Quilting Tips and Tricks

Making Perfect Mitered Corners Using the 8" x 24" My Favorite Mitering Ruler

My New Favorite Method of Mitering Borders
After years of mock mitering at the ironing board, I have a new favorite way to miter. For anything smaller than approximately 36" x 48", like a small quilt, placemats or pillows, it is easy to cut borders to exact size. For larger quilts, follow these steps:

1. Measure the quilt in several places across the width and length to determine border lengths.

2. Add two times the width of the border, two seam allowances and 2" to 3" for insurance.

3. Fold strips in half, right sides together, and measure half the finished quilt size from the fold along the top of the border. At that point, mark a dot 1/4" from the edge.

4. Insert a pin through the dot, lift the border strip and carefully mark a dot on the other end of the border.

5. Line up the laser-cut hole at the corner of My Favorite Mitering Ruler with the marked dot, and the top of the ruler with the top of the border.

6. With a pencil, draw a line along the diagonal end of the ruler; leave the excess fabric. The fearless would cut to size at this step, and on a small quilt, I can be fearless. However, on a full-size bed quilt, I leave the extra fabric.

Adding the Border and Mitering the Corners
1. Pin your borders in position, matching ends, centers and quarters of the quilt and borders.

2. Add all four borders, starting and stopping 1/4" from the end of the quilt. It is not necessary to press yet. In fact, if you do, just set the seam; do not press the seam allowances in either direction.

3. Select the first corner you want to miter. Lift the seamed edges that connect at that corner and fold so the wrong side of the quilt is touching itself and hanging down from the border pieces. The marked corner should be visible.

This method of folding is almost the opposite of the ironing board method most people use. At first it looks awkward, but after testing several methods, this one (credited to the Editors of QuilterÕs Newsletter Magazine) seemed the easiest and better yet, the most accurate. I especially like it because it seemed to minimize the bulk at the corner where you need to start stitching the miter.

4. Stitch 1/4" from the marked or cut edge to create a mitered corner. Trim away excess now, if necessary. Place the double-blunted corner of My Favorite Mitering Ruler on the point of the border and trim to match.

5. Press the seam allowance open and there will be no dog ears.

6. Miter the other 3 corners by following the same procedure.

7. Press all seam allowances toward the border.

 

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NOTE: Most of the instructional information and artwork shown is excerpted from my books. Like other published material, it is protected by copyright law, but you have my permission to print and download these materials for your own non-commercial use.

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