Bias-cut fabric strips are super useful in quilt making. Curving vines in appliqué quilt patterns wouldn’t exist without them. And bias-cut quilt binding strips are a must for quilts with curved edges, like scallops, and a cute plus for certain binding fabrics like stripes. But most applications take a lot of bias-cut strips, and cutting on the bias can be tricky since the bias grain of fabric is very stretchy. So what’s a quilter to do?
There is a very cool method for making as long a bias-cut strip as you need, in 1 continuous strip. I’m not exaggerating when I say…it’s almost like magic! If you haven’t tried it yet, grab a square of fabric, fabric marker, rotary cutter, and a nice long ruler and watch our free how-to video by editor-in-chief emeritus Beth Hayes. You can also refer to the instructions below, but you definitely want to watch the video to get the hang of this technique.
Step 1. Determine how many inches of bias-cut strip you need. If using for quilt binding, allow 10″ extra for turning corners and the closure. The equation is: [(height of quilt + width of quilt) x 2] + 10. Refer to chart to find the size fabric square needed.
|Size Fabric Square to Cut|
|110˝||14˝ square||16˝ square||18˝ square||20˝ square|
|220˝||19˝ square||23˝ square||26˝ square||28˝ square|
|340˝||23˝ square||28˝ square||32˝ square||35˝ square|
|480˝||28˝ square||33″ square||37˝ square||40˝ square|
Step 2. Cut the square in half diagonally (Diagram I).
Step 3. With right sides together, sew the triangles together with a 1/4″ seam and press open (Diagram II).
On fabric wrong side long edges, draw lines to make strips of your chosen width. Use a clear acrylic rotary ruler and a pencil or fine-point permanent pen to draw the lines.
Step 4. Bring the short diagonal edges together, forming a tube (Diagram III). Offset the drawn lines by one strip. With right sides together, match lines with pins at the 1/4″ seamline and stitch seam; press open.
With scissors, cut along continuously drawn line.
That’s all there is to it! Presto change-o, you have yards of continuous bias-cut strip.
Remember, you can watch any of our free MQU how-to-quilt video lessons any time day or night—click here to see the full selection.