Infinity Edges in Quilts: The Delights of Faced Binding (Giveaway too!)

My freshly finished version of Kaffe Fasset's "My Fair Lady" quilt from xxx.
My freshly finished version of “My Fair Lady” from “Kaffe Fasset’s Quilt Road.”

1-Giveaway IconJust when you thought you had all the elements of quilt making nailed down, there’s another very cool, fun, and mod finishing detail to explore:  ooh, the delights of faced bindings! Sure, there’s nothing actually all that new “under the sun” in quilt making other than technology, but there are techniques that ebb and flow with fashion. Right now, faced binding is trendy even though it’s been a standard sewing technique forever.

My blogging sister Darra pointed me toward faced bindings several years ago for a stylish finish to an Asian-inspired quilt that I was making. She suggested Kitty Pippen’s Quilting With Japanese Fabrics, a quilting classic published by Martingale & Company, for the instructions. (Giveaway details below!) Of course, I still use a traditional binding, but the faced method has been very suitable to the style of quilts I’ve been making recently. Sometimes, a quilt design is incompatible with the “hard” edge of a traditional binding and requires something expansive. I’d describe a faced binding as akin to an infinity-edged pool–it’s visually limitless.

So, shall we look more closely at the application of the technique with a couple of quilts?

Faced Binding With Prairie Point Accents:

Background detail shot of faced binding with prairie points. My version of "The Seasons" from Doughty/Fielke's Material Obsession 2.
Detail shot of the back side of a quilt with faced binding and prairie points.
Detail view of quilt back with faced binding and prairie points.
Detail view of the front side of a quilt with faced binding and prairie points.

Here’s the completed quilt–you may remember my post about a group quilt that took a major effort to complete.

My version of "The Seasons" from Doughty/Fielke's Material Obsession 2--love, love, love the addition of the prairie points.
My version of “The Seasons” from Doughty/Fielke’s “Material Obsession 2.”
I love, love, love the addition of the prairie points!

Invisible Faced Binding:

Here’s a clever binding approach from my friend Kim Butterworth.  She had enough backing fabric left over from trimming her quilt to create “invisible” faced binding. Look closely: she matched her quilt backing and faced binding perfectly.

Invisible faced binding on Kim Butterworth's quilt.
Invisible faced binding on Kim Butterworth’s quilt.

Classic Faced Binding:

If you’ve been following my recent quilt-making adventures here and here, you’ll know I’ve been tackling a Kaffe Fassett quilt that’s been languishing in my UFO pile. I’m happy to tell you that I’m minutes away from finishing that quilt. It simply lacks a label, but I’m alternating working on that little detail and this blog post. Deb McPartland, one of my very fave long-armers, quilted the top in a classic “Orange Peel” design with variegated yellow thread. I don’t like high-contrast quilting on white fabric, and so the light, sunny colors of the thread were perfect for adding texture without diminishing the impact of the wildly colored hexagons. I wish my photos could capture Deb’s wonderful craftsmanship, but alas, I can only show you fragmented views for the details. Thank you Deb!

My quilt is destined for my dear Floridian friend from high school days (mentioned in a prior group post as needing a quilted hug), and thus my slightly eyeball-burning choices of backing and batting to suit sunshiny climes.

Backing fabric shown on left, faced binding is the umbrella fabric and the accent triangle in green/blue polka dot.
Backing fabric shown on left, faced binding is the umbrella fabric and the accent triangles in green/blue polka dot.

I’m not going to detail the faced binding technique in this post because, if you wait just a short time, the June issue of The Quilt Life will feature a excellent how-to from Ricky Tims along with an added embellishment of triangle corners, a technique I picked up from a friend who picked it up from another friend, etc. It’s a fabulous design twist, but I haven’t a clue where it started.

Here’s the finished binding:

Completed faced binding with accent triangle.
Completed faced binding with accent triangle.

And here, a partial view of the front, back, and faced binding in one photo:

The many design elements of "My Fair Lady" in view:  finished quilt with completed faced binding and machine-quilting in "Orange Peel" by Deb McPartland.
The many design elements of “My Fair Lady” in view: finished quilt with completed faced binding and machine-quilting in “Orange Peel” by Deb McPartland.

Here’s the quilt in its entirety (sadly, not a great photo, but you get the idea):

Quilt-J:  "My Fair Lady" from Kaffe Fasset's Quilt Road

Time to add that last, critical detail, the label:

Quilt-J:  Quilt label

Giveaway Details Here!

Here’s something wonderful:  Martingale & Company is offering Kitty Pippen’s classic Quilting With Japanese Fabric as a giveaway. (Remember, she’s got a great technique for faced bindings described in the book.) The title is now being offered as an eBook so if you’ve got the technology, you’re in good shape. You know the giveaway drill:  comment by Thursday, April 18, for the drawing and I’ll announce a winner in my Friday post.  Here’s your question: Have you or will you finish a quilt with faced binding?

Later, gators! JenniferInspiration-J: Boston




58 thoughts on “Infinity Edges in Quilts: The Delights of Faced Binding (Giveaway too!)

  1. I would love to do the face binding on a had appliqué quilt I’m working on now. Love the flower id marker as well. Fingers crossed. 🙂


  2. I have had excellent results with faced bindings using a method published in American Quilter Projects 2007 “Face It! A Better Quilt Edge” by Kathleen Loomis. Ms Loomis creates a one piece facing for the corners instead of attaching each edge seperately. In addition, she borrows a technique from garment construction used in constructing under collars to have the top layer roll ever so slightly to the back to hide the backing fabric. Finally, she includes an ingenious method of un-sewing and grading to produce a beautiful flat corner. Of course this method is a little more work than others but the results are well worth it.


    1. Sounds very interesting Sally. Kitty Pippen’s method has a couple of elements like those you mentioned that enhance the workmanship of faced binding. I’ll have to go on the hunt to find that publication. Candace Kling and I had a discussion about garment-sewing and quilt making methods where we covered that very point about rolling the top layer toward the back–all about using bias and straight of grain fabric. So much cool stuff to learn! Thanks!


    1. Hello Quilters! Love all your responses for the giveaway and I’m so tickled that so many of you want to try faced bindings. Another tool in your design arsenal! I hope to have my next project ready to show you on Friday–not quilted or bound (yet), but I’m definitely going to do another faced binding for that quilt.



  3. I have never heard of faced binding but I think that this method has some future in a couple quilts I have not started the binding on yet. If I had known about this type of binding when I was working on my husband’s Japanese quilt I’m sure it would have looked much better and more professional. I’m always looking for new things to try but this technique has apparently slipped me by. Congrats to whoever wins this contest.


  4. What a great finish to your quilt. Love the accent triangle too! A great idea for wall quilts as this is such a simple finish and lets the design shine. I would love to win the book. I have a stash of oriental fabrics just waiting for more inspiration…. Thankyou for a great blog.


  5. Would you consider making a quilt for me like the sunshiny one? 😉 Simply delightful. And yes, I’m going to try this technique when it’s published. Thanks.


  6. Faced binding is a technique I have yet to try, it looks as if it would be a useful technique to know for smaller wall hanging type quilts, thanks for the chance to win.


  7. I love love love this technique! And I would absolutely use it but,alas I do not know how! Please please please help me to resolve this tragic turn of events.


  8. I have a Japanese block quilt from Laura’s Tea Party block-of-the-month class that is ready for binding. I’ve been waiting for some inspiration and love to win Kitty’s book. Maybe a faced binding is the way to go.


  9. I’ll have to say I’m unfamiliar with faced bindings, so my answer would be ‘No’, I haven’t made a quilt using that technique. Your examples look wonderful though, and I’d like to give it a try some day. Thanks for having the drawing.


  10. I’ve just been learning a facing technique that involves glue instead of pins and strips for each side rather than one continuous strip. It’s very clever and you don’t have any hand stitching to do.
    The technique is on the blog. The entry is titled “Let’s face it:it’s a binding”.


  11. All the years I’ve been quilting and I’ve not yet done a faced binding. I think it’s time I learned how! Love your hexagon quilt, Jennifer!


  12. I’m hooked- another challenge! I have to think of a quilt to make and use that technique-I love it! Can’t wait to see the tutorial. Thanks


  13. Thanks so much Jennifer for the info. I was not aware of faced bindings. I love that triangle corner – way to cute. I think I would have to have the right quilt to try a faced binding on so not sure when i would do one but now you have opened me up to the idea.


  14. I love the faced binding and I will try it! I was binding a quilt by machine yesterday and was remembering that when I started quilting many many many years ago I was taught to cut the backing larger and roll it around to the top to create the binding. I also have a Kaffe to finish and will try the faced binding then. Would love to win the ebook!


  15. I think this looks like a great technique to try. Yes, I will give it a try. Have several Japanese fabrics staring at me wanting to know when they get to come off the shelf and play.


  16. I never heard faced bindings before! I still consider myself a beginner because I have so many areas that need improvement. I appreciate the opportunity to win the ebook. I love Asian fabrics and would love to see different ways to use them. Thanks!


  17. I have never done a faced binding but it sounds like something I would love to learn. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book! Love your blog.


  18. I had never considered a faced binding, but I think this is just what I need for the string quilt I am currecntly finishing up. It is perfect for a quilt with an all-over design and no border! Thanks for this great idea.


  19. I used a faced binding on a baby quilt made from a friend’s wedding dress. The quilt was for her first grandchild. The binding worked perfectly. Would love to win the book.


  20. I haven’t tried a faced binding as I know it. I have matched the binding to the fabric on the front as best I could for a nautical quilt for my DH.


  21. I haven’t finished many quilts yet – still a newbie 🙂 – but would love to try this method. I lived in Japan twice, learned to speak Japanese, and also learned Bunka – a traditional embroidery. See the web link for a sample of my work. I LOVE Japanese fabrics! Thanks for the opportunity!


  22. I would love to try faced binding. Bindings are one of my favorite parts. I am always looking for new techniques. I adore the kaffe fabrics and love your quilt. I would LOVE to win this book. Thanks for your wonderful blog.


  23. This is so different–I love the idea. Have not tried it yet–newbie to quilting and have just finished my first quilt. I will definitely do something different with my next quilt. I am all about books and ebooks and would love to win this one! Thanks for the post.


  24. I love faced bindings. I recently did a quilt spelling out my daughter’s name with signal flags and below them I did a quilted beach scene. Because of what was going on in the quilt, it really needed something different in the binding and that was it. I actually found it easier that traditional binding. It is just what is needed for an irregular quilt too.


  25. Oh, such beauty in one post!! Yes, I would love to attempt the faced binding technique. I am thankful for the opportunity to win this book.


  26. I would love to try a faced binding. Hope I win the book- I actually went to the Quilt show in Tokyo in Jan. and bought some Japanese fabrics. I feel in love with Sun Bonnet Sue…she was displayed in many of the vendor booths.


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