Perfect mitered corners, 4 easy ways.

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Ingrid Alteneder

Ingrid Alteneder

Hey there, I love fabric, sewing, quilting and most of all Foundation Paper Piecing. Welcome to my blog!

4 easy ways to erfect mitered corners

Who wants to learn 4 easy ways to sew mitered corners? Mitered corners give your sewing projects a professional-looking finish. When in doubt, mitered corners are the way to go!

In this blog post, you’ll learn how to sew a mitered corner with ease. With a few simple steps, you’ll be able to create a beautiful mitered corner that looks like it was done by a professional.

PS: you’re the professional 🙂

Here is the complete guide to perfect mitered corners:

mitered corners on a quilt
different types of mitered corners

What are mitered corners?

A mitered corner is achieved, when the binding or border of a quilt meets at a 45°angle. This sewing method gives you a very professional look for your sewing project and is definitely worth the effort. With a bit of practice, you can achieve perfect mitered corners with ease!

Here I show you 4 easy ways to achieve mitered corners for your quilted projects.

There are 4 different types of mitered corners used in quilting:

  • 1. Mitered border on a quilting/ sewing project
  • 2. Mitered corners with bias binding
  • 3. Mitered corners with self binding
  • 4. Mitered corners to the back of your sewing project, often used with napkins, curtains, table cloths and other similar projects.

Now let’s start with ….

1. Mitered border for a quilt:

mitered border on a quilt

How to sew a mitered border:

make sure your project is cut to a proper right angle
  • 1. Make sure your sewing project is cut to a proper right angle. If your quilt or sewing project, that you want to add the mitered border to, is crooked, your mitered corner will end up crooked as well.
mark 1/4″ from both edges
  • 2. Mark 1/4″ point (on the right side) from both edges on all 4 corners. When you attach your border with a 1/4″ seam allowance you will start and finish your seam at this point. I’ll get to this again later.
clip border in place
  • 3. Clip your border in place, right sides together.

Important Note: Your border needs to be ‘double the width’ longer than your quilt or project edges, on each side. This means: let’s say the edges of your project are 40″ long and your border is 2″ wide. You need to cut your borders 40″ + 2″x 2″+ 2″x 2″ long, this means you need to cut your border 48″.

stitch border in place with 1/4″ seam allowance
  • 4. Stitch border in place with 1/4″ seam allowance. Stop at the mark at the corner. Stitch the next border in place with 1/4″ seam allowance as well. This time you start at the mark at the corner.
both borders attached
  • 5. Both borders are now attached to your quilt/ sewing project. And the seams end and start exactly at the mark at the corner.
  • 6. Fold your quilt/ sewing project diagonally, right sides together. Place the borders exactly on top of each other. Then extend the diagonal fold out onto the border with a ruler and mark your sewing line. Pin in place, so it does not move while sewing.
stitch along the marked line
  • 7. Now you stitch along the marked line, start at the point where the two borders meet and the stitch line from the previous seam ends. This ensures, that there will be no gaps or pleats on the front. Sew all the way through the border.

  • 8. Unfold your quilt/ sewing project and make sure the border lies flat and there are no gaps. Trim the excess fabric to 1/4″ seam allowance and press the border.

And Tadaaa you did it, you just made a perfect mitered border for your sewing project, now repeat for the other corners and you have a beautifully framed quilt/ sewing project.

Here is also a short video to show you the process:

2. Mitered corners with bias binding:

mitered corners with bias binding

Let’s make a mug rug with bias binding and mitered corners. I chose one of my Easter egg patterns to make this mug rug in size 6″x 6″.

  • 1. You need bias binding. I always make my own bias binding, but of course you can also buy pretty bias bindings at your local quilt shop.
  • I like to use a narrow bias binding. My bias binding is usually 1 1/4″ wide. This helps me place the binding more accurately , it’s not too bulky and I can manage mitered corners more easily.

attaching the bias binding to the back of your quilted project
  • 2. Fold over the binding at the beginning 1/4″ (in this case I will let the ends just overlap). Attach the binding to your project from the back, right sides together.
attaching the binding to your quilt project
  • 3. Now you stitch the binding in place with 1/4″ seam allowance. The 1/4″ sewing machine foot is perfect to do this.
attach the binding to your sewing project
  • 4. Stop at 1/4″ before the edge.
fold the edge of the binding at a 45°angle
  • 5. Lift your sewing machine foot and fold your binding back at a 45° angle
making a perfect mitered corner
  • 6. Fold back your binding along the following edge.
mitered corners with bias binding
  • 7. Stitch the binding in place along this edge again with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  • 8. Follow the same procedure for all 4 corners and let the ends of the binding just overlap. This works perfectly with a narrow bias binding.
fold over the binding to the front twice
  • 9. Turn your project over, so that the right side is facing you, and fold over the binding twice. The bias binding should now cover the previous seam, you can always adjust the binding a little bit, so that the seam is covered all the way.
making a mitered corner with bias binding
  • 10. When you get to the corner, fold the binding all the way through, this gives you sort of a triangle shape at the corner.
perfect mitered corners with bias binding
  • 11. Now fold over the binding on all four edges.
mitered corner with bias binding
  • 12. When you do this, it will give you a perfect mitered corners automatically.
perfect mitered corners with bias binding
  • 13. Follow this proceidure all the way around your project.
perfect mitered corners with bias binding
  • 14. Stitch in place from the front by hand, as shown above, or by machine, as shown below.
perfect mitered corners with bias binding

3. Mitered Corners with self binding

This is a fairly easy way to do mitered corners. Personally my favorite method!

Here is how to start:

perfect mitered corners with self binding
  • 1. Place your sewing project, I’m making a mug rug again with one of my egg quilt blocks in the size 6″x 6″. Place it on top of your backing fabric, wrong sides together, this produces a perfect ‘quilt sandwich’ with quilt top, batting and backing.
Perfect mitered corners with self binding
  • 2. Place your clear ruler on your mug, cut the backing fabric 3/4″ larger than your mug rug. Should you be using this method on a quilt, you want to cut the backing fabric 1″ or 1 1/4″ larger than your quilt.
perfect mitered corners with self binding
  • 3. Now fold in your backing fabric half of what your ‘binding’ is and press.
perfect mitered corners with self binding
  • 4. Repeat this for all 4 edges.
perfect mitered corners with self binding
  • 5. Fold the corner diagonally. Mark a line from the corner of your mug rug, down to the pressing line.
perfect mitered corners with self binding
  • 6. Use a fabric pen to mark the line from the mug rug corner to the pressing line. The marked line has to be in a right angle to the diagonal fold.
Perfect mitered corners with self binding
  • 7. After you have marked this line, sew this marked line, from the corner of the mug rug down to the pressing line. It has to be a right angle to the diagonal fold!
Perfect mitered corners with self binding
  • 8. Cut off the corner to 1/4″ seam allowance.
perfect mitered corners with self binding
  • 9. Repeat this method for for all four corners, and then turn the seam allowances of the corners inside.
perfect mitered corners with self binding
  • 10. Push out the corners gently with some scissors or a pen.
perfect mitered corners with self binding
  • 11. Fold under the ‘binding’ along the pressing line and you will get perfect mitered corners.
perfect mitered corners with self binding
  • 12. Now you stitch it in place by hand or by machine… and as Chandler Bing would ask: “Could these corners be any more perfect?”

Here is a short ‘How to’ video:

Perfect mitered corners with self binding

4. Mitered corners for napkins

This method can be used for lots of different projects, like napkins, table cloths, curtains and much more.

Let’s start here:

perfect mitered corners for napkins
  • 1. The napkins here feature the mitered corner, that I will show you here. It’s a mitered corner on the back of the sewing project. In this blog post I show you how to make these pretty ‘raw edge appliqué’ napkins. You will find all the appliqué patterns here.
Perfect mitered corners
  • 2. Take your project, the napkin in my case here. Serge the edges, and place the napkin with the right side facing you and fold in the edges 1″ and press. Do this for all four edges.
Perfect mitered corners
  • 3. Mark two small lines where the edges overlap as shown in the photo above.
perfect mitered corners
  • 4. Fold the napkin diagonally and place the two marks on top of each other.
perfect mitered corners
  • 5. Fold in the corner, so that the corner reaches the small mark. This produces a straight line in a right angle to the diagonal fold.
perfect mitered corners
  • 6. Next, make another little mark at the bottom corner of that fold, this gives you the line that you then sew on.

Perfect mitered corners
  • 7. Stitch a straight line from the top mark to the bottom mark. Again as with all the other mitered corners this line has to be in a right angle to the diagonal fold.
perfect mitered corners
  • 8. Cut off the corner with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
perfect mitered corners
  • 9. Turn over and fold inside out and push out the corner gently with a pair of scissors or a pen. And that’s it….. the 4th version of perfect mitered corners ….

Here is a short ‘how to’ video:

perfect mitered corners for napkins

As you can see, sewing a mitered corner can be done in several ways, depending on the type of project you are working on. If you are looking for a precise and clean finish, hand-sewing is the recommended option. Machine sewing can achieve really nice results as well.

Whichever method you choose, with a little practice and patience, you can achieve professional results.

My mum was a home economics teacher and made me practice these corners at a pretty young age. I am very grateful that she did, mitered corners, as well as zippers, are nothing to fear, you just need to practice the tricks.

Now grab your next sewing project and start practicing, and please let me know which method you like best.

Happy sewing

Ingrid x

9 Responses
  1. Hello! Thank you for the useful tutorials, especially the self-binding instructions. Sometimes when I make the self-binding mitered corners, some of the stitches from the corner to the fold mark can be seen. What can I do to address this problem? Thank you so much!

    1. Hey Wendy, thanks yo much, I’m not sure I understand your question correctly, you mean the stitches from the previous seam? sometimes it helps to pill the binding fabric just a tiny little bit further . Not sure if that’s what you meant? Best
      Ingrid

  2. Perfect! I could not wrap my head around it just from printed instructions so the videos are so helpful. Thank you!

  3. I always have such a tough time but I’m sure this will help. I never thought about making sure the corner was an exact 45 degrees. All that work making the quilt and then I screwup the corner

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