Flanges, Borders, and Miters – Oh My!
I was asked to teach a class on borders and bindings, so we put together a simple table runner. We decided to add mitered corners on one border and a flange to learn a couple of new techniques. Here’s the beginning of the table runner, made with 5-inch squares in black and white.
I cut one-inch strips of a hot pink fabric for the flange to add a pop of color. The pink strips are pressed wrong sides together. When the strip is sewn to the runner, it will finish at 1/4″ wide. Just as for borders, I measured the table runner on each long side and in the middle to get the measurement for the flange. In a perfect world, the pieced center would be 32″ long. It actually measured to 32 1/4″, so that’s the length of the flange that I cut for two sides.
I sewed the flange onto the two long sides, using a long basting stitch very close to the edge.
Then I measured for the short sides, cut the flange strips to 14″, and basted them to the two remaining sides.
Now I’m adding a 1-inch border using a striped fabric. A mitered corner with this fabric will create a nice design detail. The border is cut to the same measurements as the flange. First I add the striped border to the two long sides, starting and stopping 1/4-inch from the edge of the runner. Before pinning the borders onto the two shorts sides, I press the sewn borders out at a 45 degree angle. Now I can line up the stripes on the short sides to match before pinning.
The borders on the short sides are sewn on, starting and stopping 1/4-inch from the edge of the runner. Folding the runner at a corner to line up the borders, I draw a line for the 45 degree miter. Since the stripes are thin and close together, I have multiple points to match along that line. Yikes! What was I thinking?!? Look at all those pins for a one-inch border!
When I stitch miters, I start from the corner where the two borders meet, and sew to the outer edge. I manually drop the needle right into that corner to make sure that’s where the seam begins.
It took a few hours and multiple uses of the seam ripper, but – Yay – success! Those stripes line up beautifully in all four corners.
I have a really cool black fabric with hot pink polka dots for the second border. I cut it up for a 2-inch border, and simply butt the edges when sewing. Taking care to make sure the miter goes directly into the corner of the second border creates the perfect miter. Whew! It takes a little extra time to create that miter, but it looks great!
Flanges, Borders, and Miters – Oh My! Here’s the completed top. Now to decide how to quilt it. Hmmmm . . .
My next project will be making gift bags. Stay tuned!