Sunday, January 31, 2010

French Braid Tutorial

January 25, 2014
I am still amazed at the amount of visitors this tutorial has received since I posted it. You are from around the world and close to home. Be sure to let me know when you have finished your French Braid quilt!

August 10, 2012
A Texas HOWDY to my new visitors from Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia.  

July 30, 2012 
WOW! A visitor from Riyadh, Ar Riyad, Saudi Arabia, via bellaonline! Welcome!

June 14, 2012
Hello everyone from! Thanks for commenting about my tutorial and all the visitors because of the comments!

Thanks to Feedjit, I have noticed new visitors from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland! Howdy from Texas! Thank you for your repeated visits to this tutorial. I hope that my directions are clear. If you have any questions, please just comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Sherry

January 30, 2011:
HELLO GLASGOW! I am excited that you visited my blog. My great-great-great grandfather's last name was Glasgow. I hope you visit again.

April 7, 2011
HELLO JOHANNESBURG SOUTH AFRICA! Welcome to my corner of the world. I hope you have found something worth reading. Thank you for visiting!

May 5, 2011
Hello Amadora, Lisboa, Portugal and Londonderry, Derry, UK! Welcome to my small corner of this great big world. I hope the instructions are clear enough for you. If you have any questions, please just ask.

March 2, 2012
I'm getting a lot of hits from . Thanks to all of you. Especially kbartnick! So sweet! ;-)


I didn't think to count how many different homespuns I had to start with. Sorry.

A few years back Sam told me that he was considering retiring in 'a couple of years.' He retired April 2003, I quit August 2003. While we were both still working, and Joann's still had a store in Lake Jackson with occasional 50% off coupons, I started buying fabrics for quilts. Some I knew what pattern I wanted to use. With the homespuns...I had no idea at all. So, I purchased 1 yard cuts of each plaid that I purchased.

I've always liked the French Braid quilts. So...

Serge or zig-zag the cut edges of each uncut piece of fabric and prewash and dry. Press if necessary. Square the ends

and start cutting 4" x 10 1/2" rectangles.Alternate your fabrics as much as possible...doesn't matter how well you do this, you still have to play around with them as you are sewing so that you don't get the same fabric across from itself. Make two stacks.Hope you purchased lots of your solid fabric because I can't tell you how much I purchased. Sorry again. I tried everything I knew how to do to not purchase this gold fabric. I have yellow skin undertones and can't wear yellow or gold so shy away from it. For purposes of this tutorial, we are going to call this 'butterscotch.' I like butterscotch! ;o)

Cut a stack of 4" solid squares.
Note: Because of the loosely woven quality of homespuns and the subsequent raveling issue, instead of using the normal scant 1/4" generally used in piecing quilt tops, I used a fat 1/4" seam...not quite 3/8".
Take one square and sew it to the side of one rectangle. Sew the butterscotch squares to one end of half of the homespun rectangles.Be sure to cut your 4" squares...4x4...not like this... Sew one of your pieced rectangles to the L-shaped unit. Then sew an unpieced rectangle to the right of that...followed by a pieced unit. Continue until your panel measures approximately 90 1/2". Sew two unpieced rectangles to either side of the the top. Now...let's trim. I didn't have a ruler 14" wide so put two together. Cut through the points on the top, bottom, and both sides, cutting triangles off. I made five panels 14 1/2" x 91" (including seams). 14 x 90 1/2" finished. Take out that butterscotch fabric again. Hope you prewashed and dried it too. Square the ends and cut strips 1 1/2" wide. Sew ends together and cut in strips 91" long. You need 10 of them. Find the center of each panel and the center of the long edge of your sashing. Pin and pin along the long edge if you need. Sew a butterscotch strip to each side of each panel. (See why the butterscotch works so well?!) The top and bottom sashing is cut 1 1/2" x 16 1/2". Cut 10 of these and sew to the top and bottom of each panel. By this time, I've cut all my homespun and needed something between each sashed panel. First I thought more homespun...then I thought solid black. Regardless, I had to purchase another piece of fabric. This time I know how much! 1 1/4 yard. I found some black and cream homespun at Hobby Lobby. Remember to serge or zig-zag the ends, prewash, and dry. Press if necessary. The black/cream sashing between the panels was cut 2 1/2" x 92". You need only 4 of these and sew them on the inside.

Note! Pay attention to the orientation of your panels. They have a definite direction. Generally French Braid quilts run in the same direction. That's what I intended. I made an oops. It was easier to take out one panel and flip it than take out two and flip them. So my panels alternate. Great design change opportunity!

The side borders are cut 3 1/2" x 93". Cut and seam 2 of these.
Sew to the two side borders. Top and bottom borders are cut 4 1/2" x 94 1/2". Cut and seam two of these. Sew to top and bottom. When everything is sewn together, serge or zig-zag the outside border to prevent it from raveling away.Closeup...The finished quilt will be approximately 94" x 100" which fits my double pillow-top queen just perfectly!

My backing and binding will be the same gold...I mean butterscotch solid.


elsie123 said...

Thanks for the tutorial. It's been several years since I've tried it, but did like it. I'm saving this so I can be inspired again! (and I like the alternating strips!)

Shogun said...

Always loved the french braid and also the non-french braid which I believe is done without the butterscotch squares :)
Nice tutorial.

mudpotter said...

Thank you for this tutorial! It was just what I needed to get me going on a project of my own. Now get it quilted and done - it's beautiful!

Janet said...

Thank you for a great tutorial. I have a bunch of homespuns. Now is know what to use them for.

cyd said...

Please help me sign up for your blog. Thanks,

Linda said...

brilliant tutorial thank you from the UK.

Sherry said...

You are more than welcome Linda from the UK!

Marcia said...

Loved the tutorial! I have a lot of homespuns to use up...this looks like a great project to do. I really like the up and down oops you made...makes it a lot more exciting!

Kathleen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathleen said...

Love your finished quilt!


Rotating My Crops said...

So glad I found you on Pinterest! This gives me an idea for my upcycling projects. May I link to your blog for my inspiration when I complete my sewing project? Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hello from AZ. I really want to try making one of these. I think I would use it as a table runner. My cousin, who is also on pinterest, went to good will and purchased mens shirts in plaids and used that for her fabrics. Works well. Thanks ...

Mission Valley Nana said...

This is great
I'm gonna try this one for sure
Howdy back
I'm in Texas too!

Anonymous said...

Awesome tutorial. Thank You for making it simple.

Hello from Seattle.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great tutorial.
Mari from Sao Paulo, Brasil

Concha de Aromadetela said...


Sherry said...

Everyone, thank you so much for your compliments.

Mari from Sao Paulo, Thank you for visiting!

Concha de Aromadetela,
Tengo que use que traductor responda. ¡Usted es more than bienvenido! Visité su blog. ¡Usted hace labor de retazos hermosa!

Patricia said...

Thank you so much for your pattern. And I have to say that I really like how the strips go in alternate directions. I'm making one for my Granddaughter in red, white and black. I love your quilt even with the butterscotch.
Montana, USA

Eileen said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I am a new quilter and am so inspired by all I see but I love this design. I love that you shared it with us.

Alisanne said...

I have only just found this pattern and want to try making a quilt but couldn't find a pattern that I thought I could follow. That is until I found yours. Thank you for sharing.

Helena said...

Seu tutorial é maravilhoso! Fiz meu trabalho seguindo o seu passo a passo. Foi muito fácil. Tenho recomendado para as amigas. Parabéns e obrigada!

Anonymous said...

Is there a pattern that can be purchased? I'm a beginner and think that I would do better with a formal pattern. Love the colors you used but would like to make one in yellow and gray for my granddaughter.
Independence, Mo.

Sherry said...

I am sorry, but I don't have a pattern for my specific quilt. However, there are some free patterns available on the internet. This site has several listed:

Thank you for your compliment by asking for my pattern. :D

sewsilly said...

I have a ton of homespun fabrics I have collected. I like your pattern and thank you for the tutorial! Thanks, Paula

Anonymous said...

Hola ....gracias por enseñarnos de una forma tan facil este explicacion buenisima.....voy a empezar hoy mismo a hacerlo.....
Saludos desde Chile

Rebeca said...

Tutorial maravilhoso! Nunca pensei que pudesse ser fácil, obrigada por me ensinar.
Beijos do Brasil

gracielynn's said...

wow.. this tute has been up for years..
still a popular one, can't wait to try it.. looks like a great table runner .

thanks for posting .

B Joseph said...

Your work is beautiful.

B Joseph said...

Your work is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Sue Ma said
thanks for the easy explanation. Your easy to follow unlike the kit instructions I have.

vilma perez sanchez said...

me gusto mucho este tutorial es la primera vez que lo uso gracias la felicito