Friday, November 8, 2013

Braids on the brain

     Braids on the brain.....braid ideas swirling around and around.  I promised a series of posts to share tips and techniques on braid quilts.  I set up a board on Pinterest for Braid quilts for inspiration and color combos.  And as a place to hold the tutorials that are available on different braid techniques.  So here we go.....
  A traditional braid is often called a pioneer braid, or a friendship braid.  The best tutorial for this can be found at Quiltville----of course!  Bonnie Hunter is the Scrap Queen and a braid is the perfect use for scraps. Her tutorial uses 2 1/2" strips and is presented as a border idea, as well as a quilt.  Her tutorial can be printed off from a PDF, too!
   A second choice for a tutorial I found is at Reanna Lily  Designs.   She has an interesting take on how to mix it all up when sewing the strips together.
Either of these tutorials will give you the basics on construction, so I am not going to repeat and make a mess of it.

Amish Braid Quilt
   The photo is "borrowed"---I know I will get into trouble over this, oh well---- from Modabakeshop and is a great visual example of how the braid is formed.   The bands of the braid are formed by adding a strip to one side of a triangle or square, and then adding a second strip to the adjoining side.  By alternating back and forth when you add the strips, a woven appearance happens.  This example uses Amish type colors that are very striking against the purple.

  And this leads to fabric selection.....exactly what do you want to make?  A scrappy version from your over-flowing basket or bin,  a two color version in red and white,  or maybe something  using that batik jelly roll.........what do you have in the stash closet, I promise it will work in a braid quilt.

  This is a small table runner I did using the braid technique to frame the center block....and the strips--some were strings--were different widths.  I just kept adding to one side and then the other to finally get the length I wanted.
What made it successful was the color......all blues ranging from dark to light.  

   In my closet there is a huge stash of floral doing a braid with florals a few years ago was a no-brainer.  I love to blend the fabrics so that the values merge and  melt into each other.  This close up photo shows  the multitude of floral fabrics in the wall hanging I made.
   So the first step.....pick your fabrics.  Stick to a color theme, or fabric type, or mix it all up.  That is where you begin.
   Next up will be a quick look at to really begin.  So is you have any questions....let me know and I can answer it here, too.
  Happy stitching.  


  1. Pioneer braid quilts captured my heart early in my quilting journey. I find your post very interesting! Look forward to more. : )

  2. Temptation, temptation... I need to visit your Braid Quilts board... love looking at quilts. Of course, I love your stash of floral fabrics... makes me want to run right out and start collecting. *lol*

    The blue table runner is gorgeous... what a great way to set a star block...

  3. I just love your table runner. I've made one using the braids, but I think I'll do another one with a star! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oooo - what a fun blend going on there in your wall hanging! The funny is, I'm taking a break from pinning braid lengths together for the next set of long seams and found your post! :)

  5. Loving this! Braids are so fast and beautiful, perfect for flying through a pile of scraps. Looking through your board I keep seeing more i want to make, LOL.

  6. Your braids are so very, very pretty. I especially love the table runner. Anything with stars is a favorite of mine & I love the way the colors fade out from the stars. Beautiful quilting on it also. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thank you for expanding my knowledge and understanding of what braids are and how they're constructed!


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