How to Make Quilt Borders With Corner Squares

Old quilt lays in an antique trunk.
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    How to Measure and Sew Quilt Borders With Corner Squares

    Completed quilt with red square blocks on the corners.
    Janet Wickell

    A fast and easy way to add a little extra interest to your quilt is to make borders with corner squares. The corners can be cut from plain squares of fabric for a simpler look or can be made from patchwork or appliqué quilt blocks.

    The quilt block used in the example is a small version of the Arrow Crown design.

    Create Borders From Either Crosswise or Lengthwise Cuts of Fabric

    1. Crosswise grain cuts are usually about 42 inches long and will need to be pieced together unless the quilt is small. They are a bit more stretchy than lengthwise grain cuts.
    2. You'll need extra yardage to cut longer borders on the lengthwise grain, parallel to the fabric's selvage.

    Determine the Size of Corner Squares

    1. For pieced quilt blocks at the corners, the unfinished width of borders should match the unfinished dimensions of the corner blocks. For instance, if border strips are 4 1/2 inches wide before sewing them to the quilt, the squares or blocks should measure 4 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches.
    2. For corner squares that butt against multiple borders, cut squares or make blocks that match the total border width.
    Continue to 2 of 2 below.
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    Determine Borders Lengths and Add Corner Squares

    Quilt with borders added.
    Janet Wickell
    1. Measure the quilt through its vertical midpoint, using the same technique required to add butted borders to a quilt. Never measure borders along the outer edges of a quilt, because those edges are nearly always off just a bit.
    2. Cut single panels or sew together strips to create two borders that length to use on the quilt's right and left sides.
    3. Sew the side borders to the quilt using the instructions for butted borders, matching endpoints and midpoints first and easing in any differences. Use straight pins to secure fabrics.
    4. Press seam allowances toward the borders.
    5. Measure the quilt through its horizontal midpoint, and cut or construct two borders that length to use along the top and bottom edges of the quilt.
    6. Sew a corner square or quilt block to each end of the top and bottom borders. Press seams toward the borders.
    7. Sew borders to the quilt, matching seams where side borders and corners meet and then matching midpoints and along the entire edge.

    Avoid Piecing the Long Borders

    If you can cut an entire border length from yardage for the shortest sides of a quilt, reverse the directions above, sewing the short borders to the quilt first.