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

  1. #51
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    EmmaS - I've done a braid runner with more widely different fabrics than you are considering and it turned out pretty, just did not do the tonal progression like the examples here show. I like what you have pictured.

  2. #52
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    Ok, Sorry for the delay. Here are the instructions. Once my email is done acting up I will be shipping out the *.pdf versions to everyone.

    FrenchBraid Table Runner


    FabricRequirements:
    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 8.5inch strips

    Accent:You will need 24 = 2 inch by 2 inch squares
    CenterBlock: 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 byabout 48 inches long.
    *youcan always piece this*
    Binding:you will need a strip of binding (either 2.25 or 2.5 in widedepending on your desire) by 100 inches.



    Cutting:
    Braid Fabrics: 8.5 inches x 2 inches (4 of each braid)
    Accent Squares: 2 inches x 2 inches ( 2 for each braid)


    Center Square: 8.5 inches x 8.5 inches


    CenterSquare:
    The center square should be finished at 8.5 inches by 8.5 inches. Youmay do the center in different ways. You can embroider one, fussy cutone, or piece one.
    In the end the center should measure 8.5 x 8.5 inches. Stretch yourboundaries do something different!


    FabricSelection:
    Thekey to a glowing braid is in the selection of fabrics used to createthe braid. You have 2 different types of fabrics, the braid fabricsand the accent fabric. I will start with the discussion on how toselect braid fabrics. These fabrics focus mainly on tone and value.You first need to decide what color you want the finished product tobe, such as blue/green/yellow/etc. You may also decide to go through2 or even 3 colors. I have done several of each, so I will stronglysuggest for your first, settle on one color. It is infinitely easierto find one color than shifting through values of differentcolors.

    Onceyou select the color family you want, then you need to find fabricsthat go through the different values of that color in a specifictone. It is important to note, your fabrics for the braids need to beof the same tonal family but different values in that tone. Setthem up on a table you pass often, in the order you want to do them.Then leave them there for several days, look at the braids indifferent lights and times of day. Feel free to shift things aroundas you need to do. For my larger versions of the braids I generallyleave them out for a week or two before finalizing the color order.Take the time you need, trust me it will come out wonderful.


    Instructions:

    1. Start by cutting and preparing the center square. Depending on what you want to do for the center square will determine the time/effort needed for preparing this square. I wont get into too much detail since it is a personal choice and everyone is different. I opted for a very complicated paper piecing center square. This is a great time to try those!
    2. Now the most helpful tip of the whole construction, when you finish cutting your braids, PLEASE take a few minutes to put them in the order you are going to sew them. Set up 4 different stacks, each stack is one side of one half of the braid. It really helps with the piecing if it is all in order to begin with.
    3. Take the center accent squares and sew them onto the short side of the braids. You will be sewing them onto 2 of the stacks from #2. Use a ¼ inch seam. PRESS THE SEAMS TOWARD THE LONG SIDE! This is very important later when braiding so that your seams nest properly. (These will now be called the accented strip, where the other 2 stacks are your unaccented strips)
    4. Start the braiding with the center square, place one unaccented strip along the edge of the center square. Stitch down with a ¼ inch seam.
    5. Finger press the seam toward the unaccented strip (away from center) in the corner you are using for the “point” of the braid.
    6. Lay the accented strip down along the center square and unaccented strip so that the seams “lock” where the accent block is and the finger pressed seam of #5. Stitch down with ¼ inch seam
    7. Press the braid away from the center. Be careful NOT to stretch the fabrics.
    8. Now lay an unaccented strip on the side where you laided the last one. I usually put unaccented strips on the left and accented on the right. Just works for me.
    9. Repeat steps 4 -7.
    10. Continue until you get to the end of that side (the one stack).
    11. Turn so that the other point of the center square is at the top and the braids are at the bottom.
    12. Repeat steps 4 –10
    13. Now your braid will have 'tail' like things along the side, that is ok, we will be trimming those off. They are NOT supposed to match up on that side. They do need to match up on the points of the accent squares.
    14. Now lay the runner down on your cutting board. Lay a ruler along the side. Line it up so that most of the shorter side of ALL the tails are lined up. Trim off the excess. See image, it will make more sense.
    15. Repeat on all 4 sides, keeping each side as straight as possible.
    16. Lay down some backing and batting. Lay the runner down on top of the batting/backing. You can now trim to either the same size or just an inch or so larger. Depends on what you decide to do for the quilting, more dense quilting will require more batting/backing.
    17. Quilt the sandwich as desired. I have usually just done a Stitch in the Ditch along the center square and then every 3rd or 4th strip on each side. You can use decorative stitches along all seams, you can do a nice meander FMQ. It is really up to you and what you like/feel comfortable with doing. I dont have pictures yet of this part since it is still hanging on my design wall.
    18. Bind as usual. I use the accent fabric for the binding, but I am very matchy-matchy type person. Go for gold! Do what ever makes you happy!
    19. And that is your table runner! Congrats! French braids are really very easy. The hardest part is getting the color selections and placements. So take your time there.



    AdditionalNotes:
    1. You can useinsul-brite as your batting and it will make the runner do dual dutyas a hot plate. Only thing you need to ensure is that you use 100%cotton on everything, including the stitching. Meaning you probablyshould not use an embroidered center.
    2. This is a great place to use different decorative stitches on yourmachines. Pick one and just go for it!

  3. #53
    Junior Member Ashjoy's Avatar
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    Going to start now.
    Thanks!

  4. #54
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    Email has gone out, assuming everything went well you all should have it in your regular email box now

  5. #55
    Junior Member Ashjoy's Avatar
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    Thanks!
    I have a question. I don't have an embroidery machine, jut a quilters companion 4800, so no big embroidery for me. But I did get a dresden plate this week and was wondering what size to make a dresden for the center. I was thinking a 3 inch cut, but thought someone here might have a better idea.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashjoy View Post
    Thanks!
    I have a question. I don't have an embroidery machine, jut a quilters companion 4800, so no big embroidery for me. But I did get a dresden plate this week and was wondering what size to make a dresden for the center. I was thinking a 3 inch cut, but thought someone here might have a better idea.
    The finished square needs to be 8.5in x 8.5in. I would not do embroidery bigger than 6.5 x 6.5 range. So I would say keep the dresden plate under 6.5 inches in diameter.

  7. #57
    Junior Member Ashjoy's Avatar
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    Now that I reading the email, I'm feeling slightly panicked!

  8. #58
    Super Member vickig626's Avatar
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    I read through the instructions and have a question -- step 14 - trim excess from all 4 sides? Wouldn't we be only trimming the 2 sides of the straggly fabric? Or, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.

    I cut my pink ombre out last night and was EXTREMELY excited about how it turned out. The gals at our sit & sew came over and loved it too. I got 10 runs so will only be doing the one color for now. Think 20 runs (using the teal and pink fabric) would make it too long.

    Will start on this after breakfast.....
    Life's More Fun with a Doxie !!
    ​Have a Great Day !
    Vicki G
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  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by vickig626 View Post
    I read through the instructions and have a question -- step 14 - trim excess from all 4 sides? Wouldn't we be only trimming the 2 sides of the straggly fabric? Or, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.
    ..
    Yes, but since my ruler is shorter than the length of the runner, I have to make 4 cuts. I am sorry, I wasnt very clear. You are trimming 2 sides of the runner, but with 4 cuts

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashjoy View Post
    Now that I reading the email, I'm feeling slightly panicked!

    Now now, dont get panicked, it really is easy peasy when you put it together. Just go slow. Sew on the small accents, sort your stacks, and just do one braid at a time. Iron, then the next braid. Once you get past that first one, the rest of it is just repetition. I call this my ADHD pattern, sew for 2 seconds, get up and iron, sew for 2 seconds, up and iron......consider it exercise

  11. #61
    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    Checking in. Will be working on the table runner today.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by petthefabric View Post
    Checking in. Will be working on the table runner today.
    I cheated and only am doing one of them. And had to piece it for the instructions anyhow. so today I am going to run to my local LQS for some fabric for a circle quilt I'll back/quilt it tomorrow.

    Ok, I know I know how to do these braids, have made tons of them. It took me 3hrs to do that silly center I selected and about 45mins to go from center and cut fabric to trimmed up top. So dont panic. And be prepared for it to go fast once you get in the groove! I wouldnt be surprised to see everyone done tonight! at least with the topper. If that happens, I will quickly write up the instructions for that double handed quilted pot holder. If you want to make a set. I made a ton of them for christmas one year. Everyone got a table runner and pot holder

  13. #63
    Super Member vickig626's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolynMT View Post
    Yes, but since my ruler is shorter than the length of the runner, I have to make 4 cuts. I am sorry, I wasnt very clear. You are trimming 2 sides of the runner, but with 4 cuts
    that makes more sense.....thanks. I just got my center square together. Won't go into the "stupid" details. Should have only taken 15 minutes to make pinwheels but didn't have enough fabric so had to improvise....
    Life's More Fun with a Doxie !!
    ​Have a Great Day !
    Vicki G
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  14. #64
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    Yep took me 3 hours to do a simple paper piecing center **insert rolling eyes*** and only 45mins to do the rest....lol

  15. #65
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    OK I started this this morning. First I did a paper pieced block for the center. That was a first for me, not sure I like doing PP, it seems to take a lot more time to do them but it could be me. Now I did my strips 2 1/2" because I had them already in my scraps and I'm trying to use them up. One strip is only 2", LOL I really wanted to use that piece and that's all I had of it.

    Now that I'm done with half of it, I realize it's going to be way to long for any table that I have so I think I'll turn this one into a small quilt.

    I am so glad that we have 3 days to work on these because now i have to start over and try to find colors for a smaller version. Here's what I did this morning.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #66
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    That is amazing!! looks great. French Braid quilts are addictive so be careful!

    Careful with the center vs strip width, you dont want the braids to overpower the center block. I generally keep a finished 1.5" with any center block less than 10". Once I start getting up to 10" centers I bump up the strips to 2". Yours works as is just wanted to add that tidbit for everyone.

    And you can put tassels on the end points and let it hang over the table
    Last edited by CarolynMT; 03-22-2013 at 10:53 AM.

  17. #67
    Senior Member Dedemac's Avatar
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    It will be for me as sewing machine is on first floor and Iron is in the basement! Time for stair stepper exercises! (Tomorrow!) Seeing Olympus has fallen tonight after work.

    Quote Originally Posted by CarolynMT View Post
    Now now, dont get panicked, it really is easy peasy when you put it together. Just go slow. Sew on the small accents, sort your stacks, and just do one braid at a time. Iron, then the next braid. Once you get past that first one, the rest of it is just repetition. I call this my ADHD pattern, sew for 2 seconds, get up and iron, sew for 2 seconds, up and iron......consider it exercise

  18. #68
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    LOL thanks for the warning but I think it's to late.

  19. #69
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    Dede, I would strongly recommend you bringing it up, it takes a whopping 1min to stitch 2 seams, then iron. I spend more time getting up/down than I do ironing and sewing and my ironing board is behind my chair...lol

  20. #70
    Junior Member Ashjoy's Avatar
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    I ended up going out a bit with dd for lunch, but I do have all my pieces cut and am stitching my center now.

  21. #71
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    WOW!!! I'm hitting the fabric shop in the morning. Hubby will help me cut (I'm down after cutting my finger on Tuesday) and then I get to sew!!! I'm SO excited for this one!!!

  22. #72
    Junior Member Ashjoy's Avatar
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    My center patch is finally finished, moving on to seing the braids.
    I do need some Poitiers on making my circles nicer. I'm thinking I might have Ben better off doing a hexagon.

  23. #73
    Super Member SheriR's Avatar
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    If I didn't have this many matching colors, how would it look in rainbow 30's prints?
    SheriR~

    ~If you can't turn the corners of your mouth up...let the middle sag!~

    "Be not afraid, only believe."

  24. #74
    Super Member vickig626's Avatar
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    So Far, So Good

    I have to say I'm pleased with how this ombre fabric worked. Made selecting fabrics so much easier (and faster).

    I had a problem with the center square by not doubling checking my math before cutting strips but happy with the "mistake". The pinwheel center was supposed to be one big pinwheel but I had cut up all the pink fabric into 2" strips so didn't leave enough to make a bigger pinwheel. In hindsight, though, I wish I would have pieced a tiny maroon square into the dead-center of that block.

    I think I'm going to add about a 3" border in the maroon and bind in the same color. Not sure what I'm going to put on the back yet.

    At least I can say I'll bust about 2 yards of fabric from my stash when done.
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Life's More Fun with a Doxie !!
    ​Have a Great Day !
    Vicki G
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    https://www.etsy.com/shop/VickiGDesigns

  25. #75
    Super Member vickig626's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seasaw2mch View Post
    OK I started this this morning. First I did a paper pieced block for the center. That was a first for me, not sure I like doing PP, it seems to take a lot more time to do them but it could be me. Now I did my strips 2 1/2" because I had them already in my scraps and I'm trying to use them up. One strip is only 2", LOL I really wanted to use that piece and that's all I had of it.

    Now that I'm done with half of it, I realize it's going to be way to long for any table that I have so I think I'll turn this one into a small quilt.

    I am so glad that we have 3 days to work on these because now i have to start over and try to find colors for a smaller version. Here's what I did this morning.
    Looks great! PP is lots of fun once you get used to doing it. I might do something PP'd in my next one and plan my fabric better so I have enough. LOL

    You've also given me some inspiration on making a neutrals for my step daughter. Wasn't sure how it would turn out but you gave me some ideas of color choices.
    Life's More Fun with a Doxie !!
    ​Have a Great Day !
    Vicki G
    https://www.facebook.com/vickigdesigns
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/VickiGDesigns

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