I am far from a professional sewer, nor am I a perfectionist. But I love fabric, and I love blankets, and therefore, I love quilting. Well, I love making quilt tops. It’s usually decades before I get around to the actual batting and backing and quilting and binding it together part.
Note: This is not an actual tutorial, but it does have a lot of pictures, and at least one link to a tutorial, both of which would be helpful if you’re working on a braid quilt yourself.
I bought this great jelly roll about a year ago. (A roll of 30-40 different fabrics already cut down to a certain size, mine was thirty fabrics, cut in 2.5″ x 42″ strips.) Beautiful fabrics in lots of great saturated colors. I had no plan for it …
… until I learned about a braid quilt!
After finding the basic design online, I became totally inspired. I found a few great tutorials, (this is a great one) and I got to work. I cut my roll of fabric into 7″ strips. I had to add three fabrics from my own stash so I could have 5 full braids of 40 strips each. Once all my fabric was cut, it was time to sew!
This type of quilt suits my relaxed sewing style perfectly. I’m not great about exact 1/4″ seams, and some of my cuts were probably off a bit. But this kind of pattern hides all that! It’s awesome.
I followed a tutorial that had you start with a 2.5″ square and build from there. (In the above pic it’s the white with orange polka-dots, at the bottom of the pic.) I can’t seem to find the exact tutorial again, but it’s easy enough to figure out. I started with a square, and then for each of my five braids, I just added fabrics as they called out to me. It took me two days, but eventually I had five random braids from my 33 fabrics.
My braids all came out slightly different in length and width, and they weren’t technically straight (not a perfectionist, remember?), but all that could be fixed with a little careful cutting.
To cut the sides straight, I folded the braid in half, lengthwise. I matched up the bottom square with the top piece, like so:
Don’t use your favorite fabrics at the top, because a large portion of them get chopped off in the squaring off of the strips.
My braids came out approximately 8.25″ by 49.” But some were longer and others were shorter. No big. You’ll see.
My finished size came to about 39″ by 48″. And it looks awesome! Don’t you think? I love how busy and colorful it is. My mama always says about quilting and fabrics, “If you put it together, it goes together.” I believe it!
I wanted the whole thing a little bigger, so I sewed a four-inch border of off-white muslin all the way around. I’m actually considering another border, as I’d still like it a little bigger. At the moment I don’t have a fabric I like for that, so I’ll have to keep my eyes open.
Now I just need to get some batting, make the backing, and find someone to quilt it on the cheap. The true finished product is probably still a few months from completion. But what a fun quilt top to make. And it really went fast. It’s a great beginner-type quilt, if you fancy a quick project. It’s easy to put together but it makes a big impact. My favorite kind!