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Saturday, February 13, 2021

Five Steps To Mitered Corners

This article was originally posted in July of 2018 on my old website.

Mitered corners look great on quilts. Many quilters shy away from sewing them because it seems complicated. Break it down to these 5 simple steps and get the results you want every time.

Step 1: Cut Border Strips

In this example we use a quilt top that measures 11" x 14".

The borders are cut at 3-1/2" and finish at 3". To determine what length to cut the border strips, add the following numbers:

Width or length + cut border width + cut border width + 1"

The 1" is a little extra.

Side Border Strips

14" + 3-1/2" + 3-1/2" +1" =22"

Top and bottom Border Strips

11" + 3-1/2" + 3-1/2" + 1" = 19"

For more information about cutting borders read the article, Lengthwise Grain Borders and Binding.

Step 2: Mark the Corners

I suggest you don't skip this step. On the quilt top, mark each corner where the two seam allowances intersect.

Use a ruler with 1/4" lines to draw lines on each side.


The point where the two lines intersect, is used in the next step.

Step 3: Sew All Borders to Top

Start with any side, top or bottom. Find the centers of the border strip and the edge you are sewing. Match the centers and pin between the center and the marked corners.

Stitch a 1/4" seam from one marked corner to the other. This will leave the seam open on each side.

Step 4: Press Seams

Press the seam towards the quilt top. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the remaining quilt sides.

Step 5: Mark and Stitch the Miter

In this step you will fold, mark and stitch the miter in each corner, one at a time. 

Place the right sides of adjacent borders together. This creates a 45° fold in the quilt top as shown above. The seams were pressed towards the quilt top so make sure the seam allowances are stacked on top of each other.

Using the fold as your guide, place the edge of a ruler along the fold and across the border as shown.

Use a marking pen or pencil to mark the diagonal line on the border as shown. Use pins to hold the borders in place. 

Stitch along the marked line. 

Unfold the quilt. Press the seam either to one side or open. Check that the miter lays flat before trimming the seam.

Trim the corner.

Trim off the little nubs that poke out.

Mitered corners.

The video below is the same tutorial set to music and pictures.

Happy quilting!


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