Friday, August 27, 2010

Bias Strips.....


I have a pet peeve....I can hardly stand to cut bias strips. I have the rotary cutter, ruler and mat....but I have to keep them stored and the thought of dragging them out every time I need them doesn't appeal to me. Instead I usually lay the fabric out and using a ruler and a blue water-soluble marker outline the size strip I need and then cut with scissors. But...if I get a wild hair and pull out the rotary cutter, ruler and mat...then I cut a bunch of bias strips just to have when I need them. I do this a lot with ginghams because I am always using them for piping, bindings, and facings. So today when I was working on a sweet little dress and needed a couple of bias strips for some piping, all I had to do was glance into my jar and see if I had any pre-cut. And I did. And that sure brought a quick smile to my face. I'll be stitching some piping now if you need me!!!

4 comments:

Ginny said...

I hate cutting bias strips, too. Even with the rotary cutter. So you're not alone!

Goosegirl said...

Me too Cindy. I hate cutting bias strips. But your jar of gingham bias sure looks pretty.

Ellie Inspired said...

I do the same thing with using scissors instead of dragging out my mat! Great idea to cut up a bunch and put them in a jar. Thanks!

pirate said...

Cindy, I was the same way about bias strips. Not only did I *hate* cutting them (because it always left an awkward piece of fabric) but 50% of the time, I could *not* figure out which way to sew the strips to get a straight piece of bias!

Then, I discovered the continuous bias tube technique. It absolutely changed my outlook on bias.

While most directions have you start with a square of fabric, these directions use a rectangle .. and use up *every bit* of it .. minimal waste! From a fat quarter (18"x22") or a 1/4 yard of fabric, you can make over *5* yards of a continuous bias strip (2-1/4" wide) with only *2* seams. It takes me about 1 hour from getting the fabric to the final cutting. You'd get even more bias if the strip was less than 2-1/4".

And boy, do I feel incredibly *smug* about it. :-)

It's not *my* technique; I can't remember where I first learned it but I did make a tutorial on how to do it (mainly so *I* wouldn't forget!) on my website. The URL for the directions are http://pir8.freeservers.com/quilting/CBT/index.htm and there is a PDF version of it available on that page so you can print out your own copy.

(If you don't wish to publish this on your blog, that's fine .. I couldn't find a way to email you privately. I just wanted to bring this method to your attention.)

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