24 February 2014

Bias tape tutorial

I saw this technique on "The Quilt Show" with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. They are pretty traditional but I usually find at least one interesting thing on each show. BTW, I give away a free 6 month membership each year around November or December. 

Probably half the people reading this will have seen this bias tape technique before, but it was new to me and I was pretty impressed.

First you start with a square of fabric. On the quilt I just made I only had 30" of fabric left large enough to make a square. I had lots of the green but I thought that would stand out like a sore thumb. 

This is the 30" square. I folded it and ironed a crease in the fabric to act as a cutting line.

Then I cut the diagonal using a rotary cutter and a straight edge. Then I brought the left edge (above) and the right edge (above) together and stitched them, and then ironed the seam open (less bulk). 

After ironing the seams open, I laid out the fabric and used a straight edge ruler to draw lines 2 1/2" apart. I used a pretty heavy permanent marker because the purple was so dark. Had the fabric been a lighter value, I would have used a fine line Sharpy. The dark line will be cut and end up inside the binding so no one will ever see it.

 Before sewing this last seam. I cut the opposite ends of the fabric (upper left and lower right) along the drawn lines about 5". Then I sewed the seam being VERY CAREFUL to line up each line using pins to make sure the lines would align 

Then I ironed THAT seam open.

From then on, I used scissors to cut around and around the tube I had stitched using the drawn lines. All the while I am hoping I will have enough bias tape to go around the entire seven foot square quilt. That is over 9 yards.

Would you believe I ended up with over 9 yards of bias tape!! I had 19" left over. This was out of a 30" square of fabric. I was impressed!

I ironed the tape in half and here is my pile of perfect bias tape. This took practically no time to make. I have to emphasis  aligning the lines using pins for EACH row of drawn lines before sewing the last ( 2nd) seam). 

Hope you found this easy to follow and useful for your sewing.


  1. Never heard of this before--but you lost me at the 4th picture.

  2. You are right so I removed the picture and it seems easier to follow now.

  3. It must be that my brain is disinclined towards math - I can't figure this out! lol


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