Have you ever made your own bias appliqué strips?
Even though bias tape is widely available in a rainbow of colors, making your bias strips is easy and it gives you absolute control–from finished width to fabric selection.
In her new book Lines by Design Quilts, Debbie Grifka shares her technique for making the bias strips which she uses for appliqué. She uses this technique in several of the 17 quilt patterns included in this book to create bold quilts with strong graphic impact.
Here are Debbie’s easy instructions for making your own bias appliqué tape:
1. Cut strips of fabric on the bias (a 45˚ angle) instead of across the width (the way fabric is most often cut). For bias that is 1⁄4″ wide, I cut my strips 3⁄4″ wide.
2. Bias cuts give the fabric a wonderful stretch that lends itself to flexible and beautiful curves. To maintain that flexibility, always use a bias seam when joining two strips together.
3. Set your machine for a long basting stitch. Fold the bias approximately in thirds but do NOT press before you baste. Don’t fold the raw edges all the way to the opposite side as they can poke out on the quilt when you need to turn corners.
4. Baste down the center of the strip, taking care not to stretch the bias. Let it feed gently into the machine, folding more as you stitch. If there are seams connecting the bias strips, pin these intersections as you baste.
5. Most likely there will be a few lumps and bumps the first few times you try this method; just remove a few basting stitches and try again. The more you do this, the easier it will be to keep it even.
Now are you ready to try making your own bias strips?
Take this new technique out for a spin when you download a bonus pattern from Debbie! The Daisy Pillow uses curves of bright white bias appliqué to create a vivid quilted design with movement. Click here to download the Daisy Pillow pattern.
If you’re in the mood for a home décor project, here’s another treat from Debbie. In the Lines Pillow, Debbie pairs folded fabric with simple strip piecing to create volume with a visual punch. Click here to download the Lines Pillow pattern.
P.S. Do you make your own bias appliqué strips? Share your technique tips by leaving a comment below.