5 Steps to Mitered Corners

QuiltNotes Learning Center

Last Updated July 21, 2018


Mitered corners look great on quilts. Many quilters shy away from sewing them because it seems complicated. Break it down to these 5 simple steps and get the results you want every time.

Step 1: Cut Border Strips

In this example we use a quilt top that measures 11″ x 14″.

mitered corners

The borders are cut at 3-1/2″ and finish at 3″. To determine what length to cut the border strips, add the following numbers:

Width or length + cut border width + cut border width + 1″

The 1″ is a little extra.

Side Border Strips

14″ + 3-1/2″ + 3-1/2″ +1″ =22″

Top and bottom Border Strips

11″ + 3-1/2″ + 3-1/2″ + 1″ = 19″

mitered corners

For more information about cutting borders read the article, Lengthwise Grain Borders and Binding.

Step 2: Mark the Corners

I suggest you don’t skip this step. On the quilt top, mark each corner where the two seam allowances intersect.

mitered corners

Use a ruler with 1/4″ lines to draw lines on each side.

mitered corners

The point where the two lines intersect will be used in the next step.

Step 3: Sew All Borders to Top

Start with any side, top or bottom. Find the centers of the border strip and the edge you are sewing. Match the centers and pin between the center and the marked corners.

mitered corners

Stitch a 1/4″ seam from one marked corner to the other. This will leave the seam open on each side.

mitered corners

Step 4: Press Seams

Press the seam towards the quilt top. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the remaining quilt sides.

mitered corners

Step 5: Mark and Stitch the Miter

In this step you will fold, mark and stitch the miter in each corner, one at a time.

mitered corners

Place the right sides of adjacent borders together. This creates a 45° fold in the quilt top as shown above. The seams were pressed towards the quilt top so make sure the seam allowances are stacked on top of each other.

mitered corners

Using the fold as your guide, place the edge of a ruler along the fold and across the border as shown.

mitered corners

Use a marking pen or pencil to mark the diagonal line on the border as shown. Use pins to hold the borders in place.

mitered corners

Stitch along the marked line.

mitered corners

Unfold the quilt. Press the seam either to one side or open. Check that the miter lays flat before trimming the seam.

mitered corners

Trim the corner.

mitered corners

Trim off the little nubs that poke out.

mitered corners

Mitered corners.

The video below is the same tutorial set to music and pictures.

For more videos visit the Video Library.

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