Sunday, September 9, 2012

Face It!

I find that I try new things when I least plan for them or expect to.  That is my experimental nature shining through.  While I was quilting all the Pond Island house blocks, I knew that I was going to finish them individually, rather than sew them into one large quilt.  I had thought about binding each in a strip of black, as though it were "framed". Once I got home, I stalled.   What is wrong with that picture???  It is way too formal was my gut reaction.  I don't think I can look at a wall with 15 stark black frames, regardless of what is inside.

Then,  I remembered that Jean Wells discussed various finishing techniques in her book, Intuitive Color and Design.

Ah hah!  Among other techniques, she suggested a facing finish.  This was the answer!  I started  right in following her excellent directions and made facing using both mitered corners and triangle corners, just to see which one I liked better.  The triangle corners system is a bit more fiddly to make, but it does solve the problem of having a lot of seams and fabric at each of the four corners.  I ended up choosing to make most of my facings with the mitered corners anyway.  Easier and faster wins.

facing with mitered corners and hanging tabs
facing with triangle corners

two faced blocks,  one framed block.
I had no choice but to frame that one block shown above.  The fabric I  put along the top and the bottom is corded (woven) such that once its threads are cut, the cord quickly unravels.  It is also thick, so I cannot turn it to the back as facing requires.  

A facing, like the facing in a jacket or dress, isn't seen from the front.  It is only visible on the back of the quilt (or on the inside, if we are talking about garments.)  When I began cutting the strips, I was thinking of using only one fabric to make all the facings.  WAIT A MINUTE!  I have lots of fabric languishing in my stash.  Why not a little unexpected variety?  Out came some florals on dark backgrounds.  Now the process became more fun.  The fabric I chose doesn't make the process any different, but it provides the boost of making it more interesting.  I cannot wait to sew these  facings to the blocks that are piled on the table!


I am one of those quilters who cannot complete one project before beginning something new.  Once an idea starts brewing, I gotta go with it.  I recently saw a similar quilt made by  Ashley in Film in the Fridge . That was my inspiration.  Thanks, Ashley!

This is the start of a baby quilt.  I need to sew all the blocks together.  Once I do that, it will shrink quite a bit, but that is as big as it will be.  I make "little" baby quilts.  Why?  The parents can use the little quilt right away, while the baby is tiny.  It would fit in a pram or stroller, or car seat without getting bunched up in the wheels or straps, etc.  Once the baby gets too big for the quilt, it can be "graduated" to be their own little quilt used to tuck in their dollies or teddy bears.


  1. those houses are awesome. I just love the green/grey house block on the right !

  2. LOVE your solution - and thanks for sharing the process!


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