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Thread: Making bias stems with freezer paper

  1. #1
    Senior Member dlf0122quilting's Avatar
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    Does anyone out there make bias stems with freezer paper? I need to make some 1/8" and 3/8" stems and it was suggested that I use freezer paper to make them but I am unsure about how to do that. Do you use starch and make them like you would applique pieces with freezer paper?

  2. #2
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
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    I have never heard of using freezer paper for bias stems. I cut my bias wider than I need and press in half. You can then machine stitch it down and cut away the excess then fold it back over the stitching and either machine blind stitch or stitch by hand.

  3. #3
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    When I was doing applique I bought Bias Bars from my local quilt shop to make them, I used the same techinque Mary Quite Contrary used however the bias bars are made to slide inside the strips after they are sewed and it is easier to press them. Then you remove the bias bars and sew the strips down by hand.

  4. #4
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    if you iron freezer paper to your fabric before cutting your bias strips it helps stablize the fabric and keeps everything 'crisp' until ready to use, especially useful when making very thin strips (1/8" yikes!)
    starch isn't always the answere, thats where the freezer paper comes in...paper back fusable works too if you want to fuse your stems to your piece before stitching

  5. #5
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    I'm not sure binding would be the best approach to something only 1/8" wide. Look at your satin stitch settings. You might get a smoother effect with a lot less work.

  6. #6
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I wouldn't use freezer paper to make bias stems. Here's my method, which requires using a Clover bias tape maker in the size you want. I've tried other brands, but Clover brand with its color-coded sizes works best for me.

    1. Heavily starch the fabric before cutting into bias strips. I "paint" a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water onto the fabric with a large wall-painting brush, toss the saturated fabric in the dryer, and iron with steam.

    2. Cut fabric into bias strips of the correct width and piece these strips together on the bias to make one long strip.

    3. Place a large, long pin in the ironing board cover creating a space for the finished bias tape to run under.

    4. Thread the bias through the Clover tape maker, iron it as it comes out, and thread it through the pin in the ironing board.

    5. Basically I place the iron on top of the bias tape before it goes through the pin. The Clover tape maker is to the left of the iro,n and the pin is to the right of the iron. I pull the tape through the pin with my right hand and hold the Clover tape maker with my left hand. The first few inches of the tape is always a little sloppy, but all the rest of the tape is perfect. You can make yards of bias stems this way in just a few minutes if you have done all the prep.

    The advantage of bias stems made this way is that they are fairly stable but still fully flexible for shaping around curves. When I have a choice, I sew around the outside curves first where the bias stem needs to be stretched.

    This method gives me the most accurate finished bias stems with the least amount of work. I tried bias bars in the past and burned my fingers on the metal ones; plastic was better. Also tried doubling the fabric, sewing to the background, and trimming before folding over to sew down. With both methods, I didn't like the extra bulk inside the stems. I also didn't think they were faster or less work than the method above. HTH!

  7. #7
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlf0122quilting
    Does anyone out there make bias stems with freezer paper? I need to make some 1/8" and 3/8" stems and it was suggested that I use freezer paper to make them but I am unsure about how to do that. Do you use starch and make them like you would applique pieces with freezer paper?
    I believe this is how I have seen them made... the advantage to this method is that you do not have a sewn seam, and reduce the bulk.

    Using a bias maker would also work nicely, and there isn't the bulk of the sew seam.

    Some projects, the bulkiness in the seam adds a desired almost 3D effect in the smaller bias strips.

    It pretty much boils down to personal preferences :D:D:D

  8. #8
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonpi
    I'm not sure binding would be the best approach to something only 1/8" wide. Look at your satin stitch settings. You might get a smoother effect with a lot less work.
    I like this idea too

  9. #9
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    I've made bias stems only 1/8th in. wide. I use Elmer's school glue with a fine metal tip on the bottle. I cut the fabric a little wider than I need, apply a thin bead of glue on one side and heat set it down with my travel iron. (Only glue down a 1/8th in turning). Then I trim the other side to 1/8th in., apply another bead of glue, and heat set into place with the iron again. Sometimes I want a narrow stem made in matching fabric, not a satin stitch done with the machine. Check out my IRR in progress to see one of these fine strips.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-22961-5.htm

  10. #10
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    Can you suggest some tutorials for beginner appliquing.

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