How to Sew Mitered Corners for Gorgeous Quilt Borders

Learn how to sew mitered corners on a quilt border with this Bluprint tutorial

Let’s be real: that quilt top isn’t finished until it’s framed in a pretty border. And while there are several styles to choose from, the mitered border might just be the most wow-worthy. To add this sharp border to your next quilt, all you need to know is how to sew mitered corners.

What are Mitered Corners?

A mitered corner is when the corners meet at a 45-degree angle. It’s a more challenging border to create, but the picture-perfect angled seam is well worth the effort. And with careful measuring and accurate sewing, you can master the method.

Mitered Corner Quilt Border

Level: Intermediate

What You Need

  • WIP quilt top
  • Border fabric
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Pencil
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Instructions

    1. Determine Length

    To find how long each border piece needs to be, use this equation: length of quilt side + (width of the border x 2) + 6″ = Total Border Fabric

    1. Length of quilt side: measure the length of the quilt’s side the border will be sewn to.
    2. Width of the border: measure the width of your quilt and multiply by two.
    3. Plus 6”: this includes the extra fabric needed for the mitered corner on each side of the border, plus the seam allowance.

    Use this equation to find the border length needed for each side of the quilt, then cut the fabrics to the specifications.

    For example, let’s say our quilt top is 40” x 50” and the borders are 2″ wide. The equation for the top and bottom border would be 40″ + 4″ + 6″ = 50″, so those two borders would each measure 2″ x 50″. The equation for the side borders would be 50″ + 4″ + 6″ = 60″, so my our side borders would measure 2″ x 60″.

    2. Pin the Borders in Place

    Fold the border and quilt top in half, marking each center. Line the centers up and pin them together. Pin the ends of the quilt top and border together, then pin to secure the two pieces throughout.

    3. Sew the Borders to the Quilt Top

    Mitered Corner Quilt Borders

    Sew the border to the quilt top, starting and stopping ¼” away from the ends of the quilt, backstitching at each end. Repeat with all four borders.

    4. Mark

    Sewing Quilt Borders Pieces Together

    Fold the quilt top in half diagonally, right sides together, creating a triangle.

    Line up two neighboring borders, like the top border and the right side border.

    Marking Where to Sew a Mitered Corner

    When lined up, grab a pencil and a ruler. Place the ruler along the 45-degree angle and extend it over the borders. Trace the angle onto the border and pin firmly place.

    5. Sew the Mitered Corner

    Sew from the stitch line out toward the end of the border, directly on the pencil line. Locate the stitch line you made when you sewed the border to the quilt top and begin sewing right there. This will ensure there are no gaps or spaces on the front.

    Backstitch at the beginning and end. Unfold your quilt top and make sure there are no gaps in the inner corner and that the border lies flat.

    6. Trim and Press

    Mitered Corners on Quilt Borders

    Trim the excess border to ¼” and press the seam. Repeat these steps with the other three corners, then sit back and admire your lovely work!

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    6 Responses to “How to Sew Mitered Corners for Gorgeous Quilt Borders”
    1. Ali

      There’s an error in No. 1 that initially confused me:
      Width of the border: measure the width of your QUILT and multiply by two. QUILT should be corrected to BORDER.

    2. Richard Seyfried
      Richard Seyfried

      What part is left out ? I was just going to down load these instructions . WHAT WAS LEFT OUT ??????!!!!!!!!!!

      • Beth

        need to put the 45degree angle line on your ruler and line that up with the raw edges of the border material to get a 45 degree angle from the sewn corner. When drawing 45 degree line, draw it from the 1/4in mark you made at the corners out to the raw edges. Hope this helps explain the instructions a little better.