Irish Lake Quilter

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mitered Corners

I have offered to teach my way of doing mitered corners at Retreat next month. So while I was putting that together, I decided to post it here and see if others can understand my directions. I'm not sure how I figured this out, but I've been doing it this way for years, and have recently seen it in a book - and I'm not sure whose book it is. It isn't the most technical way, but it works for me. I hope you can understand my jibberish! If you have a problem understanding my directions, please let me know so I can adjust.

First, cut your borders to the length and/or width of your quilt PLUS the TWICE the width of the border for each border piece or side. The border must go beyond each side of the quilt at least the same distance as the width of the border.

2.. Mark the corner of your quilt with a 1/4" dot or if you have a good 1/4" feeling when you sew, keep that in mind. The dot ..... I'm sure you've seen these on clothing patterns and this one will work the same way - sew to the dot or 1/4" away from the edge. Stop and backstitch.

3. Add your first border, allowing overlap on
both sides of the quilt.
Stop sewing at the corner dot.

4. Add the second border, stopping at the dot.

5. Press both borders open. Lay this corner out on the ironing board so that it is flat, allowing you to work with it and to press it.

6. Choose one border and gently turn so that it's wrong sides are together. I find, being right handed, that it is easier to work with the one on the right. (black) Fold it under/perpendicular so that the edges of both borders meet and are even. At this point, the two borders will be right sides together and going in the same direction. Confused? Try this explanation.... Take the upper left corner of the black border (right side up) and turn it so that it is now the the lower right (wrong side up).

Pull gently to get the sharp corner where all 3 pieces come together - at the dot. You should be able to see the miter at this time. Pin the two straight edges together just enough to hold it while you press the angled edge.

7. After pinning the right-sides of the two borders together, gently press with the iron and on the inside, pin again along the edge of the crease made by ironing.

8. Turn the quilt/borders so that you can sew right along that ironed crease, directly into the corner where the dot is. Push the seam allowances to the side so that you can reach that corner.

9. Open, iron. You should have a stitched and mitered corner. Trim the excess away leaving 1/4" seam allowances. When you open the corner, if you find that there is a pucker, loosen a stitch or two and see if that doesn't release it. That is caused when too many stitches are taken in that corner. The dot helps prevent this.

This may sound confusing and more complicated than it really is. Actually, it takes only a few minutes to miter a corner this way. The explanation takes longer than it does to do it!! If you are totally confused, e-mail me and I'll try to confuse you some more! :>) Now once I prepare the demo on needleturn applique, I'll be ready to go. Only 35 days to go!!


Libby said...

I think this is how I miter, too. I've not done it much - but the steps seem familiar *s*

Linda C. said...

I'd say it's a good lesson, and will be reinforced with your demonstration. I used to do it this way, but now I use my large easy angle to cut the miter, after sewing to the "dot"; sew the 1/4 inch seam and its perfect every time!

teodo said...

Thanks for this important lesson.
ciao ciao

Joan said...

I understood it because that's exactly how I was taught to do mitred borders in my very first quilt class. The only difference is I press at Step 6 when I get everything aligned - then when I flip it all over to sew I can clearly see a line to sew by. Nice tutorial!

Rhonda said...

Got it in one reading and thanks for the tips. Mitered corners really make a quilt good a little more special, I think. But Sometimes they are frustrating to deal with but your way, I understand.