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The magic and math to making perfect bias binding

by Christine Baker

Yesterday on QUILTsocial I got the Double Wedding Ring quilt quilted, so today I’m ready to make and sew on the binding using the Dreamweaver XE.

Since the edges of this quilt are curved, normal binding just won’t work the way we want it to, so I need to make a bias binding. Since this isn’t something I normally do, I’ll show you a super easy way to do it!

 

The Dreamweaver XE from Brother.

The Dreamweaver XE from Brother.

 

Step 1 – figure out what you need

The first step to making bias binding is to figure out how much binding you need. Yesterday we measured the perimeter of my table topper and I figured out that I need 122″ of binding.

Step 2 – calculate the size of square needed

I’ll make the bias binding using a square of fabric.

Now, bear with me because I’ll do a little quilter’s ‘math’! To determine the amount of binding a square will produce, multiply the length of 2 of its sides and then divide by the width of the binding you want to use. For example, if you use a 40″ square, multiply 40 x 40 = 1600 ÷ 2.5 = 640. It will yield 640″ of binding from a 40″ square.

So, if you know how much binding you want, do the opposite: multiply the length of binding needed (122″) by the width of binding desired (I always make 2½” binding). Then get the square root – get your calculator to do this.

So 122 x 2.5 = 305. Press the √ button on your calculator and then the number you got when you multiplied (305) and it will tell you what size square to cut. The answer was 17.46, so I cut an 18″ square.

Step 3 – cut the square diagonally

Cut a square the required size making sure the corners are at 90° angles then carefully cut a diagonal line from corner to corner. Depending on the size of your square, you may need to mark it before you cut it.

 

Cut diagonally.

Cut diagonally.

 

Step 4 – sew the triangles together

With right sides together sew the top edge of the square to the bottom edge of the square and then press this seam open.

 

Press open.

Press open.

 

This lopsided diamond shape is the result of sewing the two triangles together.

 

Lopsided diamond shape

Lopsided diamond shape

 

Step 5 – mark cutting lines

Using your rotary cutting ruler and a marker, mark lines on the wrong side of the fabric parallel to the bias edges. Make the space between the lines 2½” (to make 2½” wide binding).

 

Lines drawn 2½" apart

Lines drawn 2½” apart

 

Step 6 – make a tube

Bring the right sides of the non-bias edges together to make a tube of fabric. Shift the edges so that the edge of one side is lined up with the first marked line of the other side.

 

Make a tube.

Make a tube.

 

Step 7 – sew

Sew the seam making sure that the lines all match up.

 

Sew the seam.

Sew the seam.

 

Step 8 – cut

Press the seam open and then use scissors to cut along the continuous line from one side of the tube to the other.

 

Press then cut.

Press then cut.

 

Step 9 – Press

Press the binding in half lengthwise the same as you would do with a non-bias binding.

 

Fold in half and press.

Fold in half and press.

 

Now sew the binding to the edge of the quilt, stretching it slightly as you stitch around the curves.

 

Sew on the binding

Sew on the binding

 

When you get to one of the inner corners, stop stitching ¼” in from the edge. Let the Dreamweaver XE drop the needle into the quilt and then lift the presser foot.

 

Stop with needle down

Stop with needle down

 

Pivot the quilt so that the edge on the next side of the corner is lined up with the correct mark on the presser foot.

 

Pivot the quilt

Pivot the quilt

 

Align the binding with the edge of the quilt, then drop the presser foot of the Dreamweaver XE and continue stitching around the next curve.

You can use an awl to keep the binding behind the foot from getting caught in the new stitching line.

 

Align the binding

Align the binding

 

Flip the free edge of the binding to the back of the quilt and then use pins or Wonder Clips to keep it in place.

Hand stitch the binding to the back of the quilt using a thread that matches the binding.

 

Wonder clip the binding

Wonder clip the binding

 

Here’s the finished table topper! I’m very pleased with how it turned out and really amazed that I tackled Double Wedding Ring blocks successfully!

 

The finished table topper

The finished table topper

 

Thanks for hanging out with me this week (and my week last month) to learn all about Double Wedding Ring blocks – I hope I’ve given you the confidence to try your own project using this classic block.

This is my last week using the Brother Dreamweaver XE – it’s been a great machine to use for piecing, quilting and embroidery so I can’t wait to try out the new Brother machine that’s coming my way!

 

This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4: Quilting made easy with the dual feed foot on the Dreamweaver XE

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8 comments

Beth T. May 6, 2019 - 1:32 am

Thanks for this! I have so many quilts to bind–now I feel like I’m ready to tackle bias binding.

Reply
Susan Spiers May 4, 2019 - 7:28 pm

So pretty! The best way to make binding!

Reply
Deanna Ellett May 4, 2019 - 11:10 am

Thanks! Just when I needed to make bias binding

Reply
Kathy Eyre May 3, 2019 - 4:54 pm

Thanks!! I always need to review this

Reply
Lisa England May 2, 2019 - 6:10 am

Thanks for this very useful information. I don’t make bias binding very often so I always need to review the instructions. This will be a hand reference.

Reply
Carla A. Canonico May 2, 2019 - 11:08 am

I know what you mean, I have many such references by my sewing machine! Thank you for sharing and visiting.

Reply
Diane Mikkonen April 30, 2019 - 8:36 pm

Very useful information. Hopefully it will work out for me.

Reply
Linda Webster April 30, 2019 - 5:41 pm

Thank you so much for the tutorial for making bias binding. It looks so easy!

Reply

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