Happy Endings

I am pleased to report that the photobook album that I ordered from Kodak has finally turned up and it is WONDERFUL! It was a gift for David made up from a selection of the 1001 digital photos that I took on our home exchange adventure to the French Pyrenees and the Yorkshire Dales in May 2006. The images are crisp and clear,the colours true and the album pages look like they will be able to withstand much flipping. Judging from the packaging, it seems like this is the very original order from way back at the end of November so I may end up with three copies of the album yet. Anyway, I am pleased that I persevered.

Another happy ending is that I have finished this very cheerful quilt:

You will see that I decided against adding any borders or even binding. Instead I used a facing finish and I’ve put together this mini tutorial (apologies for the image quality):

  • After quilting your quilt through three layers, trim the edges so that they are straight (and, if this is the desired effect, square).
  • Cut a strip of fabric 2 inches wide. Fold lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press. This is your facing strip.
  • Sew the facing strip along the edge of your quilt top lining up the raw edges and using a 1/4in seam (although others I know use an 1/8in seam).

  • Open up/flatten out the facing. Press and staystitch through all layers close the the seamline.

  • Fold the facing to the back and gently roll the edge so that none of the facing can be seen from the front of the quilt. Press well. Pin and slip stitch in place.

  • Do this on the opposite sides of the quilt top (top/bottom or left/right sides as you prefer) and then repeat the process for the remaining two sides.
  • For the first two sides, I trimmed the facing strip flush with the left and right edges.
  • For the last two sides, I found that leaving a flap on each side of at least one inch was easier to work with and tuck in neatly rather than something “stubbier”.

It occurs to me that these instructions are like the photos – kind of fuzzy. I’ll have another go if/when the fog in my brain clears. Meanwhile I have some guild business and teaching preparation to attend to…

See my complete tutorial listing of Alternative Quilt Finishes and my online tutorial for Binding Without Bulges.


  1. Thanks for this – I always wondered what a ‘facing’ was but hadn’t got round to finding out. One question from a stupid person though – what is stay stitching? I saw that on a bag pattern recently too which foxed me!

  2. As this link explains, “stay stitching” is a traditional dressmaking technique used to stabilise pattern pieces and prevent distortion. In the context of facing a quilt as I have done above, the staystitching is like a row of top stitching through all layers (the facing strip, quilt top, batting and backing) about an 1/8th of an inch from the seam line. This extra stitching seems to help compress the layers and make the facing sit flatter when you fold it over to the back of the quilt. Hope that helps!

  3. Love your yummy quilt. The colors are smashing!

  4. Your quilt looks great! I hate binding quilts, and am not good at it at all. I think I’ll try your facing method on my next NFO (nearly finished object), and yes, your instructions are quite straightforward.

  5. Squeaksqueal says:

    It’s great that you finally received your long-lost gift and that you are happy with it. I hope David also treasures it and the memories it holds of your trip.