Monday, October 29, 2012

Braid in a Day QAL Sashing and Borders

Woo hoo!  Are your braids complete?  Ready to attach the sashing and borders?

I realise now I failed to document how to measure for the sashing and borders.  And of course, now I am at quilt retreat, and can't find my photos that show measuring for said sashing and borders.  So I'll just have to write out the instructions and trust if they don't make sense, someone will say so in the comments!  And I'll add a tutorial on the subject in the future.

The only trick to measuring for sashing or borders is this:  measure in three places, but never right along the edge of the quilt (or braid, in our case).  I measure once across the approximate middle, once near (but not right at) the top, and again near (but not right at) the bottom.  This measurement may be different in all three places.  If it is, no worries, just average the measurement.  That is the length to cut your sashing/border.

Fold the border in half with the short ends together and pin to mark the middle.  Do the same with the quilt, along whichever edge you are attaching the border.  If the border is slightly shorter than the quilt, sew with the quilt on the bottom.  If the opposite is true, sew with the border on the bottom.  The feed dogs on your machine will automatically take up the ease in the larger piece.  In other words, always sew with a relaxed bottom!

I completed my quilt top in the wee hours just before I took off for quilt camp.  I know this quilt is not the same as the Braid in a Day pattern, so don't panic and freak out -- it is one of my UFO-tober projects.  Same theory, different layout!

Here I am holding my finished top over the railing at the lovely Idaho B&B where my quilt retreat was held:

I haven't forgotten that I promised you all a shopping report on Northern Utah and Idaho.  I just forgot how busy things are at quilt retreat -- I hope you'll come back this weekend to admire my Saturday Stash.

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Braid in a Day QAL: Framing Borders and Lattice

Are your braids assembled?  Isn't it easy with Eleanor Burns' template?

Now we're ready to choose, measure and attach the sashing.

A little heads up:  The braid quilt I am showing in this post is not the "Braid in a Day" pattern.  It is a braid quilt and it's similar to the Braid in a Day quilt, except there is no framing border ( 1 1/4" - 1 1/2" strips on the Braid in a Day quilt) and the vertical lattice is only 2" wide as compared to 2 1/2" - 5" strips on the Braid in a Day quilt.

In case you're curious, the pattern I'm using is from Cozy Quilts, the original "Strip Club."  It's called "Autumn Braid."  (Click here to see a photo of the finished quilt made by Cozy Quilts.)  I bought the kit for this quilt years (years! at least 6!) ago from a shop that is now out of business.  I made one braid, tried to trim it straight and tossed the whole project into the UFO bin!  Because on that pattern, you assemble rectangles as braids, then attempt to trim the ragged ends evenly.  Attempt!  It is really, really hard to trim a long column of braids evenly.

 After struggling to get the braids even on both sides, I gave up and cut them down to 8 1/2" wide with my 8 1/2" X 24 1/2" ruler.  Yes, I "wasted" 1" of fabric on each side of every braid, but they're even now!

As you can see in this photo, the Cozy Quilts pattern also calls for blocks of "theme" fabric between the sub-cut braids.  The Braid in a Day pattern doesn't do this, so don't panic because your braids won't look like mine!

Which is why we are using the Braid in a Day pattern!

Now, onto our framing borders and lattice!

You may recall I recommended waiting until this point to choose your framing borders, lattice (sashing) and outer border fabric.  Sometimes what you thought would be a perfect border just isn't right when you get the blocks (or in this case, braids) together. 

The Autumn Braid quilt is framed with black, which is a lovely -- if safe -- choice. 

See?  Here is the photo from Cozy Quilts:

Since I knew I didn't want to frame my braids in black, I tried one of the colors from the braids:

Yep.  Matches. Very nice, but -- predictable.  I wanted something with a little more "pop."  So I went to my color wheel and started playing around with color choices.

First, I tried my old color wheel from Journalism school: 

This is the "Artist's Color Wheel" from The Color Wheel Co.  The nice thing about this wheel is, it has harmonizing color choices already made.  Just turn the dial to the "key," or main color, then follow the arrows to the complementary, split complementary, triad or tetrad colors.  I thought I wanted to use Cerulean blue, the color of the October Colorado sky, which is a split-complementary relationship:

I love this shade of blue, and it really "pops" against the gold, rust and green.

The "Pick, Point & Match" Rainbow Color Selector points to the same split-complementary choice:

Although that choice leaves out the green, which is an important color in this quilt.

The easiest color-choosing method is from the Kangaroodyer, Gail Callahan's "color grid" tool:

To use the color grid, just place the largest circle over the "key" (main) color.  It is surrounded by its "close relatives."  These are the "safe colors" to use in your quilt.  But I want a "spark" in my quilt.  The narrow rectangular window highlights the "spark" color -- in this case, cerulean blue!

One more try, let's see what the BazzillBasicsPaper "monochromatic color wheel" chooses:

Look at that!  blue-violet (well, purple):


This is a split-complementary choice.  Yellow-orange is the complement (or opposite) of blue-violet.  Yellow-green and red-orange are the split-complements.

This is the right choice!

Sadly, purple is the one color that is mostly missing from my stash.  When I made my first Braid in a Day for the shipmate of My Little Sailor, I had to shop for purple.  So I'll have to run over to Ruth's Stitchery to buy enough purple to sash my braids! 

Share your color choices on the Braid in a Day Flickr pool.  It's easy to sign up for Flickr, it's free, and others in the Braid in a Day group can see your quilt and cheer you on.  Go to and sign up.  Once you're signed in to Flickr, search for "Braid in a Day."

Next post will be a report from the road.  Come back on Saturday to see what I found in Logan, Utah and Preston, Idaho!


From the desk of your auntmartisignature