How to finish an art quilt with an easy facing
Sometimes a traditional binding adds another strip of color on the edge of a quilt that looks great. And sometimes you just don’t want anything to distract from your main design – especially if it’s an art quilt.
I decided to try a facing instead of a traditional binding on my Future looks bright art quilt fat quarter panel. I had seen a great tutorial at https://weallsew.com/make-quilt-facing/. The technique is taught by Robbi Jo Eklow. I invite you to check out that tutorial as well as reading how I did it below.
This method uses a folded square on the corners. Super easy and great for beginners.
After quilting my fat quarter panel (see my quilting process HERE), I squared up the edges.
For the facing I used the same fabric as my backing (Kona Lemon!), but you could use anything. It will NOT show on the front when you are finished.
Cut (4) squares of facing fabric. Fold in half on the diagonal and press well. Place them at each corner on the FRONT of your trimmed quilt as shown.
Now cut four strips: 2.5” wide x (Length of quilt side – 2.5”). Fold the strips in half lengthwise and press well. Now center these on each edge of the quilt so that they start and end 1 1/4” from each corner. The strips will be layered on top of the quilt sandwich and on top of the folded squares.
I used clips to hold everything in place but you could use pins instead. Clip or pin well all the way around.
Now stitch all the way around using a walking foot and a 1/4” seam allowance.
Reinforce the stitching at all 4 corners by stitching on the diagonal back and forth.
Flip all four side strips outward and press. Don’t flip the corners at this point.
Topstitch very close to the folded edge of the strips. This will help it stay folded over when you turn it toward the back.
I carefully trimmed the excess seam allowance at the corners to eliminate some of the bulk when it is turned. It helps you get sharper corners. Be careful not to trim away the stitching.
Finally it’s time to turn the corners and flip everything to the back side.
Poke out the corners as much as you can. But, honestly, it’s a quilt. They won’t be super sharp. And that’s OK! I used the Purple Thang, but you could use a chopstick or whatever pokey thing you have around.
Press it well, making sure that the facing does not show from the front of the quilt. Now you can cheat and take your quilt photo if you are in a time crunch :).
Hand stitch the facing to the back of the quilt just as you’d hand stitch down a normal binding. You can also add a sleeve and a label now if you like. Instead of a real label, I just signed my name right on the facing to serve as my label. Better than nothing, right?
Here’s how it looks from the back. Flat and tidy 🙂
And while I LOVE how a big full binding looks on a bed quilt, I am really really loving how this looks so clean and tidy and doesn’t distract from the art quilt design.