Lately, I have been trying to do some finishing work on two quilts that have a deadline. Finishing work is definitely NOT my favorite thing to do. I like the designing, drawing, playing, figuring things out, putting things together, and bringing the ideas I have in my mind to life.
First, there is trimming and squaring up the quilt. I looked for a good video tutorial on squaring up an art quilt and couldn't find one. All the videos I DID find were either terrible or they used straight seams in the body of the quilt to line up the ruler for squaring up. For my art quilts, those videos don't help me, because my art quilts do not have blocks with straight seams. I did find that Kathy Loomis has a good blog post (with pictures) on the topic of trimming and squaring up a quilt. You can check that out at Art With A Needle.
The next thing is to either put a binding or a facing on the quilt. My facing strip looks a little weird in this picture--I had to piece it. I only had a little of the purple hand-dyed fabric left. I needed to use that, so the facing would be less visible. I didn't have enough of the purple fabric to make the facing, so I had to piece it. This pieced facing is an experiment. We'll see how it works.
It is easy to find videos on binding, but facings seem to be less common. A friend of mine (Debby Cresanto) often uses facings to finish her quilts. She always seems so comfortable doing it--she makes it look easy. By the time I am ready to put a facing on my own quilt, I'm a little rattled. I have put SO much time into the quilt that I don't want to mess it up at this point. One time, I noticed I was literally shaking (and my stomach hurt) before I started putting on the facing. I told Debby she should make a video to show people how to easily put a facing on a quilt (and so I would have a video to review and reassure me). She had never done a YouTube video, but she decided to do one for me (because that is just the kind of friend she is). If YOU need a brush up on how to face a quilt, check out Debby's video. You can do that here. I refer to it each time I need to put a facing on one of my quilts. (While I was doing research for this post, I found a facing video made by Joe Cunningham. It is a down and dirty, quick and effective method. If you would like to check out his video, you can do that here.)
Putting a sleeve on the quilt is the next step (if the quilt is to be hung up on a wall). (In the picture, I'm getting ready to hand stitch the sleeve down on my butterfly quilt.) I don't know why I dislike this SO much but I do. A good while back (2012 to be exact), I wrote up a tutorial for how to make a sleeve and how to attach it to your quilt. I wrote it, because I always seem to have to review how to do it before getting started. This is my go-to tutorial for putting a sleeve on my quilts. If you would like to check that out, you can do that here.
I'll be working on hand sewing the facing down on my hurricane quilt this week. (I don't mind the hand stitching!) Then, I'll have to make a sleeve for it and hand stitch it down. Once that is done, I can get the quilts photographed and the exhibit paperwork done. (I don't like doing the paperwork either!)
I didn't want to forget to mention that the last step is to put a label on the quilt. This is a really important step. Again, it isn't a step I love, but it IS a step that is necessary.