Each month, learn a fun trick or tip to make your quilting easier and more polished! This month, learn to add mitered borders to your next project! This is a great technique for when you want a standout print to match up at the corners.
1. Determine the yardage and measurement for your border strips.The yardage needed depends on the pattern repeat of the border print across the width of the fabric, the pattern repeat of the border print along the length of the fabric, and where the border strips will join. Cut the two side border strips first from the same lengthwise repeat of the border print, selecting a motif to be at their centers.
2. Fold each side border strip in half crosswise and press lightly to mark the center. Fold the assembled quilt center in half and press lightly to mark the center of the side edges.To ensure accuracy when pinning border strips to the quilt top, measure the length of the quilt center on each side. Divide the quilt center’s length by 2, and measure this amount in both directions from the center crease on the border strip. Make a mark at each measured point, which should correspond to the quilt center corner. With right sides together and centers and corner marks aligned, pin a side border strip to one side edge of the quilt center, allowing the excess border strip to extend beyond the corner edges. Sew together, beginning and ending 1/4″ from the quilt center’s corners.
3. Fold the border strip corners back at 45º angles as if to miter.
4. Cut the top and bottom border strips from the same lengthwise repeat of the border print, selecting the same motif used at the center of the side border strips for the centers of the top and bottom border strips.
5. Lay the quilt center with its attached side border strips right side up on a work surface. Align the centers of the top border strip and upper edge of the quilt center, allowing the excess top border strip to extend under the side border strips.
6. Make a pleat at the center of the top border strip and pull the border strip fabric into the pleat until the desired motif appears at a corner. Pleat an equal amount of fabric from each side of center on the top border strip.
7. Fold the pleat to the wrong side of the top border strip and pin. The pleat should align with the marked midpoint on the top edge of the quilt center.
8. Pin the border strips with right sides together at the corners.
9. Sew the pleat along the fold lines. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ and press open.
10. NOTE: different fabric used to demonstrate for the next steps for easier viewing. With the wrong side up, overlap the border strips at one corner. Align the edge of a 90º right triangle with the raw edge of the top border strip so the long edge of the triangle intersects the seam in the corner. With a pencil, draw along the edge of the triangle between the border seam and the raw edge.
11. Place the bottom border strip on top and repeat the marking process.
12. With the right sides of adjacent border strips together, match the marked seam lines and pin.
13. Beginning with a backstitch at the inside corner, stitch exactly on the marked lines to the outside edges of the border strips. Check the right side of the corner to see that it lies flat.
14. Trim the excess fabric, leaving a 1/4” seam allowance.
15. Press the seam open.
16. Repeat steps 5–9 to add the bottom border strip.
17. Repeat steps 10–15 to mark and sew the remaining border corners in the same manner.
Fabrics: Mixed Bag collection by Studio M for Moda Fabrics
Here’s a place mat that’s so easy you’ll be eager to sew a set of four! This quilt-as-you-go project means that when the top is done, so is the quilting! Add binding and you’ve completed a pretty place mat! This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.
Want to see it? Watch the video for our quilt-as-you-go place mat here.
Materials for one place mat:
- 18×21″ piece (fat quarter) print for place mat backing
- 9 assorted print 2-1/2×14″ strips for place mat top
- 1/4 yard dot or print for place mat binding
- 14×20″ piece thin quilt batting
- Quilt basting spray (optional)
- Water-soluble marking pen
Finished place mat: 18×12″
Sew this project with 1/4″ seams. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.
Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42″ of usable fabric width.
Cut the Fabrics:
From backing fabric, cut:
- 1—14×20″ rectangle
From binding fabric, cut:
- 2—2-1/2×42″ strips
Assemble (and Quilt) the Place Mat:
1. Lay backing fabric rectangle on work surface with right side down.
2. Place thin quilt batting piece on top. (If desired, use quilt-basting spray to secure the layers together.)
3. Using a water-soluble marking pen, mark a line 2-1/2″ from left short edge.
4. Align a print 2-1/2×14″ strip, right side up, between the left short edge and the drawn line.
5. Place a second print 2-1/2×14″ strip, right side down, atop the first strip.
6. Sew together along one edge through all layers.
TIP: Use a walking foot attachment on your machine during the construction to avoid puckers on the placemat front and back. With a walking foot, all layers of fabric move through machine at the same speed.
7. Finger-press the top strip open.
8. Continue adding assorted print strips in same manner, one at a time, finger pressing each open, until all nine strips have been added.
9. Finger-press ninth strip open. Press unit flat.
10. Centering strips, trim unit to make an 18×12″ place mat top.
11. Machine baste around outer edges of place mat top about 1/8″ from cut edges.
12. To bind and finish the edges of place mat use 2-1/2×42″ binding strips.
Once a month, we highlight our favorite free quilt and sewing patterns around the web!
If you love stars, this quilt is perfect for you! Ranging in size, these stars are great for using scraps and showcasing your fave fabrics.
Use Cuddle precuts in an adorable and quick-to-make quilt that any child would love to snuggle up with!
Mesa Verde by Julia Gray for Fabri-Quilt
Southwestern prints and stunning blocks make this quilt standout.
Each month, learn a fun trick or tip to make your quilting easier and more polished! This month, learn to make a two-color binding for a quilt that looks just as pretty on the front as it does on the back!
French Braid designer Becky Cogan in American Patchwork & Quilting April 2013
To make two-color binding that finishes a scant 3/8″ wide, complete the following steps:
From binding fabric that will show on quilt front, cut:
- 7/8″-wide binding strips in number and length specified in your pattern
From binding fabric that will show on quilt back, cut:
- 1-5/8″-wide binding strips in number and length specified in your pattern
1. Sew together 7/8″-wide strips with diagonal seams to make one continuous front binding strip. In same manner, join 1-5/8″-wide strips to make one continuous back binding strip.
2. With right sides together, join front and back binding strips on a pair of long edges with scant 1/4″ seam to make a pieced binding strip. Press seam toward darker print.
3. Fold pieced binding strip in half lengthwise with wrong side inside. Sew pieced binding strip to quilt, placing front binding against quilt front.
Fabrics: Jack and Jenny collection by Laurie Wisbrun for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
A shower curtain is easier than you think! Choose your favorite fabric and turn it into a one-of-a-kind shower curtain to match your decor! This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.
- 4-5/8 yards donkey print for the curtain
- One package curtain rings with attached hanger clips
- Purchased waterproof shower curtain liner
Finished curtain: 72″ square
Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42″ of usable fabric width.
Measurements include 1/4″ seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.
From the donkey print, cut:
- 2—39-1/2×81″ rectangles
Assemble the Shower Curtain:
1. Using a 1/2″ seam allowance and with right sides together, sew the rectangles along a pair of long edges to make a 77×81″ pieced rectangle. Zigzag-stitch the seam allowances to prevent fraying. Press the seam in one direction.
2. With wrong side inside, fold a long edge over 1-1/2″; press.
3. Fold the same long edge over another 1-1/2″; press again.
4. Topstitch (sew a straight line) along the first folded edge to hem.
5. Repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 on the remaining long edge and the top edge of the pieced rectangle.
6. With wrong side inside, fold bottom edge over 3″; press. Fold same edge over another 3″; press again. Topstitch just inside the first folded edge to hem as you did before.
7. Reinforce top and bottom corners by stitching an X in each corner to complete your shower curtain.
8. To hang your shower curtain, slide curtain rings on shower rod and clip curtain and waterproof liner together.