Thursday, February 21, 2008

Facings for Quilts

This past week I had the pleasure of teaching two workshops on facing a quilt. The usual methods of applying facings are very bulky at the corners and require a lot of handling of the quilt, so I came up with an easier method. For those who missed it, here is the Jeririgged method of facings for rectangular quilts:
1. Quilt your quilt as desired. Square the edges.
2. Cut 4 strips, 2 1/2 inches wide, one for each side of the quilt, a bit longer than the length of each side of the quilt.
3. Press under 1/4 inch on the long side of each strip. If you want, also cut a strip 1/2 inch wide X the length of each strip out of Wonder Under, and fuse it ( keeping the paper on) atop each folded side on each strip.
4. Choose 2 sides to be the "corner" sides ( opposite each other) and pin strips to quilt matching raw edges. Sew the short edge, starting at the crease , turn the corner with a single stitch on the diagonal, then sew the long edge, gently pulling the strip as you sew to take in some of the stretch of the fabric. If you cut these two strips beforehand, make them 1/4 inch shorter than the width of the quilt and ease it while you sew so they match. Sew to 1/4 inch before the corner, turn at the corner and continue sewing down the short length, stopping just at the fold crease. Trim the facing strip even with the quilt top.

6. Now lay long edges with raw edges aligned, overlapping the first strip only as far as to cover the turned under edge of the first strip. Sew this strip to the side, continuing the line of stitching, 1/4 inch from the edge of the quilt. This leaves the corner with only a single layer, and overlaps the strips an inch down the sides where the bulk will be unobtrusive.Repeat for both pairs of strips, then Clip corners. Now, turn the whole shebang to the back, pushing out the corners to make a sharp edge, and iron them flat. If you used Wonder Under, now remove the paper strips, and fuse the facing in place. You might have to iron carefully to get everything lined up, but the turned edges hide the raw edges of the facings, and the fusable holds it in place until you can slip stitch the edge to finish permanently.