We've all worked hard to get the perfect mitered corners on our quilts, but have you ever tried making gently rounded quilt corners? Rounding your corners adds a special touch, creating a sweet look and feel to your finished quilt. This technique is especially well suited for baby quilts, but can be applied to any quilt you're making!
Today on the blog, Erin of Squirrel & Co. Quilts shares a step by step tutorial for easy and quick rounded quilt corners using the FREE Mod Melons quilt pattern. Erin lives in rural Maryland with her husband and two sons. While she spends most of her time wrangling her boys and working full time as a research manager at a pediatric hospital, she still manages to spend time quilting every day.
She's been sewing since age 15, and views her quilting as an expression of her sentimentality and creativity. Her easy to follow instructions will inspire you to try out this distinctive look on your next quilt!
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Have the soft, rounded corners on a quilt caught your eye lately? Or maybe you’re bored with the standard 90-degree corner and ready to shake things up a bit? Rounded quilt corners are a super simple way to add some fun character and extra coziness to a quilt!
There's more than one way to achieve rounded quilt corners, but after some testing, trial, and error, I have found the technique below to be fastest and most accurate.
Rounded Corners Tutorial Supplies
Step 1: Square Up Your Quilt
Before you round those corners, you’ll need to square up your finished quilt. There are many ways that you can do this, but I’ve found using a 12.5” square ruler and my 6” x 24” ruler to be the quickest and easiest way.
I start by laying my quilt out on a floor so that the quilt can lay flat without any pulling (i.e., hanging off of the side of a cutting table). Then I line up my 12.5” square ruler in one corner of the quilt and trim. Once all four corners have been trimmed, I use my 6” x 24” ruler to trim the long edges of the quilt between my squared-off corners.
Step 2: Use a Ruler to Prepare Rounded Quilt Corners
Once your quilt corners are square and your quilt is trimmed, you’re ready for the fun part! For rounded corners, I like to use the June Tailor Round the Corner Ruler.
This ruler is great because it can create two different sizes of rounded corners and makes it very easy to cut consistent rounded corners on a quilt. It also has guides to cut inverted curved corners, though to be honest, I’m not sure of a specific use-case for that off the top of my head. But options are great, right?
Align the Round the Corner Ruler in one corner of your squared-up quilt, making sure that the edges of the ruler are flush with the edges of the quilt. Then use a rotary cutter to carefully cut around the outside edge of the ruler. And voila! A perfectly soft rounded quilt corner!
Repeat on each corner you’d like rounded. You can do all four corners, or maybe go wild and do just one or two!
Controversial topic: Should the paper on the back of the template be removed? Most templates and rulers come with a paper backing to protect and stabilize the plastic during the manufacturing process.
While most templates and rulers note to remove the paper backing before use, I will admit that the paper backing on the Round the Corner Ruler has some texture that helps to keep the ruler from sliding while you cut. I recently removed the paper from my ruler, but immediately regretted it.Unless you plan to cut some inverted corners with the Round the Corner Ruler and need to line up the guide marks, I would recommend keeping the paper on this one! If you do remove the paper, here are some handy gripp you can purchase to help keep your ruler from sliding. ers
Step 3: Attach the Binding
Once your quilt is trimmed and your corners are rounded, it’s time to sew on the binding. If you need a refresher on attaching binding to a quilt, check out this tutorial on how to sew binding to a quilt.
Even though sewing curves sounds like a recipe for wonky stitches and obvious errors, it’s actually not as scary as it may seem! The key is taking your time as you sew. One more time for the folks in the back: Take your time! The slower you go, the more control you’ll have over stitching smooth curves. You’ve totally got this!Though you can use regular/straight grain binding when finishing rounded corners on a quilt (I usually do because I’m lazy), bias binding is especially great for flexing around curves. If you’re unfamiliar with this fancy binding, there’s a great tutorial for bias binding that will teach you everything you need to know about bias binding and walk you through the process of creating it.
After your binding is sewn to the edge of the quilt, but before it’s folded over and finished, I’ve found it’s helpful to carefully snip about 2-3 times around the outside edge of the rounded quilt corners.
These snips release tension around the curve of the binding and ensure that your rounded quilt corners lay nice and flat. You’ll want to snip into the edge of the binding strip, but be careful not to snip into the stitches holding down the binding!
As you fold over the attached binding, use clips, pins, and/or basting glue to ensure that the binding is securely in place around the rounded corners. I like to glue baste my binding down because it helps to keep my quilt flat as I work around the curves when machine binding..
If you finish your binding by hand, be mindful about keeping your binding fabric flat as you stitch to reduce bunching as you work around the curves. Again, pins, clips, and/or basting glue are your friends!
If you choose to use a machine to sew on your binding, here are some tips to help you flawlessly navigate those curved corners:
- Lower your machine speed - remember, going slow is key when sewing curves!
- Gently adjust your quilt and fabric as you stitch along, and be sure to keep your needle down before lifting your presser foot.
Have you ever tried rounded quilt corners? Let us know in the comments! And if you’ve discovered any other tools or household items that help achieve perfect rounded quilt corners, please share!