Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Two Not-So-Teeny Texas Braids

A Texas Three Step 

There were several tongue-in-cheek titles I had for this quilt. Texas Three Step because there were really only 3 different pieces in it, and 3 sewing steps for the whole quilt. The other was Crazy Quilt because of the repetition. Now that I'm done, I do appreciate the true vintage braids all the better, though. Will I do it again? No way, but don't let me sway you. You may enjoy it, but I'll say I've crossed this one off my bucket list with a marker.

There is good information on cutting and organizing such an array of fabrics on the first post: A Texas Braid Christmas Quilt

Initial Lay Up on the Design Wall

Look closely to see the individual sections above. The red squares show the center of each, and there are both right and left sections. I fussed at this point trying to find pairs that didn't have duplicate strips touching each other to create a sewing order. I also cut the base triangles that would finish off the rows. 

Construction Order

1.First add the base triangles.

2. Trim off all the points. These are all bias edges, and the strips are easily stretched. Work gently.

3. Pin, pin, pin and carefully stitch together. It is always good practice to have the bias edge on top vs. the bottom when sewing with any bias, but in this case they are both bias. (Think 3' HST edges!) Slowing way down and feeding evenly into the foot while reducing any drag helps tremendously. I kept my stitch length at 2.5mm, and used a full 1/4" seam.

One Done

I felt this process was also a bit of a chore with the pinning, and back and forth to the pressing table from machine. I worked a little at a time over a few days to get the first one done.

Fast Forward Another Day

The next day was nose to the grindstone, and done. Now there were two sections. I had some choices to make about these, and some of it depended on how much fabric I had in the stash that coordinated. I played Goldilocks, and tried them side by side to see if I could do one large quilt. Too skinny, and I liked the stripes going vertically.

Although this appears just as intense here, it was definitely an option for this Goldilocks. This design wall is about 80" tall. A twin mattress is 39" x 72" and a twin XL is 39" x 80". Finished with borders it would have been fine with a width of 49". That would give a 5" overhang on both sides with a little border beyond that extend to the box spring.

Hang a Note and Go Home

Here is one of my new habits for the new year. I write down dimensions of everything as I work, and save having to remeasure the same work over and over. I was not aware at how often I was doing this, or how much time it took to find the tape measure if I'd set it down. If I need to stop work in the middle, I can come back later or the next day and pick right up.

Auditioning Fabrics

I went all the way through this project knowing I was using this stripe for borders. That is, until I pinned it up and stepped back. Wow. Talk about busy!

The green stripe was a keeper, though.

How These Borders Solved a Problem

My first post generated a good bit of chatter both online and behind the scenes about long arming braids. Without any borders, they were wiggly monsters to quilt! Up to this point I would have said these braids were like elastic bands. One tug and they would still really stretch. Adding borders helped this by stabilizing the vertical and horizontal stretch. If you grabbed this top in the middle and pulled toward you, it would still stretch! So it still requires some care until it is stabilized by quilting.

Two more borders. Kona Snow and a piece from my stash.

Two Not-So-Teeny Texas Braids

These tops finished at 64" x 72.5", and are still in need of backing before hitting the quilting line up. As this is only February, they should realistically be done before Christmas 2018. Should.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~
Off the Wall Fridays
Esther's WOW
Sew Fresh Quilts
Midweek Makers
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?
Finished or Not Fridays
Crazy Mom Quilts


Vicki in MN said...

A lot of bias edges to entertain in there, but I think the quilts are gorgeous!

SandraC said...

My favourite line in the post...

I've crossed this one off my bucket list with a marker.

These are such labour-intensive quilts, I totally get it!

Your borders are fantastic. The quilts were nice enough already but when I kept scrolling and saw the finished!, great choices!

Quilting Babcia said...

Your border choices are absolutely perfect. They add an amazing wow factor to the quilts. Love them!

The Cozy Quilter said...

I have made one braid quilt which was made as a comfort quilt for a cancer patient. I really love how your borders finish them off so nicely!

Home Sewn By Us said...

Hi Julie,
What a fabulous finish(es) you shared today! These are just beautiful, and as SandraC said - you did a beautiful job selecting your borders. They truly finish off the braids so well. I can't wait to see how these get quilted, either both the same or differently. ~smile~ Roseanne

Susan said...

Definitely a challenge to put together, but you did a fine job of it! They look wonderful, and the border choices are perfect!

Marsha Cooper said...

More braids that don't seem to be using Eleanor Burns' Braid in a Day pattern? I really hope to get to that baby quilt this next week, but I'm so itching to make more braids with larger strips!

Kate @ Smiles From Kate said...

I love a nice braid quilt, in fact I have a scrappy UFO somewhere, must be nearly ten years old. Love the Christmas fabrics, I wasn't sure of the border at first, until you added the white and red ones, perfect.

Glenda said...

Oh Julie can not believe you finished one let alone two beautiful beautiful quilt tops. WOW what a month!!!!! What hit me the most was the size of your designer wall LOL It is HUGE!!!!!!!! Thanks for taking us step by step on your journey throughly enjoyed the ride. Cheers Glenda

audrey said...

These turned out really well. I don't think I would have had the patience to work with so much bias! Kudos to you for finishing! The border finish the quilt off very nicely though and it's good that they'll help with that stretch factor.

Linda Swanekamp said...

I am not sure I can muster up the energy to finish my braids. Yours came out gorgeous. I saw a tutorial where you sew the small seams at the end and don't cut them off. That look great, but would probably also be a lot of work (I think called the broken herringbone on youtube).

Stitchin At Home said...

Ahh Goldilocks got it just right! I like the borders they set everything off beautifully.

Lisa J. said...

Well after all this, they look gorgeous. How funny that you knew you were going to use the red stripe until the end when you saw what it would look like. The green stripe and is it red solid are perfect frames.

chrisknits said...

They are gorgeous! Stunning really.

Rebecca Grace said...

I love these quilts! The bias stretchiness issue was interesting to me. I wonder how much trouble that will bring me with my pineapple log cabin, if/when I finally have that top ready to quilt? Would starching the finished top help? Is there any way to temporarily stabilize the edges of the quilt so you wouldn't need to add borders? What about adding fake borders just for quilting, and trimming them off afterwards? Would straight stitching along the edges of the quilt top inside the seam allowance have done the trick, like you stay stitch a bias neckline in dress making?

Tammy Stack said...

Great quilts! A lot of blood sweat and tears. About the notes- I'm always leaving little notes for myself for the same reasons!

Norma Schlager said...

These are wonderful and I enjoyed seeing your journey. I have learned not to choose a border fabric until the inner part is done. I, like you, had often picked the “perfect” border fabric only to have it be all wrong.

quiltedfabricart said...

Wow! Two large brands quilts! One would be a major accomplishment but 2 is insane! They really did come out beautifully especially with that red outer border. I made one braid quilt in my lifetime and it was a table runner. I admire you even more now :-)

Kate said...

Those turned out beautifully! The final red border really makes a wonderful frame for the quilts. This one is not on my bucket list, but it has to feel really good to get it checked off of yours.

Sandy said...

Love them! That is my favorite shade of green (turquoise?) to use in Christmas quilts. The tip about writing down you measurements is a good one, except when I do that I lose the note. Do you have enough of the stripe to use for binding? That might look really good.

Barb Neiwert said...

I'm just getting caught up with my reading, and wanted to say these quilts are beauties! I love the borders - just brings it all together and takes the eye into the center, where it belong :) Great work, and you should definitely have them finished by Christmas 2018. Yep, yep.