Mitered Corner Signature Quilt

Welcome to SewVeryEasy, my name is Laura. And every once in a while a fabric company will put out a panel with labels and I have found another way to use those labels other than labels. Instead of cutting out each of these labels to put on the back of a quilt or a project, I’m still going to use it for quilting; however, I’m going to leave it in one big piece. Now if this panel is not available look around and see if you can find other label panels because this is going to turn into a beautiful signature quilt. This panel is from Timeless Treasures and what I like about this is the simplicity of the black and white, so it can be masculine or feminine. But you can get lots of different ones that have colors and floral on them and they’re very very pretty. Usually you will buy something like this in a panel which means you don’t buy a yard of it, you buy it by one cut so your measurements might be slightly different than what I have, depending on the quilt that you are going to make. First thing is to trim off the selvages and straighten up the edges. So won’t matter what size it is; we just need the edges straight and I do try to make sure that I leave at least a quarter inch from my pattern so that I don’t cut into those boxes. Now there are many different reasons you can use a signature quilt, but the idea is to have each one of these labels for a signature. Instead of having to make signature blocks, they’re already done for you. The first thing I’m going to do is add a very simple 2½” border all the way around. The next border I’m going to add a very wide border: 11″. Now this fabric definitely has a direction to it, and that’s what I want. I want to miter the corners of this quilt so all of these stripes come together. Now this fabric is called Doodle Stripes. It’s also from Timeless Treasures. I think the idea of being able to color the border to go along with the signatures will really be a lot of fun. So instead of cutting this fabric going widthwise, I’m going to cut it lengthwise, so I’m going to cut it in four. The first thing I need to do is cut off that long selvage. Then I’m going to cut it in half and then cut down the center. If your fabric starts off at 45″ you’re going to have anywhere between 10½” and 11″, so it really doesn’t matter what size you have as long as all four pieces are the same. To know how much fabric you’re going to need to buy, what you’re going to need is the longest measurement that you have in the quilt. Then what you need to do is add how much extra you’re going to have on those corners. You’re going to add double that plus a little bit extra because you need the seam allowance. So whenever I’m going to do this very large border, I take my length and I add 24″ and that’s how much I’m going to buy. That way I know that whole length is going to fit. If you’re going to do a mitered corner for the first time, use a pattern that you don’t have to worry about matching up all of those little points, and a wonky border is a perfect border for that. They’re still going to look good together mitered, but they’re never going to match and they won’t need to look like they match. So you won’t need to match up every single one of those lines. So let’s cut this into four. So you’re going to have one, two, three, four long borders through the whole piece. I now have my four 11″ borders cut and it’s the whole length. To set up the mitered corners we’re going to start with the quilt body. The first thing we need to do is make sure this corner is square, so take a square ruler, line it up, and trim off any little areas that are not square. You don’t need to worry about the rest of the border; just that corner. The next thing we’re going to do is put a quarter-inch mark. To make that quarter-inch mark you’re going to need any ruler at all that has a quarter- inch measurement, plus something to mark the quilt that has a very sharp tip. So if you’re going to use a pencil, make sure it’s sharpened 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 sharp because you don’t want the thickness of the lead to affect anything. I find instead of just doing a dot, lines work well, so I’m going to go over from the edge a quarter inch and draw one line. Now I’m going to draw a quarter inch going on the other edge, and that intersection is that perfect quarter inch. Do this to the back of all four corners. You need to sew on all four of your borders before you do any mitering at all. This is just going to make it a lot easier knowing exactly where everything is going to go. The corners are squared off and marked. Now we need to mark the very big borders that are going to go on the sides. You’re only going to need two measurements because you have two sides that are always going to be the same. I’ll need the top measurement and the side measurement, then I will be able to mark my big borders. I want to start the measurement over, making sure that I have enough in the corner for that 45° angle. I’ll just take that and fold it right on an angle. Because that is going to be a 45° angle, I’m going to be able to start my measurement there, and I’ll make a mark. So from that pin all the way, I need to have the same measurement from one side to another, and in this case my long edge is 71″. I’m going to be able to mark that and I know I have lots to do a mitered corner without running out of fabric. So I will do this for all four sides. Once you’ve matched up the one edge—and have checked to make sure that you still have enough for the mitered corner—you’re going to be able to just place that right along that edge because it is the exact measurement of your border. Pin that border down all the way until you get to the other side, where you’re going to be able to match up that end with the pin line and pin the border down. Now I’m going to be able to take it to the machine and stitch this border on. However, I’m only going to stop and start right at that quarter-inch mark. So I’m going to have that corner free when I go to do the next border. Let me show you a couple of tricks when you get to the sewing machine. The first important thing is to make sure that you are going to be sewing a quarter inch which matched the quarter inch you did on the previous border. The next is to 𝘯𝘰𝘵 have your machine knot itself. Some machines have the feature where you push a button and you can start with a knot and end with a knot. You do not want the machine to knot it; you want to knot it yourself. By doing that it’s causing less bulk in that area and you’re able to control where you’re going to go a lot better. And because I’m going to hand-tie a knot, I’m going to start with a nice long tail from both the bobbin and the top. I’m going to take my two threads and I’m going to hold them out of the way. I want to be able to place my needle right directly in that cross intersection that I drew earlier. I’m going to be able to turn the wheel and put that needle right in that mark, and it really helps if you have a foot that you can see what you’re doing. I’m going to hold the threads as I start and that will help them from not getting pulled into the bottom of the machine. And start stitching. I’ll be able to tie the knot later. Stitch all the way down, stopping at about 1″ from the end. When you come close to the end, you do want to stop 𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 there in that intersection, just as if you’re starting. You’re always going to stop and start right there at that point, so you need to stitch along until you’re able to stop. So stitch, and then as you get really close, take your stitches and make them small. That way you’re able to control that needle is going to stop right in that spot. If your stitches are very big, your stitches might jump past that mark, so make the stitches really nice and small. Now I’m going to just do that last little bit and stop right there. Now I’m going to be able to raise the foot, lift the needle out, and pull the fabric from the machine. Do not knot it. By making those stitches small I was able to stop right at that point. Now put your stitches back to your normal and do the next side. You don’t need to knot your thread. We’re going to knot them after because if we need to make an adjustment, we still have the threads so that we can do that. Now I’m going to do the next border. When I go to pin the next border, on I have my mark, so it is the same distance. I’m going to make sure my threads are out of the way, and I’m going to take this fabric and fold it right back, so that this area is free. Now I’m going to be able to see my mark a lot better. I can match up my mark, pin it down until you get to your mark, and both of those marks are on the edge of the fabric, not into the quarter inch because it was the exact measurement of the border. Go to the machine and I’ll show you how to do that edge. I have my long tails coming from my bobbin and my top. Start right in that same hole. Hold the threads so they don’t get tangled into the bottom and start stitching. We’re going to continue to stitch all the way down, and when I come to the end I’m going to be able to take those stitches and make them small again so that I can control exactly where I want to stop. And by not knotting this I’m going to be able to check the inside and make sure that those seams look good. Now I’m going to be able to knot it. So to knot it I’m going to take the one thread, just give it a little tug, and you’re going to see a loop that comes out from the bottom. Just pull on that loop and that will have pulled those threads to the same side. Now I can knot these two threads. Now I’m going to be able to go to the other side and knot that edge. I have two small knots and they’re not adding any bulk at all. And when all four corners are done, we’re going to be able to draw the lines and sew those mitered corners. All four corners are sewn on stopping and starting right there at that quarter inch. We have a nice big hangover on each side. At this point I don’t press it. Pressing can distort it especially with all the extra weight, so just your hand pressing is going to be all you are going to need. And each corner is going to be treated exactly the same. We are not going to worry about the body of the quilt at all. We’re going to focus on a center and the border bottom. Take the quilt and fold it in half on the diagonal. So you’re going to take this edge to touch this edge. So I’m going to take this edge and pull it over to this edge. When I do that I’m going to be able to take those two long ends and lay them out together. Just straighten it holding that edge so that it’s flat together and straighten this part. I’m going to just straighten that a little bit so it’s out of the way. Now I’m going to be able to pay attention to this little area here. I want to take both those seams and push them up so they’re going towards the body of the quilt. When you do that you’re going to have a flat seam on one side and a flat seam on the other. With the seams both coming up, just take your fabric and match up that top edge. I will take a pin, go through the seam allowance on one side, go through the seam allowance on the second. That’s just going to hold everything out of the way. I now will match up this bottom edge, and because I know that both the borders were cut exactly at 11″, I know I’m not going to have an issue. I’m going to match up the edge along the bottom, match up the edge at the top, having that flat. And from here over you don’t need to worry about it. You only are going to work on this area where you have those two long tails sticking out. So you’re going to need a ruler with a 45° mark on it. That 45° line is going to sit along the bottom. There’s the 45°. So I can see that that’s going to be the 45° line. I’m going to take my pencil which is very sharp and put it right where those threads are knotted. And I’m going to hold that pencil there; I’m not going to take it out. And as it’s being held I’m going to take that ruler and slide it right up to that pencil tip and following that 45° line. Now I know that whatever thickness of my lead is going to be taken into consideration. You have your pencil lead still right there in that mark, I have the 45° along the bottom, and draw your line. I’m going to put some pins along that line. Put them on an angle. Because you’re going to be stitching along that line, those pins are straight to your sewing machine. Start again with two long tails coming out of the machine. You have the seam on both sides going up and you’re going to put that needle right in that hole. And I would recommend putting that needle down by hand using the hand wheel, because you’re going to be able to feel if you’re going through too much fabric just by the pressure of the hand wheel. I will take out that first pin that held those seam allowances to the top. Take the fabric and move it so that the seam is coming straight towards you. Put the foot down, hold those threads out of the way, and start. When you’re finished you’re going to be able to peel back that fabric and look inside. If you open it up to the right side you’re going to be able to see that that matched up perfectly. And tie a knot. These little ends need to be trimmed off. Usually in quilting we always think of using a quarter-inch seam allowance. In this case don’t use a quarter-inch seam allowance. Use 𝘢𝘵 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘵 1″. So I have a nice big 1″ seam allowance. So if you have a small little seam allowance, you have a greater chance of that stretching. Now to press it. You’re going to take that seam and you’re going to press it open. The two seams up at the top are going to be pressed down. So you have a little fold inside and because those seams are going out, that point is very obvious. Big mitered corners are really quite easy to do as long as you follow some simple little tips: Keeping the bulk down, keeping the knots under control, and knowing where to stop and start. Other than that, the theory is the same for every mitered corner, regardless on how big or how small it is. This is a quick and easy project to do. You could do any panel at all. Add one simple border to start and then that nice big 11″ border and the quilt is done. It’s going to look a lot more complicated than it is because the mitered corner really sets it off. And as always, Thank you for joining me today on SewVeryEasy. Feel free to subscribe and, as always, come on back. Let’s see what we’re sewing next time
in the sewing room. Bye for now!