As you probably know, I’m attempting to complete the 365 Challenge. Its a quilt along challenge run by Kathryn Kerr every year for the past few years where she gives you a block a day for you to complete and at the end of it you have a GORGEOUS quilt.
As you also probably know, I started this challenge in January 2017. It is not 2017 anymore, and in fact we are almost done with 2018. This may be a 2.5 (possibly even 3) year challenge for me.
However, it has been a lot of fun (mostly) and I have already learned SO MUCH from doing this challenge! Possibly the one thing that has taken me the longest to achieve are successful attempts at mitered corners. As I was doing it, I thought to myself- maybe I should write up a few of the tricks I found that help me get a smooth corner every time.
Please don’t judge my old nail polish- I decided to do this on spur-of-the-moment and obviously was not prettied up!
- Sew the first pieces together and stop 1/4” from the bottom (as seen in picture 1). **It is better to stop a stitch BEFORE the 1/4” instead of a stitch AFTER.** Backstick a few times. Press open.
- Add the next piece, and sew to just before the first added strip (pink in this block). **DO NOT sew onto the added strip! It is better to be just short of it than too far!** Again, back stitch a few times. You can see in pic 4 that when you pull it back they shouldn’t be attached at all yet. If they are, rip a seam or two until they aren’t. **DO NOT PRESS OPEN YET.**
- This next part is the trickiest. Move the newest strip so that the corners match up with the second strip. Take a look at pic 7- the blue corners should match up and the purple corners should match up. When it is correct, you can fold the first piece (white) in to make a neat bundle. (Picture 12 is what I mean; the strips will line up.)
- Now is the diagonal seam line. (Pictures 13 & 15) You can draw a diagonal line if you’d like; I was on a roll and being lazy. **Sew just off to the right of the diagonal seam, NOT directly down the diagonal.** Just like you do with covered corners, this helps so the block lays flat so you don’t lose your point at the end. Stop before you meet your prior seams. (Pictures 14 & 15) **Again, super important; DO NOT oversew this! Rip out a few stitches if you have to!** Back stitch a few times.
- Press open; I let my block lay whichever way it seems to want to go, unless I have a specific direction in mind. Once its open I check my block, iron the back, and trim the excess. And viola! You have completed a mitered corner. And like anything else, practice makes it easier!
I hope this helped! Good luck completing your 365 Challenge, or any other quilt that has mitered corners!