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 :


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:


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


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.


I press open here to cut down on bulk


pin and sew opposite sides borders to the square


Press open again


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


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


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


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


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


And sew on the line that you drew


Open up your square to check your corner


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


I like to trim up the extended seam allowances


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!


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.