Thursday, 21 March 2019

Quilt Facing

Recently we had three great demonstrations by guild members on different binding techniques. Jo-Anne Allbutt showed how to do facings - binding that is completely hidden on the back of the quilt, often used for quilts that will hang on the wall. Here are her instructions:


- 4 strips of fabric (measurements are based on 2 ¼” strips)
     2 strips 2” shorter than the top and bottom length of quilt
     2 strips 2” longer than the sides of the quilt.
- ¼” foot works wonders
- spray starch, best press or spray water


  1. Begin by turning the short end of your strip under ¼ so you are working with a finished edge. This step isn’t necessary for wall quilts but I do prefer it for bed quilts.
  2. Sew, using a ¼” seam, right side of strip fabric to right side of quilt front, beginning about 1” from corner. Stop 1” from end and turn the strip end under for a finished edge.
  3. Iron flat and then re sew using a 1/8” seam, sewing through the seam allowance.
  4. Go back and iron again. From the front of the quilt, with the iron in one hand, use your other hand to twist the strip fabric seam to the back as you go. Ensure you can not see any of the strip fabric from the front. Best press or starch work well to keep this flat.
  5. Turn the raw edge of the strip under a ¼” and iron so that you have a finished edge to hand sew to the back of the quilt. If you are doing an art quilt, you can do this step in the beginning but if the quilt is on the larger size, I find that the ¼” iron mark is gone by the time I go to hand sew.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 for the sides of the quilt.

Helpful Hints

  • Whenever possible, I try to use the same fabric for the strips as the backing fabric so that it appears invisible.
  • Match thread to the backing fabric, as the seam will be visible on the back.

Jo-Anne also recommended Terry Aske's tutorial on facing, which includes photos.

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