Here is the fabric that was left after I cut out the many squares and rectangles to make the bias. Yes, I'm a little bit worried at this point. I didn't have any large pieces of fabric so I had to individually cut each strip and sew it together. The seam ripper was my friend today.
Here I'm getting ready to apply the piping to the pillow front. Please note that I did not enclose the cording completely. I left approximately 3 inches open and started the stitching in the middle of one side.
Here's where I marked corners. This is important for turning the corner with the piping. The piping will need to be clipped to turn the corner.
At this point, I have almost finished applying the piping to the front panel. I stop stitching about 3 or 4 inches from the end of the piping. This will leave a gap of 5 or 6 inches. Pin the cording out of the way so that only the bias out.
I had a piece of the bias that was about 3 inches long that I fold in half the long way and pressed. Mark the middle of this strip with a needle.
In this picture, you can see that the piping has been pinned out of the way. I have taken the short strip and pinned it approximately half way in between the seams. Now, take another pin and mark the pillow front. Now, trim the right bias piece to the left edge of the short trim piece.
Repeat the process with the left bias piece and trim to the right of the short trim piece.
Now, pin the bias trim at 90 degree angles (make sure that the right sides are together). Draw a line from corner to corner. This will be your stitching line. After stitching, trim to 1/4" seam allowance.
Now, the bias for the piping is a continuous piece. The next thing is to trim the cording for the piping so that the two ends meet. Complete the stitching. Now, you have piping that doesn't have a visible starting / ending point.
Here's the back of the completed pillow cover. You can just barely see the zipper along the bottom edge.
Here's the pillow cover with the pillow form inserted. It's a little bit dog eared. I don't know if that is because of how I stuffed the pillow form in or just the nature of a square pillow. I know that there are templates available that help to prevent the dog eared points. I have also heard that if you do not add the seam allowances to the pillow cover that it will be nice and firm. I would guess that the corners would be filled out fairly well also. If anyone has tried the technique of not adding the seam allowances, I would love to hear how it turned out.
The information for the continuous bias is from Robbie Fanning's book "The Complete Book of Machine Quilting". She credits the technique to Ann Person of Stretch & Sew.