Sunday, November 5, 2017

Texas Braid for Christmas Halfway There

34" Braids Measured End to End
112" Long if Sewn

The braids are growing longer, and the piles of strips on the bed smaller. That's good! Every night I stack them up, and every morning put them back. It keeps me inspired, and on track, but now I'm second guessing my perseverance.

What I Didn't Expect

The Same Old, Same Old, Same...

This pattern is a test of patience. There are only two kinds of piecing. One printed strip with a red square, and one neutral strip. Over and over. It would be a great project to sit and sew with friends because of the simplicity, but other than picking out the next set of strips there is no thinking involved. I set a goal of how many to do each day in order to get this finished, and Netflix is keeping me company.

The Weight of the Problem

The strips are getting heavier even at this length, and the weight creates drag when trying to sew the next strip. It would be less of an issue with a machine in a cabinet, but mine is a table top model. Folding the strip up to compact it rather than allowing it to hang helps eliminate the drag. 

Starch Is Your Best Friend

The pieced strips are stretchy from end to end! All strips are cut on the grain, but once they are sewn lay on their bias. This means taking extra care while pressing each seam allowance down, and liberally starching to stabilize the fibers. 

Possible Alternatives to a
Quicker Finish

I laid the strips out again to just see the possibilities. Grey or aqua squares across the center might look nice to connect the strips laid out above into one large lap or twin size quilt. 

Another idea might be to to remove the starting triangles from one half of the strips (the right side), and simply Y-seam them to the another half (those on the left). This way the braid will run in the same direction. I'm close to 70" in width and length already. Again, a nice lap or twin quilt.

Taking each strip out to about 45"-50", and then adding borders would easily make these into 2 lap size quilts. Do you see any other ideas? I am all ears at this point!

Come on, Doxie girls.

Let's go sew. 


Angie in SoCal said...

I like your first idea - maybe find a Christmas print in your stash that would have a scene or metallic gold threads running through the print. Looking good.

Roxanne said...

I like the first idea too. Your fabric colors reminded me of the Jingle line from Robert Kaufman. It has some great motifs for fussy cutting. Lots of things would look great with your beautiful braid!

Linda Swanekamp said...

When we did the Texas Braid in the workshop, we worked on two on the same side at a time using one as a leader ender so it was always a continuous feed. We used safety pins to roll up the braids when working. If you wait to press until later, not as much stretching goes on. I say go big- one big wonderful Christmas quilt (look who is talking- I don't even own one). I need to get my class braid out and get going.

PaulaB quilts said...

It's tedious right now, but you are almost finished. The choice of finishing should give you peace. Then you can get it done and feel that you've done your best. Hugs, Paula

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Looking great! I love that my machine sits in a cabinet, so it's flush with the cabinet. I find it makes sewing so much easier.

KaHolly said...

I like the first idea, too, maybe alternate red and neutral blocks. That said, however you decide to finish it, it will be absolutely gorgeous. I can only take mindless sewing for while, so you’re doing a great job sticking to it!