Friday, September 21, 2018

Autumn Vibes Friendship Braid Tutorial : :

IMG_6083 (833)

This project tutorial is a Quick Quilt As You Go style quilt, made with long panels rather than traditional blocks. We'll be using cotton batting as our foundation for easy string quilt piecing. I think you'll be very surprised with just how simple and quickly this method of quilting comes together, especially those of you who have taken my Crafty class, Quick Quilt As You Go!

Fabric and Materials Required : :
  • a variety of fabrics totaling 7.5 yards cut 3" x wof (suggested) or cut into 3" x 12.5" ( I used approximately 250 pieces, using nineteen different prints from a half yard bundle of my Autumn Vibes collection)
  • 5 - 13" x 74" panels (I cut mine slightly larger than trim to size after fabrics are added) of Tuscany Cotton a 100% cotton batting by Hobbs Quilt Batting 
  • thread & sewing pins
  • fabrics for quilt backing (4.5 yards) and quilt binding (1/2 yard cut into 7 strips 2.5" x wof )
  • rotary cutter/large cutting mat/ruler set
* Notes for Quick Quilt As You Go *  
  • Synthetic batting is NOT suggested, only use a 100% cotton or natural fiber batting, such as silk, bamboo or wool. It is important to be able to press the batting with a hot iron and steam
  • Use a standard loft batting. The #1 question I receive about this QAYG is folks wanting to know if there is bulk at the seams. My answer is NO, not to a noticeable degree. I absolutely wouldn't spend my sewing time making a quilt that was poorly constructed or that wasn't comfortable!
  • Quilt panels can be made in any size! The measurements I'm sharing for this tutorial makes a 60" x 72" throw size quilt. Please feel free to adjust that to your own desired length and width.
  • To get the look of my quilt, use Autumn Vibes By the Chimney to make three panels and Autumn Vibes Fresh Night Breeze to make two panels, then alternate the panels when you sew them together


Now, let's get started!  
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Preparing the Batting Panels:

1. To make the batting panels for the foundation piecing, cut 5 - batting strips measuring 13" x 74". I make mine slightly oversized for a little extra wiggle room and then I square them to 12.5" x 72" once they are pieced with fabric strips


2. Place one batting panel on the cutting mat at a time, matching one of the long edges to the horizontal grid on the mat. With a ruler matched up as shown in the photo below, mark one line from the corner that's about 7" long to help start the proper angle when adding the first fabric strips. Once those first fabrics are added, you'll keep that angel naturally as you piece. Repeat this step making sure you mark all five batting panels with this line to use as your starting guide


Adding the Fabric Strips:

3. Prepare the fabric strips by cutting fabrics into 3" x WOF strips and trim away the access length as you add the fabrics for less waste OR subcut the WOF strips into 12.5″ strips. For this quilt I used approximately 250 strips measuring on average 3" x 12.5" with a few measuring less in length for the beginning and end of my panels where that much length isn't necessary. I cut my 3" x WOF strips from a 1/2 yard bundle of Autumn Vibes, minus the Foxes in Fall print. You will need a total of 7.5 yards of fabrics for this 60" x 72" throw quilt top


4. Using that first mark as your guide, begin by placing that first fabric right side up onto the batting, then place the next strip right side down onto that first strip, matching up the edges. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew along the raw edge. Since you're sewing the fabrics to the batting as your foundation, you'll be permanently setting the fabric strips in place



5. Fold over the top fabric strip and either press with iron or you can simply smooth it down flat with your hand. The fabrics stick nicely to the cotton batting, therefor I'm comfortable carefully folding over the fabric strips and just smoothing them with my hand as I go and pressing with a hot iron just a few times while I work my way down the panel


6. Continue adding fabric strips, placing each new fabric strip on top of the other with right sides facing, matching up the raw edges. Attach with 1/4" seam, fold over, and continue to press or smooth each new fabric added until you reach the end of the batting



7. After you've completed that starting point to anchor the first braid, you'll sew your first braid to the right side of those first fabrics, placing a new fabric strip with right sides facing, matching up the raw edges as shown below. Attach with 1/4" seam, fold over, and smooth with hand to press



8. Continue sewing strips to the left and then the right of the braid. Match the fabric strips from the center each time


Below you can see how I kept the WOF length to my fabric strips and trimmed away the access length as I added each new strip.


9. When finished with a panel, press well. Use a mat, ruler, and rotary cutter to trim away the overhang of fabric from each side of the panel and square up to measure 12.5" x 72". Repeat until all 5 panels are trimmed to size




Sew Panels Together:

. Take two panels and place them rights together. Using sewing pins to secure their place and sew along one side keeping a 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat this with the remaining panels to create your Friendship Braid quilt top



11. Press the seams open on the back side and press the front side of each panel well



Quilt Backing, Basting and Binding:

12. Piece together fabrics for the quilt back to measure at least 2" bigger than the quilt top on all sides and baste it to the quilted quilt front.  I use Therm O Web's SpraynBond basting spray for this, however pin basting works




13. For a simple finish: Working your way down from the top of the quilt to the bottom, simply sew about 1/4" from the seam lines (when adding this stitching it IS recommended that you do use a Walking Foot). Continue this on both sides of each seam running from the top of the quilt to the bottom, to attach your quilt backing fabric

I chose to attach my quilt back and add my final quilting by using the built-in wavy quilt stitch that comes with my Janome.

Below shows a close up look from a previously made Quick Quilt As You GO of what the simple stitches will look like from both the front and the back side of the quilt

Close up -- Front

Close up -- Back

Below you can see an up close look at how the wavy quilting stitches look.


14. Machine or hand bind the quilt using your preferred method



Hooray! Your Autumn Vibes Friendship Braid QAYG Quilt is finished!




Thank you so much for stopping by today and for all the love you've already shown my Autumn Vibes fabric collection here, on Instagram and on Facebook! I really hope you enjoy this tutorial!

Do you think you'll give it a try

If you do, please be sure to share with the hashtag #FriendshipBraidQAYG, there you can see examples of many other projects using this pattern, and be sure to tag me @MaureenCracknell so I can see!

xx Maureen  


  1. Replies
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  2. That looks beautiful! I didn't know the technique of applying the strokes directly to the batting. My mom always patchworked the whole thing before applying batting. But this seems nice to try as well! Thanks for your post.

  3. Thank you. I love this quilt and thank you for the tutorial.
    xx, Carol

  4. Thank you for this is very clear and I am hoping to give this a try, soon.

  5. Maureen, this quilt is just stunning. I adore these fabrics

  6. Thank you for this tutorial, Maureen!

  7. Maureen I took your QAYG course on Craftsy (now Blueprint) a few years ago and made beautiful pillow covers. I REALLY need to do this technique again and make this gorgeous quilt. Just to confirm for everyone - NO, there is no bulk at the seams with this method. Thanks Maureen!!

  8. Very nice. Something I could easily accomplish.

  9. Nice to be inspired with an easy, quick project instead of some with complex cutting before sewing ~ thanks!

  10. Is it possible to use 2-1/2" strips instead of 3" strips because then I could use a jelly roll, which I have many of these rolls? I would imagine that I would have to use more to make up the length.

    1. Absolutely! I chose to use 3" strips because I was cutting mine from a 1/2 yard bundle, but Jelly Rolls are a great precut option.

  11. Oh, I love scrappy quilts and this one is definitely talking to me. Thank you so much. Quilting is not my favorite part of making a quilt.... I use the serpentine stitch a lot as I love the way it looks and it I love the texture it adds to straight line piecing.

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. Maureen I seem to love all the fabric collections you design! Yes, I am going to make this one just because it's so different & I have never done a "QAYG"!! You have to try everything at least once right? Thank you for taking the time to do the tutorial, it helps when you get used to doing things just one way, how silly we humans can be. I can't wait for the rest of the fabric to come so I can get started, I will post!!! ~~~~~~~~thanks, Peg L

  14. I have finished the log cabins on a table runner I'm making for Fall so I have all those fabs already chosen. Why not make this quilt from those fabs! Easy peasy. Question regarding the quilting: Did you do the 1/4" from the vertical seams & then the wavy stitch vertically all over wherever you wished? I can't quite see what you did on the photos. I think you did both quilts differently, right? Thanks so much!

  15. Gorgeous quilt and excellent tutorial! I could see it in Christmas fabrics as a table runner. Thank you for sharing.

  16. When you attach the quilt back to the quilt front - you only stitch down both sides of the joining of the long strips (braid)? Is there no other stitching to hold the back to the front??? Thanks for your help! Would love to try this.

  17. very interesting, good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog.

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