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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
    Power Poster 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
    Power Poster 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.

  11. #11
    Senior Member dlf0122quilting's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for all the information. I did not want the bulkiness of the machine stitching so I ironed 3 layers of freezer paper, cut it in 1/8" and 3/8" strips. Then I cut a bias cut through my fabric, ironed the strip to the wrong side of the bias fabric, then cut each side leaving a narrow amount of fabric on each side. I then used a light starch on one side and ironed over onto the wrong side of the freezer paper. I then used starch to the other side of the strip and repeated on that side. The stems turned out beautifully in both widths. I tried it just to see if it would work. I like the flat stems for my newest project.

    Thank you to everyone who helped give me ideas. I will use them for other projects, I am sure.

  12. #12
    Senior Member dlf0122quilting's Avatar
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    I suggest that you go to about.com and look at their tutorials. Also you can google beginning applique and find some good information. Other suggestions would be to go to your local library or join an applique friendship group through your local quilt guild. If you are not a member of a guild, many of the groups will still let you join. Quilters love to share their craft.

  13. #13
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Also check out Sharon Schamber's website, go to the free section, she has some awesome tutorials :D:D:D

  14. #14
    Member treeboss's Avatar
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    When I made the leaves and stems for the Line Dancing Lillies, I did not have freezer paper...used a smaller cut-out of the leaf shape made from fusible webbing, ran a thin line of glue stick around the spare fabric, then folded and pressed as I covered the shape. Tacked them down with glue stick instead of pins when I was sewing them on the quilt face.
    When I did the bias stems, I used an improvised version of the bias tool that I inserted into the 1/2" sewn "tubes and turned the seam to the middle of the back, then pressed flat. Tacked those down with an iron and some glue stick before pressing also.
    LOVE that glue stick! Works REALLY well when setting a zipper, too...no "pin bumps" and no stopping and starting to remove pins as you go.

    Leaves and stems are appliques
    Name:  Attachment-61260.jpe
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Size:  52.7 KB

  15. #15
    Senior Member dlf0122quilting's Avatar
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    Thank you. Beautiful block, I love the pattern. Is it from a book? I appreciate the hint on the glue stick.

  16. #16
    Member treeboss's Avatar
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    Thank you! The completed quilt is posted in the pictures section, from Christmas time. It is from a book...Joy of Quilting by Joan Hanson and Mary Hickey. For a third quilt, it was alot easier than it looked!

  17. #17
    Senior Member dlf0122quilting's Avatar
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    Thank you, I am always looking for new applique ideas.

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