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How to draw with bias binding strips on your quilts

by Tania Denyer

Yesterday I went over making bias tape step by step using the UNIQUE Bias MakerIt takes a little practice but once you have the hang of it, it’s a lot of fun! Today I’m showing how to draw with bias binding strips.

  1. Make the background piece at least 2″ larger all around than you want your final piece to be. This allows for wiggle room while sewing the bias strips down. If you are making your own noodle bowl wall hanging you’ll use a ½ yard of bright red fabric.
  2. Press the background in half and half again to get a cross-crease to help position the pieces.
  3. Decide which line will be the first and pin it down. Use a lot of pins and ease the curves with your fingers. Don’t worry too much, a lot of the crinkle will be erased as it’s sewn down.
  4. Take the piece to the sewing machine and sew the inside edge of the bias strip down first. See my picture below. Often the bias strip will lay flat easier when you start with sewing the inner edge down.
  5. Take to the iron and press from both sides, front and back.
  6. Sew the outside edge of the bias tape.
  7. Press again.
  8. Continue with this process until your image is complete.

Some tips on how to applique bias strips

You may transfer the drawn image directly onto the background fabric if you prefer. Remember the bias tape won’t always behave exactly as wanted so use a light pencil or other removable marks in case the bias tape does not completely cover up the lines.

I chose to keep a copy of my design handy so I could compose the lines as I went. You can be as spontaneous or as planned as you prefer, this is your art!

Take your time stitching bias strips in place

When I applique, I choose to use my walking or my even feed foot. It allows for a flatter finished stitch and less bunching and stretching of the background fabric.

For my design, I lay down 4 of the noodles first, then add the chop sticks, two more noodles, bowl and finally the lettering.

If you’re making a noodle bowl of your own, the chopsticks are approximately 12″ long, the letters are about 2″ square when complete and the black strips below the bowl are 14″, 8″ and 8″.

I did not use HeatnBond Lite Iron-on adhesive on the back of the noodles as they were fairly easy to create, but I did use HeatnBond on the letters to keep them in place as I sewed them down.

HeatnBond Lite Iron-on adhesive is a good tool, use it carefully and remember you can’t easily move the bias tape once it’s fused in place.

When sewing, it’s easiest to change the thread color with each color of bias tape you sew. If you keep the bobbin thread the same, you avoid the pop-ups that happened in my work. (I used red as my bobbin thread for all colors).

A closer look at the lettering, you can see the stitching best on the ‘S’

To complete the ends of the bias tape you have a couple of options:

  1. Fold the bias tape over to make a squared end and sew down.
  2. Fold the bias tape at a 45 degree angle, sew all edges and trim the excess.

Below is an example of each.

Showing different ways to finish off bias strip ends.

Tomorrow I’ll look at how to quilt this bias tape masterpiece made with the UNIQUE Bias Tape Maker!

I was hoping to capture the quirkiness of vintage restaurant signs… was it a success?

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go to part 2: Simple steps to bias tape with UNIQUE Bias Tape Maker!

Go to part 4: Indispensable tips for bias tape applique quilting


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