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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Finally trim the top and bottom of each braid.
Assembling the French braid quilted curtain
Sew the braids together in pairs so that the two starting triangles are sewn to each other.
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.
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.
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.