Continuous Bias Binding
Anyone can make a simple quilt with a top, bottom, and batting in the middle. What typically throws people off is how to finish the edges. Although there are a million different options for binding a quilt, making a continuous bias binding is the quickest and most economical option. With an extra yard of fabric (for a queen size) and about 15 minutes of your time you can have a perfectly coordinating binding that will evenly and smoothly stretch around your entire quilt. Using a binding that is not cut on the bias can cause the binding to pucker and roll.
Step 1: Keeping your fabric folded in half (the way it is when your purchase it) cut the width to 3/8 of a yard.
Step 2: Unfold fabric and lay on a flat surface. Fold one corner down to create a 45 degree angle, press. (This identifies the bias)
Step 3: Cut along pressed line (save cut triangle). Your rectangle will now begin to look like a parallelogram.
Step 4: Using an Omnigrid (or similar) ruler mark a 2” or 2 ½” line following the bias. (Marking on the WRONG side of the fabric will make step 7 easier).
Step 5: Continue marking lines (of identical distance) along the length of fabric until you reach the far corner (in other words, stop making lines when your lines start becoming smaller).
Step 6: Cut off the remaining triangle of unmarked fabric creating a complete parallelogram.
Step 7: With RIGHT sides together match pencil lines and pin, with the first marked section hanging over the edge. Continue pinning along the entire marked area creating a tube with two uneven ends. This can be tricky and may take some practice. Just remember you want the lines to match up exactly AFTER the seam has been made, so the lines may be off about 1/4" similar to step 14. Don't be afraid to unpick and try again if you don't get it the first time. Eventually it will get easier.
Step 8: Sew a ¼” seam along the pinned edge, press seam open.
Step 9: Following the pencil lines carefully cut the entire tube creating a continuous strip of fabric.
Step 10: Press the binding in half with WRONG sides together.
Step 11: If your quilt is large you will need more binding than this one 3/8 piece will give you. Repeat steps 1-10 with your remaining large piece of fabric. Be sure to keep your triangles from steps 3 & 6 to make even more binding by following the instruction in steps 12-15.
Step 12: Using an Omnigrid (or similar) ruler mark a 2” or 2 ½” line following the longest edge of the triangle (the bias). Repeat as many times as the size of fabric will allow.
Step 13: Cut along marked lines.
Step 14: With RIGHT sides together line up two strip ends creating a 90 degree angle. Do not line the edges up evenly; create a ¼” allowance for the seam. Sew.
Step 15: Lay strip flat, press seam open. Attach to other binding strips by repeating step 14.
Congrats! You have made a continuous bias binding. Check back soon for instructions on how to attach the binding to your quilt.