Making continuous bias tape can be super quick and easy. We love the option of making binding to match your quilt perfectly, instead of hoping you find something close enough that's pre done. Another advantage of making your own bias tape, is that you get to pick the width! Whether you like skinny or wide binding, you can customize to your project.
What is Bias Binding?
The difference between binding made from strips cut edge to edge and bias binding is simply that bias binding is cut 45 degrees from the selvedge. This allows for extra stretch and give in the binding compared to binding made from strips cut on grain.
When do I need Bias Binding?
There are a couple situations where you might want bias binding instead of simply cutting strips.
The first is when you want to change the direction of the print. For our binding, we have a regular striped fabric, but we want the stripes to go on a diagonal on the finished quilt. Cutting the binding on a bias allows us to do that.
The second situation is if you have any curves in your quilt edge. While most of the quilts we make have straight edges and 90 degree corners, occasionally you may want to step outside the norm and put curves or rounded corners on a project and using bias binding makes it really easy to finish those curved edges.
How to Make DIY Bias Binding
The first step to making binding is to cut a square. The size of the square you are going to cut depends on your needed length. Don't worry, you don't have to stress the math, we've done all the work for you!
Pin the chart below so that you can always find it easily.
When determining the length of binding you will need for your quilt, add all four sides, and include about 15-20 extra inches for corners and sewing the ends. We always like to plan a little extra as well, just in case. There's nothing worse that getting to the end of the quilt and realizing you are short a few inches!
After you have cut out your square, we are going to cut it in half on the diagonal. This is going to create our bias edge.
Now, we need to sew those two triangles back together. Flip one of the triangles and putting right sides together, line up two straight edges. If you have any prints to match up, go ahead and do that. That helps it to really look like a continuous binding. It's not necessary though and with some prints you won't be able to tell if the print isn't matching perfectly.
Iron your seam and lining the ruler up along the bias edge, draw lines the width that you want your binding to be. We prefer 2 1/4" strips for our binding. After you've drawn the first line, draw another line the same width from the first line and continue along the width of the fabric. You may end up with a strip at the end that isn't quite wide enough. That's totally okay. Simply stick an x on that strip to remind us not to sew it later.
Now, fold the parallelogram in a tube right sides together and line up the drawn lines, offsetting one of the strips. Keep in mind, when you are lining them up, you will have a 1/4" seam, so offset the lines by 1/4". An easy way to check this is to place a pin in your line 1/4" from the edge of the fabric and poke it directly into the line on the opposite side 1/4" from the edge. Sew 1/4" seam, stopping when you get to the edge marked with an x. Do not sew this small piece. We want a full strip hanging past where we've sewn, offsetting the one that we started with.
Now it's time to cut! Starting with the extra width that isn't wide enough, cut directly on your line with scissors. When you get around to the bias strips that you are keeping, continue cutting all the way around until you reach the end. You now have one long piece of bias tape that can be used to bind any project you are working on!