I’ll admit that making bias binding for quilts is not my favourite thing to do. If you’ve been doing straight cut binding – I’m with you, most of my quilts are done that way. But bias binding is stronger and stands up to more use – or so I’m told! Can you tell I’m not really a fan? Thing is that bias binding is really the standard – and I’m all fro breaking the rules, right? In case you’re still wondering about using bias binding, let’s jump right in so that you can decide for yourself.
What is bias binding?
To understand why it’s called bias, we need to go back to the different cuts we can get from our fabric. (No we’re not talking charms, layers or jelly…I’m suddenly really hungry)
Lengthwise runs parallel to the selvage and has little to no stretch.
Crosswise runs perpendicular to the selvage. Because it is made from yarns woven over and under the lengthwise yarns it has more stretch than lengthwise grain.
Bias is then cut diagonally.
Both lengthwise and crosswise grains are referred to as “straight” grains because they are cut along the grain of the fabric.
Is it a big deal to have bias binding?
Bias means that you have a nice stretchy piece to work with. The stretch will give you neat corners, though my method gives me beautiful corners too, and I straight cut my binding. Or crosswise if I’m sticking to the terminology I’m using in this post.
The other thing that I find bias binding great for is beaded piping. No, I’ll not chat about that here, but know this: you have to try it.
Amongst other great piecing, appliqué and quilting techniques – you’ll learn how to make beaded piping with bias binding in the “A million more dreams” class.
How to make bias binding for quilts
To make the bias binding you’ll need a 25” square (for a square quilt of 40” square). This is assuming a 42” wide quilt cotton fabric.
Trim the selvages from the fabric that you want to use for your binding. The length of the binding you’ll need for a 40” square quilt is 170”.
Bias binding for quilts is a requirement for any quilt you want to show in a festival or competition.
If you prefer to hand stitch your binding, start on the front of the quilt (all the graphics that state Quilt Back, should then be Quilt Front)