Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rounded Quilt Corners {a bias binding tutorial}

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Thanks for all the awesome comments on my Bliss quilt!  I got more than a few questions and requests to show how I did my curved or rounded corner binding so I thought I would do that today. 

Curves might look a little frightening but if you cut your strips on the bias and piece them together properly you are almost golden.  When you are done you will have a unique and eye-catching quilt!  It might seem like there are a lot of steps but if you take them one at a time, you will be surprised how fast this goes.

Preparing your quilt:

I used a Pyrex bowl and placed it on the edges of each corner.  Center it on the angle and trace with a marking pen or pencil. Repeat for each corner and then carefully trim along your traced lines.

Making the Bias Binding {this is super easy and fast}:

Open your fabric with no folds

Fold your bottom selvage side up to the cut side create a 45 degree angle

Turn the fabric so that the fold you just made is on your left

Fold up on top of the first fold

Fold down

Cut off the left fold {this is a really thin strip} 

 Cut your strips {you will be left with two triangles on the right}

*I always cut my binding strips 2 1/4" wide but this tutorial will work with whatever size strip you like to use*

Now match your ends and stitch them together with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Press your seams and then press your strip in half width-wise to make your binding.  You are now ready to attach your binding!

Attaching your binding:

Lay your binding strip with the raw edges matching the raw edge of the quilt.  I highly recommend using a walking foot if you have one.  I don't pin the strip to the quilt but if you are more comfortable doing so then go ahead and do that.

Begin stitching your binding in the middle of one of the sides of the quilt.  Stitch until you get to the curve and stop.  Raise your foot with the needle down and turn your quilt slightly so that your foot begins to line up with the beginning of the curve.  Lower your foot and S-L-O-W-L-Y stitch around the curve. 

Don't stretch the binding, just let it follow the curve as you stitch.  {If you stretch your binding your corners won't lay flat}  If your fabric starts looking like it is getting a pucker in it; stop and raise your foot.  Tug gently on the strip and then lower your foot and keep stitching.  If you go slow it really isn't hard!

Continue attaching your binding like normal and repeat the the step above for each curve.  Once you get to the end, stitch your ends together with your preferred method.  Your binding is secure and now you are golden!

Finishing your binding:

Hand stitch your binding to the back of your quilt with your preferred method.  I use binding clips and they are especially helpful in keeping the curves smooth.  There really isn't a trick to stitching the curve down; just follow the curve and don't pull on the binding... let the binding clips do the work.

  Let me know if you have any questions!


Amelia said...

I love your Bliss quilt Jennifer!! Thanks for a fantastic tutorial!

Betty said...

Thanks a lot for a really useful, super easy tutorial!
No need to buys tools for this job!
You've just made my day!

Karenkay said...

Thank you so much for the binding tips and the quilt is lovely!

Tammy Vasser said...

Great job on the tutorial! Maybe a book is in your future ;)

randi said...

i do love the curves on the quilt! thanks for the how-to!

Terriaw said...

Fabulous tute! I always forget the right way to fold and cut fabric for a bias cut, so I'm saving this one for reference. Love the look of rounded corners on your Bliss quilt!

Anonymous said...

LOVE your Bliss quilt. What pattern did you use? I have a Bliss layer cake and would like to make one too.

Thank You

Leslie said...

this is an awesome tutorial...the most clear answer on how to cut on the bias that i have ever seen...thanks

Staci said...

Very nice tutorial, thank you!

Carla said...

Great visual guide on cutting the bias strips, Jennifer! Thanks.

quiltzyx said...

I think you must have been reading my mind...last night I was thinking "I need to look up how to cut a bias binding."!!
Thanks so much. I believe I can manage now...

Dolly said...

You gave very nice directions for doing this. I often use rounded corners, especially on bed-sized quilts. I hadn't even noticed that there aren't many instructions out there for doing so.

Good note especially on NOT pulling on the binding as you sew around those curves. It DOES cause the 'corners' to cup if you pull that tight.

And that IS a very pretty zigzag quilt, by the way !

Live a Colorful Life said...

What a great tutorial. I have only done bias binding a couple of times, and never with that many folds. Your way looks way better than what I have done in the past. Thanks, Jennifer!

...julia... said...

I think I will try that next time, thanks for the tip!

karlyn Jackson said...

thank you, I have been wanting to do round edges for ages, Now I'm good to go.

Alexis said...

I almost always do rounded corners and bias binding. I have an acrylic template for different size curves which helps. I had to learn the hard way to not pull on the binding to keep it from cupping around the curve. That is a new way to cup bias binding for me. Will try it next time.

Sally said...

This is a very clear tutorial on how to make the bias cut binding....Thank You! I've been wondering how to do this and all of the other instructions I have read have not be clear (at least to me). Admittedly, I haven't gone out searching for other instructions...but now I won't have to! Can't wait to try some curved edges on a smallish quilt!

Valerie said...

Just a quick question ---- are you working with 1 yard, a 1/2 yard, or doesn't the measurement matter with this method for cutting the binding?

Beth J said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial. I am ALWAYS forgetting how to fold the fabric for bias binding. And now curves don't look that complicated. This page is bookmarked for sure!

Jan said...

Great tutorial on making your own binding. I will have to try that. I make my baby receiving/swaddling blankets with round corners so I can use the binding.
And thanks to Randi for pointing me here :-)

Tif / Halu-Halo said...

great tut on how to fold the fabric to get those strips!!!! thank you!

Ashley Paige said...

Thanks for the tutorial on cutting bias binding - I was just talking with a friend this morning about how I needed to figure out how to do that. Thanks & your Bliss quilt is super cute.

Kiera said...

Great tutorial. Thank you! My next quilt that I am trying has rounded corners and I definately will use this info.


twin fibers said...

I love the rounded corners! Will have to try that on a quilt, soon.

Katrina said...

This is so genius! I am using your tutorial right now, to make bias for a dress I'm making! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I use this method, but find it tidier to wait until the bias is stitched to the curve before trimming the excess,,,,it gives me something to hold on to as I navigate the curve.

Kwilt Noob said...

Awesome tutorial! That is the first time I've seen how to fold the fabric for bias cutting where it has actually made sense to me. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the help. I will try this. I really wanted rounded corners on my quilt.

HP said...

Thank you for the tutorial. I am about to make rounded edges on my quilt. I have one question. Do you round the edges of the quilt before you quilt it, or after? Thank you!

adele87 said...

Thanks sooooo much for this tutorial!! I am a beginner and havn't seen such a great explanation for cutting bias strips! Love your blog, keep doing what your doing! x

Rebecca Grace said...

Hi, Jennifer! My quilt has square corners but I'm trying bias binding for the first time on this one because I've read that it wears better and puckers less than straight cut. I've got my strips cut and pieced together, and I'm following the directions in a couple of my quilting books. The one by Diane Gaudynski, whose machine quilting is SO amazing, says "Press the binding strip in half, wrong sides toger. While pressing, STRETCH the strip gently and use spray starch to give it stability and crispness like purchased bias tape." Every other book I own, and all the online tutorials I could find, warn you NOT to stretch the bias binding, and Diane's book says she prefers bias binding "because it acts like an elastic band around the outside of the quilt." I thought I was going to sew this bias binding on the same way I've always done straight grain binding, but now I'm nervous about it. What if I stretch it TOO much? If I don't stretch it at all, will it stretch after it's applied and get all yucky? Do you deliberately stretch your bias binding before applying it to your quilts? Help!

Christine S said...

Someone finally made this process simple to understand, thank you!!!!

CarolaD said...

Thank you so much, Jennifer for sharing your knowledge about quilting. I love your method of cutting bias binding which I am trying for the first time. It was easy to follow and now I am about to sew this binding onto a quilted tote bag (which has rounded edges and handles.)
Will be following your blog regularly now. :)


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