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Cutting on the bias for quilting

Updated: Aug 2, 2021

Fabric cut on the bias is stretchier than fabric cut along the weft (width of the bolt). It can be used to make your own bias tape and for decorative applique blocks. Bias tape is easy to make and by making your own you don't have to try and colour match to the tape found on the market.

So how do you make your own bias cut fabric?

Most rulers have degree lines on them so you can cut your fabric at different angles. Bias fabric is cut using the 45 degrees line on the ruler.

Straighten you fabric so you have a straight line to measure against.

I am right handed so I straighten the fabric on my right and cut the widths I need by placing the new straight edge on my left. It will be the opposite for left handed people.

Still on your straightening side, line up your 45 degree line on the straight edge you have just cut.

Cut the corner of the fabric off.

Turn the fabric to your cutting side so the diagonal line is vertical and use the straight lines of the ruler (or mat for larger pieces) to measure the width of bias you want.

Cut the fabric and measure your next piece to cut.

The strips can be made into bias tape using a tape maker. You can buy fusible tape to make your own fusible bias tape to use in decorative projects.

In quilting, fusible bias tape can be used in applique blocks to great effect. Because of it's stretch, it can be used to make curved features and Celtic applique. Depending on the width of your tape, it can be machine stitched with a twin needle or hand stitched at the edges. Here are just two examples of the bias tape I have made and used in blocks:

The Wreath uses hand stitched applique and the Stained Glass Flower uses machine applique. Both these patterns with full video tutorials are available for sale, click on the pictures for more information.

Have a go at making your own and let us know how you get on.

Happy stitching!



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