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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Braids: Each fabric for the braids will require approximately:4 = 2 inch by 8.5 inch strips (for one run) ORAccent: You will need 24 = 2 inch by 2 inch squares
8 = 2 inch by 8.5 inch strips
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!