Updated: Jun 7
FREE QAYG ALONG PART 16
Finishing your quilt with a fancy edge looks really pretty and adds that extra special touch!
In our Fancy edge video, you'll see how I added a picket edge to our quilt as you go along quilt. Click here to watch the video.
Oh, and if you're wondering, I call it a picket edge because the points look like the top of a picket fence.
In the tutorial, I show you how to measure your quilt, how to calculate how much fabric you will need, how to make the picket template, how to make the
picket edge and how to attach it to your quilt.
This fancy edge technique is suitable for QAYG quilts that are made with our Easy Cover Strip method, this is because the batting finishes 1 cm (3/8”) away from the edge of the quilt and this reduces the bulk in the seam.
You could add a fancy edge onto any quilt using this method, provided that the quilting hasn’t been stitched all the way to the edge of the quilt and you are able to trim away 1 cm (3/8”) from the batting around the perimeter of the quilt.
This is just one way of attaching a fancy edge to a quilt, we have lots of quilts with fancy edges, you’ll see some of them in the video. All of the quilts have patterns with full size templates and step by step instructions to guide you through the process. We’re proud to say that our patterns have a great reputation! You can see the patterns on our website here. We’re currently in the process of converting our patterns to PDF, if there is one that is not PDF that you would like, please let us know.
What you will need
This is what you will need to add a fancy edge to a quilt that is the same size as our quilt which is 137 cm (54 ¼”) square. If your quilt is a different size, you’ll see how to work out your requirements list in the video.
Requirements are based on regular 110 cm (44”) wide fabric.
Fancy edge fabric: 1.35 m (1 ½ y). Half this amount and purchase 2 fabrics if you would like the front and back to be different like we did with our quilt.
Binding: 35 cm (14”). Or 6.5 m (7 ½ yards) of premade 100% cotton bias that is 25mm (1”) wide. (When opened out it measures 2" wide)
Batting: 40 cm x 140 cm (16” x 55”)
Template plastic or cardboard to make the template.
Usual quilting and sewing supplies.
Here are some steps to follow along with the video.
Measure your quilt
Do not stretch the quilt let it lay where it wants to. Measure through the centre in both directions and measure each side. When measuring the sides, lay the tape 2” to 4” in from the edge.
Sometimes the outside edges are slightly greater than the centre measurement, which is normal. The edges can be eased in slightly to make the quilt square. If the edge measurements are slightly different, use the smaller measurement, this is the trick to making a quilt hang straight.
Work out the finished size of your quilt edge
The smaller measurement will be the length of the fancy edge, less the edge of quilt seam allowance which is 3/8”, therefore 2 x 3/8” = ¾”.
Our quilt measured 54 ¼” so 54 ¼” – ¾” = 53 ½”. This is our finished size.
Make the template
In the video you’ll see how to make a template for the picket edge. If you want, you can make your fancy edge any shape that you like such as scallops, points, a scallop and point combo or curves. (Just make sure that your valleys aren’t too deep and make a small sample first). You just have to work out a shape that divides evenly into the finished size of your quilt edge. If your quilt is made up of blocks, use the block size as a guide, for example, the finished size of my blocks are 9” so I decided on 2 pickets per block so the width of my pickets are 4 ½”. Actually, my blocks were slightly less than 9” so I made my template slightly smaller.
To make the picket template as shown in the video, start with a piece of plain printer paper, fold the edge over by about 4”. Draw up the template as shown in the diagram below. Cut out the paper template and when you unfold it, it should look like the shape on the right side of the diagram. Now make the template using template plastic or cardboard.
Cut the strips for the fancy edge
Cut six, 4” strips for the front and another six, 4” strips for the back, cutting across the fabric from selvedge. I used a different fabric for the front and back, but you can use the same if you like.
The strips will need to be joined to make 8 lengths that are approximately 2” longer than the quilt edge. (4 for the top and 4 for the back of the fancy edge). To make the required length, cut 4 strips in half and join one half onto the 8 remaining strips. Sew them right sides together with a straight join and press the seams open.
Cut the batting
Cut four, 3 ½” wide strips that are the same length as the fabric strips above. The batting is cut narrower to reduce the bulk in seam that joins the fancy edge onto the quilt.
Mark the template
Onto the wrong side of 4 of the strips, which will be the back of the fancy edge, mark 12 pickets, aligning the straight edge of the template onto one edge of the fabric. Start from the centre and work out to the edges. The drawn line is the stitching line.
Measure and adjust the fancy edges to make sure that they are the correct length
Measure from one end to the other of the marked picket edge. (Pencil line to pencil line).
Work out the difference between your finished quilt edge measurement.
Half the difference
Add or subtract the difference onto each end and if necessary, reshape the ends as shown in the diagram below.
Sewing the picket edging
Lay a strip of batting on your table, place a front strip on top with the right side facing up, making sure that the top long edge is level, leaving a ½” gap of batting along the bottom edge. Place a back strip on top with the right side facing down, the pickets should be facing up so that the straight edge is on the bottom that has the gap of batting.
Pin the layers together and stitch on the marked line.
Trim back to a small ¼” seam allowance. Clip across the corners and clip into the valleys.
Turn through to the right side and press.
Top stitch a ¼” away from the edge of the pickets.
If necessary, trim the raw straight edge level.
Make all 4 fancy edges in this way.
Attach to the quilt.
with the quilt top facing up, mark a dot that is 1 cm (3/8”) in from each corner of the quilt,
Mark the centre of each picket edging and the centre of each edge of the quilt with a pin.
With the quilt top facing up and the front of the picket edge facing down, pin the picket edge onto opposite sides of the quilt first, aligning the centres and starting and finishing level with the corner dots.
Ease the quilt edge in to fit the picket edging. Sew with the picket edging on top, taking a 3/8” seam allowance.
Now sew the picket edges onto the remaining opposite edges in the same way, starting and finishing at the corner dots.
When you flip the picket edge over to the right side it will be neat on the front and the raw seam will be on the back which will be covered by a binding in the next step.
Cut 6 x 2” strips, cutting across the fabric from selvedge to selvedge. Join them right sides together, with 45 degree joins to make 1 long continuous length. Trim the seams and press the strip in half lengthwise with the wrong sides facing.
Sew the binding onto the quilt with a 1 cm (3/8”) seam allowance, with the right side of the quilt facing up, at this stage the binding will be on top of the picket edge with the raw edges level with the quilt edge.
Sewing the binding at the corner is as simple as putting the needle in the down position and pivoting the binding and the quilt to the next edge, there is no need to make a fold as with a traditional binding. Making a nick in the binding at the pivot point allows the binding to bend around the corner with ease. Follow these simple instructions below:
When you are about 4” away from the corner, make a ¼” deep nick in the binding, level with the corner dots that were marked on the quilt. Sew to level with the nick and put the needle in the down position. Pivot to the next edge of the quilt, bending the binding around the corner and onto the next edge of the quilt. Continue sewing the binding around the quilt in this way.
Join the ends of the binding using your favourite method or as shown in the video.
Trim away the corners from the quilt and fold the binding over to the back, pressing as you go.
Pin or if necessary, tack the binding in place by hand, mitring the corners.
With the back of the quilt facing up, sew close to the folded edge of the binding, on the front this will look like quilting that is sewn ½” away from the edge of the quilt and will tie in with the stitching that attached the cover strips.
Complete the quilt by sewing ½” away from the quilt edge seam on all 4 picket edges to ensure that the batting is secure.