Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Scalloped Quilt Border Tutorial

 Ever since sharing my Winsome quilt last week I've received a lot of questions about how I did the scalloped border. I admit that up until this month I was completely intimidated by the idea of scallops, and also a little afraid I'd mess up my quilt. 

So today I wanted to share a tutorial showing how I created the scalloped border.  Are you ready to try it? 

How to add a scallop border to a quilt - a tutorial by A Bright Corner - a foolproof way to make a scalloped edge on a quilt

First of all, here's what we're talking about. See the curved edges on the quilt below?  That's a scalloped border.  

Around the web you can find a variety of different tutorials and tricks to make scallops. Each technique seems to have a different "look" to them.  Some have deeper curves, some are more of a "wave" look -- personally I prefer the size and shape of these scallops. 

Plus the tool I used here* makes scallops SO easy and you can use this template for any size quilt.  I'm not one to buy a bunch of unnecessary rulers, but this is definitely one that I'm happy to have in my toolbox.  I've used it twice in the last month and I know I'll be using it again.

**This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) when purchases are made through links found in this post. Thank you!


How to add a scallop border to a quilt - a tutorial by A Bright Corner - an easy way to make a scalloped edge on a quilt

Ready to get started?  Here's what you'll need:

How to add a scallop border to a quilt - a tutorial by A Bright Corner - an easy way to make a scalloped edge on a quilt

You'll also need a quilt that has already been quilted and is ready for binding. I'd recommend having no less than a 2.75" or 3" border on your quilt.  Keep in mind that if your border is less than 2.5" or 2.75" then you'll be cutting into the block portion of your quilt top when you cut the scallops!

Step 1: Trim the edges of your quilt so they're even.  Sometimes after quilting the edges of a quilt can be a bit wavy and you'll want a nice, straight edge to work with. I went around my whole quilt and trimmed the border to be 3.25" all the way around.  


Step 2:  Ok. Time for just a bit of math - and this is the trickiest part, I promise! 

 Measure the width and length of the quilt top.  Subtract 4" from each.  For example:

width: 68" - 4" = 64"

length: 77" - 4" = 73"

Take these two numbers and refer to the chart on page 15 of the booklet that comes with the ruler. By looking at the chart* I can see that for the top and bottom edge of the quilt I can get 8 scallops that are each 8" long.  And on the sides of the quilt I can get 9 scallops that will be about 8" long.

So now I know I'll be making 8" long scallops.  It's okay if your scallops are different sizes, but you'll want them as close in size as possible. Having 6" long scallops along the top edge and 9" long scallops along the sides would be noticeable. But having 7.5" and 8" scallops would not be.

*If you want to skip the chart and do the math yourself, scroll to the very bottom of this post and I'll step you through it. You really have a lot more options when you do the math yourself so it's worth taking a look!



Step 3: Use a straight ruler and a marking tool/pen to mark a diagonal line through the border to the corner.  I started marking mine with a hera marker but then realized the markings don't show up in photos well, so I added the purple line so you could see what I meant.

How to add a scallop border to a quilt - a great tutorial by A Bright Corner - she makes it look easy!

Step 4:  From step 2, I've determined that my scallops will be 8" long. So I find the 8" marking on the scallop ruler and place that on the diagonal line.  Be sure to have the solid line of the ruler placed on the edge of the quilt. 

Place a pin to mark the 8" spot on the other end of the ruler (see the circle in the photo below).

How to use the Scallops, Vines and Waves template from Quilt In A Day - A Bright Corner shows how to use the ruler to make a scalloped edge on a quilt


Step 5: Mark two more scallops in the same manner - placing the 8" ruler mark on the previous pin and adding a new pin where the next 8" ruler mark is.  


Tutorial for using the Scallops, Vines and Waves template from Quilt In A Day - A Bright Corner shows how to use the ruler to make a scalloped edge on a quilt


Step 6: After marking three scallops, move all the way down to the next corner and start marking scallops heading to the left.  Any size adjustments to the scallops will need to be made on the center scallops so we're starting on the corners and working our way in to the center.  

Place the 8" mark of the ruler on the diagonal line as we did previously. Place a pin in the 8" mark on the left end of the ruler.  Then move the ruler to the left and mark the next scallop in the same manner (see photo above). 

Step 7: Keep marking scallops on each end a couple at a time until you meet in the middle.  The photo below is where I met in the middle of my quilt - see how that center scallop will be larger than 8"?  It looks like my measurements are way off, but no worries!  This is where the adjusting comes in.


Tutorial for using the Scallops, Vines and Waves template from Quilt In A Day - A Bright Corner shows how to use the ruler to make a scalloped edge on a quilt


Because my center scallop is too large, I can go back through the center 3 or 4 scallops and adjust each one to be just a bit larger than 8".  It is important that you only adjust the center scallops and not the ones on the corners.  

For my quilt, the center few scallops ended up being more like 8.25" long but that difference is not noticeable in the finished quilt.


Step 8: Repeat steps 4-7 for the opposite side of the quilt, and then for the top and bottom of the quilt.

On the top and bottom of my quilt my center scallop was too small.  So I needed to adjust the center few scallops just a bit shorter than 8". They were more like 7.75" long, but again that wasn't noticeable in the finished quilt.    


Step 9: Once all scallops are marked with pins, you're ready to draw the scallops.  I used a Fine Point Disappearing Ink pen (air and water soluble) to mark my scallops.  But you can use any non-permanent marking pen.  Fat Quarter Shop has a Sewline Air Erasable Fabric Pen here that would work great.

Be sure to line up the solid line on the ruler with the edge of your quilt! (see photo below)

Tutorial for using the Scallops, Vines and Waves template from Quilt In A Day - A Bright Corner shows how to use the ruler to make a scalloped edge on a quilt

Draw the scallop then move the ruler down, using the pins and the edge of the quilt to line up the ruler.

TIP:  Leave the pins in your quilt until you begin cutting!  I had to step away from my quilt and by the time I got back, some of my scallops had faded and I needed to re-draw them.  I was so glad the pins were still there!

Tutorial for using the Scallops, Vines and Waves template from Quilt In A Day - A Bright Corner shows how to use the ruler to make a scalloped edge on a quilt

Continue marking the scallops around the edge of the quilt until you come back around to where you began.  You can see in the photo below how the arc of the scallop matches up with the other one at the corner.

Tutorial for using the Scallops, Vines and Waves template from Quilt In A Day - A Bright Corner shows how to use the ruler to make a scalloped edge on a quilt


Once the scallops are drawn, use a pair of sharp scissors to cut along the drawn lines.  Remove pins as you go.

 
How to add a scallop border to a quilt - a tutorial by A Bright Corner - an easy way to make a scalloped edge on a quilt

Honestly, this was the nerve wracking part for me! Double check your scallops if you need to, then just take a deep breath and start cutting.  

How to add a scallop border to a quilt - a tutorial by A Bright Corner - an easy way to make a scalloped edge on a quilt

My corners had a bit of a point to them, which is not unusual (see photo below)...

I've always wanted to make a scalloped edge on a quilt - love this tutorial by A Bright Corner - she shows how to do it!

...so I just used my scissors to smooth out that curve. Much better!

How to add a scallop border to a quilt - a tutorial by A Bright Corner - an easy way to make a scalloped edge on a quilt

You did it! Well done. See....not that bad, right?  

Now you're ready to add the binding.  You'll need bias binding for this quilt which will help it to lay beautifully flat around all of those curved edges.  I cut my bias binding strips at 2.25 for this project.


Tutorial for adding a scalloped border to a quilt - tips and tricks from A Bright Corner

Binding this quilt works just like binding a regular quilt but at each scallop "valley" you'll stop at the bottom point, leave your needle in the fabric and pivot the quilt to line up the edge of the next scallop. Then keep going. 

The first few scallop "valleys" may feel strange to you but you'll quickly get the hang of it.  

Scalloped edge quilt tutorial - how to add a scalloped border on a quilt - a helpful tutorial from A Bright Corner

I do recommend machine stitching the binding to the front of the quilt, and then hand stitching it to the back of the quilt. Everyone has their preferred way of doing quilt binding so it's hard to say what will work best for you.  

Scalloped edge quilt tutorial - how to add a scalloped border on a quilt - a helpful tutorial from A Bright Corner

Some tips:

  • One thing I learned is that it's a lot less exact than I thought it needed to be.  Small adjustments in the middle few scallops are not noticeable in the finished quilt.  
  • The first time you make scalloped edges on a quilt will be the slowest.  Then you'll get the hang of it and it will be quicker next time - and more fun.
  • If you prefer more of a wavy edge instead of a true scallop, the same ruler will help you with that - another reason to have this ruler in your toolbox. There are separate instructions inside the booklet for doing a wavy edge, plus another section for adding applique vines to a quilt. It really is such a useful tool!
Winsome quilt by A Bright Corner - love the scalloped border - she share a helpful tutorial for how to add a scallop edge on a quilt

If you have any additional questions that I didn't answer just add them to the comments at the bottom of the post! 

And for more details about the quilt shown in these photos, visit this blog post.


How to add a scallop border to a quilt - a tutorial by A Bright Corner - tips for making a scalloped edge on a quilt


Want to figure out the math on your own?  Here's how:


Measure the width and length of the quilt top.  Subtract 4" from each.  For example:

width: 68" - 4" = 64"

length: 77" - 4" = 73"


Next, we want to find a number that we can divide them both by (or close enough).  This will help us determine the size of the scallop and how many will be on each side. 

In this case, I can divide 64 and 73 both by 8

64 / 8 = 8

73 / 8 = 9.125 (which is really close to 9 so we'll be rounding that down)

So now I know that across the top of my quilt I can make 8 scallops that are 8" long and down each side I can make 9 scallops that are 8" long.


Want to see another example?  Let's say you've made a baby quilt that is 45" x 45"

width: 45" - 4" = 41"

length: 45" - 4" = 41"

If I divide by 7, I get 5.85

So I can make 6 scallops per side that are about 7" long 

If I divide by 8, I get 5.125

Which means I could make 5 scallops per side that are about 8" long

If I divide by 4, I get 10.25

Which means I could make 10 scallops per side that are about 4" long


See how many options you have when you do the math yourself? I love that!

There is a bit of wiggle room and you really can play around with what size of scallop you want to have.  With a smaller quilt like a baby or crib size, I'd probably go for a shorter length of scallop.  But for a queen or king I'd use a longer scallop.  

When doing the math, there's no one right answer. Play around with the numbers and you can even go ahead and mark a few scallops on the quilt to see if you like the scale of the scallop in comparison to the quilt design!


 

How to add a scallop border to a quilt - a tutorial by A Bright Corner - tips for making a scalloped edge on a quilt

Be sure to pin one of these images so you can find this tutorial again later!

How to add a scallop border to a quilt - a tutorial by A Bright Corner - an easy way to make a scalloped edge on a quilt




12 comments:

  1. It's a beautiful quilt. Great pattern, wonderful colors, and a scalloped border - love it. Thanks for the tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you - great tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  3. IMG_7795.jpg
    I used the same ruler for my scallops. Your tutorial is clearly written so that other quilters will have confidence to give scallops a try.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you Andy! Phew, a few more tools I need! I’ll have to reread this a few times to “get it”, but I hope to get the courage to try it some day!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very clear instructions and helpful photos. I look forward to trying a scalloped border.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The instructions were great and I understood them....lol. I'm going to give this a go on a quilt I have ready to bind. Thanks for the tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love the quilt! And thanks so much for the tutorial. I've been terrified of trying scalloped borders but I think I'll give it a try now. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow! What an excellent, informative tutorial! Something a little different for someone looking for a new challenge. It’s obvious you put a lot of thought and hard work into putting this together.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow you were so great clear step .l am ready to try to do in my quilt .thanks for your tutorial and experience with tips.11.7.20

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...