Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tutorial ~ gathered frills!

I'm beginning to wonder if it's possible to exhaust my ever-increasing ideas on what to do with leftover quilt binding? At the moment I think not. You see, they're amazing pieces of fabric filled with endless possibilities for usefulness, and since they ended up discarded from a previous project as 'remnants' I'm sure it does their self esteem good to be brought out and prettied up, don't you?

When I made the door hanger that I'm gifting away (yesterday's giveaway post), I used some Ruby scraps from my Bonnie & Camille basket for the piecing and applique, plus a simple length of scrap binding.

When you make a gathered frill following my technique you'll need a length of binding OR a jelly roll strip (it's the same size as most binding strips and I often use them as binding) twice the length of the area you are going to embellish with the frill.

The bottom of my door hanger was 6 1/2 inches, so I used a piece of binding that measured 13 inches.

Once you have your binding cut to size, press a 1/4 inch hem along both narrow ends...

Folding the fabric back to being a binding strip, either hand sew, or machine sew with a long stitch, just inside the raw edge of your binding...

Pull on the single thread if you've hand sewn, or pull on both ends of the bobbin thread (the underside of the area you stitched) if you have machine sewn your edge. Gently gather the binding, moving the gather along until it measures 1/2 inch less than the area on which you will use it.
My gathered binding now measured 6 inches, leaving a 1/4 inch space at each end of the area I wanted to attach it along. Pin the raw edge of your gathered frill to the raw edge of the project you're stitching it onto...

See the 1/4 inch space I've left at each end?

Machine sew the frill to your project with a 1/4 inch seam...

...and tie the ends of your gather in a knot.

To finish a project like mine lay the backing fabric face down on the front of the door hanger, the frill still in the same position and being sure that the edge of the frill is folded in towards the project to avoid being accidentally sewn into the side seam. 
Sew the front and back together with a 1/4 inch seam, leaving a small opening for turning out.
Once I turned the door hanger right side out I pulled on the frill to straighten it and pressed it flat. If you've been careful with your side seams the frill won't catch in them and will fall beautifully like this...

If you have long lengths of scrap binding or plenty of odd jelly roll strips you could add some sweet frills to tea towels, guest towels, aprons, bags - and what about edging a quilt with a gathered frill?
I'm all inspired to see what I can make this afternoon with more frills!
Stay tuned, I'll share pics tomorrow...

Leave a comment with your own ideas of using these gathered frills, ok?




  1. Jenny, you sure come up with the cutest ideas!!! hugs~

  2. I love the gathers! They really add that something special to the project.

  3. Hi Jenny this is so pretty thankyou for sharing your knowledge and i hope you have a lovely day my friend.xx

  4. Oh my gosh! Can hardly wait to try the tutorial. Thank you, Jenny -

  5. You have the cutest ideas, Jenny. Love this tutorial! It would work nicely as a pincushion, too!

  6. Great tutorial!
    Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Absolutely adorable with the little ruffle. Great use of stash. Creative Bliss...


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