Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Wholecloth Facing

As I was getting a last-minute piece finished for the gallery opening, I was frantically trying to think of an artistic way to finish a little thread-painted quilt I had done. As fate would have it, the latest issue of Quilting Arts Magazine (http://www.quiltingarts.com/) showed up on my doorstep just in time!

Vikki Pignatelli's article on creating a "faced" backing rather than a traditional quilt binding caught my imagination, and I knew I had to finish the little quiltlet with this technique. Here are the results, with which I am very happy!

Front of the 16" x 19" quiltlet ... notice there is no binding, but the edges are finished nice and smooth, and there is no buckling or waving of the fabric.

and here's the back ... finished with Vikki's technique of creating a "wholecloth faced" backing. Her article, "Wholecloth Facings" in the February/March 2008 issue of Quilting Arts magazine, was so well-written that even I was able to follow the instructions and do it perfectly the first time!

I hadn't even intended to make the edges wavy until I saw Vikki's article. And I'm notoriously unable to follow written directions very well, so it was a relief to find that I could actually be successful with the help of the article.

One thing that was a revelation to me, and after doing it once, I understood why she emphasizes it so clearly ... the pressing of the facing out towards the opening after you are 2/3 of the way around the stitching. This helped the backing lie perfectly flat, with no bubbles or ripples, and the quilt now lies "flat as a flitter", as my grandma would have said.

I won't say that this is a "fast" finishing technique, but it certainly was easy, and the perfect solution to finishing an irregularly-shaped quilt. I also liked the option to "sculpt" the backing, to add a little interest. (I love interesting quilt-backs!) I'll definitely be using this technique again. Thanks, Vikki!

Here's her website http://www.vikkipignatelli.com/. Vikki is also the author of "Quilting by Improvisation" and "Quilting Curves". (No affiliation, etc.)


  1. Hey, fellow Virgo - thanks for your comment about my quilt dilemma on my blog.

    Isn't this facing method great? I tried it on a journal quilt with straight edges and it worked pretty well on that too. I'm now working up to doing a piece with edges not unlike yours and of course, was thinking binding. Knee jerk reaction of a quilter with a traditional background. Thanks for reminding me there's a better way!

  2. OMG, Linda! I LOVE that dragonfly piece! It's gorgeous!


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