Bias Binding Made Easy

Welcome to SewVeryEasy, my name is Laura. And do you like to do a bias binding, but you don’t like the cutting of the bias binding? Well, I have a technique that will use a little bit of folding, and you can get an entire one-yard cut no different than if you’d be cutting it on the straight grain. And I’m going to use this technique with using a ruler that’s already cut to a 2″, a 2½”, and a 2¼” measurement. It’s just going to take the guesswork out of it. Makes it really easy. And it’s from Creative Grids: It is a Bias Binding Simplified Ruler. It’s a nice, straight ruler, and it has a little 45° angle on it. I’m going to use this ruler, but you can use any ruler with this technique. This just really simplifies it. I want to cut my binding out of this 1 yard of black, and I’m going to show you two times. One with this brighter fabric so the camera will be able to see it better. Then I’ll show you with the black. When you cut a bias, you need to go on a 45° angle. So you have threads running in this direction, and threads running in this direction. You need to cut it down the center of those threads. By doing that, it actually makes your binding stronger, and it lasts longer. The problem is, is getting a ruler to go from one end all the way to the other end. So what we need to do is fold it and cut it. The folding technique is going to be the same regardless if you use a fat quarter, a yard, even more than a yard. The technique and the folding is going to be the same. So I’m going to show you on this fat quarter, then I will show you on the black. The first thing I like to do is make sure the selvedges are cut off and it’s squared up. And I like folding it so that it’s facing me. But for the camera, I’m going to fold it so as if you’re standing here watching it. So to fold it with you standing he re, you’re going to take the one corner, and you’re going to fold it so that it runs straight along the top edge. And there is your 45° angle. The next thing you’re going to do is you’re going to take the top point and fold it back towards you. Just smooth it with you hands to make sure that there’s no wrinkles. We need to continue to fold so that the piece is going to be small enough to fit on a ruler. So we’ll take that top edge and fold it down, so that all the folds are right on this angle. That is the folding technique. If it’s really big, you’re going to be able to take that bottom piece and fold it. And what you want is this piece here to be able to fit on a ruler. So let’s fold the big black one now. So here is the 1-yard piece, it’s been pressed, and I have all of my edges cleaned up. And this is my longest area. I have a straight grain line going this way. I want to cut it on an angle. And you can see, you would not be able to have a ruler to go all the way on a 45° angle. This is why folding it makes it really easy. So it doesn’t matter if you fold either end. If you’re left-handed you can do one side. If you’re right-handed you can do another. So you’re going to take that one corner and you’re going to fold it so that your edges are matching right up at the top. Just smooth it; you don’t need to press it. You’re going to take that other corner and you’re going to fold it back to yourself.s Match up the folded edges and just smooth it out. We’re going to take that top fold and, following the folded line here, you’re going to fold it again. You can start cutting from here. But if it’s still too big, fold it. And I like to fold it regardless. It just makes a nice little bundle to work with. So I’m going to take that end which is close to you, holding both those pieces, and bring it up. So I have all these folds on that one edge. Now we’re going to start cutting the bias strips. So the first thing we’re going to want to do is cut off this folded edge. You’re going to be able to take your ruler, line it up, and cut off that folded edge. I would definitely recommend to have a nice sharp blade to do this, because you’re cutting through quite a few layers of fabric. That’s where the time saving comes in. So I have all of that fold cut off, and I can throw that away. From here, you’re going to just cut your strips. So depending on if you’re left- or right-handed, you’re just going to be able to just leave the fabric and cut it. But, you might have to turn the fabric so that the ruler is going in the right direction. Now, if you can turn the mat, that’s great. But if not, here’s a little technique: Take a ruler, just slide it in underneath, and then you’re able to turn the ruler. And slide it back down. So I’ve not shifted my fabric at all. Now I’m able to cut. The ruler comes with three different measurements. So if you like a 2″ binding, it does have a 2″ mark. A 2¼, or a 2½, it is all marked on the ruler. So you’re going to be able to take that ruler and line it up to whatever measurement you want, and cut. I like to do 2¼” binding, so I’m going to use the 2¼” line. What’s really great about this ruler, it has that non-slip back, so it’s going to be very easy to handle. So line up the marking that you want, and cut. And, you have your first strip done. What’s really nice about using this folding technique is your corners are already at a 45° angle. So when you bring them to the machine, they’re already cut for you. From here, you’re just going to be able to continue to cut your strips. If you find you’re having a problem cutting, getting over that hump, there is a way you can start. You can start with your blade just in a little bit. Start there, go back, and then go forward. And that’s going to help get over that hump of that fabric. So I’m able to cut all of those strips without lifting the fabric. Without having to work with that very large amount of fabric. At the very end you’re going to find a small piece, so I usually put that aside. I have this beautiful stack that I can bring to the machine and just put on my lap and draw from as I’m sewing. You now have the angle cut perfect for you. You will be able to take this and match up right sides and just fold that over so that both right sides are touching. You want to use that straight line right along there to match up those edges. And this is one time that those dog ears are going to come in handy, because we want a quarter inch hanging out from one side, a quarter inch hanging out from the other. And that will give us that perfect straight line to follow on the machine. So when you start stitching, you’re going to be able to put your sewing machine needle right there in that corner and stitch down right off. Which means, when you come to the end you’re going to come right off on that corner. Just remember you need to come into that corner and come out of that corner. Press that seam open. And it’s going to save the bulk right inside that binding. I’m going to fold that dog ear back and you’re going to be able to see that straight line. Once you have it pressed you can cut off the ears if you’d like, or just leave them. When that’s pressed open, take the binding, fold it in half so that the seams are inside and press it right in half. And there you have your perfect bias binding. There’s a few other features that are really good about this ruler. Number one: The 45° angle that is cut there. When you put your binding on your quilt and you come to the end, if you want to cut and join at that 45° angle, that’s already done for you. The other great feature is it has the non-slip back, which really helps with the cutting. And you don’t have to worry about losing the paper directions with this ruler, because the directions are printed right on the ruler; even how you need to fold it. So this makes it really easy. I find this ruler is really great to have in your ruler collection. Not only to do the bias binding, but for the simple reason is it’s pre-cut at 2½”. 2½” is a very popular measurement in quilting. When we’re cutting our fabric, we need to make sure that the ruler is right on that 2½-inch measurement. You’re off a quarter inch, your strips are going to be off. So this is already pre-cut to 2½”. And because it has the two extra lines there for 2¼” and 2″, there’s not a lot of lines to look at and count with. So it is a quick ruler to be able to cut strips at 2″, 2¼”, and the popular one at 2½”. And the bonus is, you have a 45° angle. If you ever need to trim a block a quarter inch down, that little ¼” edge is great because the entire ¼” has a non-slip back so the fabric does not shift from underneath. And you can still use this ruler if you’re going to use your binding on the straight of grain. Because it has those three popular measurements, you’re going to able to just put the ruler down and cut. No different than using it for the bias. Even though it’s called Bias Binding Simplified, I think it’s just a simple ruler to use. Thank you for joining me today on SewVeryEasy. Feel free to subscribe and, as always, come on back. Let’s see what we’re sewing next time
in the sewing room. Bye for now!