Let’s Face It!

October 10, 2011

My latest quilt has a very odd outer edge that I wanted to face, rather than bind. After a bit of noodling I came up with a way that worked great! It would work for any quilt with a curved or unusual outer edge (scallops, double wedding ring, grandmother’s flower garden, etc.). I can’t show the front of the quilt because I plan on entering it in a major show and don’t want to have it shown publically yet. So here’s the step by steps along with a full shape picture from the back :-). I hope you enjoy them.

1. Layer and quilt the quilt. Then, with water soluable thread on top and a thread that contrasts the backing fabric in the bottom, stitch through all layers on the exact line that will be the outer edge of the quilt. Cut away all layers 1/4″ from this line.

2. Lay quilt, right sides together, on a piece of  facing fabric which is slightly larger than the quilt itself . Pin all the way around.

3. Stitch through all layers (with regular thread on top now), exactly on the previous stitching line, all the way around.

4. Trim even with quilt and clip all “inny” angles.

5. Trim facing fabric 1″  away from stitching, all the way around.

6. Fold facing to back of quilt and match facing raw edge with quilt raw edge.

7. Fold facing completely to back and pin in place.

8. Hand stitch the facing to the back of the quilt and – Voila – you’re done!

If any of the water soluable thread shows along the edge, just get it wet and the problem will be solved (or disolved :-).

Also – This past week Laura Krasinski and I hung a joint exhibit of our work entitled “Make a Joyful Noise” in the lobby of the Waukesha Civic Theater on Main Street in Waukesha (just 2 doors down from Frank’s Sewing Center). Please stop by if you’re in the area!


  1. Thanks for this wonderful way of doing this! I have done one but the only way I could come up with doing it was the pillow case method where you sew right sides together and leave an opeining and flip. Then you quilt it. Works OK for small quilts, but still a little tricky to get completly flat with a perfect edge.

  2. I like that idea. Do you have any tips for making sure the facing fabric doesn’t show on the front side? Your quilts at WCT look nice. Don’t their green walls show off artwork nicely? I’ve had both paintings and quilts displayed there.

    • I try to match the color and value of the facing fabric to the fabric on the outer edge of the quilt so that if it does show, it’s not obvious.
      And yes, the green walls do show the art well. It might be a little dark for the average living room though :-).

  3. Quilt newbie here. I don’t understand the difference between facing and binding. Am I missing something?

    • Traditionally a binding is added to the edge of a quilt and it shows on the front and back. It covers the edge of the quilt and protects it from wear. Facing is a dressmaker’s term for finishing an edge by attaching another piece of fabric and turning it completely to the back. Sometimes quilters who make quilts to hang on the wall prefer not to see the binding on the front, so facing is an option.

      • Thanks for the explanation! I doubt I’ll ever make an art quilt, but good to know.

  4. The exhibit looks great! I hope to see it in real life this week. Congrats to you and Laura.

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