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April 2020

Bias Tape Appliqué

Hello my fellow makers!

It has been a while since my last post, I missed so much connecting with you! To make a good come back I decided to co-design a wall art with my little one, Carlota. She loves to participate in my projects, and I love to keep her busy and motivated with creative tasks.

When she showed me her drawing of a rainbow that is also a sun to bring joy and happiness to our lives, I decided to use the bias tape appliqué technique to translate her idea into our quilty project. Today we will talk about what bias tape is, how to make it, and how to appliqué it.




Bias tape is a strip that is cut on the diagonal of the fabric at 45 degrees from the selvage. The fabric on the bias has a little stretch, which is very helpful for curvy lines or for beautiful bindings to avoid wrinkling or unwanted gathering while stitching.

You will need to cut double the size of the width of your finished size. For example, I cut 1" strips because my design requires 1/2" strips.

To prepare your strips, follow these steps:

  1. Lay your strip flat wrong side up on your ironing board.
  2. Fold it in half and press it.
  3. Unfold the strip, it should have a center crease.
  4. Fold the top edge of the strip toward the center crease and press.
  5. Fold the bottom edge of the strip toward the center crease and press.


Another way is to use a bias tape maker, it comes in different sizes for different widths. All you have to do is insert the strip through the wide end, and pull it through the other end while pressing it. It will save you a lot of time and effort. You will jump from step one (1) to step five (5).



I used a 26" x 20" square of "Tranquil Waters" from our Pure Solids collection for the base, and appliquéd the first strip using the print "Tekstiil Emberglow" from the Lugu collection in a semicircle with a diameter of 8" with a bottom elongation of 2".

As a rule of thumb the thinner the strip, the narrower the curve it allows you to make. In the rainbow, the bottom strip was the most challenging.

To appliqué you need a template or a guide on the fabric to follow unless you are improvising your curves:

  1. Inner Edge: Always stitch the inner edge of the strip first making sure you are not pulling the strip. The outer edge of the strip may lift and create a wave-like shape. Don't worry this is normal, just press and steam the strip to flatten it.
  2. Outer Edge: Stitch the outer edge of the fabric, and press and steam again.




I pinned the fabric to a board, knotted the end of a piece of yarn to a pencil, and ask my co-designer to help me outline the other five layers of the rainbow by anchoring her finger in the center of the circle. There is 1" more or less between each layer.




Once all the pencil guides were in place, I followed them to stitch the other layers and the sun rays. The design looks amazing, it is super easy to make, and Carlota is enjoying every moment of our time together.

At this point, I realized that it would've been great to have the batting and the backing behind the quilt top before appliquéing the strips. But I know I still can come up with a great idea to quilt it and make it our mother/daughter piece of art.

The world has stopped and many of us have to stay home, it is hard and challenging, but this is also a great moment to be grateful and to enjoy the simple things we have and don't see or appreciate in the rush of our daily routines.

I am thankful for my beautiful artist and for the opportunity to work with her hand in hand in this project that we will keep together to remember today.


Hope you enjoyed it,