Traditional quilt binding is by no means the only way to finish the edges of your projects! Prairie points, ruffles, ruched binding, flanged binding, piped binding, extra-wide binding that looks like a border…all these techniques are possible and so many more.
One of my favorite ways to finish the edges of more contemporary-looking quilts, or any quilt where I don’t want a binding to show at all, is facing strips. I most recently used this technique to finish the edges of my Modern Links queen size quilt (below). Because the chain pattern extends up to (and past) the quilt edges, a traditional binding would have stopped the eye and ruined the effect. Facing strips were the answer.
Contributing editor Laura Stone Roberts recently taped a video that included instruction for finishing quilt edges with facing strips. This week’s Tuesday Tutorial is a quick recap of the technique with photos pulled from the video. Enjoy!
Cut facing strips 1 1/2″ wide and about 4″ longer than the quilted, trimmed quilt edges. For example, if your trimmed quilt measures 60″ x 80″, cut 2 strips 1 1/2″ x 64″ and 2 strips 1 1/2″ x 84″. Press 1/4″ to the wrong side of 1 long edge of each facing strip.
Pin prepared strips to edges of trimmed quilt, right sides together, with raw edges aligned and strips centered on edges.
Facing strips will overlap at quilt corners. Note that pressed edges of facing strips are towards the center of the quilt.
Facing strips are pinned and ready for stitching.
Sew 1/4″ seam through all layers all around the quilt. Pivot and turn at quilt corners, or run stitching right off the corner, give quilt 1/4 turn, and begin next line of stitching. Continue until all 4 facing strips are stitched in place. Trim ends of strips even with the quilt top.
Turn facing to back of quilt, finger-pressing so pressed edges of strips cover the line of stitches.
Be sure to work the corner seam allowances out completely. Laura is poking with the tip of a scissors here, but I recommend using a chop stick or the end of a thin paintbrush.
Pin the turned facing to back of quilt all around, again, covering the line of stitching.
Hand stitch the pressed edge of the facing to the quilt back, as you would with traditional binding.
The finished edge of the quilt is bound with facing strips – crisp and clean!
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