French Braid Quilts Class Plan

by Jane Hardy Miller

NOTE TO TEACHERS
Ideally this class should be taught on two days about a week apart. I have taught it on two consecutive days, which works, but means that the students must go home after the first day and sew fast.


Class Description: FRENCH BRAID QUILTS
Whether you're a beginner or advanced quilter, in just two days you'll make a lap-sized quilt top! Jane's take on the French Braid makes it easy!

Instructor Supply List

Student Supply List

Day One

  1. Students cut fabric for: the braid run, the accent squares and the starting triangles.
  2. Students sew accent fabric to braid fabrics.
  3. Students cut 2 segments of unaccented braid fabric, lay out braid run and rearrange if necessary.
  4. Students subcut all accented and unaccented braid fabrics into segments.
  5. Students sew braids, cutting and adding ending triangles when the braid runs are completed.
  6. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of using separator bands, and help with fabric selection for those students who decide to use them. If the students aren't finished with the braids, it is still possible to select fabric using 2 or 4 half-braids.

Homework: Finish all 4 braids. Decide whether to use separator bands and select and pre-wash fabric, if necessary.

Day Two

  1. Explain pressing technique to students.
  2. Students measure to determine finished width of braids.
  3. Students trim ends of braids, and trim or mark sides, depending on whether they will use separators.
  4. Students who are not using separators sew braids together.
  5. Students who will use separators determine the universal length and construct separators. Demonstrate how to find the centers and quarters of the braid strips, how to pin the separators to the braids and how to trim the braid edges.
  6. Give the students suggestions for borders and quilting.

Give the students the Quick Reference Guide on Day Two.


Class Option 2: THREE 2-HOUR CLASSES

In this format, classes are taught a week apart.

Class One

  1. Students cut fabric for: the braid run, the accent squares and the starting triangles.
  2. Students sew accent fabric to braid fabrics.
  3. Students cut 2 segments of unaccented braid fabric, lay out braid run and rearrange if necessary.
  4. Students subcut all accented and unaccented braid fabrics into segments.
  5. If they finish early, let them start sewing the braids.

Homework: finish cutting and bring pieces to next class

Class Two

  1. Students sew braids. Some students will not complete all 4 braids in class.
  2. Show students how to cut and add the ending triangles at home, if necessary.
  3. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of using separator bands.

Homework: Finish all 4 braids and select and prewash separator band fabric, if necessary.

Class Three

  1. Explain pressing technique to students.
  2. Students measure to determine finished width of braids.
  3. Students trim ends of braids, and trim or mark sides, depending on whether they will use separators.
  4. Students who are not using separators sew braids together.
  5. Demonstrate how to determine the universal length, how to find the centers and quarters of the braid strips, how to pin the separators to the braids and how to trim the braid edges.
  6. Give the students suggestions for borders and quilting.

Give the students the attached Quick Reference Guide in Class Three


FRENCH BRAID QUILTS - Quick Reference Guide
Jane Hardy Miller

French Braids without Separators

  1. Press braid strips.
  2. Layout; trim sides and ends.
  3. Staystitch sides.
  4. Pin well and sew.

French Braids with Separators

  1. Press braid strips.
  2. Lay out and mark sides.
  3. Trim ends.
  4. Measure and select universal length. Mark centers and quarters.
  5. Construct separator bands and cut to correct length.
  6. Mark centers and quarters on separator bands.
  7. Match and pin centers and ends of braids and separator bands.
  8. Sew braids to bands.

Shop owners could also stock

  • Special rulers: Omnigrid 98L triangle, 8 1/2" x 12" or 8 1/2" x 24"
  • Starter fabric kits consisting of 1/2 yard of each of 10-12 shaded fabrics for the braid run
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