one way to do bias applique & knit stitch quilt tutorial-ette

by Dorie on November 20, 2014

knit stitch quilt in progress

While working on my knit stitch quilt, I figured out one way of doing bias applique that worked for me. This is how it went.

bias bars

First part: Bias tape

I did a small amount of research and found that the people who do crazy small bias applique – the Celtic knot people – use bias bars to make bias tape instead of a bias tape maker. What is the difference? You know how when you make bias tape with a bias tape maker, the creases can relax and your raw edges can get hard to deal with/visible/weird? With bias bars, you sew the bias tape into a tube (wrong sides facing – you’re not turning that business). Then, you put the bar into the tube and use it to press the tube flat. The seam goes on the back and no edges wiggle out anywhere.

pressing the loop

Second part: Getting the bias tape on the foundation

Debbie gave me the best two cents about bias applique. I had wanted to make a word using bias, and my effort kind of looked like hell. She said, You’ll want smaller tape, and you’ll need to press the heck out out it. These two sage bits of wisdom helped me get off on the right foot when laying out the knit stitch quilt.

marking the knit rows

I knew I wanted each knit stitch row to be about 10 inches tall. I marked the height with masking tape on my foundation fabric. Then, I used the iron to press my bias tape into the knit loops. After I pressed the whole row of loops, I used applique glue to secure the loops to the fabric. (Actually, for the first row I used pins, but I pricked myself so many times that I went looking for other options.) I think applique glue might just be school glue with a nicer cap. The cap on the glue I used had a long, thin tube so the glue came our slowly and I could apply it accurately. Lynn has since told me to watch out for rust in the metal caps!

laying out the next row

When gluing the loops, I left two unglued spaces on each loop. This is where the next row of bias tape gets “knit” in. Because each row is locked into the row above it, I always shaped and glued the next row before sewing the current one. To do the actual “knitting”, I ran a bias strip under the loop below it, through the unglued spaces.

pulling the loop through

Then I pulled up each loop in line with the stitch below it, and pressed it in place. For each row I marked the desired height with masking tape, as a guide.

stitching the bias

Third part: Stitching

Once I had a row secured and the row above it set, I stitched the row. I found that the blanket stitch worked best for me. I like the way it catches the applique without flattening it down or making a hard straight line. I also found it easier to control and more forgiving than a straight stitch. I stitched on both sides of the bias tape, following the curves and stopping and breaking the thread where the “yarns” intersected. I used thread to match the bias tape.

I repeated this process until all rows were stitched down. ta-da!


kay November 20, 2014 at 9:52 am

fascinating… A knitted quilt is something I’d never have thought of but yours is a wonderful project. This could be the inspiration for a gift… I’ve got a knitting fanatic friend and an applique knit stitch project would be just the thing. Thank you…

Dorie November 21, 2014 at 8:03 am

cool! If you give it a go I’d love to see.

cauchy09 November 20, 2014 at 3:00 pm

BLAMMO…awesomeness! a great tutorial too.

Dorie November 21, 2014 at 8:04 am

BLAMM! Thank you cannon.

MissesStitches May 7, 2015 at 6:11 pm

What an awesome idea for a quilt! Can’t wait to see it finished.

Megan May 21, 2015 at 9:19 am

Thanks so much for sharing! These are great tips… and what a cool idea for a quilt!

write my paper for me October 20, 2015 at 5:13 am

Hi my family member! I want to say that this article is amazing, great written and come with almost all significant infos.
I’d like to look extra posts like this .

Karen Swiech October 12, 2016 at 6:31 am

Is there a picture of the finished quilt anywhere? Love to see it!

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