Folded Corners: Three Methods

Folded corners or “stitch and flip” corners pop up in a lot of quilt blocks. I use them in my patterns like Hard Candy and Ghostly Glow Town.

When I first started quilting, I had trouble being accurate with my stitching. My results were wonky blocks and missed points. I love the look so I tried out different ways to sew them.

I’m sharing three methods today along with what I think are the pros and cons of each. I encourage you to try them out yourself. You might find you like a different method.

Method #1

The first method I’m sharing is the first one I learned and seems to be the most traditional way of making the block. It’s the way I include in the instructions in my patterns: the “stitch and flip.”

Using a 45º line on a ruler, draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the square that you’re going to stitch and flip. I use a mechanical pencil and I’ve had no issues with lines showing through. Fabrics right sides together and sew directly on the line you’ve drawn. Trim seam allowance, flip open, and press.

drawn line
line drawn from corner to corner

Pros of this method – it’s easy and doesn’t require any special tools.

Cons – hard to see lines on dark fabrics (whoops), not the most accurate, can be time consuming to draw lines on all those blocks.

sewn, trimmed, and flipped 2
final result – not perfect but pretty good

Method #2

The second method is very similar to the first one. Instead of drawing lines, a line is drawn on your machine (I use painters tape) and you sew on the diagonal keeping the corner aligned on the painters tape.

sewn without drawn line

Pros of this method – super fast, doesn’t require any special tools.

Cons – your line needs to be accurate or your block won’t be accurate.

sewn, trimmed, and flipped 3
final result – a little wonky, but still good

Method #3

The third method is the newest to me. The corner block is trimmed first and then sewn. I love my EZ Quilting Easy Angle Acrylic Template, 6.5-inch for this (I’ve mentioned it before here in my post about my Startlite quilt) and there’s a special tool called the Antler Quilt Design AQDR1 Simple Folded Corners Ruler that some of my friends absolutely swear by. (Links to products are affiliate links.)

trimmed first
trimmed before sewing

Pros – most accurate (for me)

Cons – need a special tool

sewn, trimmed, and flipped
final result – looks good

For me, I mostly rotate between the second and third method. When I’m sewing against a deadline and 90-95% perfect is okay, I use my painters tape to guide my corners and sew, sew, sew. When I’m looking for more accuracy, I use my Easy Angle Ruler and cut first.

I’ll still write the instructions for method one in my patterns. I think they’re the easiest to understand and easily adaptable to other methods.

Do you use one of the methods I’ve shared? Or something else entirely? Let me know in the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “Folded Corners: Three Methods

  1. You might want to try the mechanical ceramic lead pencils. They make a fine line and have different color leads for using on different color fabrics. I love them and have several, so I don’t have to change lead everytime I need a different color!!! I have used the first two methods, not the third.

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