Friday, November 5, 2010

Got strips?

Got strips?   I do.  And it is time to use up all those 2 1/2 "  strips and pieces that fill 3 shoe boxes in my closet.    My de-stash project will be  a scrappy braid quilt, where anything goes, or at least almost anything.  So if you want to sew along, I will be giving details and explaining how to put a scrappy braid quilt together. 

 I love scrap quilts, but there does need to be some sort of order or plan to make it successful.  So I plan on working in colorways and blending by value.  A simple braid ends up appearing complex,  because it is "on point" or diagonal when finished.  Yet it  is very easy to sew and it "grows" in length quickly.  

  This is a snapshot from EQ5 of a "block" done in a simple braid, so you can see the easy construction.  It is kind of like a log cabin--you just keep adding to one side instead of going around the center.  The braid will not be done in blocks but in one long strip.  And you have a zigzag edge to it that will be trimmed when the strip is finished. 
 Rather than re-invent the wheel or construction wheel, I guess it would be.....visit Bonnie Hunter at quiltville because she has a great tutorial on the pioneer braid construction. 

So how do I plan and figure out how much fabric I need?  Decide on the size I want to end up with....a lap size of 50 " by 60 " is what I usually aim for.  In general, that size will require about 3  yards of I think I have that in the 3 shoe boxes of strips. 

The math:    I am working with 2 1/2  inch strips .....remember to subtract the seam allowance.  Finished  at 2 inch  works out to be-----  2 times 1.414 equals 2.8 inch diagonal measurement. (Note*  refer to the photo above to see how the strips end up on the diagonal).   Each strip in the braid will give me a diagonal length of 2.8 inches.  I want a length of about 60 inches.  Divide 60 by 2.8 and get 21.4.  YUK!  Don't like those fractions.  So I will work with 20 strips for each braid and should finish up about 56 inch in length for the braid.  That will give me room for adding a border. 
So how wide will each braid strip be?  That depends on me!  I plan on using a separator strip of black---2 " that will finish at 1 1/2 " ---between each braid.  I want an odd number of braids---design principle that odd is better than even.  That means 5 or 7.....using 5 braids runs and a 1.5 inch strip between each one, the braids would need to be 7 inches wide to get the width.  If I make 7 braid runs (again with a 1.5  inch strip between them), the braid width will be narrower, probably 5"  or 6"  which will be good for using smaller strip lengths. 

So here's a mock up I created in EQ5 using 5 braid runs to give  a better idea of what all those words and math figures meant. 
Got questions?  Ask them.
Got strips?  Get them out. 
 I am going to check my stash and see what I have to work with. 
Then  I will explain how I will sort them and get ready to sew.

Here's a signature creator that I ran across last week for bloggers.  Just thought I would share.
Happy stitching.....


Carol said...

The computer pattern looks gorgeous. Looking forward to the tutorial and the final result.

Dolores said...

I would love to see how the paper pattern relates to fabric. It looks wonderful.

Cheryl said...

All I can say is WOW! I sure hope your quilt turns out just like this ,I love it !
Maybe I will try one for next year .

Mary Lou Casada said...

I really like this braid!! I've always wanted to do one, but get squeamish about the bias. I love how youe explained the math! I may just have to ride your coattails on this one!! :-D
Mary Lou

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