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Bias Tape Quilt Test

on Jan 21, 2016 in Blog | 3 comments

Sometimes I try out quilting styles and/or ideas just to see if they work. Sometimes I like the results and other times I do not. As luck would have it, my affinity or disgust will not stop me blogging. HA! That probably isn’t good news…. So let’s talk about my venture into bias tape quilt ideas.

I bought a fabulous Clover 1″ Bias Tape Maker. It is easy to use and the bias tape element could be pretty spectacular in Modern Quilts. Did I mention I have recently seen a presentation by Latifah Saafir? Now those are some stellar bias tape + modern quilts. This one is my favorite! Feeling inspired, I set for on my idea.

Bias Tape Quilt | ReannaLily Designs

First idea- make bias tape from a fat quarter. I’ve made it using this technique before… but it was about 20 years ago. I did find this youtube video, though, to describe the process. Just as she illustrates, I was able to create quite a bit of tape from one 18″ x 22″ piece of fabric. I wasn’t sure if I’d use it right away, so I wrapped it onto a piece of cardstock to save.

Bias Tape Quilt | ReannaLily Designs

Welp, about 15 minutes went by?& my willpower was out the window. I decided to apply the pink-y tape to a grey background. I hadn’t planned any shapes; I just figured I’d go with some wavy lines.

Bias Tape Quilt | ReannaLily Designs

Without a doubt, I stretched in the wrong spots or along the wrong edges. My background began to wave and pucker. I then had a brilliant (cough cough) idea to cut the fabric behind the tape to relieve the tension…. OR would that rather put the bias tape in control and the whole piece would be a stretch mess? It was a risk.

Bias Tape Quilt | ReannaLily Designs

Iron. Lots and lots of ironing.

Now for those borders – I love them. They are 4 fat quarters cut to random width strips, then sewn together. Large border pieces were then cut from the random-sized strip sets. Sure, just start cutting. Just dive in. Who cares…. Wait. What? I don’t have enough…. shoot. Ok. Wait. Let me see. Ok, if I take off this and move that and … dangit. Wait. Ok, I’ll add two balanced grey pieces at each corner. That will give me a full 6″ border around the whole quilt. That turned into…. “Oh, I DO still have some tape left. Lemme un-stitch that and add more wavy lines in the grey section. Yes. Everything grey will have a pink wave.”Bias Tape Quilt | ReannaLily Designs

Now to quilt it. At this point, I had already decided this was a free-for-all. Between the waves and the border and the slashed backs – wahoooo! Let’s quilt it!!!

All the waves did quilt out nicely once the quilt was on my longarm frame. Hooray!

Bias Tape Quilt | ReannaLily Designs

I thought this would be the perfect time to try to learn how to quilt feathers in a vertical border on my longarm machine. Long story short – I think people quilt horizontal, then take the quilt off, rotate it 90 degrees and then quilt more “horizontal” borders. I knew this going into it, but I also know that some vertical border styles can be done. Heck, this one probably can too, but it would be tricky. I did not do the rotate 90 degrees deal. The borders on here were created 12″ at a time.

Quilting feathers to bend or meet at a corner was my other how-to challenge. Santa brought me blue school chalk to mark my quilt top and give it a try. I’d rate it 4 outta 10 stars. Practice practice practice, right?

I quilted swirls, meanders, loops and feathers on this dude, all in purple shiney Glide thread.

Bias Tape Quilt | ReannaLily Designs

All total, 6 fat quarters and 1 yard of grey background make up the quilt top. The quilt back is a large piece of fabric I purchased in Korea + a strip of solid yellow. For the binding, I went to my solids cubby and pulled out three pinks. Why three? Because I didn’t have a single piece big enough bind the whole (little) quilt by itself.

Wanna know what I learned in the binding step? Don’t quilt to the edge of the quilt. Quilt with a 1/2″ wiggle room so the binding doesn’t chop off all the feather edges. I’ve often thought this, but if you watch tutorials on how to longarm, online, they go out to the edge of the quilt. If it were a pointed design, I’d have a big pile of trapezoids and not triangles.

Bias Tape Quilt | ReannaLily Designs

Do I love it? No. But, all in all, I’m putting this bias tape quilt in the win column because I learned a good bit of stuff and tried a few neat things.

I wonder what my next bias tape quilt will look like???




  1. Spectacular, thanks for taking the risk, cuz now I’m gonna try a-bit-of-biad.

    Sandi in California

    January 22, 2016

  2. Bravo for trying something new! I’m experimenting with bias tape on a quilt now. I’m finding that the thinner strips are easier to work with. Looking forward to your next bias tape quilt!

    Nicole @ Mama Love Quilts

    January 22, 2016

  3. What an interesting thing this bias tape! I like it very much! Congratulation!
    Have a nice day!


    January 28, 2016

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