Columns of bright prints stand out against darker prints for a dramatic quilt. Black squares in the centers of the columns give the columns a braided look. Fabrics are from the Misty Light collection by Yuko Hasegawa for RJR Fabrics.

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Materials

Inspired by French Braid from designer Becky Cogan for Need'l Love
Quilt tester: Laura Boehnke

1 yard total assorted prints in tan, pink, blue, and green (braid rows)
1⁄2 yard black print (braid rows, binding)
1⁄3 yard brown print (setting triangles, sashing)
3⁄8 yard multicolor print (border)
7⁄8 yard backing fabric
29x35" batting

Finished quilt: 21x27"

Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.
Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

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Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From assorted prints, cut:
13-3-1⁄2x14" strips

From black print, cut:
3-2-1⁄2x42" binding strips
13-1-1⁄4x7" strips

From brown print, cut:
2-2-1⁄4x22" sashing strips
3-4" squares
3-3-1⁄2" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for 6 setting triangles total

From multicolor print, cut:
2-3x22" border strips
2-3x21" border strips

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Assemble Braid Segments

1. Cut an assorted print 3-1⁄2x14" strip in half to make two 7"-long strips.

2. Referring to Diagram 1, sew together a black print 1-1⁄4x7" strip and an assorted print 3-1⁄2x7" strip to make a strip set. Press seam toward assorted print.

3. Lay matching print 3-1⁄2x7" strip on top of strip set. Referring to Diagram 2, cut layered strips into five pairs of 1-1⁄4"-wide braid segments (each pair will have one short and one long segment). Keep braid segments paired for ease in piecing.

4. Repeat steps 1–3 to make 65 pairs of braid segments. (You will use 63 pairs in this quilt.)

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Assemble Braids

1. Add a short braid segment to one edge of a brown print 4" square (Diagram 3). (Although you won't see the brown print square in the finished quilt-it will be trimmed off-it helps you establish the correct braid angle.) Press seam toward braid segment. Add a matching long braid segment to adjacent edge of brown square with black square adjoining short braid segment (Diagram 3). Press seam toward long braid segment.

2. In same manner, add 20 more pairs of braid segments to the pieced edge of Step 1 unit to make a pieced braid row. Add brown print setting triangles to last braid segments in row (Diagram 4).

3. Align 2-1⁄4" line on an acrylic ruler with top and bottom corners of black print squares in pieced braid row; trim off jagged edges (Diagram 5). Repeat on remaining long edge of pieced braid row to make a row that is 4-1⁄2" wide. Trim braid row to 22" long including seam allowances, leaving a 1⁄4" seam allowance at bottom of row.

4. Repeat steps 1–3 to make three braid rows total.

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Assemble Quilt Top

1. Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, sew together braid rows and brown print sashing strips to make quilt center. Press seams toward sashing strips. The quilt center should be 16x22" including seam allowances.

2. Sew multicolor print 3x22" border strips to long edges of quilt center. Add multicolor print 3x21" border strips to remaining edges to complete quilt top. Press all seams toward border.

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Finish Quilt

1. Layer quilt top, batting, and backing; baste. Quilt as desired.

2. Bind with black print binding strips.

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