pin lined up pencil/cutting lines
    11 - Pin lined up pencil/cutting lines
  11. Starting at one end, cut along pencilled/cutting lines (these should spiral around all the way to the end)
    12 - Starting at one end, cut along pencilled/cutting lines (these should spiral around all the way to the end)
    12 - Starting at one end, cut along pencilled/cutting lines (these should spiral around all the way to the end)
  12. Iron binding in half
    13 - Iron binding in half
14 - Store ironed binding wound up

3a. Making Scrappy Bias Binding

(Optional) If you want to make scrappy binding, you could follow the continuous bias binding method above to make scrappy bias binding, as I did with a square of strips. But you'll notice there are plenty of bits that came out rather wonky! A more proper way to make scrappy bias binding is detailed at JaybirdQuilts' Quilt Binding Basics Part 3.
Doing continuous binding with scraps can be a bit funky...


3b. Joining Bias Strips

(Optional) If you're making your bias strips with just one continuous square, then you don't need to know how to join up the strips. That's already done for you! However, I made 2+ squares so that I could interleave scrappy binding with plain binding, so it was necessary to join the pieces at some point. More information on this process can be found at JaybirdQuilts' Quilt Binding Basics Part 1 ('How To Piece Straight of Grain Binding' and 'How to Piece Bias Cut Binding').
  1. Bottom binding horizontal & right side up, Top binding vertical & wrong side up
    1 - Bottom binding horizontal & right side up, Top binding vertical & wrong side up
  2. Sew 45 degree angle, trim
    2 - Sew 45 degree angle, trim
  3. Iron.
    3 - Iron and done!

One large roll of continuous bias cut binding

  1. How To: Cut Isosceles Triangles Without Templates 10/13/2013
  2. How To: Assemble an Isosceles Triangle Quilt Top 10/16/2013
  3. Step 1: Isosceles Triangle Quilt Top Completed 10/18/13
  4. TARDIS Applique 10/27/13
  5. Coordinating Pillowcases for the Isosceles Triangle Quilt 11/6/13
  6. Step 2: Isosceles Triangle Quilt Backing Assembly 3/18/15
  7. Step 3: Isosceles Triangle Quilt Sandwich-ing 4/1/15
  8. Attaching the TARDIS Applique 4/8/15
  9. Step 4: Machine Quilting the Isosceles Triangle Quilt 4/15/15
  10. How To: Continuous Double Bias Binding Strips 4/22/15
  11. Step 5: Binding the Isosceles Triangle Quilt 4/29/15
  12. A Review of the Isosceles Triangle Quilt 5/6/15

2 comments:

My Garden Diaries said...

Goodness friend! What don't you make!! I could so learn so much from you!! Wishing you a wonderful Thursday! Nicole

marifer said...

So inspiring. I just finished my first couple of yards. It feels so good to know I am not the only one making scrappy bias. Thank you for sharing this on you blog. Greetings from CA.

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