Pioneer Braid Quilting Instructions


The pioneer braid, also known as the prairie braid, is a patchwork quilt pattern that combines strips of fabric into a decorative braid design. The pattern is most often seen around the edges of a quilt as a border. The pioneer braid patchwork piecing method is greatly assisted by the use of a printed muslin fabric, known commercially as foundation by the yard, which is used as a base. The pattern can be constructed by hand sewing or with a sewing machine. Choose contrasting fabric colors for maximum interest.

Things You'll Need

  • Pioneer or prairie braid foundation fabric
  • 6 fat quarters of cotton fabric
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Sewing machine
  • Cut out a panel of the pioneer braid foundation fabric with scissors. Find the space on the fabric labeled “1.”

  • Cut out one small piece of cotton fabric, cutting it slightly larger than the space labeled “1” on the foundation fabric.

  • With the wrong side down, sew the cotton fabric to the wrong side of the foundation fabric at the line indicated by the arrow. Fold the cotton fabric over the seam to its right side and finger-press it down to keep it in place.

  • Follow the numerical order indicated on the foundation fabric to add more pieces of cotton fabric. Trim all edges of the cotton fabric at the panel edges, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

  • Continue until all foundation fabric panels have been pieced and completed. The panels can be used as a quilt border or sewn together to make a baby quilt.

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  • Photo Credit fabric swatches image by Empath from
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