Saturday, January 26, 2008

Facing the Quilt

Although I usually finish my quilts with the Escape Hatch Finish, for Bon Bon #2 I decided to quilt it first and then add a facing. This will make quilting those strips at the top and bottom easier, because I will be able to sew off the edge and clip the threads afterward. In the picture above, I have fused my top to cotton batting and added a plain white cotton backing fabric, cut to size.

Then it is pin basted in the 'ditch' even though the top is fused to the batting. The lining is not fused, so it must be held in place for the machine quilting.

The quilt has been quilted and now four strips are cut two inches wide and as long as the sides of the quilt for the facing. Sew the two longer sides first, using a quarter inch seam, and trim the strip to the length of the quilt. Then sew strips to the top and bottom stopping just short of the corners. I will have to unpick the already sewn strip a bit, so that I can make a mitered seam at all four corners.
Sewing the mitered corner is easier if the fabric is creased into the miter first, so that line can guide the seam.

The miter will need to be trimmed.

Then the corner seam can be sewn, pivoting at the seam join. Trim the corners, turn to the back, and press carefully, guiding the facing away from the edge.
The resulting corner is crisp and pointed.
Turn the inside edges of the facing under and press again.

I would of course fuse the facing down, but you can hand sew it if you like.

The edge is turned under sharply and the facing does not show from the front.In addition to this method, see this post from Jeri Riggs, which may prove to be even easier than my version.


  1. Anonymous6:58 PM

    Bulkiness in the corners is one of the humbugs of some of the facing techniques that I am familiar with. Your mitred corner approach combats this problem by reducing the number of fabric layers involved. Thank you for sharing with such clear photographs.

  2. Thanks for sharing your technique. I've also used other facing ideas that were entirely too bulky, but yours looks much better. Can't wait to try it!

  3. I really like your binding technique. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Will definitely be trying this technique and I really appreciating you going to the effort of showing us so clearly

  5. This is great! I'm slapping my forehead right now wondering why I couldn't have figured something like this out myself. Thanks you for enlightening us! :-)

  6. Anonymous5:51 AM

    That is a fantastic technique. I can't wait to try it.
    Thank you for sharing.

  7. Anonymous8:16 AM

    I have been thinking about this technique and trying to figure it out for a couple of weeks now and couldn't, for the life of me, figure out how to handle the mitering at the corners. I am sick of binding quilts! Thanks for getting me to the finish line.

  8. What a great way to finish off a quilt. Have heard of the facing method but never knew how to do it effectively. Thanks for the so very clear directions and pics.
    BTW, love the new direction you are taking.

  9. Anonymous8:46 AM

    If you do this with a folded strip (like a binding) it is easier to applique the edge on the back. Same as with french binding.

  10. Thanks so much, and thanks for the link to Jeri's instructions!

  11. Anonymous6:22 PM

    Hi Melody - I tried your method and found it easier to do the mitred frame BEFORE attaching the facing to the quilt. See my mitred facing tutorial for more details.

  12. So ... if you want to put a hanging sleeve on in addition - would you ...
    1) attach it to one of the facing pieces before you sew that to the quilt?
    2) wait and attach it to one of the facing pieces after you sew the facing onto the quilt?
    3) attach it directly to the quilt below the facing?
    4) something else?

    Thank you! I am going to like this technique!

  13. Anonymous9:24 AM

    Hello. And Bye.

  14. Thank you for this! I used a slightly different approach to my first try at finishing a quilt using facing, but found your entry in time to get the revelation about fusing it to the back. Genius! I wasn't looking forward to all that hand sewing between me and getting my project done, but fusing it did the trick quick. :)

  15. I saw really much useful information above!

  16. Anonymous3:34 AM






  17. Anonymous9:10 AM






  18. I am trying to learn this and my question is: When you say I fuse the quilt top to the batting....have you fused a double sided paper to the batting and then take the paper off and lay the quilt top on the fused batting and press? Thank you, Kathleen

  19. I should have given you my email...

  20. I should have given you my email...


So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com