Since I set out on my exploration of alternative quilt finishes over two years ago, I have identified and trialled a multitude of facing techniques. This tutorial represents the culmination of my research and experimentation (so far!) and is suitable for both rectangular quilts and quilts with gentle curves such as Dreamlines #1: Magic Carpet and Dreamlines #5: Allagai Waves.
I am indebted to Jeri Riggs for her ingenious method of dealing with bulky corners. My variation uses double-layer facing strips (for greater stability and only incremental bulk) and extra pressing steps for a knife-edge finish. Do let me know if you find any further refinements. The quest continues! (All photos are clickable.)
This technique features on Four Fantastic Quilt Finishing Techniques DVD that I presented with Quilters Companion. The DVD is sold out but you can still download the instruction sheets (the facing finish is on pages 3 and 4). Download Instructions: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
- Cut facing strips 2 1/2in wide or desired width. Fold in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) and press.
- Pin facing strips to the front of two opposite sides of the quilt top matching raw edges.
- Sew facing strips with a walking foot using a 1/4in seam.
Steps 2 & 3: Memory pressing
Press side facings outwards and then over to the back of the quilt, “rolling” the seam slightly so that none of the facing is visible from the front.
- Bring the side facings back to the front of the quilt.
- Measure and cut shorter facing strips for top and bottom to overlap approximately 1/2in with side facing strips.
- Pin shorter facing strips in position
- Stitch through all layers along the full width of the quilt top with a 1/4in seam.
Step 5: Corner Treatments
- Select preferred corner treatment (see diagram). Stitch and trim as required.
Step 6: Final Flourish
- Turn the facings to the back of the quilt taking care not to stretch them.
- Gently poke out the corners with a cuticle stick or similar tool.
- Carefully press corners and edges so that the facings are not visible from the front and sit flat on the back
- Slipstitch facings in place