Mitering Like Magic!

Want to see some magic from Expo faculty “wizard” Debby Kratovil?

Special thanks to the special guest blog from Debby this week!
Magical Mitering – Attic Windows with Savannah Fabrics

Lovely garden themed fabrics: Savannah Collection by Benartex

One of my most requested techniques is that which I refer to as “Magical Mitering.” The Savannah Collection is perfect for this in that I will treat groups of 4 small panels as a “window” unit. For example:

 Two sections of 4 small panels
Two groups of panels with “attic window” strips

Each set of 4 panels measures 9-1/2″. I commend Benartex on making sure that the black sections between each panel measures 1/2″ so that I didn’t have to destroy one panel to cut out another. I was able to get the required 1/4″ around the outside.

I cut the two contrasting strips (yellow and black prints) at 2-1/2″ x wof. Because I am mitering, the strips have to be longer that the 9-1/2″ sides by at least 2-1/2″ twice. So, I cut them at 9-1/2″ + 2-1/2″ + 2-1/2″ , which equals 14-1/2″. You can throw in an extra inch for safety. So, what does this look like?

The first strips extend at least 2-1/2″ beyond the two sides as shown

Center the first two strips (yellow) and sew with 1/4″ seam to panel center. Note that my stitching goes BEYOND the end. We do NOT begin and end 1/4″ away as in traditional mitering. This is important, as you will see in the next photos. I used black thread for demonstration only, so you can see the seam.

Press seams TOWARD the center, so you can see the inside edge of the strips
You now see the extended stitching AND the inside edge of the strips
This stitching will be your visual guide when placing the next set of strips.

Now it’s time to add the next set of strips. Using the extended stitching as your guide to place your sewing machine needle EXACTLY, begin sewing at the stitching and end at the stitching on the other side.

Begin stitching as shown; it’s ok to backstitch to lock in place

How do we press the seams of this second set of strips? AWAY from the center. Then we fold the black strips at a 90 degree angle as shown, which amazingly resembles a miter.

WAIT! IT IS A MITER!
This magically forms the miter without having to wrestle an alligator
Remember I told you that pressing the first set of strips TOWARD the center was important? Here’s why: You use the raw edge of that strip as your guide for aligning the second set of strips (in this case, the black floral). That’s how you get a true 90 degree miter:
Notice how the fold begins right at where you dropped your machine needle
This works on ALL corners
All corners can be folded in the same way
Fold back, pin and get ready to stitch.
Yes, this is stitched with a tiny zig zag and monofilament thread.
Wait? Can I see the back?
Look closely; you can see the stitching. Trim away the excess folded under fabrics.
And now for the reveal of the entire block using my Magical Mitering technique:
Magically mitered strips. You can call this Attic Windows, also
Remember: First two strips get pressed TOWARD the center. The last two strips are pressed AWAY from the center.
I made 4 of these panels. Two of the blocks have yellow on the side and two have yellow on the top and bottom. This way the same colors don’t touch. Well, what does it look like?
13″ blocks and YES! I mitered the borders, too!
 For some reason I get carried away when I start sewing. I almost never make something small. Don’t these Savannah panels look like window panes viewing a lovely English garden?
Want to see more from Debby Kratovil? Come see her at Original Sewing & Quilt Expo in Baltimore, Atlanta, Lakeland and Schaumburg! Debby will teach Vortex Quilt (BYOF) and other piecing and quilting classes.

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