Have you heard the term bias strips? Have you wondered how you would use bias strips and where do they come from?
What are bias strips?
Fabric is made up of threads that run parallel and perpendicular to the selvage. The bias is a 45 degree angle to the selvage. Since the parallel and perpendicular threads cross each other at the bias, strips cut on the bias offer more strength that strips cut parallel or perpendicular to the selvage.
The downside of the bias strips is that they are quite stretchy which could cause your piecing to get wonky.
Where would I use bias strips?
The most common use of bias strips is for bindings. They are especially beneficial for bindings on quilts that will be washed frequently or for quilts with curved edges, such as scallops.
Striped fabric is exceptionally fun when cut on the bias, as the stripes run diagonal. This makes a really interesting quilt binding.
Recently when making pillows, I used striped bias strips to create a frame around my pillow center.
How can I make bias strips?
Of course, as all things quilting, there are always more than one way to achieve an end result. Here is just one way to make bias strips.
Start with an 18” square of fabric. Fold the square in half diagonally and press to create a crease. Draw a line on the crease and cut on that line.
Place your 2 triangles right sides together as shown. Sew with 1/4” seam and press seam open.
Identify your bias edges on your parallelogram. On the wrong side of the fabric start drawing lines from one edge in your desired width. We used 2-1/2” for our pillow frame.
Once you have drawn as many lines as will fit now you will line up the lines with right sides together EXCEPT, line up the first line on one edge with the 2nd line on the other edge. Pin, making sure the pins are exactly on drawn lines. You will end up with a wonky tube. Sew the pinned edges with 1/4″ seam.
With your scissors, start cutting on the drawn line and keep cutting and turning the tube as you go. You will have a continuous strip that you can then cut to your desired length.
We ended up with about 3 yards of continuous bias strip that we used to frame our pillow.
Do what you Love – Love what you do – LoveQuilting.com