Turning corners with bias binding

Turning corners with bias binding.  How to get nice neat, sharp and even corners front and back.Earlier this month we looked at making bias tape or bias binding (is there a difference?)

How to make continuous bias tape and use the Clover bias maker tool

How to work out how much a square of fabric will make, or how to decide how big a square you need to start with for any given length – swanky calculator spreadsheet or handy table

Now it’s time to start using it.  But oh dear, it’s not as easy as you might think when you start out.  A straight line is fine, but corners – oh my!  I just assumed because it was on the bias and stretchy, that I just would bend it slightly round the corners and that would be fine.  You do not want to see my first attempt – its a sewing nightmare!

So after much research and trial and error, I am now much improved, although my accuracy could still improve to get the most neat finish. But take a look at these steps for how to turn a corner with your bias binding.  If you go on to join me in some of the projects later this month, you’ll need to know how to do this.

 

Turning corners with bias binding

Sew along the fold in your bias tape, keeping the tape level with the raw edge of the project being bound.  As you approach the corner, stop sewing but leave the needle in place and the presser foot down.

Turning corners with bias binding.  How to get nice neat, sharp and even corners front and back.

Fold the bias tape up at a 90 degree angle lining it up with the point of the approaching corner.  This will give you a diagonal 45 degree angle at the corner.  Finger-press to leave a small crease then open it back out again.

Turning corners with bias binding.  How to get nice neat, sharp and even corners front and back.

Now continue sewing until you get to that diagonal crease.  Back stitch a few stitches and cut your thread.

Refold the tape on the diagonal.  Then fold the tape back down at a 90 degree angle so that the free end is now laying flat along the direction you’ll be sewing next.  Pop in a pin, or just hold it in place as you take it back to the machine.

Turning corners with bias binding.  How to get nice neat, sharp and even corners front and back.

Start stitching in the fold line right at the edge of the fabric and sew to nearly the next corner.  Repeat the steps above to turn the next corner until you are completed.

This is how the corner will look when you turn it the right side out.

Turning corners with bias binding.  How to get nice neat, sharp and even corners front and back.

Phew – not so difficult when you know how.  But what about the back I hear you ask.  Let’s take a look at what happens when you turn it to the other side.

Smooth out the front side you just sewed and turn the remaining bias tape over to the back of your project.  Turn under at the fold and pin neatly in place, making sure that you just cover the stitching line from the front side.  When it comes to the corners, fold in one side, then the other and if the sides are nice and even, you should get a nice neat 45 degree corner, like this one.  Pin in place.

Turning corners with bias binding.  How to get nice neat, sharp and even corners front and back.

Now its time to stitch around once more.  I like to stitch again from the original side, just inside the edge I stitched before, and this should catch the bias tape folded over to the back.  Just double check the fold on the corners as you get to it.

Here is the finished result, front and back.

Turning corners with bias binding.  How to get nice neat, sharp and even corners front and back.

And here is my finished over-sized mug rug, made from just a few scraps of fabric left-overs.  Room for a big mug of creamy cappuccino and a Chocolate Hob-Nob!  (That’s a favorite dunk-able cookie from the UK.)

Turning corners with bias binding.  How to get nice neat, sharp and even corners front and back.

Working with bias binding, and making nice neat edges, turns and corners has given me an even greater appreciation for the skills of all the quilters out there, where accuracy in sewing and seam allowances in so important.
Authored by: Deby at So Sew Easy

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15 Responses to Turning corners with bias binding

  1. You made that look so easy!

  2. Misha says:

    I hate bias binding because mine always comes out skew so I’ve signed up for a craftsy course on bias binding and edges. I’ve done lesson one and two and have already picked up some tips.

  3. Vivien Levermore says:

    if you were a quilter you would be doing this all the time. Also it looks nice stitched down with a blanket/buttonhole stitch or one of the fancy embroidery stitches if your machine has them.

  4. Danice says:

    Thank you for this tutorial. I found you on SHOW-Licious’ Link Party :)

  5. freckledots says:

    You know, I’ve been making and sewing on bias binding for the last few years and it is my most dreaded part of any project or quilt, but a necessary evil. I had never, in all the time doing it, thought to turn up the 45 degree angle BEFORE I got to the freaking edge. I had always just tried to guess where my seam would need to end. Sometimes it’s the simplest things. I also always try to stitch in the ditch on the return, but this looks really nice done on just the inside of the ditch. Think I’ll try that on this next quilt I’m supposed to bind.

    • Deby Coles says:

      Thanks for being so kind! I know a lot of tutorials will tell you to stitch in the ditch to hide the stitches, but in all honesty, by sewing isn’t accurate enough to get every stitch in the right place, and wiggling about here and there only seems to end up looking worse. So I like to follow the edge of the binding and not try to hide the stitches. I think it turns out all right for most projects, but of course for the most precious of quilts etc, invisibly stitching down with hand would be the way to go to get the perfect finish. My time is too short to aim for perfect!

  6. Pauline says:

    thank you deby I am just about to border my picture quilt, this will be very helpful

  7. katiasafia says:

    je vous remercie pour tous ces trucs de couture

  8. Julie says:

    I love your super easy to follow hints and tips – thanks!

  9. Karen M says:

    Again you make it look so easy, always look forward for your post on Sunday mornings. Thanks Deby

  10. Marti says:

    Thanks for sharing this helpful tip! Pinned! :)

  11. Barbie says:

    You make it look so easy! It turned out beautifully, I can’t wait to try it :)

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