Handy Gadgets – Making Bias Stems for Appliqué Quilting with the Clover Bias Maker

One of my all time favourite gadgets is the Clover Bias Tape maker for making Bias Stems for Appliqué Quilting. Combined with a nice hot iron and a bit of starch you can make continuous bias or just a few strips of bias to make into stems. To be honest I find that a 1/2m piece of fabric cut on the bias will give me long enough stems for most applique patterns that I attempt.

Clover bias makers

So how do they work. Prepare your fabric and make a cut on the bias using the 45 degree mark on your quilting ruler. Then cut a strip of fabric the required width for the for the maker you are using. I have one of every size but probably use the 9mm and 12mm ones the most.

Cutting strips on bias

Feed the fabric through the back of the tape maker and use a pin to guide it to the end. It is probably a good idea to spray starch the fabric to begin with so that tape stays folded longer and you don’t have to redo the process.starting off

I tend to do this a little differently than the instructions on the packet. I like to turn the tape maker over with the front of the tape facing up and the folded edges down on the board. I feed a bit through pressing as I go, then when I have enough at the edge of the iron to hold I leave the iron on the board and pull the tape slowly through. I find this stretches the bias slightly and gives a nice crisp fold with the help of the spray starch.

Feeding through the tape maker

I am currently pressing heaps of these little suckers in various sizes to use in the border of an applique quilt that I am working on. It gets a bit boring but by the end I will have a nice supply of stems and vines to applique in place. You can purchase iron on strips to put on the back of the tape to keep in place however I find that dots of Roxanne glue are better at keeping the stems securely in place before they are stitched down and it is a cheaper option.

Stems in place ready to stitch

Amanda Bergamin

About Amanda Bergamin

Amanda has been quilting for 20 years and sewing most of her life having learnt from her mum and nana. She started Seabreeze Quilts about 5 years ago designing patterns for her etsy shop. Her favourite technique is needle turn applique, but she also uses machine applique, machine quilting (she quilts all her own quilts usually by machine) and machine piecing. No matter how long Amanda has been quilting she know the value of classes and learning from others. As well as teaching beginners classes, Amanda always makes sure to take at least one or two classes a year, as there hasn’t been a class she has attended where she has not learnt something new from the teacher or other students. Over the last two years she has run a free BOM on her blog seabreezequilts.blogspot.co.nz. Patterns for the month are available for free then up for sale in her etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/seabreezequiltsoz for a small price so you can catch up if you want to join in.


  1. O no, that just reminded me, I did a workshop with Western Quilters and made a celtic panel, but being a working girl then could not find time to finish it and this just reminded me it is in a box somewhere patiently waiting for me, hahahaha! Seeing this made me think of it and now am on the hunt! Thank you for the shakeup xxx

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