Wednesday, 11 April 2007

How to make a scalloped border

This is my finished tablerunner which started life as a Dresden Plate UFO cut from Liberty Lawn fabrics about 8 years ago. I have used the Easy Scallop tool by Darlene Zimmerman (made by EZ Quilting) to create the scalloped border. This is the second time I've used the tool, and I like the vintage look which it gives to the item.

Step one: trim the border to a consistent width - I have trimmed the flower fabric to 3.5 inches wide. Measure the length of the borders and decide how many scallops you want. My side length was 32.25 inches, and I decided on 5 scallops. Rounding up gives a scallop of 6.5 inches. My end borders are 13.5 inches, so I think I will get away with the 6.5 inch scallop on the ends as well.

Step two) Use the tool to mark the scallops along the border. The tool comes with instructions on how to mark. I find it helpful to run a line of marking tape from point to point across the scallop (just visible in photo) to give me a visual reference on whether I am holding the tool parallel to the border (otherwise I find it easy to start getting crooked). In the picture I am using the tool to round off the corner. Do not cut on the line you have marked - instead, run a line of hand-basting along the line to stabilise the edge.

Step three) using a quarter-inch seam, sew on your bias binding, aligning the raw edge with your marked line. Note that it must be bias binding, straight-of-grain binding will not work on the curved edges. At each inner point, pivot the work under the machine and stitch out of the point, ensuring that you don't stitch in any puckers. Ease the binding around the curves, don't stretch it or your quilt will not lie flat. I am using a commercial binding here as I found a bucket of forgotten binding at the back of my cupboard. The tool recommends starting the binding by pressing under 1/4 inch, then ending by overlapping the starting point by one inch and trimming at a diagonal. I find this does make a noticeable bump - on a bigger quilt I would join the conventional way with a diagonal seam.

Step four) Trim the border to the edge of your binding, ensuring that your inner points have a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance (no need to clip). I like to lightly steam press the binding outward from the quilt, I find this helps it to turn over the edge more easily. Turn the binding to the back, and hand-stitch it down. Finally, I give another light steam press to encourage the edge to lie flat. You are finished.!


Kim said...

Hey! Cool! Thanks for the tutorial! I have a round robin quilt that I want to add a scalloped border to, and it's always so hard to try to do the calculations and have it end up looking right. I'll have to look for this tool!

swooze said...

Your tablerunner came out gorgeous! Great job!

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