Sunday, 23 August 2009


I know many of you have these things lying around; but I use my bias tape maker for almost all my bindings made from cross cut strips. My tape maker is an 18mm one from Clover, and uses 1 ½” wide strips; perfect for single layer bindings. However; I do it a little different than the instructions.

Cut as many 1 1/12” strips that you need to go around the quilt + 10“ extra. I usually cut a strip or two more than I need so I have ready binding for small projects or scrap quilts. Fold all the strips in half, and using the 45 degree line on your ruler, cut the ends of all of them.

Place the ends of two strips together like this.

Use a ruler, and draw a line ¼” from the end. Place the ends together like this, and pin.

Sew along the line, cut off the snips, and press the seam open. Do likewise until you have one continuous strip.

Pull one end of the strip through the bias tape maker, and start pressing with a hot iron, but only the fold closest to you. Continue pressing as you move the bias tape maker along the strip.
Make a ¼” fold at one end of the strip, and press.

Place the folded end on one side on the front of the quilt, and pin. Check that the joining seams won’t be at any corner before you start sewing. I usually use my ¼” foot to make the width of the binding consistent.

Sew one side until you are ¼” (or the width of your finished binding) from the end. Stop, lift the presser foot and move the quilt ½” back again, then take a few more stitches to secure the thread. I find that I have more control this way; when I backstitch, the machine takes one stitch forward first, and I miss the ¼” mark.

Fold the binding in a 45 degree angle to your right, and finger press the fold.

Fold the binding to your left, and finger press. Start sewing the next side at the edge of the quilt. Keep on sewing and folding corners until you get to the starting point.

Sew until you are ¼”- ½” past the starting point. Cut the binding off in a 45 degree angle, and tuck one fold into the other.

My hands are not so good for hand sewing, so I baste the binding to the back by machine. It sometimes leaves some holes in the quilt or binding, but these are easily removed with a little water and a Q-tip. I also use a contrasting thread so the basting stitches are easy to remove.

Set the machine at the longest stitch length and the pressure of the foot very low (1 on my machine). Turn the quilt over, and fold the binding to the back. Still using the ¼” foot, sew all around the quilt.

When you get to a corner, fold the edge closest to you first and pin;

then the other.
Remove the basting as you stitch the binding to the back by hand.

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