Archive | September 2017

How To Create a Bias Binding from ONE square of fabric and TWO seams.

When I have a few gorgeous scrap leftovers from projects, I usually CAN’T throw them away.  There’s a reason I bought ‘em in the first place.  I love the fabric!  So I cut 2 1/2″ strips from a lot of the leftovers, and keep that in a shoebox size tub.  Once that is full, there’s usually enough for a tote or a lap quilt.  (I can give you the scrap tote tutorial how – to later).  Other scraps are too small, so I cut 3″ squares, put them in a different shoebox size container, and wait for the day it’s full…Irish chain, here I come!  Needless to say, I have a few shoe boxes of various size floating around…true story.

When I get a nice, big slice of pretty – I like to use that for a bias binding.  There are just some projects that benefit nicely from a bias cut binding: any curves will easily and smoothly fall into place with the stretchy forgiveness of a bias.  Depending on the size, you can create binding for a myriad of projects with just one small square of fabric!

- 8″ square will yield about 24″ of 2 1/2″ bias binding

- 14″ square will yield about 78″ of 2 1/2″ bias binding.  (what I used to create TWO candy corn potholders and one mug rug- with leftovers)

- 20″ square will yield about 150″ of 2 1/2″ bias binding.

I give you these numbers, because this is what I have done so far.  Did I do the crazy math and arrive at my numbers?  NO.  (you need to sign up for my friend Patrice’s blog for that kind of effort).  These are simply squares I have cut, made and measured myself, so these are my actual numbers.

For supplies, you will need:

- a clear ruler


- pins

- one square of fabric

- sewing machine and iron

Let’s get to it! 

This tutorial uses a 14″ square of fabric.  Place your ruler corner to corner, and cut diagonally.  Match the two triangles right sides together as shown, and stitch with a 1/4″ seam.  Press open to reveal your newly formed parallelogram!
Practice telling this to all  your friends: “In Euclidean geometry, a parallelogram is a simple (non-self-intersecting) quadrilateral with two pairs of parallel sides. The opposite or facing sides of a parallelogram are of equal length and the opposite angles of a parallelogram are of equal measure.”

14″ square, cut diagonally

Ready to match up and stitch!

Match and pin the top edge. NOTE: the corners of the triangles go over the edge of the fabric on each side. When you stitch and press, this will disappear. Look at the photos closely to see!


closeup of the edge with overlapped points on each side.

The stitched edged, ready to press!

Press open your parallelogram. You are the boss.

I was taught to draw lines on the WRONG side of fabric, but it really does not matter as you will cut on the lines anyway: no one will see your lines!  However, old habits die hard, so it’s off to the cutting table to trace 2 1/2″ lines on my parallelogram.  (I just love saying parallelogram: makes me sound like such a geek).  I want a 2 1/2″ binding for my potholders, so I mark the LONG side of the parallelogram with 2 1/2″ lines.
Match the two edges, right sides together, to make a wonky tube that gives  you trouble.  (seriously).  If it matches perfectly, it will not cut correctly.  You want an open 2 1/2″ on EACH side, with NO MATCH, and the rest of the lines should match up at the seam line.  (not at the edge of fabric).

To achieve this, place a pin where you think you might sew, and check the other side where you pinned.  I pinned it wrong the first time to show you.  Look at the second time I pinned!  When you lay out your (wonky) tube, the lines match up perfectly!  Stitch.

Now, simply cut the line in one continuous circle until the binding is there before you!  Press all your seams and press in half along the long edge, wrong sides together.  READY TO BIND!!

THE PICTURES EXPLAIN ALL THIS!   Check out these photos:

Drawing a line every 2 1/2″ on the LONG side of your parallelogram. (W00t! Got to mention that again…)

The lines are in place, and I have trimmed off any excess.

If your two edges match perfectly, they will NOT work! Here is my bad example for you.

Pinning and checking my lines. You want the lines to match where you STITCH, not on the EDGE.


Look at that lineup! Score.

Pin and stitch.

Cut along the line for a continuous bias binding! Beautiful.

My pile ‘o binding from ONE 14″ square.

One 14″ square binds two potholders, a mug rug, and provides leftovers.
I think I want a candy corn coin purse. Scraps! Back to the drawing board!

 Would you like a kit for the potholder set?  $6.95, and it includes the pattern, all fabrics for top and backing…and of course, the binding!
Simply click on (most) any photo and you’ll travel to Holiday Town in my online shop.  Enjoy!