Modified French Braid quilt

Modified "French braid" quilt top in green, pink, purple and white.

Modified “French braid” quilt top in green, pink, purple and white.

As I wrote in Jelly rolls (and other baked goods), after picking up small batik Jelly Rolls of quilting fabrics (and subsequently making two mini quilt tops) I finally hunted down two real quilting Jelly Rolls along with two coordinating prints from a quilt shop.

The colours in this Eva by EverGrey from Moda fabrics were mostly lime greens, pale and bright pinks, purples, burgundy, and a few blacks.  While I liked the majority of the colours, the greens didn’t really appeal to me. I decided to split the rolls (I had bought two) to combine the purple and darker pink/burgundy fabrics together, and then the greens, pinks, and blacks together.

From there I went to Pinterest…

I did some searches for “Jelly Roll Quilts” on Pinterest, and came up with a few ideas (along with the same ideas I had thought about when I wrote Peanut Butter Jelly Roll back in December 2011 when the notion first caught my attention.

I started off with the greens, and a design inspiration that looks like a modified (blown out) French Braid block/method.  The original creator (who blogs at “Anne & Will” made this up as a baby quilt with three shades of blue, two shades of green, orange, yellow, brown, and off-white fabric.  Of course, I didn’t see her tutorial until after my top was already completed.. but she started with strips 4.5″ wide, where as my strips are only 2.5″ wide from the Jelly Roll.  Since I didn’t see her instructions, I ended up starting with the French Braid method from the Quilters Cache instead, and then just modifying it to be similar to what the inspiration photo suggested.  The ‘original’ French Braid uses short strips all the same length, and then trims off to make one narrow strip of ‘braid’ – but I liked this stretched-out variation better.

Piecing the quilt top

Modified "French braid" quilt top in green, pink, purple and white.

Modified “French braid” quilt top in green, pink, purple and white.

I started out with two very short strips of fabric for the starting triangle, and then little by little added in the additional strips alternating from one side to the other.  Sometimes I did multiple strips on one side, and once in a while I’d throw in a narrow strip too.  When the quilt was about as wide as I wanted, I trimmed three edges square, and then started working downwards instead. Really, that’s as about as much planning went into this.  I did arrange my fabrics so that it would start out mostly dark, then green, then pink – but really when it got nearer to the end, I mostly was looking for strips that were long enough, more so than being super concerned with the colours.  I also reserved 6 strips for the back/binding.

The backing

Modified "French braid" quilt back - just a pretty pink, purple and off-white stripe.

Modified “French braid” quilt back – just a pretty pink, purple and off-white stripe.

Once the quilt top was done, I just stored it away for a while.  I wanted some time to mull it over – and to come back to it being excited about it again, rather than picking apart everything that I’d done not-quite-right.  I picked out some great pink striped fabric to bring the pinks out in the quilt (It’s “London Cats” by Benartex). I sandwiched the quilt top and backing around some quilt batting (the low-loft needle-punch cotton batting versus the high-loft polyester fiber-fill kind of stuff), quilted along some of the diagonal lines, and then moved on to binding.

I bound the quilt using some of the leftover pink and green printed fabric strips, by sewing them, turning and pressing, and then hand-stitching them in place. I tried doing it by machine completely, and just didn’t like the result.. oh my poor fingers!

For the purple fabrics…

Once the majority of the quilt top with the greens and pinks was complete (and I had to stop because I needed to find the backing fabric) I moved onto the remaining fabrics from the roll; dark pink, purple and burgundy fabrics.  I’ll write more about this in another post.

2 comments on “Modified French Braid quilt

  1. Clea Bison says:

    try to publish frequently, i will be very pleased.

  2. Dawn says:

    I think I usually publish two or three times per week, though not always with brand-new projects – I’m just not that prolific crafting!

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