Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Now that I have your attention -
I am in love with my blue glue stick. I have been playing around with different methods of joining fabric until it hits the sewing machine. The glue stick is the answer ( trumpets and heavenly choirs can begin now). So below is a tutorial, put together for those of us who look at a mitred corner on a quilt and then choose another style, because the mitre is scary. How many times do you get three corners right, but the fourth refuses to sit flat or match up - I dedicate this to you.....

Let me set the scene - the pink fabric is the corner of your quilt. It is irrelevant how large the quilt is or whether it is a square or a rectangle - this will work for you.

Make a mark on the quilt 1/4inch in from each edge. I have used a pin for photographic purposes, a pencil mark will suffice. Measure out your border fabric. This will include, the measurement of the actual quilt top plus the width of the border x 2 - it would also be wise to add just a little extra to this measurement. Centre the border as you would normally, and pin up to the 1/4 inch mark on the quilt top. If you are using a 6 inch border, you should have at least 7 inches on each side left over.
Stitch the border fabric on to the quilt top. I do not tie on or off at the start and finish of the row. Leave a reasonable tail that you can tie off later. Start and finish your stitching as close to but not on the 1/4inch dot. Now press whilst the pieces are still together to set the seam then with the border piece on top, lift the border piece and press open, the seam is now pressed to the border.
Repeat with the next edge and press open.

You may have a little gap like this - this is ok - just keep the first stitch tight by pulling the thread if necessary. Lay the quilt corner you are working on out on your ironing board or padded surface. The ironing board is the best option at this point, because you can place a pin right through your work surface. Place the quilt top so that the quilt is to your left as you look at it. (See below)
Lay the quilt top out so that the two border pieces cross each other. Place a pin right in the very corner. This is where the ironing board is handy because the pin can go right through the surface.
Push the pin right down.
The pin will act as an anchor, take the top border piece and twist underneath itself, until you have a 45 degree fold.
The two border pieces will now match up across the width of the border (not necessarily the length if you didn't measure the extra to a specific measurement).
You can check the angle by using the 45 degree on your ruler.
Give the mitre a press. The pressed line will be your sewing line. If you set up each corner in the same manner every time (quilt to the left), the piece will go on to the sewing machine in the correct order every time.
Apply a good line of glue across the fabric, beyond the fold. Keep the glue line away from the 1/4inch seam line - it will then be cut away once the seam is sewn.
Place the border piece back into position. Use the pressed line as a guide.
Feel free to give the corner another light press.
Take to the machine and sew down the pressed seam line. Again, DO NOT go beyond the 1/4inch mark or sew over the stitches already sewn.
Again, you do not tie on, it is very easy to undo just a stitch if there is any bunching when you open the piece up. DO tie off at the outside edge, this is where the quilt will take the most stress until you have finished sewing.
Trim back to a 1/4 inch seam.
Press the seam open and adjust any pressing of the quilt top. Tie off the threads or use a needle to lock the corners if necessary. If you find that there is a small gap in the stitching use these threads and back stitch it closed.
Repeat for each corner.

The finished corner.
Now go mitre a corner or four!!
Note: I have used a Bluglue stick by Bostick, but you can use any water based glue stick for this method. The Bluglue stick goes on blue but dries clear and is acid free (and no I am not getting paid for this - if you find something you like, say so). If you keep the glue beyond the sewing and seam line, it will be removed once you trim the fabric so I feel this method would work for any quilt from fine heirloom work, to something the dog/cat will sleep on! Another method of "sticking" that can also be used is good ole vlysofix. Use up those bits that won't stick to the backing paper any more.
This technique isn't limited to a 45 degree angle, as long as you press your angle in first, this method should help in any situation.
Back soon


  1. I have used this method, after Sue showed me how, and I can't believe how easy (and accurate) it is! Much better than other ways - I think some instructions are devised just to make it confusing!

  2. Thanks Sue, it has been explained to me at least 6 times by different people, but l finally got it after looking at all your pics!
    I have a small quilt here waiting for its mitred corners! Sandra

  3. Glad you had that "moment" where suddenly it all becomes clear. :-) Sue


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