How do you finish your quilts? Skinny binding? Wide binding? Ever tried a facing?
Facings are common for art quilts or wall hangings but I’ve even seen them used on your every day couch cozy quilt! I’ve definitely run into quilts where putting a border binding on it just felt wrong and sometimes I’ve just bound with the background fabric to solve that. But facings, facings can take your quilt to the next level. It’s a very sharp and clean finish! The only quilt I’d ever made a facing for was an itty bitty mini quilt and I’ll be honest, I made it up as I went and cut some corners, so this time I actually did some research.
How were other people doing it? I didn’t find too many tutorials and the ones I did find… I had beef with at least one little detail, so I pieced together what I liked from each and made my own adjustments. Here is a step by step detail of how I faced this quilt! Let me know if you try it out and how it works for you!
- Measure the perimeter of your quilt and cut whatever number of 3” wide strips you need just like you would for your binding. If your quilt is 60 x 40, you’ll need (60+60+40+40=200 inches) 200 inches plus maybe 10 flex inches to accommodate any length lost as you sew your strips together. Sew your strips together just like you would for normal binding.
- Fold in half and press (most of the tutorials I saw suggested to fold 1/4” under and press but I didn’t like that it would leave a raw edge only secured by a blind stitch and frankly, it felt like a PITA! Fold in half and press may waste a wee bit more fabric but it felt like it would be more secure and it was just plain faster.)
- Now you have a nice big roll of wide binding/facing strips!
- Starting with the top and bottom, measure the width of your quilt top and cut a strip for each 1/4” less than your measured widths. The 1/4” difference will mean that the strip is just a tad taught and will help flip the facing all the way to the back of the quilt so it doesn’t show on the edges.
- Matching ends of the strips up to ends of the quilt first, pin the strips across the top and bottom to prepare for sewing.
- At each quilt corner, carefully peel back the facing strip, quilt top, and backing away from the batting and trim just a bit of batting out of the corner. About a 1/2” square ish. This helps keep bulk out of the corners when you turn the facing to the back. Be super careful you only trim the batting and don’t cut into your quilt face, backing or any quilt stitches. You can see here that I had some stay stitching at the very edge and I unpicked a few stitches at the corner so that i could trim.
- Replace layers of backing, quilt top, and facing strips and repin.
- Starting on the side of the strip, use a walking foot and start sewing a 1/4” seam. You may want to start a few stitches in from the edge and back stitch a couple to secure the edge of the strip.
- 1/4” from the corner, turn and run 1 or two stitches diagonal as you turn
- Continue to sew across the length of the binding strip until you’re a few inches away from the next corner.
- Stop a few inches away from the next corner with needle down and carefully pin back facing strip back
- Peel layers apart a bit and trim another square half inch or so out of the batting taking extra caution to not cut quilt top or backing.
- Replace layers and continue to stitch, taking a couple diagonal stitches at the corner
- Sew to edge of strip and back stitch a few to secure
- Repeat on other end
- Now take remainder of the facing strips and starting about 1/4” in from the sewn edge of your first strip, sew down the side.
- When close to the end, trim your strip about a 1/4” away from the end. (You could also totally do this step by measuring each side and cutting your strip ahead of time)
- Repeat on other side
- Trim any excess backing/batting
- Starting with your most recent strips, Pull strip and seam allowance to the backside of the quilt, pin or clip in place and hand stitch down the side using a blind stitch.
- Repeat with second side
- Time to flip over your top and final facing strips. This is what it should look like before you flip over the rest.
- Flip the top and bottom strips over kind of like an envelope and pin or clip in place.
- Hand stitch using a blind stitch down the length of these last two strips
- You’re done!!!! BASK IN THE GLORY OF YOUR NEWLY FACED QUILT
Quilt Pattern : Then Came June Dusk to Dawn Quilt
Fabrics : As detailed here