Updated: Jul 23, 2022
How to Bind Scalloped Edges
Well, here we go again! I've shown you how to make bias binding (you can find those instructions here. Now, it’s time to actually do the binding! Here are a few tips and tricks I thought would be helpful.
Start your binding with a tail of at least 6-8” unsewn. I almost always start on the upside of the “valley” as it rounds over the hill (I put a pin to hold the binding where I plan to start). I usually do double machine binding, so I actually sew my binding to the back then roll it to the front and top-stitch it down. For the sake of this photo, I have the binding applied to the front (the more traditional method of finishing, where it will then be hand stitched to the back).
(click to enlarge)
Working only a few inches at a time, lay the binding gently along the edge of the curved edge; on the “hills” you will be generous with the binding almost forcing more on the hills than would naturally happen (almost). On the “valleys” you will give the binding a little tug, easing it around the inside curve ever so slightly.
When you get to the corners, you will be extra generous again. You do not want to tug at all on these outside curves because bias binding stretches and will act almost like elastic shrinking back once it has been stitched down. This will give you what we call a tulip petal look once it has been turned to the other side and stitched. Here’s a quilt I did a while back, and you can see how the corner curves up because I tugged at the wrong time!
The “hills” and corners should look like lettuce leaves with the binding waffling freely. The “valleys” should look like tulip petals with the binding cupping up off the quilt.
Once you’ve gone all the way around and are back to the beginning, you will leave an opening of about 8-10”. Lay one tail along the curved edge and cut it off square, leaving yourself at least 3-4” unstitched. Now lay the other tail, overlapping the first one by 2.5”, and use a pin to mark that spot. Cut the second tail off right at the pin.
Open the first tail and place the second tail into it, right sides together, to make a 45 degree angle. Pin in place and sew.
Once the two ends are joined, clip away the excess, press the binding out flat and stitch the “valley” space closed.
Roll the binding around to the front and top-stitch it down close to the edge. Or, if you sewed it to the front, then roll it to the back and hand stitch it down.
And you’re finished! I hope this was helpful! Please share questions or comments, I’d love to hear what you think :)
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