Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Simplicity Bias Tape Maker - tutorial

Someone asked me to post a tutorial on how to use the Simplicity Bias Tape Maker to make quilt bindings, and I'll be happy to, because I don't know what I ever did before this thing. I've seen some bad reviews on Amazon for this thing, but when it's whirring away and I get to go change my presser feet and get set up for some binding while the machine does the dirty work, I'm glad I ignored them.

The first thing you have to do is buy an extra tip. The machine does not come standard with the binding sized tip, so buy yourself the 1 1/4" binding tip.

The preparation for the binding is pretty standard. Calculate how many WOF (width of fabric) strips you'll need and cut as many 2 1/2" strips as you need.
Sew them as shown in the next pictures...

and trim.
The outcome should look like this...

 When I use the bias tape maker, I don't even bother to press these seams since it will be done by the machine as it's folded. So, just roll the binding onto the spool...

 Feed the lose end through the binding tip.
The first few times, this is going to be a pain. Undoubtedly, you will need to use a pin or your seam ripper to pull the fabric all the way through.

 Attach the tip to the machine and place the fabric filled spool in its holder. Remove the hot-plate cover, lay the fabric along the track and make sure it goes past the roller, then replace the cover and snap it into place.

 Flip the red switch to "on" and wait for the "ready" light to come on. The green light will let you know when the plates are hot enough (just like an iron heating up). Then, when it's ready, just hit the "run" button and watch the magic happen. A small caveat; it may take a few times before the tip is adjusted well enough that seams will go through unassisted. Until that happens, you may need to help with a slight tug every time one of the seams goes through the tip. But, after the first few times, you should be able to walk away when it's running and get on with more quilty business.

 And, in the end, you will be left with this lovely pile-o-binding.