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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Bold Braid Quilt

Hey y'all!  I initially wrote this tutorial for Benartex's Blog, Sew in Love With Fabric a few months ago, but since it's been awhile, I wanted to share it here as well.  I used Benartex's Dori fabric line in this quilt, and I just love the bright, fresh colors in this line.

I love the look of braid quilts and herringbone quilts, but when I'm short on time, I don't want to fuss with all of those tiny strips.  By making the strips wider, you can create a quilt with big impact in a snap!  Here's how-

Fabric Requirements-

10 fat quarters
2.5 yards backing fabric
1/2 yard binding fabric


Start by pressing your fat quarters and trimming to 18 x 18 inches.  We'll be using those scraps later so hang onto them!  Make a cut across one side to get a 4.5 inch strip.  Trim it to 13.5 inches, and choose two of the 4.5 inch squares to begin your braids.

Cut the remaining fabric into 4.5 inch strips in the other direction.  They will be 13.5 inches long.  Each fat quarter will yield 5 strips measuring 4.5 x 13.5 inches for a total of 50 strips.

Piecing the Quilt Top-

To build the braid pieces, start by taking one of your 4.5 inch squares and sew a strip to one side using a 1/4 inch seam.

Add another strip to the adjoining side of the square.  This is the beginning of your braid!

Continue adding strips to one side, then the other until you have 10 strips on each side.  This basic construction could really be used to make a braid of any length or width by varying the strip length, or by adding more strips, but for this fun little quilt, we'll stop at ten.

You can get as particular as you like about your strip arrangement.  Personally, I enjoy sewing in a carefree style and letting the fabric "fall where it may."  Of course, I know other quilters that prefer to lay out every single piece.  That's really up to you!

Time to take your braid to your cutting mat.  Start by lining up your ruler across your beginning square and trim at the widest point.

Then trim each side to a straight edge, cutting as little away as possible.

Finally, trim the bottom of your braid at the widest point.  I know it seems like a lot to trim off, but I usually square up these cut pieces and add them to my scraps.  I just refuse to waste pretty fabric!  Your trimmed braid will measure 16.5 inches wide by 52 inches long.

Once you have both of your braids pieced and trimmed up, lay them side by side and sew them together.  You should have 10 remaining strips after sewing both braids.  Sew four strips into a border for each long side.

Marvel at your finished quilt top!

Finishing the Quilt-

Now, let's talk about those scraps.  I always use my scraps in my backing so that nothing goes to waste- and you get the added bonus of making your quilt fun on both sides!

Once you've pieced your backing, just baste, quilt and bind with your favorite method.  I opted for the Dottie Lime fabric in this line as my main backing fabric, and I picked out that awesome orange color for the binding.  I quilted it with a simple meander, and I love the crinkly texture it gives the quilt.

Your finished quilt will measure 40 x 52 inches.  That's a great size for a baby or child, or even a large table topper!

This quilt would also look great with a third braid if you want to make the quilt a little bit bigger.  To do this you'll need a total of 12 fat quarters, cut into 60 strips for just three braids, or a few more fabrics to give you enough strips for a border.  I chose to add the third braid when I made Lilacs and Sunshine and I was really pleased with the way it came out. 

This pattern really goes together quickly, and the large braid makes a big impact!  Enjoy!


  1. Pinned and ready to try this (this year hopefully!). Thanks for a great tutorial!

  2. Thanks Kelly! This is an amazing design. Prayers for new year at school too!

  3. Love the boldness of the braids, and the colours on Lilacs and Sunshine are my favourite!

  4. Love this quilt. Every time I run across it I go to my Pinterest boards to make sure I have it pinned. Hope to make it soon.

  5. Wonderful tutorial Kelly! Thank you so much. :-)

  6. You are the queen of quick! They are lovely and look much harder than they are. :)

  7. Awesome Kelly. Thanks for a great tutorial!

  8. Love this! Thank you for sharing something that I've always wanted to know how to do! Judy L.

  9. Just found this pattern- bought amy butler cameo to make it for my granddaughter's big girl room

  10. Just found this pattern myself! Love it, and I have some bundles of fat quarters I've won in giveaways, just waiting to turn into a fabulous quilt! Now I have the perfect pattern. Your tutorial is awesome. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  11. Thank you for your beautiful quilts and clear instructions. I'm a new quilter who loves fabric and you help me think that even I can make something lovely!

  12. Is there a printable pattern for this quilt...I love it!!

  13. Question: What size did your quilt with the third bread measure when finished? Also, did you make that one longer?

    1. This is a very old post, so I don’t remember specifics, but the post does state that each braid is 16” wide finished. So that would mean that three across would be 48”. I honestly can’t remember if I made those braids longer, but I looks like I did.

      :) Kelly


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