Monday, February 29, 2016

Quilt Facing Tutorial

It's time to face the two quilts which are ready to be quilted and finished. This is my variation on a method which is sometimes called the "pillowcase method". I will show the finished quilts in a few days.

Layer the quilt top on top of the batting and do enough quilting to hold the batting in place. For this quilt, I am doing some raw-edge applique at the sames time.
If the finished size is important, mark lines for the finished size on the front of the quilt. Trim a little more than a quarter of an inch away from the edge. I don't use a ruler or a straight edge since I am pretty good at guessing seam allowances, and I prefer the organic edge I get from freehand cutting.
You may want to mark the top of your quilt before this step. Lay the top face down on the backing (right sides together and put a single pin in the center. Beginning in the middle of the sides, scoot the edge of quilt front and batting toward the center an eighth to a quarter inch then pin. Repeat for each side, then do the same for the corners. The idea is that you want the backing to be a bit smaller than the front so the seam on the edge will roll to the back. Test to see if the backing has enough stretch to ease stitch the edge together without creating any creases in the front. take out some fullness if necessary and add more pins if you like.
Stretch the backing as you sew all the way around the edge with a quarter inch seam allowance. Be careful to keep the batting even with the front edge as you sew.
Trim the backing fabric, and cut the corners to remove bulk when the quilt is turned.
Cut a strip of fusible web an about an inch wide and a few inches shorter than the width of the quilt. Fuse it where the sleeve will be sewn on later. Make sure you know which way is up, and fuse it near the top edge. Pull the backing away from the quilt front and cut a slit in in it to make an opening for turning.
 I use a slightly blunt pencil as a turning tool. Place the tip of the pencil right at a point, and pull the backing fabric over the tip of the pencil. Repeat for each point. Then turn the whole quilt right side out. The pencil trick usually does a good job, but use a blunt needle to finish pulling out any points which don't look sharp enough.
Roll the seams to the inside while you press the edges. If you don't have paper on your fusible web, then avoid ironing over it until you have ironed the edge completely.
Everything should be looking pretty flat at this point. Remove the paper from the fusible web. Press the fabric above the slit to fuse it to the batting. Smooth out any wrinkles in the back and press the rest of the slit. If the edges of the slit don't line up perfect, it's not a problem since your hanging sleeve will be sewn over the top when you've finished quilting.

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