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:
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:
How to sew a mitered border:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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″.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
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.
- 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.
- 3. Now you stitch the binding in place with 1/4″ seam allowance. The 1/4″ sewing machine foot is perfect to do this.
- 4. Stop at 1/4″ before the edge.
- 5. Lift your sewing machine foot and fold your binding back at a 45° angle
- 6. Fold back your binding along the following edge.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 11. Now fold over the binding on all four edges.
- 12. When you do this, it will give you a perfect mitered corners automatically.
- 13. Follow this proceidure all the way around your project.
- 14. Stitch in place from the front by hand, as shown above, or by machine, as shown below.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 3. Now fold in your backing fabric half of what your ‘binding’ is and press.
- 4. Repeat this for all 4 edges.
- 5. Fold the corner diagonally. Mark a line from the corner of your mug rug, down to the pressing line.
- 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.
- 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!
- 8. Cut off the corner to 1/4″ seam allowance.
- 9. Repeat this method for for all four corners, and then turn the seam allowances of the corners inside.
- 10. Push out the corners gently with some scissors or a pen.
- 11. Fold under the ‘binding’ along the pressing line and you will get perfect mitered corners.
- 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:
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 3. Mark two small lines where the edges overlap as shown in the photo above.
- 4. Fold the napkin diagonally and place the two marks on top of each other.
- 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.
- 6. Next, make another little mark at the bottom corner of that fold, this gives you the line that you then sew on.
- 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.
- 8. Cut off the corner with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
- 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:
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.
How useful is this blog post! thanks for sharing 🙂
Thank you so very much, that makes me happy 😃
What a wonderful tutorial. THANK YOU so much.
Thank you so much, I’m so glad you like it 💕