Friday, November 9, 2018

Inserting a Decorative Flange

Got a quilt that needs a little something to snazz it up, but you don't know what? How about adding a tiny extra decorative flange?

Inserting a Decorative Flange into a quilt border

That's what I did within the border of the Pumpkin block table runner, making this project go from ho-hum to wow!

Pumpkin Applique Block table runner by QuiltFabrication

Notice this is within the border, not at the binding edge, which is the Piped Binding technique. The tutorial today is for placing a flange within the border or around a block with sashing.

And it's easy to do! Of course, on this project, I had to take off the outer border first after discovering how boring the borders were without the green flange. But what's a little seam ripping? Better to bite the bullet and make it right/beautiful, than to have a project that one is not happy with.

So, just how easy?

Cut narrow strips

For a tiny flange, approximately 1/8" wide, cut enough strips 3/4" wide. 

If the project needs a wider flange, use the chart below to determine the cutting size for the desired width:

Desired width of Flange

Cut width of strips
                1 ¼”

Anything more than 3/8" doesn't need to be an inserted flange, and should be a wide enough strip to just be sewn in.

If needed, stitch pieces together as if making binding (on the diagonal) to get the necessary length for the project.

Press the strips

Then, carefully press the strips in half, matching the cut edges. This step is important, so take the time to match those edges!

cut and pressed flange strips for quilt border

Baste the flange

Carefully line up the cut edges of the flange piece with the cut edge of the project. Use glue if necessary to hold it in place. If the edges are not in line, the flange will narrow and widen on the project, which is noticeable when dealing with such narrow widths.

Baste the flange to the project (border or block), 1/8" from the cut edges.

quilt flange basting

Overlap cut ends in the corners - do not apply like binding and fold to go around the corner.

Apply border or sashing strip

Attach the border or block sashing strip, carefully stitching a 1/4" seam allowance after lining up the cut edges. 

applying outer border strip

This is another area where precision counts - a wavy seam results in a wavy flange. Take your time - no need to rush!

If you're feeling super confident, the flange and border/block sashing can be stitched to the project at the same time, eliminating the flange basting step. I, personally, would rather do it one at a time, so as not to risk the flange moving.

Finishing up

Once the border/block sashing strip is on, carefully press open that strip, exposing the flange and keeping it flat.

flange insert in border on Pumpkin applique table runner

When quilting, stitch-in-the-ditch in the seam of the flange/border or block sashing. If quilting on the free side of the flange, try not to catch it the quilting by lifting the flange up and out of the way, if necessary. Then admire your work!

Happy Quilting!

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  1. I just did a quilt the same way! great minds think alike - I showed how I did mine the other day and it looks like we do it the same way

  2. Thank you! I'm going to bookmark this tutorial. The table runner is so pretty.
    xx, Carol

  3. Thank you for this. I've always wondered how this was done. I do have a question though. Are the flange pieces applied like a border, like top and bottom first, then the sides (or vice versa), or doesn't it matter?

  4. Good tutorial, Susan! Thanks! I've not tried a flange, but may do so - on a small project first!!

  5. I have to say I love me some flanged binding. I feel pretty certain I am going to LOVE me some flange in the borders too! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  6. What a nice addition to a quilt. I would have never thought of that. Thank you for the tutorial.

  7. I love this technique.... the number of quilts I have used this for to correct a lack of "zing" colour-wise is "too many". :) I find this is a great place to add orange and other strong colours... just a sniff of them adds so much lift to a project.

  8. Hi Susan! I almost missed this post, I'm so darn behind on reading. Good thing I kept the email. This tutorial is fab! Thanks for sharing the idea and the wonderful instructions. Happy Saturday! ~smile~ Roseanne

  9. Flanges and flange bindings can be such a great way to frame a quilt. Thanks for linking up and sharing this great tutorial!

  10. I’ve made a flange binding, and now I will definitely try your method for a flanged border. Thank you for the idea. It’s wonderful!


Thank you so much for just made my day!