Thursday, February 16, 2012

Facing the Quilt

This post was first published in January 2008.

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. I love the beautiful finish...really nice!

  2. Thanks, Melody. A great explanation for a different type of finish.

  3. What a timely tutorial...I just learned about facing as opposed to binding yesterday! I must give it a try now that I can SEE how it's done!

  4. Another great post! I'll be referring to this one and the pillowcase finish (?) post when I finish my new project!

  5. And....I LOVE that quilt!

  6. Celeste Wegner12:36 PM

    So - if you fuse this - do you put the fusing on the strips before you sew it to the quilt or after?

  7. Celeste,
    I fuse the strips afterward. I slide a length of W-U under the edges, fuse, and peel off the paper, then finally fuse. Since this is a wall quilt, I will have to hand sew on the rod pocket...over the edge of the top facing.

  8. I have used this facing finish technique on baby quilts, and I just love it because it's so easy and looks great. I first learned about it on the following site:

  9. I love it when quilters write about "the escape hatch" finish. It makes quilting seem so adventurous and super-heroish. Ninja quilters!!!

  10. Melody,

    Thanks so much for this facing technique. I had been using another version, but this is much cleaner and less fussy. It looks great on the back of my newest quilt!


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