Five Green Acres Mary Jo + Andrew Borchardt fivegreenacres@gmail.com Poynette, WI
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Tools of the Trade: Bias Tape Makers

Tools of the Trade: Bias Tape Makers
February 23, 2010 Mary Jo

I’m wrapping up the series with a tool that’s probably the least obscure of all I’ve highlighted.  Likely you’ve already heard about this handy device that takes your strips of fabric, folds them nicely, then spits them out to be ironed flat into bias or binding tape.  Do you have one?  You should.

The concept is almost gimmicky, almost too good to be true – does it actually work?  (I’m reminded of my lesson in gimmicks after I got sucked into that ‘Learn to Speed Read’ infomercial nonsense.  I so desperately wanted it to be true – anyone else get sucked into that? ) But this tool does work, every single time.

Yes, you can buy bias tape already made.  But not in this fabric.  Or in that great fabric you have on hand, which will no doubt be the finishing touch on that project in the works.  And, if that project happens to be a quilt, you’ll want to make your own binding anyway.  This is the tool for you.

If I may step up onto my soapbox for a moment, I would like to direct your attention to this tutorial, for making your own bias tape in one continuous piece.  I had come upon the tutorial a while ago, bookmarked it, then pulled it up while in the throes of various projects needing binding.  Each time my eyes glazed over as I scanned the diagrams, the pages of info, and I opted for what I thought was the easier route, cutting strips of my fabric on the grain, sewing them together, running them through the bias tape maker.  But this last project, this quilt, prompted me to revisit the tutorial, actually try to follow the directions….  And then.  It has totally rocked my world.  I actually took the time to read the instructions, follow them, and found, much to my surprise, that she offered a method that created a better result (read why bias tape is better than straight-grain) AND was much faster, without sewing a pile of strips together.

I offer this to all of you, because I know I’m not the only one to shirk away from a process that looks too involved or looks like it might contain math.  Be brave!  Take it slow.  Have faith.  Her directions are simple and clear.  You’re smart!

Get ready to live.

(I should add that I am in no way connected with any organization that sells these.  I’m just passionate and have a bit of a missionary tendency.)

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The rest of the Tools of the Trade series is here.

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