Clover Bias Stem Maker–Tutorial

Clover Bias Stem Maker, quilts, TUTORIALS

I was asked if I could show how to use the clover bias stem maker for applique by one of my readers.  Use the link above to see where you can buy it and what it looks like.  The bias stem makers come in a variety of sizes.  For all of them, cut the width of the opening plus a 1/8 to 1/4 inch on each side for the fold.  For the 1/4” that I am using I cut 3/4” inch strips of fabric.  If you have a 1/2” maker you cut your strips at least 1 inch ect.

1 – First you cut your fabric into bias strips.  I am using a stem maker that produces 1/4” stems, cut as many strips as you need.


2- turning to the metal side of the gadget use a pointing object such as a stiletto to slide the fabric into the slot.  The fabric will fold automatically as you pull it out and press, you do not need to fold anything to get started.


3- pull it out just a little bit to make sure the folds are even and you are ready to start.


4- with your heated iron press down the edge that you pulled out, then gradually slide the gadget to your left while you press down on the folds on the right (if you are right handed – otherwise reverse order if you are a lefty)– you will get the hang of this and it goes quickly – just keep the iron down and keep pulling the gadget in the opposite direction.


5- by keeping your iron down the whole time you will find you come to the end quickly and it all stays folded in place because you are pressing at the same time you are pulling the Clover product.


6- When I am done I press the folded side one more time to make sure it is all in place, then I turn it over and press from the top.  Word of warning – if you decide to use spray starch after you have flipped it over it is possible from the moisture that your folds will come unfolded.


Now I am ready to cut and glue baste in place.  Using my glue I dot on both sides of the fold to keep it in place.


Press with your finger lightly and it will stay in place – you could pin if you prefer or pin and basting stitches.


Part way done.  I will finish glue basting the stems in place then applique these flowers and stems in place then add a round of green at the base of each flower where the petals join the stems.  All of this will be needle turned applique in place then I will go on to the next round of applique which includes a different type of flower and the pineapples – with 27 tiny red circles in each 4 pineapples – won’t that be fun Sad smile


I hope this helps.  These are inexpensive gadgets and I have at least 2 or 3 different sizes.  There is some fusible tape that you can also purchase that goes with these.  I have tried it and use it sometimes but I have found at times it shows through to the front and also when you iron it down it doesn’t always hold – or maybe my iron isn’t hot enough? I just know I have not always had luck with it.  If you use the fusible tape you put that in the gadget also.  The tape would go on the opposite side of the gadget – on the top – and you just move it along at the same time and your iron would be on top of the fusible tape.

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6 comments… add one
  • Marlene Mar 21, 2011

    Great tutorial Karen! I have several sizes and have used them all at one time or another. I don’t applique so much any more but when I do they’re a big time saver. blessings, marlene
    Marlene recently posted…UFO 8My Profile

  • lil red hen Mar 21, 2011

    Thanks Karen; my tape maker isn’t a Clover so maybe that’s the reason I’ve had trouble using it. I think I probably cut my strips too narrow also. By the way, have you seen the electric tape maker by Simplicity? I just happened to see it while looking at their website for apron patterns. Sorta pricey, but might be worth it for someone using a lot of bias pieces.

  • Vivian Mar 21, 2011

    Thanks for the tutorial. The last quilt you designed as you went along turned out great. I’m sure this one will too. Have a great spring day!
    Love this weather.
    Vivian recently posted…Applique DesignMy Profile

  • anina Mar 21, 2011

    I may need one of these for the GIANT new project I am crazy enough to (maybe) tackle.
    anina recently posted…InspirationMy Profile

  • Becky in VA Mar 21, 2011

    What glue do you recommend? Does it show until the quilt is washed?
    Thanks for always sharing the details of your beautiful quilting!

  • Crispy Mar 22, 2011

    Those little bias strip tools are wonderful. I wish they would come out with one that does a 1/8th inch strip :0)


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