How to Add a Scallop Border to a Quilt

Adding a scallop border to a quilt is an exquisite way to elevate its elegance. It provides a gentle curve that resonates with a classical touch and often transforms an ordinary quilt into a piece of art. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the meticulous process of adding a scallop border to your quilt.

Materials Required

  • Quilt top ready for a border.
  • Fabric for the border and binding.
  • Template material, such as cardboard or stiff paper.
  • Measuring tape or ruler.
  • Marker or fabric pen.
  • Rotary cutter or scissors.
  • Sewing machine with a quilting foot.

Step-by-Step Guide to Adding a Scallop Border to Your Quilt

1. Measure Your Quilt

Start by measuring the length and width of your quilt. This is paramount as the measurements determine the number of scallops and their size.

2. Decide on Scallop Size and Number

Using your measurements, decide the size of each scallop. A larger quilt may look better with larger scallops, while a smaller one could benefit from finer, more frequent scallops. Aim for a consistent size for visual uniformity.

3. Create a Scallop Template

Using your chosen scallop size, cut out a template from your stiff paper or cardboard. This will serve as your pattern for marking scallops on the fabric.

4. Mark the Scallop Pattern

Lay out your border fabric on a flat surface. Using your template and fabric pen, mark out the scallop pattern. Ensure each scallop’s curve is smooth and consistent with the others.

5. Cut Out the Scallop Border

With your rotary cutter or scissors, carefully cut along the marked lines. Precision here ensures a clean and professional look.

6. Sewing the Scallop Border

Align your scallop border with the quilt top, right sides facing each other. Begin sewing the scallop border to the quilt, ensuring that the curves are smoothly attached. Employ pins as needed to keep fabric in place.

7. Final Pressing and Quilting

After sewing, press the scallop border using an iron, ensuring that it lays flat against the quilt top. You’re now ready for quilting or to add binding if desired.

Tips for Perfect Scallop Borders

  • Consistency is Key: Ensure all scallops are of the same size for a polished look.
  • Choose Complementary Fabrics: The fabric for your scallop border should complement the quilt’s main design.
  • Practice on Scraps: Before cutting your main fabric, practice on scrap fabric to perfect your scallop cuts.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Uneven Scallop Sizes: Always use a template to ensure consistent scallop sizes.
  • Mismatched Fabric Patterns: Ensure the pattern on your scallop border aligns well with the main quilt.
  • Rushed Sewing: Take your time when sewing scallops to avoid puckering.


Adding a scallop border to a quilt, while a meticulous process, can drastically enhance its aesthetic appeal. With the right tools, consistent measurements, and attention to detail, you can transform any quilt into a captivating work of art.


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