Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bias Binding - fold then cut



I *love* bias binding.  

A few of my first quilts have been loved so much that their straight WOF (width of fabric) bindings have worn away - right at the fold.

Bias binding has lots of advantages - eases nicely around curves and corners, and has the added strength of multiple threads on that outer fold.  With WOF binding, you have only one or two threads at that outer fold, but with bias you have many threads to support that fold.  Give it a little test (I'll wait while yor find a piece of fabric, anything will do!) - take a piece of fabric, fold it along the width (or length) - you have one or two threads right at the fold, right?  Now fold it on the bias - see how many more threads you have woven there?

I've done lots and lots of bias bindings using the 'tube' method, which works very well.  It's a bit fiddly and I don't cut with scissors (apparently I have no scissor cutting skills), rather I use my rotary cutter and put a long, thin rotary cutting mat in the centre of the tube and carefully (so I don't go off that mat) cut using my rotary cutter.  But sometimes I just can't get the seams to match up right and sometimes I can't get it started right and end up with a jumbled mess.  Examples of this method can easily be found by Googling 'Continuous Bias Binding' or check these out ... McCalls Quilting Bias Binding Tutorial or Craftsy Bias Binding.

And I now have a new favourite method!  This method folds the fabric into the bias and then you cut bias strips.  You do have to connect the strips, but that's quick and easy.  Here is a link to a good tutorial I found ... Silver Thimble Quilt Bias Binding Tutorial.

For my first test, I needed about 240" of binding.  I cut an 18" strip of fabric (WOF) so it started out 18" x 42".  I didn't cut off the selvedges until the strips were cut (so I wouldn't get mixed up on where the real edges were).

Ended up with 300" of beautiful bias binding, with almost no waste!

Here were my steps ...


18" cut full width of fabric, pull the top left corner down

Fold the lower edge up

Fold up again

Folded up and up then carefully moved to begin cutting 

Use one ruler across the fabric to get a good true edge, abut another ruler to cut a thin slice off the folded edge

Folded edge slice - now I have a nice clean edge to cut slices from

I cut my slices at 2 1/2"

All the slices

Trim off the selvedges

Join the slices

Press the new long continuous binding in half - a couple of small triangles are all that is left over!  This 18" cut yielded 300" of 2 1/2" continuous bias binding!
Here is another link to a chart for how to calculate how much fabric you need for making bias binding ... http://www.generations-quilt-patterns.com/bias-binding.html

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Swatch Quilt - Transparency




February's theme at our London Modern Quilt Guild was on transparency.  This pattern, designed by the Modern Quilt Studio was great fun to put together! 

Spent an afternoon pulling fabrics and another cutting the pieces.  Cutting out a whole quilt at once is something I almost never do!  Usually I cut a segment or block to be sure I like the result and understand the pattern.  

At our meeting, there were great examples of what to look for to get the effect of transparency.  

Many of the fabrics I had selected were batik, and it turns out I had more of a 'transition' effect than transparency.  Some were ok, and I liked the mix of additive or  desaturating effects.  I did swap out a couple of my original choices when I got back home and am pretty happy with the overall look now.

The quilting on this was organic straight lines (horizontal, then turned the quilt to get cross hatching).

Fun and done!  Washed and cuddly :)



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