10 April 2012

Tutorial: Mitered Corners

A bunch of you have asked how I do my mitered corners on my quilts, so here's a quick tutorial!

There are a bizillion methods to make your quilted corners pretty, but after years of trial-and-error, this is my favorite. This tutorial assumes you are using the backing fabric to bind the quilt, not bias tape.

NOTE: I don't use pins for this.  If it helps you to use them, go for it!

  • Your quilt top is done, and it's time to make your sandwich. 
  • Cut your batting to the same dimensions as your quilt top.
  • Cut the backing fabric so that you have a few inches of overhang on all sides. Depending on how large my quilt is, I make sure my overhang is somewhere between 2-6" on all sides. **The backing does NOT have to be even on all sides at this point!**
  • Quilt your sandwich as desired.

  • Lay your quilt flat and smooth out the backing fabric so it's flat and even. 
  • Cut the backing fabric so that you have a 1-2" frame around your quilt top.

  • Take one of the longer sides of the quilt and fold the backing fabric in half toward the quilt (remember hamburger folds in elementary school??).
  • Fold the double-thickness backing onto the quilt top. It should be 1/2 the width of the frame you cut earlier. (ie. If you cut a 1" frame, the fold should be about 1/2")
  • Sew the border down only along the length of the sandwich. Don't sew the backing to itself on each end.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

This really is simple. All you're doing is making 1 extra fold at the corners before double-folding your frame to make the border. 
  • Hold your quilt so that an unfinished edge is pointing to your right. Holding it close to the foot of your machine helps. 

  • Take the top, finished corner and fold it down so that it is in line with the edge of the quilt top on the unfinished edge. It will make a 45-degree angle at the corner.

  • While holding onto the folded corner, fold the raw edge down just like you did with the long sides of the quilt. Think "hamburger" again!
  • Just like the sides of the quilt, fold the whole folded mess over onto the top of the quilt. Instead of the ends hanging off, they'll be tucked under, making a pretty mitered corner!

  • Once the first few inch or two are folded over, carefully position the corner under the sewing machine's foot. Lower both the foot and the needle to hold everything in place! 

  • Sew along the border, folding the binding over as you go.
  • Once you get within 8" of the end, you can miter that corner. Be sure to lower the needle through the fabric to hold it in place as you fold.
  • Follow the same steps as the top corner:

  Voila! You have mitered half your corners!  Now just repeat on the other side of your quilt to finish!

Pretty corners every time!

In Short:

  1. Trim backing fabric to 1-2" on all sides
  2. Bind longest sides first.
  3. Fold corners to make a 45-degree angles.
  4. Bind short sides.
  5. Easy-peasy!

Sorry for the inconsistent quality of the photography. I was trying to take pictures and hold fabric at the same time! :)

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