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Thread: Bias? Huh?

  1. #1
    Rob
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    Can someone easily explain about this whole bias business?

    I have seen comments about quilts cut on the bias and how they needed to quilt the heck out of it, etc. I have seen comments about bias and cross grain etc. What does it all do?

    Is it because something will cause the fabric to lean in a direction more? What should you be doing?

    Sorry for being a dunce but I don't get it. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rachel's Avatar
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    basically, you have fabric that you cut on grain, it could be the lengthwise grain or the cross grain, but it doesn't really stretch when its cut this way. If you cut the fabric on the bias (cut diagnol) from the cross and lengthwise grains, its VERY stretchy. Therefore, great to do bindings for curved edges, great for appliqued flowered stems, but can be difficult to work with in a quilt. Very doable, people do it all the time with fabulous results, but they take more care and starch is your friend. Hope this makes sense...

  3. #3
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    http://sewing.about.com/od/beginner1/p/fabricgrain.htm

    An illustration that might help you make more sense of the terms.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel
    basically, you have fabric that you cut on grain, it could be the lengthwise grain or the cross grain, but it doesn't really stretch when its cut this way. If you cut the fabric on the bias (cut diagnol) from the cross and lengthwise grains, its VERY stretchy. Therefore, great to do bindings for curved edges, great for appliqued flowered stems, but can be difficult to work with in a quilt. Very doable, people do it all the time with fabulous results, but they take more care and starch is your friend. Hope this makes sense...
    You said it very well! I wanted to say it turns that side of the fabric into a rubber band. :lol:

  5. #5
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    I'm glad I didn't have to write that. I would have messed it up.

  6. #6
    Senior Member tortoisethreads's Avatar
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    I have to admit, I also never understood the whole bias thing. I just cut my fabric...oops.

  7. #7
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    good explaining!

  8. #8
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    I never paid much attention to the bias either until I sewed a dress and DID NOT cut one piece on the bias. How did I find out? Well, the right half of the skirt did not lay nicely - it bonked into my knee with every step I took.

    so now I do pay attention. I cut my fabric (usually) across the grain - from selvage to selvage. That's the easy one to identify because the selvage is easy to see. The widest your piece of fabric can be is approximately 45" (or however wide the fabric is)

    Some people like to cut their borders as one piece "WITH" the grain, so they cut ALONG the selvage. To do that, you need to buy enough yardage so you can cut however long you want the piece to be.

    The bias is where the fabric is THE STRETCHIEST. It is helpful when binding a curve. For straight sewing, it comes into play whith setting triangles. It's very important to handle the bias edge with great care because it can be distorted very easily.
    The bias is a very necessary concept to understand when you sew chenille, IT MUST be sewn on the bias or it won't fray properly.

  9. #9
    Rob
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    Thank you very much everyone. Your comments make it clear and I appreciate it!

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