SCALLOP QUILT BINDING

Scallop quilt binding

Scallop quilt binding

Do you ever feel that you’d like to give your quilt something extra with the binding?  Most of my quilts are bound with 2.1/2″fabric folded in half.  It’s simple, I know what I am doing and it finishes the quilt neatly.  Sometimes, though, it’s fun to try a new method quilt binding and recently I decided to try my hand at scalloped quilt binding.  It took longer than normal quilt binding, but I was really pleased with the results.

 

Design the scallop binding

The first thing to do is to decide on the lengths of scallop that you want to use.  My quilt measured 32″ by 40″ so I could use 8″ scallops on all four sides of the quilt.  If the quilt width and length had been different I would have used different lengths of scallop on the top and bottom compared with the scallop length on the sides of the quilt.

Make a paper template for the scallops

Make a paper template for the scallops

 

I marked an 8″ straight line on a piece of paper and used a plate to draw a gentle curve between the ends of the straight line.  This will be the profile of the scallop for the quilt binding.  I cut it out and used the paper template – I didn’t feel that it needed the extra step of making a cardboard template.

 

 

Mark the scallops on to the quilt edge

Mark the scallops on to the quilt edge

 

Work your way round the quilt edge marking the curves of the scallop template on to the fabric.  This will be the cutting line so it doesn’t matter what you use to mark the curves.  Don’t cut the curves.  At the quilt corners blend the line from the two scallops that meet at the corner to create a curve round the corner.

 

Cut the bias binding for scallops

Cut fabric on the bias for the binding

Cut fabric on the bias for the binding

Cut strips on the bias

Cut strips on the bias

For straight edge quilts I usually use straight grain binding, but for the curves of scallop quilt binding the binding has to cut on the bias so that it will ease round the curves.

Cutting binding on the bias means cutting across the diagonal of a square of fabric rather than across or up and down the fabric.  I cut a 42″ length of fabric across the width and then folded one corner across to the diagonally opposite corner to create a triangle.  Then line the ruler up with the fold of the fabric and cut lengths of quilt binding.  Most quilters seem to recommend a 1.1/4″ widths of binding but I find that a bit fiddly so I use 1.1/2″  strips and that works well for me.  Incidentally the 42″ square gave me far more quilt binding than I needed.  A square half the size would have been adquate.

Sew two strips of binding together

Sew two strips of binding together

 

Joining two pieces of quilt binding for the scallops is just the same as for straight binding:  place the two ends with right sides together at right angles to each other and sew along the seam as shown by the pin in the photo.

 

 

Sew the scallop binding to the quilt edge

Begin binding half way along a scallop

Begin binding half way along a scallop

Sew the scallop binding along the marked curves

Sew the scallop binding along the marked curves

Beginning half way along one of the scallops, place the binding with right side down and the edge of the binding on the line you marked earlier around the scallop template.  Leave a few inches of binding unsewn to join up with the other end of the binding and star sewing 1/4″ from the edge of the quilt, following the marked line.

 

You should be able to ease the quilt binding around the curve of the scallop as you sew but at the point of the V where two scallops join you will need to stop sewing, lift the presser foot and swivel the quilt so that you can sew in the different direction for the next scallop.  I find that it helps to sew one or two stitches in the new direction and then stop and lift the presser foot again to smooth out the quilt binding in the new direction.

When you have sewn the quilt binding all round the quilt, stop sewing a few inches from the start of the binding and join the two trailing ends in the usual way by folding under a small hem and tucking one end inside theother end.

Trim the excess fabric around the corners

Trim the excess fabric around the corners

Trim into the V of the scallop

Trim into the V of the scallop

It is at this stage that I trim the excess quilt wadding and fabric around the corners and into the V between the scallops.  I find that leaving this until after I have sewn the quilt binding to the quilt means that I have a regular 1/4″ all the way round when I flip the binding to the quilt backing and slipstitch it.  When I trimmed the edges before sewing I found that I had not always managed to keep to 1/4″ and it made the binding a bit untidy.

 

Clip the curves

Clip the curves

 

I have also found that the V between the scallops is neater if I don’t cut into the V right up to the stitching.  Usually if I see a V in anything I am sewing I almost automatically clip into the stitching of the V.

 

 

 

Quilt binding with scallops

Quilt binding with scallops

 

After trimming the quilt edges, flip the quilt binding to the backing.  Turn under a small hem as you slipstitch in place.  I’m sure that you will agree that quilt binding with scallops makes a delightfully different quilt.

 

 

Here’s the video:

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Comments

  1. Thank you for the great directions. I have finished piecing a Bali Wedding Star by Judy Niemeyer and will need to do the scallop border as soon as it is quilted. These directions will make it infinitely easier. Thanks!!!!

  2. Elizabeth Welsh says:

    Thanks for all the great tips for a scalloped edge binding. Most of the directions I’ve been able to find tell you how to calculate the length of bias binding you will need to complete a quilt. Also included with those directions is a notation that scalloped edged quilts require more length. But nowhere can I find any direction on how to calculate/estimate this extra length. Does anyone have an answer on how to calculate this “extra?”

    • Hi Elizabeth. I think that the additional length of binding needed would vary depending on the number and depth of the scallops. I think that I would suggest estimating the binding length in the normal way and adding 10%. That’s not a scientific estimate – just my best guess.

  3. Carol Honas says:

    I have a strip of material about 11″ wide that I want to put scallops on and use as an edge to a quilt. How can I do this?

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