How to mitre corners of quilts

Updated February 21, 2017

Making a quilt often is a long labour of love, and nothing finishes your quilt more professionally than quilt binding with mitred corners. This finish provides a tailored, classic look to the edges of your quilt and encases all the raw edges securely within the binding. The mitred corners are neatly folded, preventing any lumps or bumps on your edges and keeping the binding smooth. Mitring the corners is a simple technique that provides a high impact.

Unfold your bias tape. Place it in the middle of the front upper edge of your quilt. Leave a tail of at least ten inches to the left of your starting place. Place the bias tape on both sides of the quilt so that the raw edge of the quilt is nestled in the centre crease of the bias tape. Place binding clips on the bias tape all the way to the upper right edge of the quilt to hold it in place.

Measure 3/8 inch to the left of your upper right corner. Make a mark at this measurement with your chalk pencil.

Sew your bias tape into place starting in the middle of the upper edge using a straight seam and a 3/8-inch seam allowance from the lower folded edge of the bias tape. Remove your binding clips shortly before they reach your needle. Stop sewing at the mark you made with your chalk pencil.

Turn your flywheel, located on the upper right side of your machine, until your sewing needle is as low as it can go in your fabric.

Raise your sewing machine presser foot and pivot the quilt until the farthest upper right corner is facing the back of the sewing machine. Lower your presser foot.

Sew a straight seam from the mark you made with your chalk pencil to the outermost edge of the corner. Raise your presser foot and remove your quilt. Cut off any excess threads with your scissors.

Pull the bias tape straight up and away from the top edge of the quilt. Hold the bias tape in place with your finger from the sewn diagonal seam you just sewn to the topmost edge of the upper right corner to create a small fold on the corner. Carefully fold the bias tape down over the fold you just created. The bias tape should create a neat mitred corner.

Place the bias tape around the raw edges of the right side and clip into place. Sew down your right edge, starting at the upper right corner. Use a straight seam and a 3/8-inch seam allowance. Stop 3/8 inch before the lower right corner and repeat the process for the mitred corner. Continue until all four corners are folded and sewn neatly into place.

Finish sewing the binding strip to the quilt. Bring the ends of the bias tape together. Pin the edges right sides together so that the bias tape lays flat on the quilt. Sew the two ends together on the wrong sides and cut off any excess bias tape. Press the seams open and wrap around the raw edges. Sew into place.

Things You'll Need

  • Double-fold bias tape
  • Coordinating thread
  • Binding clips
  • Iron
  • Chalk pencil
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About the Author

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Arin Bodden started writing professionally in 2003. Her writing has been featured in "Northwest Boulevard" and "Mermaids." She received the Huston Medal in English in 2005. Bodden has a Master of Arts in English from Eastern Washington University. She currently teaches English composition and technical writing at the university level.