Schwalm Designs (4) – Scallops (3)

As already mentioned in the article Schwalm Designs (2) – Scallops (1), it is customary to decorate simple Schwalm motifs by outlining the shapes with scallops placed close together.

But how can one get uniformly sized and evenly distributed scallops around the edges of a shape if a computer drawing program is not available?

It’s easy to do on motifs that are not completely outlined with scallops. For an example, I will describe the process for adding scallops to a heart shape.

Supplies needed: a stencil for the motif, tracing paper, a sharp pencil – a mechanical pencil is best – a circles template and an eraser.
01_SK4Using the stencil a heart shape is drawn on the paper. On the template, a circle of a proportionate size is chosen to draw a scallop at the heart’s lower point. This point should either match the center of the circle or should be placed slightly above the center of the circle.
02_SK4Using the same circle template, additional scallops are drawn next to it.
Each circle stencil has four marks ().
03_SK4Two opposite marks should match the outline of the heart.
04_SK4In this way the semi-circles makes scallops.
05_SK4If the outline is curved, the template has to be positioned as shown in the picture above. The center of the circle (the diameter of the circle is marked in red as a visual aid) meets the outline of the motif. If care is not taken when placing scallops on a curve, the scallops could get distorted.
06_SK4Reaching the top of the heart, either the scallop line ends before the center point – leaving a small distance free between the last scallop and the hearts upper point
07_SK4or the last scallops (on both sides of the concave point) are slanted a little so to be able to fit down into the concave point.
08_SK4It is more difficult to embellish circles with scallops. It is possible to calculate it using geometry, but this is too complicated for an embroiderer.
09_SK4So one could utilize either paper, a pair of compasses and a protractor,
10_SK4or tracing paper, a stencil of the shape and a pencil.
11_SK4A circle is drawn on the paper
12_SK4and divided into quarters using the protractor or
13_SK4by folding. The slightly transparent paper is held against a window or other light source. It is folded – so that lines match – first in half
14_SK4and then into quarters.

From the template, a circle of a proportionate size is chosen to draw scallops along the outline of the shape. For my circle, I started with a 13 mm diameter circle from the template – three scallops did not exactly fill the quarter.
15_SK4So, I tried a 14 mm circle; three scallops fit in the quarter exactly.
16_SK4To facilitate getting the scallops the same height, an additional marking line can be drawn with a pair of compasses.
17_SK4Such a line eases the work enormously.
18_SK4Proceeding carefully, in the end the scallops meet exactly.
19_SK4To ease the work on larger shapes, the circle should be divided once more – into eighths.
19a_SK4Again, drawing an additional outer circle (for scallop height) will further aid you in drawing perfect scallops.
20_SK4In the end, uniform and evenly distributed scallops outline the circle.

  1. What a good tutorial! I appreciate all the information you have been sharing.

  2. Thank you! I always wondered how this was done.

  3. This is a fantastic tutorial. I must find myself a circle template like that. Is that something one would find in a sewing store?

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