Making Bias Binding

Binding a quilt can be a daunting process or a simple one.  I ALWAYS use BIAS binding when finishing my quilt.  WHY?  Because it will always lay flatter.  It does take more fabric to make bias binding, but it will be worth it when your quilt is done.

Here is my method for making bias binding.

First I make a square of fabric and then fold it up into a triangle.  The larger the square, more bias can be made.  For small quilts, my rule of thumb is use a 27″ square.  (3/4 yard)  The fold is on the bottom in this illustration.

Lay your folded square on a rotary cutting board.

Lay your folded square on a rotary cutting board.

Next cut straight up from the bottom to the top point, laying your rotary ruler on the fold on the bottom.

Now you have 2 pieces.

Now you have 2 pieces.

I GENTLY  put the left hand piece over the right, lining up the cut edges, so I can cut 2 strips at a time.

I cut my binding 1 1/8" like my friend, Jo Morton.

I cut my binding 1 1/8″ like my friend, Jo Morton.

Jo Morton cuts her binding 1 1/8″ for “single fold”.  I’ve been making my binding like this since she told me about it several years ago and LOVE IT!  It is smooth and durable.  Continue cutting down your triangle until you have several strips cut.  (The strips will get smaller lengthwise as you cut down the triangle.)

Here is an optional step, but it does help to make sewing your strips easier:  (Point trimmers are sold in your local quilt shop.)

Using a "point trimmer" I cut off the excess.

Using a “point trimmer” I cut off the excess.

I do have 2 bias strips I’m cutting at time.  (So there are 4 thicknesses.)

When you are done, it will look like this…

Makes it easier to sew to the next piece.

Makes it easier to sew to the next piece.

Lay another strip on top right sides together as shown below.

Lay your strips right sides together.

Lay your strips right sides together.

Using a 1/4″ seam, sew the strips together.  (I generally chain piece this part by taking the free end of the top strip, flipping it and taking the next strip and placing it on top and sewing.)

Sew with a 1/4" seam.

Sew with a 1/4″ seam.

I open the seams on the strip and press them flat.

Press open the seams.

Press open the seams.

Now you are ready to apply the bias to your finished quilt top.  That is the next blog subject coming soon…

Until then,

Happy Stitching!


Making Bias Binding — 8 Comments

  1. Hi Cindy, Many years ago I tried to get some of the “big names” in the quilting industry to publish this quick way of making bias binding…no one took my idea or diagrams. I use a square (any size square..1 yard for a regulard size double quilt top) , fold in a square then fold in a triangle and cut right down the middle. This will give a 45 degree angle for stitching together and give a long bias strip. The triangle will look like an old fashioned diaper.
    Polly Taylor-Reed.

  2. There is another more important reason to use a bias binding – it will wear better. If it does wear there will be very few threads that are “worn” out. If the binding is on grain it will wear along only one thread and when it wears it has a tendency to split further along that one thread. So it is always better to use a bias binding. If the quilt will get heavy use then a double layer is best, but that does add a lot more bulk on the edge. Many old quilts survive with the single fold very flat binding! Thanks for the tutorial!

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