French Braid

      At the beginning of the year, I bought the book French Braid Tranformation by Jane Hardy Miller. I have always been fascinated by french braid design quilts and the quilt featured on the cover was wicked colorful and looked like a great scrap project.  Since the background is blue and green scraps and the braid is yellow and orange, I began collecting those color scraps.  Earlier this week, I photocopied the instructions so I could make my own notes on them, having already decided I would not be tackling a king size bed quilt, which is what the cutting instructions are for, but a table runner.  This way I can get the feel for how it is made without the time commitment.   I browsed through the instructions and as I have previously divulged, me and instructions aren't always a good combination and these were rather complicated.  I decided not to panic but to figure out what I could by looking at the drawing of the braid.  A) It is assembled on the diagonal  B) the stripes are 2- 1.2" wide and various and various lengths but mostly squares.  C) The braids have a 9 patch in the middle of each one  D) there is a long 2 1/2" strip that attaches each 9 patch on the diagonal. E) There are various units that one assembles and they get attached to opposite sides of the 9 patch. 

Since the yellow crisscrosses the orange, half the 9 patches will be yellow down the middle and half will be orange.  This project is strip pieced requiring larger sizes of blue and green scraps since there are 4-1/2" sets and 5-1/2" sets so I set aside the larger blue and green scraps.  I looked again at the drawing and figured out how long this table runner would be....shorter than the braid drawing for the kind size quilt, that's for sure!  It would require 6 - 9 patch units, 3 yellow and 3 orange.  That is what I decided to start with, simply enough, right?   At this point, I have my six 9 patch blocks made but have not figured out how to make all the different units.  I felt it was best to do what I could and not feel overwhelmed that I could not figured out how it all works.  This keeps the stress to a minimum and let's face it.....sewing SHOULD be fun and when it stops being fun, then something is wrong which is usually ME panicking that I haven't gotten something done OR haven't gotten something all figured out.  Over the years, I have seen where all of that gets me.  Best. to take it in small steps a little at a time...there is no date this has to be done by, this will be a long term project I work on when these isn't something needed to be finished for my business.   Tomorrow I will be working at the Shelburne Arts Co-op.  Working members are required to put in hours every month so tomorrow I will be working until 3:00.  I know just what bottle of wine I am going to open and when I get home from work tomorrow to enjoy with's a good one and requires a couple of hours to breath.....CHEERS!!