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. 

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!

5 Responses

  1. […] can read about it in our blog posts on 3 August 2012,  10 November 2012 and 11 January 2013  where there are excellent descriptions of how each person went about their […]

  2. Love the bag, how about sharing the whole pattern with us! I’m sure others would love it too! Thanks!

    • I def want that pattern. I don;t understand how they put the next strip on. To me it looks like the new stripes are just put on ech and it is only to to stay in a stack….It doesn’t make sense to me.. I’m a person that has to see every thing done, hands on learning. I want the whole purse design. I’m I asking too much??? If I am, Please just the V’s.

  3. I’ve wanted to learn this technique ever since I first saw it. Thank you
    so much for this tutorial.

  4. That is really cool. Its a great design for a lot of scraps that are always left over after quilting. Have to try it on my next bag.

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