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Thread: How Do I Pick Fabric for French Braid?

  1. #1
    Super Member I go To The Sea To Breathe's Avatar
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    I know this is really dumb. But how do I pick the fabric for a French Braid Quilt. I have been in LQS and I just get overwhelmed looking at the fabric. Maybe I need a mentor, I am not sure. I feel so stupid, I have been quilting since last March, I have finished 2 quilts for kids, and made one twin size, maybe I'm not ready for a FB. Any suggestions? Stupid Question for today...

  2. #2
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Jackie, Not stupid at all!!! Sometimes it seems that we have too many choices! Then we get overwhelmed, at least that's what happens to me.
    I will follow this thread as well. The only advice I have is to buy several fabrics from a particular line but the others will have better advice,I'm sure.
    I want to make one of them too. Where did you get the pattern??

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bluphrog's Avatar
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    If looking at fabrics overwhelms you, try looking at paint samples. The strips are free for the taking at any paint store / Home Depot / Lowes. You can find the colors you like, then start looking for fabrics that match your color choices.

    Once you purchase a fabric, attach a sample of it to the paint chip and attach a second paint chip to the fabric. That way, you won't purchase two fabrics for one color.

  4. #4
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    pick you color scheme, blues ,pinks, greens, whatever try to get 5-6 different hues from light to dark in your color pallet. if you take a picture in b&w it's easier to judge light/dark values. there is also a tool, don't know what it's called but it's red plastic and if you look at the fabric through it, you don't see color, just value. and most workers at the LQS are very helpful with these things, it just takes a bit of courage to ask. We all gotta learn things one at a time so don't ever feel silly for having to ask things.

  5. #5
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I'm going to borrow weste's picture as a guideline.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-9438-1.htm

    If I were you, I would find the fabric from the large center square. It is generally a multicolor print. From there, you will have some options that should have some contrast. One color from the square will be the center row of little squares. The other will be a lighter color value and when you have that, select some tone on tones that graduate the color.

    In my LQS, the ladies are incredibly helpful to lend a helping hand. They make suggestions without being pushy and overbearing.

    Do you have any idea which colors you want to use?

  6. #6
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I went thru a lot of my stash before I decided on mine. I took pictures and put them on the computer to help me figure which ones needed to be moved or eliminated. It's funny, something you might think would be perfect next to one looks better further away. If you can, cut 1 strip of each color you want to use and lay them out, rearrange if needed. Lots of pics. There should be some variety in color, such as light to dark or medium to dark. Pick a couple of options for the triangles or squares (whichever pattern you choose), then start working off of them. I think a larger print looks good for the ones with center squares. You will likely change your mind a few times. The book recommends waiting on the separator strips/borders until you are done with the braids. I did change my mind on the narrow part of the separator strips from my original plan. I'm very pleased with how mine came out.

    Another thought is to buy a jelly roll and work with that.

  7. #7
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    Not dumb at all. This was my first french braid.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-69914-1.htm

    I looked at my middle square and chose three colors I liked. Then I chose a light, medium, dark of each color. Then I varied them as I sewed from light to dark. Their bedroom color was blue (this was a gift) so I picked a light, medium, darker blue for the inbeween square. You can do this; I know how overwhelming LQS can get, but I look upon them as an adventure (smile). Just do one color at a time.

    BTW, my office mate is from Rapid City.

  8. #8
    Super Member JAGSD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I go To The Sea To Breathe
    I know this is really dumb. But how do I pick the fabric for a French Braid Quilt. I have been in LQS and I just get overwhelmed looking at the fabric. Maybe I need a mentor, I am not sure. I feel so stupid, I have been quilting since last March, I have finished 2 quilts for kids, and made one twin size, maybe I'm not ready for a FB. Any suggestions? Stupid Question for today...

    I found a pattern for a french braid table runner, after my boys wake up I will run down and see who it is by. I also want to make a french braid but have been unsure of how or the size, so thought I would start small. (They all look so beautiful)From what I have gathered if a person picks a "focal" fabric(for the center) and builds out from it with the different colors from the focal fabric you can't go wrong.
    Ps... I am in Piedmont, SD Maybe after the holidays we could do a french braid party gettogether...... And learn as we go.

  9. #9
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    My LQS staff are very helpful in choosing fabrics.

  10. #10
    Super Member JAGSD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGSD
    Quote Originally Posted by I go To The Sea To Breathe
    I know this is really dumb. But how do I pick the fabric for a French Braid Quilt. I have been in LQS and I just get overwhelmed looking at the fabric. Maybe I need a mentor, I am not sure. I feel so stupid, I have been quilting since last March, I have finished 2 quilts for kids, and made one twin size, maybe I'm not ready for a FB. Any suggestions? Stupid Question for today...
    I found a pattern for a french braid table runner, after my boys wake up I will run down and see who it is by. I also want to make a french braid but have been unsure of how or the size, so thought I would start small. (They all look so beautiful)From what I have gathered if a person picks a "focal" fabric(for the center) and builds out from it with the different colors from the focal fabric you can't go wrong.
    Ps... I am in Piedmont, SD Maybe after the holidays we could do a french braid party gettogether...... And learn as we go.
    Me again....
    I found the pattern it is called "Braid Runner" "Quilt as you go"
    uh oh! That could be scary-have never done that before either. The pattern says:The fabrics in the braid look great if chosen from light to dark to create 3D effect.

  11. #11
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    I am interested in responses you get from this also.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Norene B's Avatar
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    My avatar is done in French Braid also.

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    I started with one color i liked and then bought a quarter yard of a bunch of colors i thought looked nice with it..i cut them all up at 2 or 2.5" ..i forget..
    BUT it was only a baby quilt..!

    is this a french braid? not sure.
    Name:  Attachment-130452.jpe
Views: 72
Size:  60.5 KB

  14. #14
    Member Kwiltergirl's Avatar
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    Jackie,
    Don't ya just love those French Braid quilts?? I wanted to try one too, so I just went through my stash and pulled out fabrics I thought might look good together. If YOU like the way some fabrics blend together, then whatever colors you use will be perfect. When I decided to make a French Braid quilt, I started with a block (I guess I always have to be different) instead of a long strip. Then I added a braided strip to 2 ends and got a table runner. It's unfinished yet but I enclosed a couple of pictures anyway. Pick colors YOU like and you won't go wrong.
    Kip

    My original FB block
    Name:  Attachment-130489.jpe
Views: 73
Size:  55.3 KB

    My FB as an unfinished table runner
    Name:  Attachment-130490.jpe
Views: 70
Size:  31.3 KB

  15. #15
    Senior Member Norene B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by watterstide
    I started with one color i liked and then bought a quarter yard of a bunch of colors i thought looked nice with it..i cut them all up at 2 or 2.5" ..i forget..
    BUT it was only a baby quilt..!
    Yes, it is a variation of French Braid. Looks just great.

  16. #16
    Super Member I go To The Sea To Breathe's Avatar
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    I don't even have the pattern yet, I keep looking at them online and trying to decide. If I can figure out the fabric issue then maybe I will order the pattern...Did you find one? I don't know if the one on Quilters Cache is what I am looking for..

  17. #17
    Super Member I go To The Sea To Breathe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluphrog
    If looking at fabrics overwhelms you, try looking at paint samples. The strips are free for the taking at any paint store / Home Depot / Lowes. You can find the colors you like, then start looking for fabrics that match your color choices.

    Once you purchase a fabric, attach a sample of it to the paint chip and attach a second paint chip to the fabric. That way, you won't purchase two fabrics for one color.
    Very good sugestion. Thanks, I will try that...

  18. #18
    Super Member I go To The Sea To Breathe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy
    pick you color scheme, blues ,pinks, greens, whatever try to get 5-6 different hues from light to dark in your color pallet. if you take a picture in b&w it's easier to judge light/dark values. there is also a tool, don't know what it's called but it's red plastic and if you look at the fabric through it, you don't see color, just value. and most workers at the LQS are very helpful with these things, it just takes a bit of courage to ask. We all gotta learn things one at a time so don't ever feel silly for having to ask things.
    Thanks Kathy, I know what you are talking about. I will check out the red plastic finder....that would help a lot.

  19. #19
    Super Member I go To The Sea To Breathe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    I'm going to borrow weste's picture as a guideline.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-9438-1.htm

    If I were you, I would find the fabric from the large center square. It is generally a multicolor print. From there, you will have some options that should have some contrast. One color from the square will be the center row of little squares. The other will be a lighter color value and when you have that, select some tone on tones that graduate the color.

    I think that I would like the wine, browns, tans. I would be making it for my DDI who I have never made anything for.
    In my LQS, the ladies are incredibly helpful to lend a helping hand. They make suggestions without being pushy and overbearing.

    Do you have any idea which colors you want to use?

  20. #20
    Super Member I go To The Sea To Breathe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy
    Not dumb at all. This was my first french braid.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-69914-1.htm

    I looked at my middle square and chose three colors I liked. Then I chose a light, medium, dark of each color. Then I varied them as I sewed from light to dark. Their bedroom color was blue (this was a gift) so I picked a light, medium, darker blue for the inbeween square. You can do this; I know how overwhelming LQS can get, but I look upon them as an adventure (smile). Just do one color at a time.

    I love your colors. I will try and focus on the middle square first. then go from here. have you been to Rapid City? We like it. Stay warm and thanks for your hints...Blessings
    BTW, my office mate is from Rapid City.

  21. #21
    Super Member I go To The Sea To Breathe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGSD
    Quote Originally Posted by I go To The Sea To Breathe
    I know this is really dumb. But how do I pick the fabric for a French Braid Quilt. I have been in LQS and I just get overwhelmed looking at the fabric. Maybe I need a mentor, I am not sure. I feel so stupid, I have been quilting since last March, I have finished 2 quilts for kids, and made one twin size, maybe I'm not ready for a FB. Any suggestions? Stupid Question for today...

    I found a pattern for a french braid table runner, after my boys wake up I will run down and see who it is by. I also want to make a french braid but have been unsure of how or the size, so thought I would start small. (They all look so beautiful)From what I have gathered if a person picks a "focal" fabric(for the center) and builds out from it with the different colors from the focal fabric you can't go wrong.
    Ps... I am in Piedmont, SD Maybe after the holidays we could do a french braid party gettogether...... And learn as we go.

    Judy that sounds awesome. Good hints. Give me a call after the holidays. Would love to talk to someone who quilts....Blessings

  22. #22
    Super Member I go To The Sea To Breathe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGSD
    Quote Originally Posted by JAGSD
    Quote Originally Posted by I go To The Sea To Breathe
    I know this is really dumb. But how do I pick the fabric for a French Braid Quilt. I have been in LQS and I just get overwhelmed looking at the fabric. Maybe I need a mentor, I am not sure. I feel so stupid, I have been quilting since last March, I have finished 2 quilts for kids, and made one twin size, maybe I'm not ready for a FB. Any suggestions? Stupid Question for today...
    I found a pattern for a french braid table runner, after my boys wake up I will run down and see who it is by. I also want to make a french braid but have been unsure of how or the size, so thought I would start small. (They all look so beautiful)From what I have gathered if a person picks a "focal" fabric(for the center) and builds out from it with the different colors from the focal fabric you can't go wrong.
    Ps... I am in Piedmont, SD Maybe after the holidays we could do a french braid party gettogether...... And learn as we go.
    Me again....
    I found the pattern it is called "Braid Runner" "Quilt as you go"
    uh oh! That could be scary-have never done that before either. The pattern says:The fabrics in the braid look great if chosen from light to dark to create 3D effect.

    Maybe I should buy the pattern you have and we could do the table runner first...at least get the idea of picking fabrics...

  23. #23
    Super Member I go To The Sea To Breathe's Avatar
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    We will get back to this after the holdiays....thanks so much

  24. #24
    Super Member I go To The Sea To Breathe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norene B
    My avatar is done in French Braid also.
    What part of SD are you near? Your avitar is beautiful....love those colors also. Now I don't know what colors I want...LOL

  25. #25
    Super Member I go To The Sea To Breathe's Avatar
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    You ladies are so talented. I hope I can get one going...I will get one going.....Blessings and thanks for responses...

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