How to Make Bias Binding: A Step-By-Step Guide
Making Continuous Bias Binding from a Square
Fabric for bias binding traditionally is cut diagonally, which requires more yardage than other binding types. For less fabric waste, try preparing bias binding using a single square of fabric.
1. Determine what size square you need for your binding length using the process, below. Cut a square of fabric to that size.
Multiply your quilt perimeter by binding strip width to find the total inches of bias binding you need.
Quilt perimeter: 350"
Bias binding strip width: 2-1/2"
Find the square root of the total and round up to the next whole number.
The square root of 875" is 29.6"; round up to 30".
Add 3" for seaming strips together. 30"+3"=33".
In this case, a 33" square of fabric would be needed for bias binding.
Click here to download a chart of the amount of continuous binding you can cut from various size squares.
2. Cut the square in half diagonally to form two triangles. Align short triangle edges (Photo A).
3. With right sides together, sew short triangle edges together with a 1/4" seam allowance (Photo B). Press seam open.
4. On the wrong side of the fabric, use a ruler and a fabric marker or pencil to draw lines parallel to long bias edges, spacing lines the desired width of binding strip (Photo C).
5. With right sides together, bring straight-grain edges together to create a tube. Align raw edges and offset corners so marked lines align (Photo D).
6. Pin offset raw edges together, keeping marked lines aligned. Sew pinned edges together with a 1/4" seam allowance (Photo E); press seam open.
7. Cut fabric tube on marked lines in a continuous spiral (Photo F) to create a bias binding strip.
8. Prepare bias binding strip as a double-fold binding and sew it to your quilt.
Cutting and Sewing Bias Binding Strips
1. Begin with a fabric square or rectangle. Use a large acrylic ruler to square up the edge of the fabric and find the 45-degree angle.
2. Cut enough strips to total the length needed, handling the edges carefully to avoid stretching or distorting the strips.
3. Position and pin the strips perpendicular to one another with the raw edges aligned and right sides together. Mark, then join the strips with diagonal seams to make one continuous binding strip. Trim the excess fabric, leaving 1/4 " seam allowances.
4. Press the seams open and trim the dog-ears
Quick-Cut Bias Binding
To quickly cut binding strips on the bias, start with a fabric square or rectangle. The diagrams shown illustrate a 5⁄8-yard length of 42"-wide fabric. If your fabric piece is a different size, the folded fabric may look different, although the instructions will be the same.
1. Lay out the fabric so the selvage edges are in the upper right and lower left. Fold the lower selvage edge to the cut edge, creating a 45º angle.
2. Fold the bottom corner up on top of first fold.
3. Fold top corner down on top of first and second folds.
4. Using a rotary cutter and acrylic ruler, trim off left-hand folded edge.
5. Cutting from trimmed edge, cut the desired-width bias strips.
6. Strips will be a variety of lengths; piece strips to equal the desired length of binding strip.