Free French Braid Quilting Directions


The French braid quilt is a form of patchwork that uses small strips of fabric to approximate the look of braided hair. It is a technique instead of an actual block; indeed, it makes rectangular "braids" instead of blocks. These braids can be set together in various arrangements to create different effects.

Free French Braid Quilting Directions
(Kathy Burns-Millyard/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Fabric marker
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Straightedge
  • Cutting mat
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread suitable for your fabric
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
Step 1

Choose your fabric. Many people use only 100-percent cotton for quilts, but the French braid pattern is suitable for scraps of many fiber contents.

Kathy Burns-Millyard/Demand Media
Step 2

Mark and cut your fabric, using scissors or a rotary cutter, into strips that are three times as wide as they are long (example: 6 inches wide by 2 inches long). All strips must be the same size.

Kathy Burns-Millyard/Demand Media
Step 3

Pin the end of one strip to the side of another strip, aligning the corners, and sew them together with a narrow seam.

Kathy Burns-Millyard/Demand Media
Step 4

Press the piece flat.

Kathy Burns-Millyard/Demand Media
Step 5

Continue sewing strips of cloth together until your braid is as long as you want it to be.

Kathy Burns-Millyard/Demand Media
Step 6

With the straightedge and rotary cutter or scissors, trim the edges and ends of your braid so that it is rectangular.

Kathy Burns-Millyard/Demand Media
Step 1

Arrange the finished braids. Experiment until you are satisfied with the placement.

Kathy Burns-Millyard/Demand Media
Step 2

Pin the sections together and then sew them.

Kathy Burns-Millyard/Demand Media
Step 3

Quilt, bind and finish your quilt as you normally would.

Kathy Burns-Millyard/Demand Media

Tips & Warnings

  • The braids can be arranged in many different designs. You can put them side by side or separate them with strips of other material. They can go in the same direction or alternate directions. They can be parallel or perpendicular.
  • Seams need to be narrow, but wide enough to hold the fabric securely. A good width is 1/4 inch.
  • If you don't press the sections of the braid, your seams may pucker or wrinkle.


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