Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fusible Bias Strips for Celtic Knots

I was in need a St. Patrick's Day wall hanging, so I opened EQ7, and designed away!  Here's the idea:
I wanted a Celtic knot design in the borders, and designed those parts to the correct size using old fashioned paper, pencil, and circle templates.
Here's one:
Making these knots is a lot of fun, and if you've never done it, here's how.

Required items are: a teflon sheet, pattern, fusible bias tape maker (I used the 1/4"), and 5mm fusible web, tape, and pins. 
Start by making the fusible bias strip.  I cut bias strips a smidge (1/16") larger than the recommended 1/2" because my fabric would not fold over enough.  Experiment with a size strip that will allow both cut edges to meet in the center.  Attach the end of the strip to an ironing surface, and using a slow, steady movement of the iron, fuse the fusible down to the strip as it comes out of the tool.
Position the knot pattern under a teflon sheet, securing the sheet down with tape or pins (I use tape as I don't want a bunch of holes in my sheet!).
Pin or tape down the beginning of the strip, and iron down the fusible bias tape onto the teflon sheet, following the pattern.  Now, the trick with Celtic knots is to have them weave over and under.
And if there's is not a strip long enough to complete a side, another can easily be added at an 'under' junction.  So don't throw away the little leftover pieces--they can come in handy for short segments of the pattern.
Clip the piece to go under so that the end is in the center of the 'over' piece.
Put that piece underneath, then join in another long piece, butting the two cut ends under the other.   
Continue following the pattern, paying attention to the over/under sequence.
When it's all done, peel the piece up from the teflon sheet to get a Celtic knot ready to fuse in place.
To apply, lightly press centering marks in the piece to be fused to, and line up the knot on those marks.
Using your favorite applique stitch and thread choice, stitch around both edges of the strips.  When approaching an intersection, continue to stitch on those pieces going over, but stop stitching and jump over on those pieces going under. Here's a closeup of the stitching:
Isn't it beautiful?  I hope you have found this tutorial helpful and will try a Celtic knot on your next St. Patrick's Day quilt!

Happy Quilting!


  1. I have found that using a light table helped immensely. I put a small lamp into a (clean) trash can and then used a glass table round over it. Home made light table voila! Then no need for the tracing paper etc.

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