Wholecloth Facing Quilt Finish

Here is my step by step guide to finishing your quilt with a wholecloth facing. It is ideal for smaller quilts such as my Organic Chocolate trio and avoids excessive bulkiness in the corners. For other methods of finishing a quilt (other than binding), see my useful listing of online tutorials: Alternative Quilt Finishes.

Issue 143 of Down Under Quilts magazine also contains a step-by-step tutorials (with new and improved photos!) of this technique. You can view the article online with a free digital subscription.

Step OneStep One: Cut your facing to size – finished size + 1/4in seam allowance. As my quilt is 12x12in finished, I was able to use my 12 1/2in square ruler. Then, using a compass and chalk pencil, mark a circle in the centre leaving a 1 1/4in allowance around the edges.

Step Two
Step Two: Make your 3-layer quilt sandwich and quilt through all layers.

Using a chalk pencil and ruler, mark the cutting line on your quilted piece. Trim if you wish but, in these photos, I trimmed up later.

Step ThreeStep Three: Cut out the circle shape in the facing and press over a 1/4in seam allowance.

Pin the facing (wrong/marked side up) onto the quilt top lining up the edges of the facing with the marked outline on the quilt top.
Step FourStep Four:
Using your walking foot and 1/4in seam allowance, stitch through all four layers (ie quilt and facing) around the edge of the facing.

(You might like to stitch angled corners but I just sewed seams at right angles.)
Step FiveStep Five:
Using a rotary cutter and ruler, trim off the excess quilted layers and trim the corners.

(I snip out the batting layer on the corners with pointed scissors but trimming angled corners works too.)
Step Six
Step Six:
Turn the facing to the back of the quilt and gently poke the corners flat (I use my sewing machine screwdriver). Press carefully so that none of the facing can be seen from the front of the quilt and slip stitch the facing in place.

For more rectangular quilts, I would not use a circle shape but simply cut out a rectangular shape with curved corners. For larger quilts, you can modify the technique by using a combination of facing strips and drunkards path like facing shapes for the corners.

Be aware that, as your facing is only a single layer, the quilt backing fabric may show through a light coloured facing.


  1. This is such a good idea. The latest Quilting Arts magazine also has a feature on wholecloth facing — they recommend it for quilts with irregular edges. Thanks for sharing your process.