Mitered Corners Tutorial

Do you love the look of mitered corners, but find them to be a bit intimidating? My friend Dee always adds mitered corners to her quilts. I tend to avoid mitered corners and only add them when I need to… such as when I’m using a gorgeous border stripe. Then mitered corners are the best option. There are several ways to sew the mitered corners, however, I’ve found this method gives me the best results.

Start by estimating the finished outside dimensions of your quilt top, including the borders. Add 3″ to 4″ to this length and cut your border strips. Mark the center of your quilt-top edges and the border strips. Measure the quilt top through the center to determine its width and length. Place a pin at each end of the side border strips equidistant from the center to mark the length of the quilt top. Repeat to mark the width of th quilt top on the top and bottom borders.

Pin the side borders to the quilt top, matching the centers. Line up the pins at either end of the border strip with the quilt edges and pin the border strip to the quilt. Stitch, beginning and ending with a backstitch 1/4″ from the raw edges of the quilt top (this is important!). Repeat with the top and bottom borders. Press the seam allowances toward the borders.

Now comes the tricky part… mitering the corners! Lay the first corner of your quilt top right side up on your cutting mat. Align the edge of one strip with a line on your mat, overlap the loose ends of the strips, and align the edge of the other strip with a line on the cutting mat.

Place a square ruler on top of the overlapped strips. Align the edge of the ruler with the raw edges of the strips and the 45 degree line with the outside corner.

Use a rotary cutter to trim the ends of both strips.

Turn down one side, forming a diagonal fold in the quilt top. Align the raw edges of the two borders, right sides together. Align the 45 degree line on a ruler with the outer edge of the border strip. Place the ruler’s edge along the fold, making sure its aligned with the corner.

Use a pencil or chalk to draw a line along the edge of the ruler. Pin the borders together, making sure to match any seam lines (or lines in the fabric strip). Sew on the drawn line, beginning at the inside corner with a backstitch and removing the pins as you sew; end with a backstitch.

Open the quilt top and look at the front, make sure the seam lies flat and that the lines match, if applicable. When everything looks good, refold the quilt top, right sides together, and cut away the extra border fabric, leaving a 1/4″-wide seam allowance.

Then press the seam allowances open to reduce bulk.  Repeat the process to mitered the remaining three corners!

Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. Chocolate for everyone!!

About Nancy Mahoney

I'm a traditional quiltmaker, teacher, Martingale author, and fabric designer for P&B Textiles. I enjoy traveling to guilds and events around the country, sharing my quilts, teaching my piecing and machine-applique techniques, and visiting gardens. You can find me on Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.
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One Response to Mitered Corners Tutorial

  1. Elizabeth Thimlar says:

    This looks quite easy. I am going to try it… over 30 years of sewing and quilting, am afraid to try!!

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