Scallops and Irises – A Wonky Log Cabin Mini Quilt

Scalloped borders with facing on the mini…

I don’t remember if I blogged about this miniature quilt, which I began exactly a year ago, to the date! 

The nine 2.5″ blocks had been foundation paper pieced and joined, waiting for the border and the binding, all of which was cut out and waiting.  I have been long wanting to experiment with a scalloped border and this seemed a good place to try it out!  It took me hours to do this, because I could not find any tutorials on this. It seems every time I want to go somewhere, I have to invent the wheel!

So here is a pictorial tute on how to make scallops on the border to your mini! If anyone is interested in the scallop pattern for a 10″ mini quilt, you can message me on my Facebook page ‘Patchwork of my Life’ and I will be happy to share it with you.  You can increase the number of scallops in 2″ increments ( or reduce them!). 

1. Get your quilt top ready. Add the batting and backing, ready for quilting. 

2. Quilt the centre of your quilt, leaving the outermost border ( which will be scalloped) unquilted. I did a simple stitch in the ditch around the blocks and  inner deep purple border.

3. Pin the scallop pattern on the border, leaving 1/4″ seam allowance beyond the paper pattern.

The 1″ wide scallop pattern was pinned in place on the border. Note the 1/4″ seam allowance beyond the border.


4. Mark the outline by stitching on the scallop line. I used a 1.5 stitch length. 

Sew along the scallop line.


5. Remove the paper; the small stitch length makes it easy. 

Remove the paper.


6. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ beyond the scallop. ( I also added a line of echo quilting within the scallop). 

Do any further quilting that you wish to. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ beyond the scallop.


7. When I reached this stage, I realized that I needed a bias binding for the scallops! And all I had was a 1.25″ wide straight binding, which I had no intention of letting go waste. So I decided to do a facing. 

-If you wish to add a binding, remember you need bias binding! Sew it on as you would regular binding. Just one thing,  you will need a much longer strip than for a straight edge. I have not calculated, but for this quilt, I had made a strip 70″ long instead of 50″ which I would have done for a straight edge. Also, sew down the binding very slowly and use the needle down option if your machine provides it. Stop as often as you need to adjust the layers. Curves are not difficult to handle – look only at the stitch immediately ahead of the needle, ignore the rest! I would suggest notching the seam allowance on the inner curves, especially, before turning over and securing the binding. 

– If you want to add a facing ( much simpler), here is how you go about it. 

Attaching a facing to a scalloped border

i) Prepare the facing:  The facing should be wide enough to go at least 1″ beyond the inner curve of the scallop. Put a ruler on the quilt, the ruler edge touching the outer ‘fat’ convex edge of the curve. See the reading on the inner edge of the curve. For example, if this is 2″, the facing should be 3.25″ wide, including 1/4″ seam allowance. I had originally intended to add a binding to my mini quilt, so I had ready 1.25″ strips. I decided to go ahead with these. I think a 1.75″ strip would have been more convenient. 

The total strip length needed for this 10″ square was about 50″. Turn in one long edge about 1/4″. I did a machine zigzag after folding the edge. 

Fold in one long edge about 1/4″ and secure it. A zigzag stitch is used here.


iii) Preparing the quilt: This may look tedious, but will give you a great finish! Remove the batting ( use a pair of sharp embroidery scissors) from between the two fabric layers on the outermost seam allowance on the quilt edge.

Trim away as much of the batting as you can from inside the seam allowance. Use sharp embroidery scissors.

iv) Attaching the facing. Line up the raw edge of the facing with outer ‘fat’ curve edge on top of quilt . Begin at one corner – remember to extend the facing a couple of inches beyond the corner. Pin if you are more comfortable with that. Turn over to backing side.  Start  sewing  over the scallop outline already marked by the stitching line.

Line up facing strip on edge of top of quilt. Sew over scallop outline from backing side

v) When you reach the corner, make a mitered corner as you do with regular quilts and turn the strip.  Pin in place and continue sewing over the outline.

Turning the corner – view from the back.

Turning the corner – view from front


vi) Go around sewing over the outline, stop a couple of inches before you reach the corner where you began. Turn the strip end ( where you began sewing) to form a  ‘mitered’ 45 degree fold.

When you reach the corner where you started, fold the binding to form a sharp 45 degree fold.

vii) Now bring the other end of the strip to lie over the folded end. Pin in place, turn over to backing side and sew over the scallop outline, continuing around the corner and beyond. Trim the excess fabric, extending beyond the corner! 

Simple! Isn’t that?


viii) Just a couple of steps more and we are done! Trim the seam line – from the backing side, of course – and make notches all along the curves. Careful! Don’t get too close to the seamline! However, where there are lots of layers of fabric, like in the corners, try to trim off as much of the excess fabric as you can.

Trim off the excess fabric on the facing strip…

Notch, notch, notch!


ix)Slip stitch the overlapping corner folds together. ( Right bottom corner in the pic below)

Slip stitch together the overlapping folds in the corners.

x) Turn the facing over to the back …

Facing turned over to the back…


xi) …and press the life out of that edge! 

Press down the edge as flat and sharp as you can. Lots of layers here, so this is an effort!


xi) Secure that edge with stitching about 1/8″ within. This quilt is exactly 10″ square, outer curve to outer curve, unlike if it had a binding, which would add the width of the binding to it. 

Done! I like it with a facing instead of a binding!


Now for some close ups…

Secure the facing with stitching 1/8″ from the edge

A picture to show you that I make mistakes, have fabric bunching up, etc, etc…


One final close up! 

I used Fossil Fern by Benartex for the quilt top. The backing fabric is batik from The Square Inch…

I will be happy to clarify if there is any confusion regarding this method! 

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4 thoughts on “Scallops and Irises – A Wonky Log Cabin Mini Quilt

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