French Braid Obsession Class Plan

by Jane Hardy Miller

Using French Braids as Borders

Class Description
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.

Project supplies:

  • Required text: French Braid Obsession by Jane Hardy Miller
  • Supplies:
    • 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

Advance Preparations:
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.

Day One

  1. Teacher explains and demonstrates cutting, sewing, trimming and pressing techniques (pages 15-25).
  2. Students cut fabric for the braid run, the accent squares and the starting triangles (pages 15-17).
  3. Students cut 2 segments of unaccented braid fabric, lay out braid run and rearrange if necessary (pages 17-18).
  4. Students sew accent fabric to braid fabrics (page 19).
  5. Students subcut all accented and unaccented braid fabrics into segments (page 19).
  6. Students sew braids (pages 19-20).
  7. 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.

Day Two

  1. Teacher explains technique for pressing braids in order to trim the ends and mark the widths (pages 20-23).
  2. Students press, cut and mark as instructed.
  3. Teacher explains technique for adding inner borders (page 46, steps 7 and 8).
  4. Students construct borders.
  5. Teacher explains the partial seam method of attaching borders to braids (page 44).
  6. Students attach braids.
  7. Teacher gives suggestions as to quilting.