Making French Braid.

Earlier this year, one of us at Always Quilting celebrated a significant birthday and the rest of  the staff  “plotted and schemed”   to make a surprise gift, a patchwork bag. http://alwaysquilting.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/birthday-surprise/ 

As you will see from that blog post, the birthday bag consisted of  three different panels, one of which was a French Braid.

Completed Birthday Bag

I had never made French Braid before, but the process is really easy, and once you have mastered the basic technique, you can use this little border in your projects, to great effect.

First of all you need to cut your strips, usually lots of them!  The size will be determined by your project and the size of the finished border, but a good rule of thumb is to make them approximately three times as long as they are wide.  For the bag, I cut my strips 4 1/2 inches by 1 1/4 inches.

Sewing the first seam.

With right sides together, sew the end of one strip to the side of another strip as shown above.  Finger press the seam to one side.

From now on you will be sewing along the side of the strips.  Now sew  the next strip in place along its side.

Adding the third strip.

Continue adding strips in this fashion on alternating sides until you have the length you require.

Adding strips on alternating sides.

Finish with an even number of strips i.e. the same number on each side.

I finger press as I go and press with the iron every so often, to ensure that I am turning each strip back firmly before sewing the next strip in place.

The piece is growing.

When the piece is long enough, you can use your ruler and rotary cutter to trim off the uneven edges along each side, giving the border width you desire.

And that’s all there is to it!

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Tuesday Treats: Have you seen the Aurifil Designer Blog Hop?

My Tuesday Treat seems to be getting later and later each week!

This week I can blame the late posting on the Public Holiday … where I live, the first Tuesday in November is always a holiday for the Melbourne Cup.

Immediately after Melbourne Cup we all start thinking about, and planning, our Kris Kringle gifts for our groups so the Aurifil Designer’s Blog Hop is perfectly timed.

The first ornament in the Aurifil Blog Hop was designed by Sherri Falls

The 2012 Aurifil Designers have created Christmas ornaments just for you!

Over the next 4 weeks they will each be posting a free ornament pattern on their blog so you will need to visit three blogs each week, to collect the 12 ornament patterns to make the set.

However, you have plenty of time to collect all the free patterns.

The Blog Hop only started this week with the pattern for the ornament above, found on Sherri Fall’s blog:   Little Bits of This & That

The free pattern for the second ornament, below, can be collected from Gail Pan’s blog: Gail Pan Designs

When you visit each blog, not only do you get a free pattern to stitch a pretty Christmas Tree Ornament, if you follow the instructions on the Designer’s blog you can enter to win some great prizes from Aurifil.

Truly a Win / Win situation!

Look for this Blog Hop symbol on the Aurifil Designer’s websites to collect your free patterns

So be sure to visit each blog in the series, to enjoy some Christmas stitching!

Don’t forget, if you need some Cotton Mako’ thread to stitch out these designs, exactly as they were planned by the designers, you will find it in our online store.

Tempting Summer

This week “Always Quilting” received another huge delivery of stock from Milan in Italy.  We were eagerly looking forward to seeing our storeroom full of thread again, and the front of store shelves groaning under the weight of lots of lovely thread!   As well, we always enjoy seeing the new Kit Art boxes unpacked, as there are so many gorgeous colours to enjoy in the special selections.

Some more lovely colours in our Kit Art boxes

Coming up soon is the  wholesale quilt market to be held in late November in Melbourne.  As Melbourne is our home ground, some of the staff are fortunate enough to attend the weekend market. Usually Jenny goes to the Sydney one by herself, while we are left to ‘man’ the shop in her absence.   It is always lovely to catch up with old customers and introduce Aurifil thread to new customers at the Quilt Market.

Aren’t these colours summery????

Jill Finlely selected the lovely colours shown above

Of course we like to make the occasion special and put an extra effort into making our booth enticing and creative.  We have chosen a new ‘theme’ already and will blog about it in the last week of November.   Just to give you a little peek at what we are planning, one of the new Kit Art boxes we unpacked, was appropriate for our theme!

1300m on each of the 12 spools – all in one special box – fabulous!

Perhaps you can guess what the theme may be????

Kit Art mini