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Bias binding tips and tricks; I’m using metal Quilters Bias Bars.

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    Bias binding tips and tricks; I’m using metal Quilters Bias Bars.

    I thought I’d share my method for making the bias stems for this quilt. Pleas feel free to share your methods and tips.

    I’m using metal “Quilters Bias Bars”, with a few modifications to the regular directions to reduce the bulk of the seam allowance. I did not invent this method of removing the seam allowance. I watched a YouTube video by ABQConnieSue.

    1. for the 1/8 inch wide stems, I cut my bias strips at least 1 inch wide to make them easier to handle throughout the process. I don’t press the fold before I sew the tubes.

    2. I sew the bias with the folded edge to the right and the raw edge to the left, so I’m setting up my machine to stitch just a little wider than 1/8 inch by moving my needle over to the left just a little, and I adhere a seam guide to the bed of my machine to help me guide the fabric. I use a bright contrasting thread in both the needle and the bobbin so that the seam is really easy to see. I sew a sample to make sure it’s easy to insert the bias bar, and make any necessary adjustments to my settings.

    Note: sewing with the fold on the right is different than the directions that come with the bias bars. But, this way you can cut your strips wider than the directions and you will still get the correct size finished bias.

    3. Insert the bias bar into the tube you just made, and turn the seam to the center back of the bias and press per the directions. I press the tube with just steam to make sure the seam is centered, then when I’m happy, I press again with a little spray of best press. This is the last time I’ll press the bias strip. Remove the bias bar.

    4. With very sharp, very pointed scissors (I use Karen K Buckley’s green handled appliqué scissors because I can cut really accurately), cut down one side of the seam allowance as close as possible to the stitches. Here’s where it helps that you used a contrasting thread. Then, cut down the other side of the seam to completely remove the seam allowance.

    Note: I make the bias up to the pressing step, then wait to trim the seam allowance until I’m going to stitch it down onto the block so that the strip is more stable for storing it.

    Last edited by Beth B.; 01-05-2022, 03:20 PM. Reason: Added note about storing untrimmed bias strips
    Beth Bell Lavoie

    Beth, I wish I had a LOVE button. Excellent instructions for those who are interested. Very similar to Karen K Buckley's method that she demos on the Master Class for Appliique Part 1--she actually sews the seam with the bar inside the tube--hers are plastic, not metal. Thank you for taking the time to provide this info.
    Barbara Black
    Huntsville AL
    "I am a part of all that I have met." A. Lord Tennyson


    • Beth B. commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you so much for your kind comments, Barbara. I always worried that if I sewed with the bar inserted, I could break my needle or do worse damage to my machine. Then I saw this method and loved it. It’s a lot less fiddlely and more accurate at the machine to sew from the folded side, and I like how it eliminates the bulk. Pretty ingenious.

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