I use bias vines and stems so often in my projects and love that there are many ways you can make them very easily and accurately. However, I'm also aware from the oohs and ahhs at workshops and in classes that not everyone has seen or heard about these easy methods… So while I can’t be with you to show you how – I have made a little video to show you from afar.




What are bias vines and stems?

They are  strips of fabric used generally in applique designs. Usually quite narrow – down to 1/8th of an inch – my standard is normally 1/4” – but you can do as wide as you like. Both edges of the strips are turned under – yes just like a turned edge applique shape, but there are much easier ways to pre-turn those edges.



Sisterhood Society quilt

If the vines or stems are curved then these little strips are cut on the bias grain – that is 45 degrees – or a 45 degree angle from the straight grain or selvedge edge of your fabric.  This means they will turn around even very sharp curves and still sit flat on your work (sometimes with a bit of help from a steaming iron).




Of course they are best cut from 100% good quality quilting fabric as this has a lot of movement allowing that easing around curves whilst still being very stable. It would be much more difficult to use a stretch fabric, and a polyester would cause issues with steaming into place.

They are very common in traditional applique designs



Petite Cherie quilt


and used more and more in modern quilting techniques…



Designs by Kat Jones

Of course there are tools to help you with this – and although I’m not big on tools just for the sake of it, there are some, like a rotary cutter, ruler and mat, that I would never not use – and bias makers fall in this category.





My video will show you other ways – yes, without tools – and other tool options you may prefer or already have.



The Cardinal


Checkout my video tutorial here:


Now go forth and make lots of lovely bias – it’s truly very satisfying..


hugs for today