Have you ever wanted to try facing a quilt instead of binding it? This works well for artsy style quilts that are going to be on display. There are a few good methods for doing facing instead of binding, and I thought I would show you my favorite method... the mitered way!
One reason to use the mitered method, it is less bulky giving you a nice sharp corner. And it can be manipulated a little easier, giving you a tight fit when you turn the facing to the back (I’ll explain more on that below).
I cut enough facing strips 2” wide to make the circumference of the quilt, plus about 4” for each corner. This method is meant to be less bulky. These strips will not be folded in half, they will just have one edge turned under. You can cut your strips any width depending on how far into the backing you want the facing to go.
Join the strips end to end with a diagonal seam on the 45 degree angle.
Trim away the excess from the seam, and press each one open. Then, press one edge under about ⅜” all the way down the length of the strip.
From the front of the quilt, lay the raw edge of the strip along the raw edge of the quilt. Give yourself at least a couple inches extra, hanging over the ends of the quilt, before trimming the strip off. Run the strip down the sides, giving yourself a couple inches on both ends there too. Pin the strips into place, but do not pin all the way to the corners. I stopped short about 5” from the corners.
Stitch all the way around the quilt with a ¼” seam allowance, stopping 5” from the corner, and starting again 5” down the next side.
Take the quilt to the ironing board with its flapping tails of facing at each corner. Fold the facing strips back to create a miter at each corner, and press a sharp crease. Notice how I manipulated the strips to gap about ⅛” at the folded edge; it’s not a perfect 45 degree angle. When I sew the two sides together, following that crease, it creates a little tension on the inside edge once it’s been folded around to the back.
I used that crease as my guide and cut ¼” beyond it on both facing pieces.
Pin the two facing pieces together, matching up their creases and stitch, backstitching at both the start and stop.
Press that seam open, and pin the facing to the quilt. Stitch into place.
Trim the corner down, but do not cut through the stitch line.
Turn the facing corner around to the back of the quilt, using your fingers to work the edges of the quilt into place. It may be necessary to use a semi-pointy object to poke out the corner of the quilt and really get a nice edge. Because that extra ⅛” gap is pulled snug, it helps hold the facing to the back of the quilt so it doesn’t roll around to the front of the quilt.
Press the facing down flat along the back, using the nose of the iron to help manipulate the fabric into place. Then pin, pin, pin!
Well, there you go! I’m off to do a lot of hand stitching :)
Happy Sunday, everyone!
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