Friday, March 23, 2012

Perfectly Mitered Corners the Easy Way!

This is a little mug rug I made for the Scrap Attack Quilt Along. I used only scraps for it and some .5" double fold bias tape that I'll probably be using from now till eternity because I made a yard of fabric's worth of it. If anyone wants some, just let me know.

For my birthday Alan gave me this book, among many many other things (he's lavish with me <3). It is an excellent compendium for technique and quilt blocks. You just have to get past the pictures that were taken in the early 90's. The colors and fabrics were, well, very 90's. But I learned so much from the book that I highly recommend it for beginner level quilters. Or self taught quilters that may want some instruction in traditional and proper quilting methods.

In this book, I learned how to miter corners perfectly! And it's so easy. There's pretty much only one difference from other instructions, but I've found that it gives me a perfect amount of fabric and keeps things oh so nice and even on both sides. This method works with straight grain trim, or bias tape.

Step 1: Stop sewing 1/4" away from edge of corner with needle down (if you are using a 3/8" seam, stop 3/8" away, etc.).  

Step 2: Lift your presser foot and Rotate your fabric so that you are now on a 45 degree angle with the line you have just sewn. You should now be able to sew a line bisecting the corner. You don't have to backstitch, just sew right through the corner, and off your fabric.

Lift your work, and pull it loose. You can clip your threads now, or leave them. I just leave them. It should look like this.

Step 3: Turn your work so that you are now read to sew the next side. Lift your trim, and using the angled line you have just sewn, lift your trim up and away, perpendicular to the side of your fabric where you just attached the trim.

Step 4: Fold your trim back down making the fold line set at the top edge of your fabric. Keep the trim lined up with itself and the edges of your fabric.

 Step 5: Begin sewing on your new side keeping with your seam allowances, and backstitch near the edge.

Your trim should be double layered like so. Repeat for all four sides.

Step 6: Turn your edges to begin attaching trim to the right side of the fabric.

Step 7: As you come up to a corner, stop with your needle down about an 1.5" or 2" from the edge. Pull your trim tight and straight with your finger.

Step 8: I like to use a straight pin as a guide to hold the fabric in place (don't pin it into the fabric, just use it to create a firm edge.) Fold your Fabric up...

Step 9: And pin in place. Sew up to the crease in the fabric (about where my pin is for me), with your needle down, lift your presser foot, and turn your fabric to begin sewing on the new side. No need to backstitch or anything.

And There You Are! A super easy Perfectly Mitered Corner! Step 2 is pretty much the only thing I've found different from other tutorials on mitering, but for me, it makes a HUGE difference. I've struggled to make my corners nice up until I used this method. The back always looked nice, but the front had too much fabric and just didn't look very crisp and the miter was usually crooked. Give it a try, and let me know what you think.

On this rug I used Straight grain double fold .5" tape and used a zig zag instead of a straight stitch. And it still looks mighty nice!

Happy Mitering!

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