Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Short-cut bias binding

Making your own bias binding is right up there with grating soap. Had I not ordered a few metres from Ebay before Christmas and been mightily disappointed with what I got, and, were I not determined to Make Do and Mend, I would probably not bother. However, the patchwork blanket I've been working on for Prima requires some kind of edging and DIY bias binding is certainly cheaper than ribbon.

Last time I made bias binding, I rushed it, and the edging on the patchwork blanket I made for the King and I does kind of shout that from the rooftops. 

This time, I decided to be more methodical and precise. On my side was the fact that the sheet I planned to cut up has faint stripes down its length, which acted as a useful guide. Furthermore I had consulted with Mrs Forward, and, when creating bunting, she doesn't cut on a 45 degree angle to make her strips on which to attach the flags. 

Feeling sure that bunting and patchwork blankets have LOTS in common, I decided to ignore the 45 degree bit and cut along the length of the sheet, following the lines. Needless to say, this is an old double sheet we have had since we were married, which the King finally put his foot through the other night. As it is a fitted sheet, I can't do the old trick of cutting down the worn middle and sewing the sides together. 

Once I had cut several metres of torn bed sheet into straight strips, I folded the raw edge in and pinned, then pressed. I used a hot steam iron and could have probably done with some spray starch but I didn't have time to research DIY spray starch this afternoon and had none in the cupboard. 

The next step was to fold the binding in half, length-ways and press again. Karen Ball of DidYouMakeThat has a different technique which she explains here and which, I suspect, is the Proper Way to Do It.

Out came the pin cushion once more as I pinned the binding to the long sides of the patchwork blanket. The binding sits on the patchwork side of the blanket and then folds over to the plain fleece side of the blanket.

You can see that I have again used fabric from shirts including the breast pockets, jeans, tea towels, old tops etc and also squares cut from some lovely bee fabric and floral printed cotton I received from Dolly as a present, all the way from the United States. For Prima's patchwork, I stuck to a colour scheme of red, white and blue. 

Sewing the binding around the blanket was the next step. I did the longest sides first, then the shorter sides, with a seam allowance of 1/4". It seemed to make little difference that the binding had not been cut on the bias, although the edging is still not faultless. 

I also had several metres left over which will come in for Secundus' patchwork blanket (no rest for the wicked, as the saying goes!)

Here is the finished blanket, waiting for Prima to come home from school. I'm really proud of it and gave it a hug before I hung it up to air on the washing line! 

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