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Thread: Virtual Quilt Retreat - March Edition 3-22-13

  1. #1
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    Virtual Quilt Retreat - March Edition 3-22-13

    Hello ladies, since everyone was interested in doing another quilt retreat, here we go. As some of you might know I have done a couple very striking french braid quilts (you can search here for "Celtic Knot french braid" to find them) And thought a nice french braid table runner would be great for a quick project.

    I dont have all the instructions yet, but have the basics right now for fabric selection and minimum fabric requirements. There are infinite ways to complete/design a french braid, what I will be teaching here is the method that I use. I was greatly influenced by Jane Hardy Miller's Books on french braids
    http://www.amazon.com/French-Braid-Q.../dp/1571203265
    And if you are interested in french braids she is a fantastic resource.

    So quilt retreat will start on Friday March 22nd through Sunday March 24th. That is next weekend. I wanted to post early so everyone has time to select fabrics. Again, please do NOT allow any instructions to get in the way of your creativity! Do what you feel is right for you, these are just guides on how to create a french braid that "glows" which is the kind I personally prefer.

    Fabric Selection:
    The key to a glowing braid is in the selection of fabrics used to create the braid. You have 2 different types of fabrics, the braid fabrics and the accent fabric. I will start with the discussion on how to select braid fabrics. These fabrics focus mainly on tone and value. You first need to decide what color you want the finished product to be, such as blue/green/yellow/etc. You may also decide to go through 2 or even 3 colors. I have done several of each, so I will strongly suggest for your first, settle on one color. It is infinitely easier to find one color than shifting through values of different colors.

    Once you select the color family you want, then you need to find fabrics that go through the different values of that color in a specific tone. It is important to note, your fabrics for the braids need to be of the same tonal family but different values in that tone.

    I general select 6 or 12 different values of one tone. You will need 12 different fabrics to make this table runner. These fabrics will create a "Run" (my name for it) which is the unique pattern of fabrics. You may decide to do 2 runs per side which will require only 6 fabrics, or 1 run per side which will require 12 fabrics. Below are photos of each type, the purple one is a double run and the red one is a single run.
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    Now, before you get scared or excited about the center square, I can NOT legally give anyone the embroidery design for the center square. But never fear, we have options. (they are listed below)

    Ok, now you need to select the accent fabric. I strongly suggest you pick an accent fabric that is complimentary but distinctly different. As you can see in the images you want to see the accents stand out from the fabrics. I used black in these runners. If you are doing a blue runner, navy blue might be a good selection for your accent. If you are doing a green one, then opt for either hunter or pine green (depending on tone). Basically the accent color is the heaviest value.

    Please feel free to ask questions on fabric selections. I will be around to answer as soon as possible.

    Center Square:
    There are infinite options for the center squares. If you have an embroidery machine, this is a great time to use a nice square design. Another option would be to use decorative stitches on a solid in either a circle or square pattern. Another option is to fussy cut a pretty fabric. Also, if none of these options work for you, you can always piece a block for the center. Enjoy yourself and select what works best for you.

    Fabric Requirements:
    Braids: Each fabric for the braids will require approximately:
    4 = 2 inch by 8.5 inch strips (for one run) OR
    8 = 2 inch by 8.5 inch strips
    Accent: You will need 24 = 2 inch by 2 inch squares
    Center Block: Center square needs to be 8.5 inches by 8.5 inches.

    Backing: the backing will require a piece that is at least 12.5 inches wide by about 48 inches long.
    *you can always piece this*
    Binding: you will need a strip of binding (either 2.25 or 2.5 in wide depending on your desire) by 100 inches.

    I generally dont cut my binding until I am done with the top, cause depending on your seams it may be plus or minus 48 inches long. Every one I make ends up a different size not sure how that happens.

    Ok, so that is the basics you all need to know now. I will have instructions ready for next week mailing. I have to go get fabric for my sample piece still, so no photos for the instructions yet.

    Again, if you are wanting a *.pdf version of the instructions, please PM me with your email address and I will send it to you. Please note some email clients will not accept large files and I may need to break the file up into pieces and send several emails to get it all to you. If you sent your email previously, I sorta didnt save them so you will need to resend. I will ask, if you want to be added to an email list for this let me know and I will create one so that you dont have to send the email every time.

    Can't wait to play with you ladies on this going to be fun!

  2. #2
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    I saw the last one too late!! Want to get in on this one!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sapphire_Rae's Avatar
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    I'm in on this one. Thanks for posting fabric requirements early, i'll be shopping today. Now, to decide what color....maybe there will be something at the LQS to inspire.
    Lynda Rae

    "One who makes no mistakes -- never makes anything!" Author Unknown

  4. #4
    Super Member Emma S's Avatar
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    Carolyn: This is really exciting. I had so much fun with the last one! This particular project is perfect. I have an embroidery machine that has never been out of the box and I have always wanted to do a french braid. How perfect could this project be?

  5. #5
    Roe
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    Hi I would love to try this one. My e-mail address is : dagosttino3@cox.net Thanks, Rosalie {roe}
    Rosalie

  6. #6
    Senior Member Sapphire_Rae's Avatar
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    Having a hard time deciding which colorway I want to do the runner in. Went to LQS and picked up a couple possibilities. Picking fabrics for projects is a weakness of mine. Carolyn, what do you think of these?
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Lynda Rae

    "One who makes no mistakes -- never makes anything!" Author Unknown

  7. #7
    Super Member LAQUITA's Avatar
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    Ohh sounds like fun, but hubby will be coming home late Friday night from being out of town for 2 weeks , so I Bette not get too involved I this one this time,

    Sapphire, I personally like the teal / green mist colors on the left.
    Y'all be sure And post pics when you are done please.
    Have fun everyone!
    LaQuita (aka) - Yai-Yai to the most precious grandbaby around of course I'm partial! LOL

    HAPPY QUILTING!
    www.caringbridge.org/visit/shea

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    Hey sapphire, both sets of fabric are beautiful and either will work. However, if you are trying to go for the "glowing" of the braid then there are some things here I would recommend.

    #1. The green/teal ones while beautiful fabrics are not the same tonal family and will not make the braid glow.
    #2. The purple ones do in a sense make a glowing braid, they are from the same tonal family and do range through the values. However, that one with the white dots does not fit the run. I would take that one out completely.

    Your eyes should flow from one color to the next with a smooth transition. You should feel like your eyes are flowing from one side to the other without jarring. That purple with the white dots jars your eyes, they "stop" when traveling.

    Now you do not have to go out and buy more fabric. Just go with a 5 fabric run. You will have a slightly shorter runner since you now have 5 fabrics. Which is perfectly ok. It is pretty long anyhow. Fat quarters are more than enough, you can easily make the runner much longer by doing 3 runs of 5 fabrics rather than 2 runs. Still enough fabric. A queen sized french braid with 12in wide braids only use 1/2yd of fabric per color. So trust me, 1/4 yd of fabric for table runner will leave you tons of extra.

    ***Side note: Forgot to add this above, but if you use Insul-Brite for the batting you now have a multi-function table runner. It can work as a hot plate as well. Only caveat here is that if you do embroidery for the center you will not want to set hot pans on it. Rayon or Poly threads used in embroidery are not good with hot pans. Also be sure you use all cotton threads and fabrics if you are going to use it as a hot pad.

    Now I will state here Sapphire and I discussed this at length in chat. And I did ask first if she wanted my honest opinion so I promise that I am not picking on her in a mean way. I asked her to post here so that I could answer over here and help everyone select their braid colors based on MY method.

    Please remember that these are your table runners, if you want to have crazy different prints each braid, that is your choice and I applaud that! If however you want the glow of fabric that I have up there in my sample photos, then my comments above are how I do it. I will happily review anyones colors and give my honest opinion, but please tell me if you want honest opinion Otherwise I will just assume that the colors you select are the ones YOU want for your runner. I get nervous giving my opinion, cause many people get a little touchy with criticism, even constructive kinds.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sapphire_Rae's Avatar
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    Carolyn, thank you for your advice regarding the fabrics and taking the time to help me and others. I respect you and would always want your honest opinion so I can learn. I am really looking forward to the retreat and making the braid runner. Now, to decide what to do in the middle square.
    Lynda Rae

    "One who makes no mistakes -- never makes anything!" Author Unknown

  10. #10
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    well you could always piece a block using the accent color and that fabric you pulled out of the braid it would still blend with the other colors and you dont have to worry about the jarring effect cause the center is supposed to stand out.

    here are some suggestions:
    http://www.quilterscache.com/B/BestFriendsBlock.html
    http://www.quilterscache.com/C/CarnivalTimeBlock.html
    http://www.quilterscache.com/C/CastlesinSpainBlock.html
    http://www.quilterscache.com/I/IceCastleBlock.html

    for the ambitious:
    http://www.quilterscache.com/B/BraidedStarBlock.html
    http://www.quilterscache.com/C/CircleTheFieldBlock.html
    Last edited by CarolynMT; 03-17-2013 at 07:01 AM.

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