Thursday, February 02, 2012

QAWM: Finish Before Quilting

Yes, I meant that I am going to finish the quilt before I quilt it. This is called the Escape Hatch Finish. It avoids binding completely.
Start with a backing fabric cut the same size as the finished top. The top and batting are fused together already. Place right sides together, wrong side of backing fabric up, and place a strip of Wonder-Under near the top end of the quilt. Fuse the strip onto the backing fabric.

Cut a small slit through just the fusible and the backing fabric. Then sew the backing fabric all the way around the quilt, using 1/4" seams, and take three stitches diagonally at each corner.

After sewing all around the quilt, go back to the strip of fusible and cut open the slit to turn the quilt through the opening. Before turning the quilt, trim each corner close to the sewn edge. DO NOT REMOVE THE PAPER FROM THE FUSIBLE YET.

Here's an awful picture of the turned out quilt, before pressing. It looks like a deflated pillow. Carefully press the quilt, from the back first, making sure to roll the edges slightly to the back. Then press the front of the quilt for a nice edge finish.

Now is time to turn the quilt to the back and reach into the slit and remove the strip of paper from the fused portion. Close the slit and press.
The quilt is now ready to machine stitch!


  1. Judy Morningstar8:29 AM

    Tip for getting really square corners : sew opposite sides first. Before you sew the other two sides, fold the seam allowances of those sewn sides back along their stitching lines. Now sew the other two sides, catching those seam allowances in the new seams. You can trim the corners, but it doesn't have to be as drastic as when you sew all the way around. I don't know why it works to get the corners so sharp, but it does!
    Your QAWM yesterday project looks delightful, as always!

  2. Hi Melody, I am wondering if you are hosting a Flickr group for this year's participants?

  3. I use this finishing technique, with a couple of variations, all the time. I love it!

  4. One of my favorite ways to finish a small art quilt!

  5. What kind of thread did you use? All Cotton, blend, weight? Is there one you prefer and why
    thanks for these QAWM opportunities.

  6. Christine H.11:58 AM

    This is my preferred method of quilt finishing because it is so easy and looks good. However I've never heard of cutting a slit in the back and do not like the idea of damaging the fabric that way. What I do instead is leave about a 12 inch section unstitched along the side, turn the quilt there, and then handsew it closed. Just like you do when making a throw pillow.

  7. Anonymous9:17 AM

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation
    but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never
    understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me.
    I'm looking forward for your next post, I'll try to get
    the hang of it!

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