How to Make a Scalloped Edge on a Quilt


Hi, it’s Jenny from, the Missouri Star Quilt Company. We’ve got a fun tutorial for you today. This is one that’s been asked for and asked for and we’re going to teach you how to do the scallop edging on the edge of a quilt. This is the ruler I use. There are lots of rulers out there. They’re all probably fine. This is just the one I use. We have it available here in the shop it’s from Quilt In A Day.

What I like about it is it can help you do vines, the wavy border, or the scallops. So, it’s three different uses. OK the first thing we’re going to do is measure our quilt. We have this darling little quilt. This is made with three Charm Packs from Rural Jardín. I hope I said that right I’m not French
you know, but this is adorable quilt, we have a small border on it and we’re going to scallop the edges. So, when you open up this ruler, you get a little book inside, and the book is really helpful because it gives you all kinds of information and tells you exactly how to do it. It just takes you through it step by step, and so, we’re going to go over here to the part on the scalloping and this is the table that you use.

So, the first thing we do is we measure our quilt. This quilt measures 60” by 52”. The next thing it tells you to do is subtract 4” from each measurement, and you don’t have to remember that because it’s in the book. So, when you get your new measurement which 60” from 4” is 56” you just go down the side of this table right here when you get to 56” it tells me that I can do seven 8” scallops. So it’s like set out for you so it makes it really easy. Now let me show you how we mark that.

The first thing you’re going to do now is you’re going to draw a
diagonal line on your corners, and you just do this from the corner to the edge of your block you’re going to draw a diagonal line. I just go ahead and do it in pencil. There’s your line right there, and you do that on all the corners. Then you’re going to take your scalloping template, and right here you can see it says scallop, line up with the edge of the quilt.

So you put this line right on the very edge of your quilt. Now remember it said we were going to have 8” scallops so what I’m going to do is I’m going to put a little piece of, this is a post it note but you can use painters tape to help me remember where my 8” scallops are.

Right there, and then we’re going to put this corner of this 8” here even it on the top, and then right to the edge of this scallop. What this is going to do is
give you that nice curve for the corner. So, then we’re going to go along here and you can mark it with a pencil or you can pin it every 8”. I like to do this before I draw it out to make sure that it fits. If there’s any discrepancy in your placement it’s easiest to come in from the edges and make up that little difference middle.

So, we’re just going to pin along here on the eights and see how it works out here. There we go. Alright, so there’s another one, pretty sure this is going to go all the way over to the edge. Going to grab some pins here. Alright here we go, is our next one, and see how we just use that little edging of that tape on there, and what’s so easy is that it just tells you in the book how many you need. You don’t have to figure it out. You know, I used to use a half of a
plate, or a cup, but you just never know if that’s going to work out perfectly, and this just works out perfectly.

So, there we are at the eight and see how it just comes right to the edge of, this is our corner again. Got to line it up here on the top. Don’t forget that. And it’s going to go, right there. So, now what we’re going to do is we go back. Because we know this is going to fit, we’re going to go back like this, and we’re going to line it up again using our pin marks, and our edge marks and we’re going to draw in that line. Remember you do this all after your quilt is quilted and ready to go. Then we’re going to draw this all along here and see how that scallop is taking place now. Make sure your line stays lined up on the edge, and this is the only, or one of the few edges that you actually really need a bias binding for, because when it goes around the curve you need that bias. So that it can bend and it doesn’t have the folds in it. It’ll just lay really easily.

Alright, we’ve got the whole side done here, and we’re over to our diagonal line. Then we’re going to come around this corner and we’re still keeping our line even with the top we’re going to come around the corner and we’re going line it up with this, I’m going to take that off right here, see where this line is? We move this so that the 8” is right there matched with that line, pull this up, there we go. You just got to get those lines right, you want to have a nice corner, and then you can draw it in.

Then, now before you want to go down this line you want to do the same thing and mark your 8” all the way along here. For the use of this we’re going to go ahead and trim this out and show you how that looks. So, we just finished all the tracing and as you noticed I used a regular number two charcoal pencil not generally the best thing to use on your fabric but it shows up well for the camera, but I wanted to show you some of the things we have available at the shop.

We’ve got some great marking pencils. This is one of those fun ones that you can carry that has the different leads, and these kind of things. These are generally better they wash out very well and very quickly, but we needed to show it for the camera. So now we’re going to trim it out, and this is sometimes a scary thing for people because you’re trimming on your finished quilt, but it’s necessary. So, we just come right along this line right here, and we’re just going to trim this out right to the edges, and you can see the scallop taking shape. Isn’t this going to be darling! Once you know the size of those scallops you can just go ahead and mark all the way around.

OK, so we’re going to finish cutting this and I’ll show you how to put on that bias binding.

OK, so here we are at the corner and we’re just going to go ahead and trim right around this corner here. The middle of your scallop should hit this diagonal line and if it has a little bit of a peak you just want to round that off so you have a nice corner. Let me turn this, so I can get to it with my left hand there. We’re just going to come right around there, you clip up to those edges. There we go, keep going all the way around till it’s all trimmed.

OK, so we made this binding using the continuous binding method for the bias. We’ve ironed it in half. It’s just a 2 ½” strip and we ironed it in half and I like to start my binding on a scalloped edge, someplace inconspicuous, so I wouldn’t start on the corner, but I’d start it kind of in the middle here and you just put it on like normal.

So we’re going to slide it under this foot, and because the bias binding has a pull to it, it moves a little easier, you can just move it around these curves, and I just want to show you, I don’t do any tucking on these curves. What I do is I get down here, I kind of let my needle be in the down position, I lift up my foot and I’m going to turn the whole quilt and then just pull that bias around it. So, I don’t do any tucking or anything like that. We’re going to
go around this.

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  • lisa

    Thank you for showing this.  I have been wondering how to do this for quite sometime. I am going to purchase the tool from you soon and try it on my next quilt. Thanks again for all your tutorials. They have helped me with a lot of my projects.

    • Sarah

      You are so welcome!  Glad that you are enjoying the tutorials!  

  • Kileesgranny

    That was great, thanks!  I have had this ruler for a while and just didn’t really understand how to do it.  Now I do!  Thanks for the tutorial.

    • Sarah

      You are very welcome!!  It sure makes the quilt unique!  I just love extra touch it gives it!  Have a great week!

  • Cyndyrae

    Loved this. I have always wanted to do quilts with scalloped edges but have been too afraid of wrecking my quilt. Will have a go now that I have seen how it is done. Thanks Cyndy

  • Coleen

    I love the look of the scallop edge. I am finally making it, but I’m stuck on how to finish the binding?? Using the binding tool doesn’t seem like it will work.  ?

    • Sarah

      The scallop edge and the binding tool won’t work together.  We are working on a tutorial on how to finish the binding on a scallop edge!  Keep your eyes out!

  • Jan

    This is an excellent tutorial.  Thank you for doing this.  I am going to attempt this scalloped border soon and will need to get this tool.  

    • Sarah

      You will LOVE IT!! It’s  such a great tutorial!

  • Sylvie14

    I love this tutorial!!  I always liked the look of a scalloped edge, but didn’t realize it coud be so easy!!Thanks!!!

    • Sarah

      You’re so welcome!  

  • Misa Rainbolt

    I am so glad you had this tutorial because I have a quilt I want to make a scalloped edge on!!  So helpful…Thank You!  By The Way…LOVE THE RULER TOO!!!

  • Nice tutorial. Another technique I have to try and the ruler makes it look so easy. Thanks.

    • Jackie MSQC

      Thank you- have fun!!!

  • Judy Gilchrist

    Another awesome tutorial. I am now ready to order the scalloped binding template. Thank you. Please keep these tutorials coming although they do hinder my sleep at night as that is the only time I get to watch them. My husband thinks you have a soothing voice Jenny…..puts him to sleep every night. LOL Thanks

    • JenM

      You’ll really enjoy this tool. Adds such a pretty touch to your quilts. I do love Jenny’s voice too. Sweet dreams of quilting!

  • Madlyn Gay

    Love this tutorial even though it’s old as dirt! Love you too Jenny! Just ordered the Scalloped Edged Ruler and can’t wait to use it.

    • JenM

      Old but timeless? Enjoy your new ruler!

  • Cathy Hoffman

    In this video each side was divisible by 8 – what if the sides weren’t multiples of the same number? Would your scallops have to be a different size on top and bottom than on the two sides?

    • Sheena Maddock

      I was wondering the same things. My quilt will be 67″ x 50″. I could trim down an inch on either side to make it 66 x 59. Then I could do 6″ scallops on one side but not the other. HELP!

  • Maria O’Brien Hylton

    As always, such high quality instruction from Jenny! I am a huge fan of Missouri Star Quilt Company…I want to get out to Hamilton, MO for a visit!