In the last of my posts about binding a quilt, I wanted to explain how to mitre the corner…..it seems really fiddly and okay, it is a bit, but a neatly mitred corner looks so nice that any fiddlesomeness is well worth the effort. It’s just important not to rush it.
Once the binding has been sewn into place on the front, fold the binding over along the 1 inch pressed seam so you have a nice folded edge to sew along. The corner neatly folds up and sits on top of itself.
Turn the binding over, it pretty much rolls over the edge of the quilt, and will reveal the neatly folded corner that you made when sewing the binding to the front.
Pin or clip the corner on the back. (I like to use Wonder Clips made by Clover) When you were sewing the binding to the front using a back stitch, a row of stitches formed on the back. This is the guide for sewing the binding to the back. It’s important that you’ve clipped enough away from the corner so that the corners can be mitred neatly, so I like to check this by seeing if the corner pulls down comfortably enough to the corners of the sewing guide (where the two lines of back stitches meet). Sometimes I have to clip a little bit of wadding away if it is still a bit bulky.
Now clip or pin the binding over the edge of the quilt into position. You can remove the corner clip or pin at this stage as it’s no longer really required.
Nudge the bottom binding right up into the corner, and give it a bit of a press with your thumbnail to stay in place (you can pin or clip it if you like.)
Using a slip stitch (in some books it is called a whip stitch) sew along the folded edge of the binding, securing it to the back of the quilt just above the sewn guide line. Sew the binding in place along into the corner.
With the needle just tucked out of the way, bring the next side of the binding over and check that it forms a neat edge. You may need to very slightly tuck the diagonal edge underneath with the point.
Once the seam has been tucked under and the binding edges meet exactly and form a neat diagonal, pin the top binding down into position.
Turn the quilt over to check that it looks neat from the front. Sometimes the corner is a bit lumpy, you may need to unpick it and re-sew to neaten it. This can be caused if enough care wasn’t taken when the binding was sewn onto the front.
Bring the threaded needle out at the bottom of the folded seam.
I like to use Clover Black Gold Applique needles for sewing the binding as I find they’re really sharp and pointy, and are excellent for really fine stitches.
Carefully slip stitch the folded corner closed.
I generally find that tiny stitches make for a neater finish. When you get to the top, make an extra slip stitch to keep the fold secure, before moving your needle slightly and then slip stitching the next binding edge into place.
And that is your mitred corner finished. Once all the corners have been sewn, I turn the quilt over and then hand sew each of the front corner folds down using tiny slip stitches. I do this last in case any of them need un-picking to reshape in case they’ve come out a bit on the lumpy side.
I hope these posts have shown how easy it is to make your own binding and how to bind a quilt with mitred corners. At some point I do intend to cover other binding methods that you may not be familiar with.