Monday, October 5, 2015

Class Preparation

... Steppin' Out

Fire and Ice by Libby Smith 2014
That's what teachers call their little demo boards -- Step-Outs.  (Hey, I didn't come up with that term, OK?)

One of the classes I am teaching at Fall Quilt Camp next week is French Braid from the original book by Jane Hardy Miller.  There is essentially one basic construction method covered in the book, but there are so many variations to that theme. I've encouraged everyone in my small class to choose one of the 14 projects in the book that matches their confidence level.  I'm hoping we will have a variety of projects underway so that we can learn the options by observing each other.

But I digress .... I started a new project in order to be able to demonstrate the steps along the way.  I am using "Big Red" from the book as my inspiration.

First order of business:  choose 10-12 fabrics for the braid run and organize into a pleasing arrangement.  My fabrics are red-on-white and white-on-red.  Working with 11 fabrics, I did my best to arrange them according to density of color on color.

This project is complicated by having black and white accent squares arranged in reverse order of value.

Divide strips into two identical piles -- left side and right side.  Add accent strips to the right side pile.

After cutting into 2-1/2" chunks, begin braid construction on a base triangle.  You'll note that the "Big Red" pattern is constructed from the center out.  My plan is to have one braid center out and two going from end in.  That way I can demonstrate both methods of construction.

One half braid made and I'm thinking of taking out a couple of the white-on-red pieces as it looks a little muddy.  I've got time to make that decision ...

Right now it's back to organizing the step-outs, typing my outline, making sure I have everything packed for this class, making sure I have everything packed for the Exploding Pineapple class, making sure I have everything packed for 3 days of R&R (including golf) with my husband .... well, you know how it goes.

So this is what's on my design wall today.  Hop over to Patchwork Times to see what others are working on.


  1. What a great idea to use the general concept in a book and allow participants to choose one of the projects.

  2. Libby, I love your fabrics for your braid! What a great idea to not only have the strips move from dark to light, but to have the accent squares do the same! I've made a couple of braid quilts, but not like yours! Have a wonderful time teaching and relaxing.

  3. Looks like you have your process and your samples well under control. I like how you combined reverse values of B&W with your red prints - you nailed it the value progression perfectly! Enjoy your teaching and R&R.

  4. Apparently I've been looking at the wrong braids. You've just moved them from my 'meh' list to my 'hmmm' list...
    Your students are going to have a great time, I can see.

  5. Wow, love your fabric choices for the braid. Hope you've been able to get all your preparations done and packing accomplished.


Comments make me smile; I would love to hear from you! I respond almost exclusively by email, so be sure you are not a "no-reply" blogger. Or include your email address if you need an answer to a question.