Tuesday, February 23, 2010

French Braid Quilt

I started piecing this quilt about 5 months ago.  It has been on the design wall in strips and pieces since then.   I managed to get very side-tracked onto other projects--generally smaller ones--and put off finishing the piecing on it.   I ended up piecing strips of several fabrics for the inner dividing bands  that are between the black.  I just felt like a single fabric drew the eye to the strips and not the braid.   The fabric used as the outer border is not in the braid at all, but it picks up the main colors.  Luckily I bought all that was left on the bolt at the Cotton company at Christmas and  have just enough for the binding too.  It is 76 inches by 66 inches right now.
I just realized that the top photo is the inverted position that I had originally planned.  So here is a shot of the original plan.  Now I can't decide which direction I like best.      A few words of caution about this pattern.  Press carefully--and in this case the less you handle and press the better.  The bias edges seem to stretch if you look at them wrong.  I cut the outer border on the length of grain so it would not stretch, and measured and pinned carefully to ease in any fullness.  I will plan the quilting--especially in the center bands--to take up any fullness there.  Loops and swirls will probably be the best technique for that....straight lines would only cause ripples and roping.
I also want to do this pattern in florals and really blend it....only in a smaller version.  But first I think my fingers need a rest, so no cutting or stitching tonight.  Just  a dose of aspirin.
Happy stitching!

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