In a rather shocking circumstance *another* cousin of mine has been undergoing cancer treatments. What *IS* going on??? To help keep her cozy during treatments and afterwards, I made her this Friendship Braid, backed with fleece, to let her know that we love her.
It turned out to be a convenient time to work on this quilt, since I needed addtional fabric for my French Braid quilt. As I was waiting for the fabric to arrive, I hauled out my scrap baskets .. specifically my noodles .. which I had cut at 2" wide. Yes, I now know that 'real' noodles are 2-1/2", but I didn't know that at the time I cut mine. In the end, it doesn't really matter for this quilt. :-) I cut my noodles at 9-/12", to finish at 9". Why? For no good reason at all. It just seemed like a good length. :-)
This layout is also known as a Pioneer Braid or Prairie Braid and there are all SORTS of directions available to make this layout. I didn't use any of them because I already *had* the French Braid book. :-)
But if you don't have any instructions, I've found the following resources (in no particular order):
Using my previous (limited) experience with the French Braid, I decided to put setting triangles at the top & bottom of each braid and put a separator column between each braid instead of sewing each braid directly to each other.
At this point, I need to confess something ... all of the above was written in 2010, when I was making the quilt. And that's all I wrote. Obviously, I never returned to finish my narrative.
So, here it is, 2012 .. two years later ... and you can imagine that the details of this quilt are somewhat vague in my one remaining brain cell. BUT, thank goodness I took pictures! So, from those pictures, I will attempt to recreate what I did.
The braids themselves got a Darlene Epp meandering flower treatment ... this one is "Roses 2 with Leaves". You can't see them very well on the front .. and that is a problem inherent with quilting on prints. But take a look at the quilting from the back! Clearly you can see the roses and leaves. Honest .. they are on the front too! :-)
I've gushed previously about her series "Pocket Guide to Freehanding" and the excellence of her instructional books can't be over-stated. They are *phenomenal*. They will help EVERYONE do free-motion quilting better. She starts you with a very simple (and incredibly boring) meander and works you up to some absolutely fantastic free-motion designs that you would have SWORN on your grandmother's grave that there would be no way/no how that you could ever, ever accomplish it. But yet ... you have. :-) Honest to goodness .. go get those books for yourself! You will NOT regret it. (I sure wish I'd get compensated for that endorsement!)
The sashing got my favorite treatment of Carla Barrett's "Swirly Design". I can't tell you how much I LOVE this design for sashings.
I put Sally Terry's "Hooked on Feathers" in the setting triangles and corners. This is another book that I can't wax enthusiastic enough about. Although it taught me how to make contemporary-looking feathers, more importantly, it gave me the CONFIDENCE to believe in myself that I COULD do feathers. Prior to buying the book, my feathers looked absolutley horrid ... more like sausages than anything else. But after trying her technique, I *could do feathers*! Her method is so wonderful, it is impossible to make a bad-looking feather!
I put the same hooked feathers in the outer borders, this time using a double line for the spine. I am just pleased as punch with the way they turned out!
With some amount of trepidation, I entrusted this quilt to the postal service and was much relieved with my cousin let me know that it had arrived. She was so pleased and touched and happy to have it. :-)