French Braid Quilted Curtain

French braid quilted curtain

French braid quilted curtain

The french braid quilted curtain is intended to hang on the back door in my newly re fitted kitchen.  It’s a bit drafty at the moment!  I had hoped to finish the curtain altogether and be able to show it to you hanging in place, but time ran away with me and I haven’t managed to get that far with it.  For the curtain I have used four columns but the cutting instructions are for a quilt made with ten columns.  This would make it about 91″ by 80″.  The most simple way to make the braids is by using strip piecing but this involves using lengths of fabric cut across the width – so I’ve ended up with far more braids than I need for the curtain.  I’ll use them to make a few matching items for the kitchen and then also for an additional small quilt if I have enough braids left.




Fabric selection

Fabric selection

For the full sized quilt I have used 3/8 yard each of sixteen different fabrics with 3 yards of the accent fabric (this is the fabric for the diamonds up the middle and between the braids).  The sixteen fabrics are selected from two colours – six blues from light to dark with yellow and white together with six reds from light to dark, again with yellow and white.  The reason that I have used yellow and white in both colour selections is because I feel that those two fabrics together seem to give a glow in a french braid quilt.  You can buy these fabrics at a 10% discount in this week’s special offer – but I also have a spring discount of 12% going for just this week.  There is no coupon required to get the discount – it is applied automatically.

Cutting requirements for the french braid quilt

In all sixteen fabrics (that’s counting yellow and white twice) cut two 6″ strips of fabric across the width of fabric.

In the accent fabric cut thirty one 2″ strips across the width of fabric, sixteen 8″ squares for the starting triangles, thirty two 5″ squares for the finishing triangles.

Cut 2" strips of all the fabrics

Cut 2″ strips of all the fabrics

Making the french braids

Sew a 2″ strip of accent fabric to a long edge of one of every colour, so that you have one plain strip of fabric and one strip with accent fabric in each colour.  Press the seam allowances towards the colour fabric rather than the accent fabric.  Cut all these strips at 2″ intervals.  This will give you 6″ by 2″ rectangles of the plain fabrics and 7.1/2″ by 2″ rectangles of the fabrics with accent strips.

Cut the 8″ squares of accent fabric along both diagonals to give four triangles from each square.  Cut the 5″ squares of accent fabric along one diagonal to give two triangles from each square.

Sew the white strips to a starting triangle

Sew the white strips to a starting triangle

Begin with a starting triangle (from an 8″ square) and sew a plain white strip to the right hand side.  Sew a white strip with accent fabric to the left hand side.  This is the foundation of the first braid.

Continue adding strips to both sides

Continue adding strips to both sides

Now sew the yellow plain strip to the right and the accented strip to the left.  Continue adding strips until you have added the dark blue.  This is one blue braid.

One french braid of each colour

One french braid of each colour

For the red french braid add the fabrics to the starting triangle in the reverse order – starting with dark red and finishing with white.

Altogether you should be able to make twenty blue braids and twenty red braids.

Finishing the french braids

The braids need to cut down each edge to straighten them and this is where you could vary the width if you wanted to.

Measure from the middle of the braid

Measure from the middle of the braid

I want braids 8″ wide.  This means measuring 4″ from the middle on each side.  I have a 6″ ruler, so I have placed the ruler so that the 2″ line runs down the middle of the braid, leaving 4″ on the right hand side.

Straighten the edges of the braids

Straighten the edges of the braids

Now I can cut along the right hand edge to straighten the braid.  For the left hand side, move the ruler so that the 2″ line runs down the middle of the braid with the 4″ on the left hand side.  Each braid should now measure 8″ wide by about 20″ long.

Add the finishing triangles

Add the finishing triangles

The top of the braid now needs to be squared off.  This is done using two of the triangles made from 5″ squares.  Place these with the longest edge along the top of the braid.  Sew one to the dark blue strip, press and then sew the second triangle to the other side.

Trim both ends of the braid

Trim both ends of the braid

Finally trim the top and bottom of each braid.

Assembling the French braid quilted curtain

Sew the braids together in pairs

Sew the braids together in pairs

Sew the braids together in pairs so that the two starting triangles are sewn to each other.

Sew two pairs of braids together

Sew two pairs of braids together

Sew two pairs of braids together.  This time it will be the finishing triangles that are sewn together.  You should now have five blue and five red columns, each made of four individual braids, each 8″ wide by about 78.1/2″ long.  The reason I am giving an approximation for the length is that there are a lot of seams in each column and a certain amount of give in the fabric because the edges are cut on the bias.  So your actual length may differ from mine – you need to measure your own braid length.

Sew sashing strips between the braids

Sew sashing strips between the braids

For the sashing, make up eleven strips of accent fabric to whatever length you have – two strips sewn together basically – and sew one to each side and between all the braids, alternating the braid colours across the quilt.

I always use sashing in a french braid quilt – sewing two braids directly on to each other would mean matching up large numbers of seams and I’m afraid that I feel using sashing is a much easier option.

Add sashing to the top and bottom

Add sashing to the top and bottom

I have finished the quilt with a 2″ strip of accent fabric across the top and bottom.  These will be about 91″ long.

That completes the French braid quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.

I am thrilled with the way that my french braid quilted curtain has turned out and I can’t wait to finish it off and hang it on the back door.  You will definitely see a photo of it when it’s in place!

Here’s the video:

Don’t forget the spring sale:  12% discount across the store.

 

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Comments

  1. This is terrific. I need a privacy curtain in a narrow hall for my guest room. This will is a perfect solution. Thanks Rose.

    • Hi Janet. I think it makes a great curtain. I am slightly concerned about how wavy the edges will be, but with any luck any waviness will look like part of the gathering!

  2. Rose this is absolutely beautiful – just love the idea.

  3. Christine Southgate says:

    Rose, what an unusual but effective quilt pattern and what a lovely pop of colour to greet you in your new kitchen. You really are an inspiration to many of us. How do you find the time & energy to do all your sewing?

    • Hi Christine. I must admit that I nearly didn’t make it in time this week – I was still making the last braid this morning! I’m hoping to get it finished and hung next week, but that may be a little optimistic.

  4. Jane Claber says:

    Hi Rose. This tutorial is very timely for me as I’ve been researching patterns for a friendship braid pattern to make a table runner. I think I can adapt your pattern to use a jelly roll that I have in stock. What do you think? Thanks for your inspirational tutorials. Jane

    • Hi Jane. I have another french braid quilt pattern which uses the 2.1/2″ strips that you’d get in a jelly roll. You can see it here. You may need to use a few strips from stash if your jelly roll doesn’t have the right numbers of light or dark strips. I think that the friendship braid doesn’t have the diamonds in the middle of each braid.

  5. This quilt pattern has always apealed to me Rose and not difficult to make. Love your choice of fabrics

  6. Carol Tambourine says:

    Love it, have to make it,

  7. Marjorie Hesketh says:

    Hi Rose, Fabulous pattern – would love to try it but feel the full size quilt a bit too ambitious for me. You really are a great inspiration to us all and I’m looking forward to seeing your finished curtain.

    • Thanks, Marjorie. I think that it would definitely be quite challenging to finish a quilt as large as that. Glad you liked it.

  8. Kathy Walker says:

    Hello Rose. I love these braided curtains. I am redoing the girls bedroom and these would be perfect!!! Thank you very much for sharing.

  9. HI Rose, what a great idea. I would never have thought to make a curtain this way. It’s beautiful and what a cleaver gal you are. Now I’m really thinking. I know my grand daughter needs new kitchen curtains. Bet she would love this idea. Thanks. Good luck on your UFO’s this weekend.

  10. Rose, You have done it again produced a lovely pattern thank you.
    It is great that you are getting on with getting your home in order.
    Rose have a lovely relaxing week-end.

    • Thanks, Mary. I feel so happy with my house – it’s the first time that I’ve bought a house just for myself without having to take the children into account. Oh dear, does that make me sound very selfish?

  11. Hi Rose,
    Love your curtain. The French braid pattern is one that I have never heard of or seen before. Leave it to you to come up with such a great idea. I use very thin bubble wrap on my windows to keep out the drafts. I’ll be anxious to see your curtain finished and hung. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Claire. That’s a good idea. I seem to have little bits of drafts in lots of places – they are most noticeable during storms when the winds are strong. I’m going to try and get the curtain finished this weekend.

  12. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    You are so talented. Love the pattern Love the colours. I am working on a pinwheel pattern right now. Will save this one for the summer. Love the idea of making it into a curtain. Will have to try it for one of my doors.
    Have a great weekend and Happy Quilting.
    Sandra

    • Thanks, Sandra. This is one project that I will definitely finish quickly. I can’t decide whether to try and make a blind for the window or buy one in.

  13. Doreen Robin says:

    Hi Rose. You are so creative and talented, I enjoy your projects. Thank you for sharing your expertise.

  14. So colourful! I’d be terrified to put all these patterns and colours together but you made them into such a LOVELY quilted curtain – very clever! Enjoy your new kitchen.

    • Thanks, June. It’s actually an easy pattern to make – I always get a thrill when I see how it comes out.

  15. Jane Claber says:

    Thank you Rose, I’m inspired! I think I prefer the French braid as I like the diamond shapes. Will certainly have a go. Have a lovely weekend.

    • Hi Jane. I always like quilts that look more complicated than they are – it impresses non quilters no end!

  16. I love French braids. This is beautiful. Reminds me somewhat of a SW Indian design.

  17. doetexas says:

    I think quilts as window or door coverings is a wonderful idea and a whale of a lot more fun than going to buy insulated draperies!! I’ve had a quilt on my den windows for a long time!
    The little curtain on my door in the den has seen better days and this braid quilt will be perfect!! Thanks so much, Rose!!

    • Thanks, doetexas. I agree – your curtains can be so much more individual when they’re made from quilts. I’m hoping that this one will provide good insulation when it’s in place.

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