Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Black and White Braids

As I recounted in the last post, I enjoyed the Braiding technique of patchwork. This technique actually has two variants, and I've only tried one so far. The one I've tried is of sewing strips onto squares to create the braiding effect, braiding with jewels tucked in, so to speak. The other one is of just alternating strips of fabric, without the squares. This shall be my next braiding project.

However, when I finished the first Braiding project, the runner, I pretty much immediately decided to make another Braids project, but without the runner aspect. The new challenged, I decided, would be to create parallel braids, but going in different directions. I picked out the colors, mostly from my stash this time, and set to work. I took out my trusty graph paper and pencil and started doodling. Eventually I came up with a design I liked and started cutting strips of black and white fabric to go into the Braids. The Jewels, I reasoned, should be red. I like that color combination.
The strip cutting did not take long, as I'd already done that, but the layout, well, that proved a bit problematic. I wanted each braid to go in opposite direction, but I also wanted them to fit together. This took some work, and more doodles, but eventually I figured it out, like so:
It works so that the middle strip fits across both directions.
The finished quilt had 4 Braids in it:
Part of the trickiness with this design was figuring out the ending triangles, which are different depending on which end of the braid you're working on. Unlike the other Braid project I made, this one did not involve working symmetrically out from the center. Different challenges, I like.
when I finished all the braids, I realized the flaw in all my doodling: I did not have enough fabric to make a full-size piece from the braids. And since I wanted this for our couch, it needed to be bigger.
My solution: A wide border to set the middle off, then narrower borders, of the same basic colors.
Here's the end product:
I enjoyed making this one a lot. I used an old blanket as batting, and a very comfortable cotton as backing. It is a very comfy couch quilt. Big enough for  two people to cozy under on the couch.

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