I recently taught my two-day workshop “Layers of Intrigue” and when it came to finishing participants were eager to try something new. Everyone looked at my samples and since most of these were completed with a pillowcase I demonstrated the individual steps. During that part of the workshop I came to the conclusion that a tutorial on this blog might be a good way to share the technique. Here is the step-by-step process in 38 images and concise text.c
Step 1: Complete quilt top (I used a panel for this tutorial).
Step 2: Select batting of choice
Step 3: Select backing fabric.
Step 4: Create the “quilt sandwich.”
Step 5: Trim excess fabric and batting. Ensure you are exact!
Step 6: Carefully “pull” the backing fabric out from the back.
Step 7: Place it “print side” down on the quilt top. The batting is now exposed on the back.
Step 8: Pin securely in each corner to prevent fabric from shifting.
Step 9: Place two pins at the bottom of the quilt sandwich to indicate an opening for turning the quilt inside out.
Step 10: With 1/4″ foot or walking foot stitch all around the quilt, leaving open the space between the two pins.
Step 11: Trim all four corners. Be careful not to cut too closely to the corner stitch to prevent unraveling when turning.
Step 12: Turn quilt over to face the batting.
Step 13: With small scissors carefully trim away all excess batting in the seam allowance.
Step 14: Turn quilt inside out.
Step 15: Coax corners out so they are pointed and crisp. I can usually do this with the help of my finger nails, sometimes I resort to a tool.
Step 16: Press quilt from the back. Note the lack of bulk along the edges. It makes for a sharp edge that does not bulge.
Step 17: Carefully press the opening edges to prepare them for closing.
Step 18: Thread needle and use ladder stitch to close the edge. I am using a colored thread to demonstrate how the ladder stitch will completely hide between the fabric and not distract once stitching is complete.
Step 19: The stitching is complete and no blue thread is showing.
Step 20: The quilt sandwich is now ready for embellishment and quilting.
The second option with the pillow case technique is shown below. Work through Steps 1 through 8.
Step 9a: Stitch all the way around the quilt sandwich, batting side down. Trim corners and excess batting from the seam allowance all around.
Step 10a: With the backing fabric facing you select an area to cut an opening. Be careful when first inserting the scissors to avoid cutting into the quilt top.
Step 11a: Create an opening large enough for turning the quilt.
Step 12a: Cut a strip of paper backed fusible (Steam-A-Seam or equivalent) just a bit larger than the opening cut. Carefully turn quilt inside out to avoid fraying at the edges. Press the quilt from the back as in Step 16 in the initial instructions.
Step 13a: Carefully insert the strip of fusible webbing with the glue side facing the batting.
Step 14a: Press the area with a hot iron. Let the fabric and fusible cool down for a few minutes to avoid frustration when removing the backing paper.
Step 15a: Remove the backing paper.
Step 16a: Place the fabric over the fusible ensuring the cutting lines are matched up closely. Pres with a hot iron.
Step 17a: Complete. I don’t use this method very often. The only time I choose to use fusible and cut the backing is when I have no plans for hand-embellishments. Then I ensure the cut is placed in such a manner that the hanging sleeve will cover the cut and fused area.
I hope this tutorial is helpful to quilters anywhere. Weigh in with comments and suggestions for improvements below. Thanks for your interest and support!
Looking for more tutorials without searching the list of past posts? There is good news: I have just created a brand new tab labeled Free Tutorials which can be found here.