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Thread: Bindings - is there an advantage to bias?

  1. #1
    Super Member beatys9's Avatar
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    Bindings - is there an advantage to bias?

    I've always cut my bindings on the fabric bias. It's certainly easier to go around corners but I yesterday I was at the quilting store (spending my $50 birthday gift card from my son!) and the woman that cut my fabric told me it was just as well to cut my bindings with the nap if I'm not dealing with curves. This might be nice as I'd prefer not to cut into the middle of my fabric but wonder are there other considerations? I learned to do bindings on the bias and now am curious what others do and what are the pros & cons?
    Shannon

  2. #2
    Super Member quilter1's Avatar
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    I cut my bindings on the straight grain unless there is a curved edge to deal with. It saves fabric and works just fine for me. Maybe the quilt police will be after me now.

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    I only use bias binding on curves now. I like straight of grain double fold binding better for a straighter edge on my quilt. They used to say that bias wears better on the quilt edge. I figure I would rather do the easier binding and if I am around to replace it in 50 years, I will.

  4. #4
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    i cut on the width of the fabric unless using a directional print that goes the length of the fabric.
    When using directional print, it is best to cut with the design and not try to cut with grain. In these cases the print on the binding becomes part of the overall look of the quilt. Bias only if curves or if I want a stripe that looks better on the diagonal.

  5. #5
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilter1 View Post
    I cut my bindings on the straight grain unless there is a curved edge to deal with. It saves fabric and works just fine for me. Maybe the quilt police will be after me now.
    Well, if they bust you then I'm next because I only use straight of grain. Bias just seems like waaaaaay too much work & by the time I get that far in my quilting project, I'm ready to finish up & be on to the next one.
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    I like bias binding because I think it hugs the edge of the quilt better.

    Maybe one of these days I'll make a pot holder and bind two sides of it with straight binding and the other two sides with bias binding to 'test' how the bindings wear. (Using the same fabric for both, of course.)

  7. #7
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    Over time, bias will nearly always win out over straight grain. I've had my own proof of that. I've been making blankets and quilts since the early 90s and those with straight grain and a lot of use have had to have bindings replaced. The bias ones are still going well.

    Contrary to the woman at the quilt shop, continuous binding actually uses LESS fabric than straight grain binding. In addition, you don't have to sew all those little strips together - two big strips, then cut, cut, cut. I don't even press it any longer, having learned that it actually goes on better if you DON'T prepress it in half. I must have the instructions in front of me each time I do it since I only make a few bindings a year.

    If you are not entering the quilt into a show, use whatever method you prefer. Most show judges will take off for straight grain binding on a bed sized quilt - I don't think they care one way or the other on a wall hanging or miniature. I use straight grain for all my wall hangings and miniatures unless I'm using up leftover bias from other projects. They aren't washed as frequently, so it's not a big deal.

    Another reason to use bias is if you are using a striped fabric for the binding. Visually, the angled stripes look much better than straight grain.

    Finally, NOBODY is going to beat you up if you choose to use straight grain.
    Last edited by IAmCatOwned; 08-06-2012 at 09:41 AM.

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    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    I only use straight of grain also, unless I am doing curvers, like a round potholder or curved placemat. Of course in the long run you will use less. If you deceide to change remember there will be a learning curve because you are used to the give of the bias, and it will not be there for the straight of grain.....
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    Senior Member RonieM's Avatar
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    I only use bias bindings if I am binding a curve, otherwise I go with straight of grain. I have been doing it this way for 15 years and haven't had a problem yet.

  10. #10
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I only use bias, because it lasts longer. I don't use the tube method, but cut each strip separately and join them it on the diagonal. If you think about it, a straight of grain binding has one single thread exposed at the outside edge where the quilt will get wear, while a bias binding has a hundred threads at the outside edge. Also, I love the way a striped fabric looks when cut on the bias.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  11. #11
    Super Member beatys9's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone! Yes, I had heard that the bias wears longer. I do use the tube method though I have also cut bias strips & sewn them together. Part of the reason for the question is I have a table topper that I want to bind in a particular fabric but I don't have very much of it left; certainly not enough to do it on the bias. Going to give the straight binding a try with this one.
    Shannon

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    It would seem to me that it would take the same number of square inches for 10 feet of 2 inch wide bias on either the straight of grain or on the bias.

    I do agree that if one has a limited length, that one could get by with fewer joining seams.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have made over 100 quilts and have never used a bias binding. I cut all of mine on cross grain, selvage to selvage. The biggest number of my quilts have the corners rounded, my favorite. I pull my bindings tight as I machine sew them on and they turn out perfect. Sorry quilt police, I won't let you inside my house, so stay away.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member pippi65's Avatar
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    I've used both. But as a rule use regular cross cut binding. But it's got some curves going I use the bias. I've always heard that it lasts longer.
    Be kinder than necessary,everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

  15. #15
    Jim
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    I always used bias bindings until about a year ago when I changed to straight of grain unless doing as everyone else says...curves. It's certainly easier and faster to cut. It doesn't show any different to me and sure takes a lot less fabric.
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort :lol:

  16. #16
    Junior Member Panchita's Avatar
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    I'm with the majority here - straight unless curves are involved
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  17. #17
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jingle View Post
    I have made over 100 quilts and have never used a bias binding. I cut all of mine on cross grain, selvage to selvage. The biggest number of my quilts have the corners rounded, my favorite. I pull my bindings tight as I machine sew them on and they turn out perfect. Sorry quilt police, I won't let you inside my house, so stay away.

    Sorry, but your post sounds very quilt police-like. You state yourself you have NEVER used a bias binding and allude you never intend to then in the same paragraph tell the quilt police to stay away. LOL. I bet if you tried it you may just like working with it on a curved corner. You can't make an effective argument for or against anything that you have never tried and not sound like quilt police. Remember QP are those that think their way is the only way and your statement on cross grain binding certainly sounds that way.

    I do both cross grain and bias. I think cross grain is easier to prepare as far as cutting and sewing the stips together. In my experience of working with both, I think bias binding lays on a quilt nicer (hence the points in a judged show), handles better, definitely works easier around curves and suspect also makes a nicer inside miter (as in scalloped borders, of which I have never tried).

    Bias hugs the quilt tighter, looks tons better in directional fabric (checks or stripes) and definitely wears longer. I also feel like it uses more fabric. I do love working with it but I tend to make cross grain binding more often, simply because it is easier to prepare and by the time I get to the binding, if the quilt is not being entered in a show and does not have curved edges, I will go cross grain.

  18. #18
    Senior Member QuiltNama's Avatar
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    Unless my edge is scalloped or curved I do the straight grain binding. I cut, sew together strips, press seams open and sew it one with out ironing it in half. Find that it just works so much better for me. But maybe try out a few different ways on smaller quilts, table runners, place mats, etc. until you find the one that works the best for you. There is nothing wrong with bias binding, just a bit more work I think. JMHO

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