by Jane Hardy Miller
Using French Braids as Borders
In this class you'll learn to surround a special piece of fabric with stunning borders.
Approximate Class Time
Two full days, possibly with homework; or 3 more relaxed days without homework; or three 2-hour classes a week apart, with homework.
What each student will get: A finished top consisting of an unpieced center medallion surrounded by French braid borders.
- Required text: French Braid Obsession by Jane Hardy Miller
- Sewing machine & basic sewing supplies
- Rotary cutter & mat
- Rotary rulers: 6" x 24" (6 1/2" x 24" okay) and whatever you prefer for cutting 2 1/4" strips
- Fabric: select a central medallion fabric & pick the braid run from that. It is not necessary to purchase the medallion fabric now, as it may change later.
- Purchase now:
For the braid: 1/2 yard each of 9 fabrics for the braid run.
For accents: 5/8 yard.
For the starting triangles: 1/4 yard (1/2 yard if you think you may also use it for the ending triangles)
- Purchase later:
For the ending triangles: 1/4 yard, if you didn’t buy it with the starting triangles
For the center medallion: 1 3/4 yards
For the inner borders: 1/3 yard
For the back: 4 3/4 yards, pieced lengthwise
For the binding: 5/8 yard
Arrange the 9 braid fabrics in the order in which they will appear in the borders.
During the class:
Following the instructions in French Braid Obsession, pages 45-47, demonstrate how to make French braid borders and cut the center medallion fabric to fit them.
- Teacher explains and demonstrates cutting, sewing, trimming and pressing techniques (pages 15-25).
- Students cut fabric for the braid run, the accent squares and the starting triangles (pages 15-17).
- Students cut 2 segments of unaccented braid fabric, lay out braid run and rearrange if necessary (pages 17-18).
- Students sew accent fabric to braid fabrics (page 19).
- Students subcut all accented and unaccented braid fabrics into segments (page 19).
- Students sew braids (pages 19-20).
- Teacher explains sizing and attachment of ending triangles; students cut and add (page 20).
Homework: Finish all 4 braids. Select and wash fabrics for inner borders and center medallion if not previously done.
- Teacher explains technique for pressing braids in order to trim the ends and mark the widths (pages 20-23).
- Students press, cut and mark as instructed.
- Teacher explains technique for adding inner borders (page 46, steps 7 and 8).
- Students construct borders.
- Teacher explains the partial seam method of attaching borders to braids (page 44).
- Students attach braids.
- Teacher gives suggestions as to quilting.