03 April 2014

Pieces of Braid

Welcome to the Jungle

When you piece a French braid, you have LOTS of tiny triangles leftover.

Oh, look!  Mountains!

mountains of triangles

Welcome to the Jungle is a very big quilt, and that resulted in a mountain of tiny triangles too beautiful to throw away. While I was piecing the braid edging last year, I dreamed up a few different ways to use up the plethora of scraps, and today's wall quilt is one of those designs.

This is another leftover project. Everything in the quilt is made of leftovers. Most are from Welcome to the Jungle; the ocean mist is from a dress I made back in the '80s. Even the thread is leftover! Some of the light green thread is from my grandmother's stash, way back when thread still came on wooden spools, which my grandfather would craft into spool knitters as they were emptied.

Grandma's Thread and a Knitting Spool

I finished Lizard Leftovers with a week remaining before the Denver National Quilt Festival deadline. There wasn't enough time to free-motion quilt Welcome to the Jungle the way I envision, so I needed something else. Something small, something easy, and something fast. Something just like Running Out, my last-minute entry in last year's event.

These triangles were already cut. All I had to do was remove the stitching and stitch them again.


The project was a little more time-consuming than I expected, and I'm sure there is a faster, easier and more modern way to piece 108 triangles. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the process, especially after a challenging week of work and non-stop deadlines. Some of my closest friends think I'm nuts because I'd rush home to meet a quilting deadline after a stressful day of work.

take apart

line up




Should I go right, or should I go left?

The ocean mist triangles leftover from this project are not as gorgeous as the Welcome to the Jungle leftovers, but they aren't trash. When this cup gets filled, everything inside becomes amigurumi stuffing.

Cup of Scraps

Headless Honchos

Bear Lake (big grin!)

The colors from my green batik stash are still, to this day, very exciting, motivating and inspiring for me. Even after this week-long project, I still look forward to the next opportunity to work with the leftovers, which will last a bit longer because the pile is still a good six inches deep. The biggest pieces are getting smaller and smaller, and soon there won't be enough for anything but small wall quilts. But the goal is to use them up!

Green Batik Stash

the flip side

stealth fighters

geese in formation

front side piecing done

My overall goal is to finish up all my unfinished quilts so I can start something new. So many ideas are raging in my head!

In one sense, Pieces of Braid is something new because the top was just an idea in my head, not a UFO (UnFinished Object) hanging on my cactus quilt rack. That satisfied the burning urge to work on something different than my waiting UFOs. However, this baby also uses up some of the orphan blocks I created last year to break the monotony of piecing Welcome to the Jungle. In addition to boredom prevention, these blocks made use of scraps I didn't want to throw away because they are just too darned pretty!

I used one and a third of my Boredom Breaker blocks on the back of Pieces of Braid! I used the Welcome to the Jungle block that didn't fit the color scheme of the rest of the quilt. (I made a booboo and opted to make that block over again instead of enlisting the services of the seam ripper.) I also incorporated the remaining band of French braid. How cool is that?!?

This wall quilt is reversible! If I get tired of looking at one side, I can turn it around and admire the other!

Pieces of Braid Back

Pieces of Braid Back Detail

The plan was to practice free-motion quilting again, but tension problems and a mere two days before the Denver National Quilt Festival deadline forced me to exercise. Lift the presser foot, two, three, four; rotate the quilt, two, three, four. Basting took an hour and a half on my fabulous new quilt frame. Quilting was done in about three hours.

Quilts entered into the Denver National Quilt Festival must have a four-inch sleeve. I wanted to be able to hang the quilt with either side showing, and the prospect of removing a sleeve (which would cover up some of the back) did not sound fun, so I put large loops on the top of the quilt. If the quilt does get accepted, I can remove or shorten the loops after I get the quilt back.

I also have to install a label on the back. I'm thinking about asking a friend with a calligraphy embroidery machine to stitch up a label using the same thread I used to quilt Pieces of Braid on a chunk of the ocean mist instead of printing a fabric label on my color printer.

All Rolled Up

Come to Mama

The deadline for submission to the Denver National Quilt Festival was this week. Photos and filled-out forms have been submitted. I will know by next week if Pieces of Braid has been accepted for display in the May exhibit...

Linking up with Quokka Quilts here, Crazy Mom Quilts here and Confessions of a Fabric Addict here.

Pieces of Braid Front Detail

Pieces of Braid Front


  1. Gorgeous and inspiring as always Deborah
    love and prayers to you dear one!

    1. Thank you, Cara! This one was truly a miracle to finish in time!

  2. That is neat what you can do with them, always creative at your den

    1. Thanks, Pat! Always game for using up scraps around here...

  3. Love your quilt from the recycled bits! The other one too looks like it's going to be fabulous. Beautifully quilted too. Off to read some of your book.

    1. Thank you, A Nudge! I think Welcome to the Jungle is going to be my favorite quilt when I get it done. I just have to get braver about free-motion quilting. A LOT braver! :)

  4. Well, your repurposed quilt is just lovely. I especially like the fmqing, and will be pinning for future reference. Thank you!

    1. Thank you! I really love your quilt today, too! Sadly, mine is not FMQ... I was having serious tension issues and did not have time to play with the settings, so I had to lift and rotate through the entire project. But I do think the quilting turned out okay.

  5. beautiful, simply beautiful, love how you used your scraps

    1. Thank you, Shauna! I have a bunch more to use up, so ideas keep churning!

  6. I love your little triangle quilt! And the quilting on it is brilliant!

    1. Thanks, Katy! This was the first time I was able to make the stitches I could see in my head show up on the quilt! :)

  7. I love your "Pieces of Braid" quilt. The colors are wonderful and the design is so much fun. Good luck with this at the quilt show!

    1. Thanks, Ramona! Sometimes I think the piecing or the quilting or even just the binding is the hardest part. But when I get to this stage, I realize the waiting to find out if a quilt has been accepted is the most difficult!!!

  8. It is beautiful! I love that it's all leftovers, and what a great use for those tiny triangles! I've always wondered what to do with them, but could never come up with anything. Nicely done.

    1. Why thank you, Leanne! I have a ton more from that same quilt, so I'm hoping my next idea for using them up turns out as well as this one did.

  9. you've been busy!!! love those bears!

    1. Thanks, Laura! The bears are fun, but I have made so many bears, I need to move into a different species now. :)

  10. I read your comment on my blog and then explored your blog. I just love it. love. really.

    I love to write too. Your videos are fun, I almost put the "dog on the bed" on my blog yesterday. The guy in the office is my husband, or could be. Want to touch base via email? I am LeeAnna Paylor in MD, blog is Not Afraid of Color!. Hope to hear from you. LeeAnna

    1. Thanks, LeeAnna! I'm looking forward to being pen pals with you!

  11. This is a great quilt - lots of movement from the differently-sized triangles. And I like all the white space (well, blue space, but you know what I mean). Great quilting design too - did you make it up? It really suits the pattern.

    And the back is phenomenal! :) Good luck with the DNQF.

    P.S. Love the bears on Bear Lake too. ;)

    1. Wow, Sue! You made my day! Yes, I did make up the quilting design. I wanted triangles to reflect the triangle scrap design, and when I got done with it, I noticed it looked like a bunch of 77s!!!


Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

All spam is promptly and cheerfully deleted without ever appearing in print.

If you are unable to leave a comment and need to contact me, please use the email address in the sidebar. Thank you!

Related Posts with Thumbnails