Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bias binding question

I have a formula for figuring how much yardage I'll need to bind a quilt (see a Quilting Life here for the link to here for the formula) but does anyone have the formula that will tell me how much bias I can cut from a piece of fabric or where to find it?  I need help!


  1. There is a great tutorial on sew for home... I linked to it the other day...I know a 23" square did a 40 by 50 quilt with some left over

  2. Yes. This is one I use from Quilters Complete Guide.

    Length of bias strip x width of bias strip = Area of bias strip.
    Square root of Area = Size of square of fabric required for your bias binding.

    Width of fabric x Length of fabric = Area of piece of fabric.
    Area od fabric divided by width of binding strip = Length of Bias strip you can get from your fabric.

  3. Mary, I found this on sew4home and it's exactly how I do it. But they explained it way better than I could.

    How much fabric do I buy?

    Calculating the fabric needed for your binding will require a little more math (yay!).
    Measure your project after you've quilted it (if you are making a quilt) and trimmed any excess batting and backing.
    Here's the simple formula: Measure each side. Let's pretend your project is a rectangular quilt that measures 60" on each side and 48" top and bottom. Get your trusty calculator and plug in the following: 60" + 48" + 60" + 48" = 216"
    You need 216" of binding to get around your quilt. But, you actually need more than this because you have to turn the corners and join the edges together. Add a minimum of 12". This is a standard "rule of thumb" number; you could add in more, but you should have at least an extra 12" to work with: 216" actual size + 12" extra = 228"
    The most common fabric width of decorative cotton (often referred to as quilting weight or quilting cotton) is 44/45". Therefore, we will assume this is what you are using for your binding. There is normally about 42" of actual usable fabric after cutting off the selvedge.
    To figure out how many strips you need to cut across the fabric, divide the total binding length by the width of fabric.
    NOTE: If you use a different width of fabric, simply adjust the width of the fabric in the calculation. In addition, since a fabric's selvedge can vary in width, you may also need to adjust the number you use for the actual usable width.
    The equation would be: 230" (total length needed) ÷ 42 (usable width of fabric) = 5.43 strips. Round the number to the next highest whole number, which would be 6 total strips in our sample.
    Here's where your chosen width comes into play. In our sample, we chose 2½" wide strips. All you need is simple multiplication. Remember, we are cutting on the crossgrain!
    We had 6 strips x 2½" width = 15" of fabric. In this example, you would need about a ½ yard of fabric (a half yard is 18").
    Okay. Decisions have been made and fabric has been calculated and purchased. Let's make quilt binding!


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