This post is a continuation of my last post – a tutorial on binding scallops. You might want to read that first, if you are interested in scalloping the edges of a quilt.
In this post, I want to give a few hints on figuring out what size to make your scallops and a few tips on making the process go a little quicker.
This is the first quilt that I scalloped the edges on (BTW – many of these pictures are of older quilts, so my photography leaves a lot to be desired).
I learned a LOT on this quilt – several of the things I mentioned in my last post – I cut the curves and then tried to sew along the curvy, stretchy edges. This is also the quilt that I didn’t tack the inside of the miters when I was doing the hand stitching, so many of the miters have pulled out.
The other major thing I learned, was not to use such small scallops. It practically took me all day to get the binding on this quilt (and that doesn’t include the hand-stitching). These scallops are so small that there are about 40 curves and miters to make going around this quilt. It took forever!
This is the second quilt that I scalloped the edges on. There are a few less miters, and I did a much better job on it. I guess that practice on the first one helped out a little!
On my third quilt, you can see I made my scallops even bigger, and I still liked them. It went much quicker, but still gave me the look I was going for.
With that being said, there are still some tricks to figuring out what size to make the scallops. Sometimes it is based on the size of the quilt. For example, you can hope that your quilt ends up a nice number like 60″ x 70″, where both sides are divisible by the same number. In this case, 6 – 10″ scallops on the width and 7 – 10″ scallops on the length (depending on how you want your corners to look). I will say that this hardly ever happens! Most often, you end up with something like 7 7/8″ long scallops on one side and 8 3/8″ long scallops on the other. You can then use a tool like the Easy Scallop Tool by Darlene Zimmerman to mark a scallop just that size. I have this tool, and it comes in two sizes. Both are easily adjustable to meet your desired size.
(If you don’t happen to have a scallop tool, you can always bring your quilt into the kitchen and find a plate or cover that is the right size. You might be surprised by how many size options you find in there! You can see which plate I used to mark this little runner!)
I also have another option for selecting the size of your scallop. The nice thing about this method is that you don’t have to do ANY math! It’s something that I use most of the time now. I just make my scallop the size of the blocks in the quilt. For example, see how the scallops below line up with the length of the block from point to point? That makes the size of the scallops the same for both the length and width of the quilt and eliminates the need to do any math.
This works great for all four sides of the quilt, but you sometimes have to make a few adjustments to get a nice curve on the corner. It works best if you only have a skinny inner border like the quilt shown above. Multiple borders can throw this theory off a bit.
However, I sometimes like what happens to the corners when you have a wider inner border or if the width of the combined borders doesn’t work out with the size of the scallop. The quilt below is a good example. I think the little pointed corners are cute! Another thing to notice on this one is that my scallops line up with the red squares, which is equal to the length of TWO blocks put together. I could easily have made the scallops the length of one block, but in this case, I liked the look of the elongated curve. It also meant about half as many inside points to miter – making the process much faster!
To make the process even faster, you can choose to scallop only two of the sides. I prefer to do just the top and bottom of the quilt, as you saw with the quilt from my last post.
I have also used this option on a baby quilt, for a little added interest. Notice how the stripe really makes the scallops show up!
This option even looks cute on a tablerunner, as shown below. It’s a great way to try scallops, without a huge commitment. If you end up hating it, you only had to do four miters ;-)
I have two more options for scalloping, if you really don’t want to try miters – The first is to have rounded inside corners, as shown below.
Instead of mitering the inside curves, you have to pull on the fabric slightly to make that inside curve lay flat (again, a thing that takes a bit of practice – just like the outside curve). I happen to think the mitered scallops are a little bit more dramatic, and therefore, cuter and worth the effort!
Lastly, I have one quilt that I appliqued a scallop to the border, kind of giving the look of scallops, but requiring no curved edges on your quilt. Again, not quite as dramatic, but still a fun option.
That’s all I can think of to add on scallops right now. I hope you found the information helpful and feel inspired to give scallops a try!