Start with a small mitered corner application to gain confidence in making excellent mitered corners every time!

To start gather notions and fabric scraps to practice :
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My square measures 8 1/2 inches, and the 4 strips are 1 1/2 x 12 inches. Take special note here: when making mitered corners your strip length needs to be much longer than your square, the wider your strip, the more length you need. Usually I add the strip width times two, plus an extra inch or two, for peace of mind. When I was doing this the first time on my tree skirt, I ended up making my first round of border half the width to accommodate the miter — it wasn’t long enough for the width.

On with the instructions:

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pin your strips, center on your square, on opposite sides

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Sew with 1/4″ seam — I don’t reinforce my seams at all, it may be helpful to pull out a few stitches when setting the miter.

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I press open here to cut down on bulk

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pin and sew opposite sides borders to the square

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Press open again

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Fold your square on the diagonal, this works for rectangles too, but you would need to do one corner at a time.

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Match up your seams, making sure that the corner is lying flat without excess, and pin

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This is how I pin, you don’t want the seams to move, and you need your tails to be secure as well

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You can do both corners at once, just flip it over for the opposite corner

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Next line up your ruler on the diagonal, and mark the sewing line on the tail, like so —

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And sew on the line that you drew

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Open up your square to check your corner

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If you are pleased, trim to 1/4″ seam allowance, and press, if it’s not quite right just pull out your stitches and try again. Take your time lining things up :)

Now go back and fold in the opposite diagonal and repeat

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I like to trim up the extended seam allowances

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You should have 4 of these!

Mitered Corner Tutorial

So far I’ve used this technique for my tree skirt, and a few swap blocks. I envision throw pillows on the couch as the perfect project for mitered corners. Maybe that will be next :)

I think that’s everything! Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them :) Have a great weekend!

Amy

ETA 5/20/2015

This post is six years old and still relevant to many of you! If you are looking for more instruction, I recently made a video with Interweave. Along with Mitered Corners, there’s tons of info on basic quiltmaking skills, and timesaving tips. Check out the DVD or downloadable video HERE.