A fix for the Bias Bulge


As you may recall I have a problem with bias bulging or stretching in the vintage Lily quilt I am currently working on, whoever made it didn’t cut the pieces the best way…see the post where I started it here http://timquilts.com/2014/03/05/now-for-a-little-spring/

Those setting triangles on the edges are puckered because there is such a large bias edge. If I were making a new one I wouldn’t have the problem because I know not to cut the pieces this way but It is fun to figure out how to fix the problems on these vintage and antique tops.

basket of lilies basted 002basket of lilies basted 006

I fixed one of those setting triangles today.  Here is how I did it.

First I had to get the blocks on either side of it quilted so they wouldn’t be distorted as well.  Next I pinned it to the rug with T pins..the idea is that the backing is not on the bias so it won’t stretch.  If I make the backing tight and smooth I can see how much extra fullness I need to deal with.


Next I take out the basting pins and smooth the fullness to the center working from both  sides


Next I pin that extra pleat flat.


Next I baste it and the bottom edge down.



Next I draw in the grid using the pleat as one of the grid lines.


Then quilt it and remove the basting stitches


Can you see it?  here are a few more pictures

DSCN1414 DSCN1415

It isn’t hard to do and sure beats trying to quilt it by distributing the fullness across the whole length of the edge.

Back to work for me

Happy quilting




54 thoughts on “A fix for the Bias Bulge

  1. Anne Kasten says:

    what a clever solution!
    and I love the way you used the fix as the base from which you designed the quilting.
    thank you so much for sharing this.
    and all your other work.

  2. Alison says:

    Light bulb moment! I am so glad I found your blog – the information is priceless, not to mention the encouragement that I too can achieve much more.

  3. Laura says:

    You are one ingenious guy, Tim!

  4. Wow! A perfect solution!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. You are flipping brilliant and I can’t wait for your first book!

  6. Irene says:

    I made a quilt set on the bias and it did the same thing. That is why I
    haven’t quilted it. Such a great idea. Thank you.

  7. Linda says:

    Amazing ! I would have never thought of this. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Isabella says:

    Aussie girl says .. Thanks for sharing but no picture of Teddy this time !

  9. Prairie Quilter/Nebraska says:

    Genius! Makes perfect sense, but I doubt I would have thought of it. Appreciate the tip.

  10. Victoria says:

    Clever!!!!! I Love it!!!! Tim, you are just the BEST!!!! Printing this out for future reference. Thank you!!

  11. Eileen Mele says:

    I think you are a genius!!u

  12. glendajean says:

    Many many thanks for that tutorial Tim. I have a couple of 1930s quilts with this same problem and have been putting off quilting them for this very reason. You have made my day. Many thanks again for sharing I enjoy my visits to your blog. Cheers Glenda Australia.

  13. helen says:

    This is simply genious!!!
    Always learning from you, Tim!
    Best wishes!

  14. Connie says:

    Who would have ever thought it?? You are a quilting genius!! What an amazing invisible idea. I need to commit that little trick to memory, even if it uses up the last but if storage space in this old brain.

  15. Suzanne says:

    Ingenious! It’s a simple fix we all overlook.
    Thanks Tim.

  16. Connie Johnson says:

    One always feel proud after solving a quilting problem. Love your no nonsense approach. I’ve learned so much thanks to your generosity’

  17. wanda says:

    Thank you for this explanation. I will try this on my wavy quilt tops.

  18. Vicky Walker says:

    The things you do are amazing! I have learned more from your blog than any other one. So inspiring. Thanks for sharing all your great tips.

  19. Pat Long says:

    What a fabulous fix!

  20. astounding! Thanks for that very useful tip. Makes me wonder where you learned to do it?

    • timquilts says:

      Most of what I do is just figure it out as I go, when I layered and basted this quilt I knew it was going to be a problem so I thought about how to fix it and I came up with this. That is the reason I did a grid pattern quilting, I knew that would help hide it

  21. Jan Masenthin says:

    I don’t what I can say that hasn’t been said, but I do think this is one of the best posts I’ve ever seen anywhere. I have spent my entire quilt life avoiding bias edges, and for outside edge settings, I always use quarter square triangles, starch them to death and then sew, but for a top already created, this is the best idea ever.

  22. Kate says:

    You’re such a clever chap! Enjoying the blog as always, and if you bring out a book, please put in a picture or two of your beautiful Tree quilt. Thanks for this great tip.

  23. sara says:

    You are a magician!

  24. audrey says:

    Wow! Utterly brilliant solution! Very inspiring.:)

  25. Julie Porter says:

    Wow! I cannot see where you put the pleat no matter how large I make the photo. As usual I am in awe. Well done Tim

    • timquilts says:

      Thanks Julie
      it is pretty amazing how a row of quilting can hide that pleat……Of course it works best on a solid fabric, I have not tried it on a larger print

  26. Hi Tim I discovered your blog not too long ago and have been slowly going through the archives at lunch time,etc. Your work is just amazing. Anyway, I’d made a mental note to comment on this post as you might enjoy a vintage grandmothers flower garden quilt that I have with these sort of bright colors / most likely from the 1930’s or so : I did a post about it awhile back and the link is here http://www.frugallittlebungalow.com/tuesday-treasures-vintage-grandmothers-flower-garden-quilt/
    It’s a treasure :)

  27. […] have been a problem but since they did I had to fix it. You can see how I did that here http://timquilts.com/2014/04/05/a-fix-for-the-bias-bulge/    The fix virtually disappears .once the quilting is done..after it is washed it will be even […]

  28. […] as the pieces were stitched together.  I did a post a while back about fixing that bias problem http://timquilts.com/2014/04/05/a-fix-for-the-bias-bulge/.  This quilt will need more than that simple fix.  I think I will end up taking out all the white […]


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