How to Add a Flange to Your Quilts

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m always looking for ways to add a little flair to my projects.  Who doesn’t love flair?  I know I get tired of doing the same old thing all the time so I thought I would try adding a flange to a border.  Are you asking yourself right now, “What the heck is a flange?”  A flange, by definition is a projecting edge of cloth used for decoration.  I have to confess I had no idea the folded piece of fabric sticking out on quilts was called a flange. But, I guess flange sounds better than folded fabric thingy.  Any who…a flange is actually very easy to add to a quilt.  You can add it to the border or individual blocks. 

First, cut the flange pieces.  The size will vary depending on what you’re adding it to.  For my demonstration, I added a flange in between the quilt top and the border.  

I measured the width and length of my quilt top and cut 4 pieces that were 1.5″ wide x the appropriate length.  The 1.5″ width is a personal preference, it will yield approximately a 1/2″ flange.  A wider cut will yield a wider flange.   

Next press the flange in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.

Lay the flange on top of the quilt top (or block) with raw edges lined up.  

Sew or pin all 4 pieces of flange in place one piece at a time.  I attached the top and bottom then the left and right.   I chose to sew it in place because I didn’t want to try to pin through multiple layers of fabric ~ the quilt top, the flange, and the border fabric.

Flange sewn to quilt top.

**Note ~ I used a very small seam allowance when attaching the flange because I didn’t want the threads to show.  This will ensure the 1/4″ seam attaching the border will cover all my stitching when I attach the flange.  

This is my 1/4″ foot.  You can see I’m not following the edge of my foot because I want to make sure these stitches are buried in the seam allowance.
Once the 4 pieces of flange are added it’s time for the final borders.  Add the borders as you normally do.  If you have trouble with skipping stitches you may need to try a larger needle.  A flange does add some thickness to the seam.   
Adding the border…notice I am now following my 1/4″ foot.
Last border going on now
Ta Da!  The white flange is all done!

I really like the way the flange adds just enough separation between the quilt top and the border.  It also adds just the right amount of dimension! 

Here’s a quick look at an individual block with flange…

I added the flange to this block to help it stand out.  Without the flange, the block would get a little lost since it has a lot of black and it’s surrounded by black.

And a close up…

Next time you need to add a little flair give flange a try.  It’s quick and easy and adds a lot to your quilt.  

As always, I try to do my best describing the process but I’m human and I do mess up.  I know, it’s hard to believe but it’s true.  If you have questions please let me know.  Post a comment or send an email to 


8 thoughts on “How to Add a Flange to Your Quilts”

  1. I have a flange on my newest quilt and wonder what to do when I machine quilt this. Should I go around the flange so it pops or should I just sew my meandering quilting right over the top?

  2. Mmm, I really like the look of this. Why did I only spot it after I started sewing the border on my latest quilt top!

    Maybe next time? Makes it look really professional!

    Thanks for the tute!

  3. I am making a quilt for a guild challenge and I think flange may be the perfect addition to make my quilt really special. Thank you for the tutorial.

  4. Is there any way to make the flange go toward the outside, rather than the inside? It throws off the size of my sashing by placing towards the inside:( I love the added definition but I’m sure the quilt I saw had it going to the outside, over the border. Help? Thanks

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