Tuesday, May 2, 2017

How To Make a Scalloped Quilt Binding

 If you already know how to bind a quilt, then making a scalloped binding is not hard at all! Here's how you do it...

Make a double fold BIAS binding that is about 50% longer than the length you would need for a straight binding quilt. I guessed and made way too much, but better too much than not enough, right?

Then I make my pattern from freezer paper. Unroll a length at least as long as your quilt and cut it in half lengthwise. You will be able to use the other half on another quilt.  Fold the freezer paper back and forth evenly to any size you desire (this does not have to be any size specifically, I'll show you why later.)

Once the paper is folded back and forth neatly and evenly, trace the curve shape you want (use a plate, platter, template or free hand) and staple the layers together near the tracing line but on the side that will be cut away. This will stabilize the layers and keep them from shifting while cutting.

Now cut on the traced line through all of the layers and discard the stapled side, or save it for reuse.

Unfold the freezer paper to reveal the pattern repeat.

Lay this on the border of the quilt that has ALREADY BEEN QUILTED WITH THE EDGES TRIMMED EVENLY. Line up the straight side with the border seam or the scalloped side with the edge of the quilt. Determine how wide you want your border to be and adjust accordingly.

Before tracing the scalloped edge with a pencil, move the pattern along the edge of the quilt to determine the best placement for the center and corners of the scallops on the quilt.

Then trace the same way on the opposite border, checking to see that the opposite borders will be lined up exactly the same way.
Now repeat this on the remaining two sides. Create a gently curve around the corners to connect the scallops.

Machine stitch the BIAS BINDING to the quilt 1/4" away from the edge of the binding, following the pencil lines of the curves. Take care not to stretch the binding during stitching. When turning the inside corners, adjust the binding so that it does not get caught in the stitching. See the photo above for hand placement.

Keep the binding in a roll on the sewing machine and unroll as needed. This keeps the binding tidy.

Trim away the excess with a rotary cutter or scissors.

Snip the quilt into the corners (but not the binding) almost to the stitching line. This will allow these points to lay flat.

This will be the only waste left after the trimming.

Your binding can be hand stitched down on the back or machine stitched in the ditch from the front to hold down the wrapped edge of the binding as I did here.

You can make any size, shape or variation of scallops or curves on the edge of any quilt. Save your scallops patterns and reuse them over and over.

Now enjoy those beautiful curves!



  1. Thanks for the great tutorial! That is just how I do it except for I never thought to use freezer paper. I have a giant role of drawing paper, but freezer paper would allow me to actually have it stay on the edge while tracing. Thanks!

  2. You make this look so easy - thanks for the great instructions and pictures!

  3. I really enjoyed this tutorial! I would suggest a small (but important) revision. It would be helpful to add the word "bias" in the first section about making double fold binding. You do mention bias binding later on but I can foresee a jump starter not reading all the way through before beginning to make the binding.

  4. Thank you a lot for this wonderful tutorial ! I don't use freezer paper but I have some scallops in plastic template to make mine !
    Freezer paper is an excellent option !

  5. Fantastic tutorial ,you make so easy that I want to try it!

  6. Very good tutorial. I've had piecers bring me the top to quilt and it's already scalloped. Ugh!

  7. A scalloped border definitely gives a quilt an elegant look. Thanks for the tutorial

  8. thank you! I so want to try this one day~

  9. Wonderful tutorial! I think I had the concept figured out, but this makes it crystal clear. Thank you! I pinned it already so I can find it when needed! Hope that's alright.:)

  10. Wonderful tutorial! Thanks so much!

  11. Thanks for the great tutorial! Now I want to put curves on the next available quilt!


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