Scalloped Edge Quilt Binding

Birds at My Window

Birds at my Window, 18.5″ x 17.75″

This year one of my guild’s challenges was a two color quilt, I LOVE two color quilts, totally one of my favorite things!  I also love Cathedral Windows, I have been wanting to try them for a while so I decided this was the time.  I didn’t really have a plan with this one, just two color and Cathedral Windows, everything else was pretty open.  I ended up designing the quilt  as it was built, I started with the window and quickly realized it would take me far too long to do a traditional Cathedral Window in miniature…. so, I decided to make it a window within a quilt.  I have been very attracted to birds in quilts lately, which led me to the birds outside the window.  Once I finished and quilted the top, a typical straight binding just didn’t seem right for this quilt, I sat with it for a bit wondering where to go next.

I came across a picture of a wall hanging quilt with this scalloped edge, it really felt perfect for this quilt.  The quilt I saw had the scallops sewn by machine with a contrasting top stitch, it worked well for that quilt, however I felt this quilt needed to be hand done.

The scallop really is very easy, the method is very much like turning open the Cathedral windows.

To figure out the width of your binding strip you have to take into consideration three dimensions:

  1. The width of the binding on the back of your quilt (we will call this A)
  2. The thickness of your batting (and this is B)
  3. The width of the binding at the widest point on the front, and (This will be C)

My wall hanging is rather small (about 18″x18″) , I kept the back binding at 1/4″ and the front at 3/4″ at the widest part.

The formula for binding width  is 2(2A+B+C).  Ahhhhhh, scary math!!!  Really, it isn’t scary at all.

My quilt is .25″ thick so my batting strips are:


2( 2(0.25)+0.25+0.75)



3″ wide

Sew your strips together, fold in half and sew to the BACK of your quilt.  You will want to miter your corners carefully for this since they be very visible on the front. This is a great tutorial for continuous binding and mitered corners.

Once you have the binding sewn on, flip to the front of your quilt.  Fold the binding over and pin.  Measure the binding from inside of mitered corner to inside of the opposite mitered corner.

Decide on a width for you arc, for my small quilt and 3/4″ width binding I used a 3″ wide arc.

Mark the center of your side with a pin and then mark the end point of your arcs.  For the end points of the arcs, I marked with chalk and only pinned one arc at a time.  This reduced the number of pins sticking in to me 🙂

Pin your marked lines for the first arc segment, then fold the batting up to form the arc.  Your pins will keep the binding in place for the bottom of the arc.  Once you have the fold placed how you like it, pin the the fold.

I am a big fan of the Ladder Stitch, I learned it from Ami Simms at a workshop a few years ago and have found it works for just about everything!  This binding is no exception, using the ladder stitch (or your favorite applique stitch), sew together your mitered corner, continue to your first arc and sew around the arc.  I choose to work one arc at a time, pinning as I go.

You could sew along the bottom of each arc and return along the tops, but this requires a lot of pins in the quilt at one time.  I know myself, I am accident prone!  Too many pins equals too many pokes and potential blood on the quilt! I don’t care about the discomfort of a prick, but no blood on the quilts!!! 😀

Continue working around the quilt, until you have finished sewing down all of your arcs.

Close up of the hand sewn arcs.

Finished Quilt


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About NinaLemon

I am a stay at home mom to two beautiful boys, I enjoy quilting, crafting and cooking. Lots of cooking from scratch and experimentation for health and for the safety of my peanut, tree nut and egg allergic son.

2 responses to “Scalloped Edge Quilt Binding”

  1. PlantBasedDietAdventures says :

    Jeannine this is beautiful! And so creative, coming up with that window, and the birds sitting outside, beautiful!

  2. NinaLemon says :

    Than you, Heather! I really enjoed making this one 🙂

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