Thursday, July 29, 2010

Accuquilt Go - Making Braids using the Chisel Die

This is my first attempt at a tutorial so bare with me.  I'm just so excited about the Chisel die (55039) that I have to share.  I'm going to show you how to make a braid.  Since I haven't gotten very far with my strips, I can't show you the completed top, so you will just have to check back in with me in a day or two.

I used fat quarters and 1/2 yard cuts to get started with this project.  I folded the fabric in half the long way and then in half again.  So a fat quarter that's normally 18 inches wide is now about 4 1/2 inches wide because of the 2 folds.  When I cut the fabric I'm sure to have the chisel the normal direction and then another that is reversed.  With a half yard cut of fabric,  I can cut 32 chisels and 16 chisels with a fat quarter.
The instructions with the die say to cut your strips 6 inches wide.  When I folded, I folded so that the fabric to be cut was approximately 4 1/2 inches or less.  The chisel will measure 3 1/2 inches by 6 1/2 inches.  Because the die is on an angle, I felt safer having some extra fabric on the sides.
Once I cut all my fabric, I sorted it into piles so that all the chisels and reverse chisels were together.  For me, that makes it a lot less confusing when I start grabbing fabric pieces to sew my braid.
To start the braid I pick one of each chisel.  I've laid each one out and labeled as fabric 1 and fabric 2.  First I need to explain that I'm very right handed so I'm writing this and showing pictures that way.  You might night to move your fabrics around to accommodate being left handed.
 Place fabric 1 on the bottom so the chisel or slanted edge is facing right.  Next take fabric 2 and place it so that the slant is facing up.  Head to the machine to sew the 2 pieces together.  When looking at the picture above you will be sewing along the left hand side.  Because I would be sewing blind, I had to flip.
In the above picture, I had to flip the two pieces of fabric over so that fabric one is now on top.  The point of fabric 2 is up at the top of the picture, so if you were looking at the blue chisel without the red it would be facing so that the point is to the back of the machine.  Sew fabric 1 to fabric 2 along the right side using the normal 1/4 inch seam.
Take your pieces to the iron and press so that fabric 1 now points to the right.  I press the seam to the fabric 1 side.  It makes it easier when adding more pieces.
 You are now ready to start adding on to make the braid.  I lay the next piece down next to the sewn piece so that I can make sure that I've grabbed a chisel that is facing the right direction.  The trick of the braid is to get all the pieces together so that it makes a straight strip.  So once I know I'm okay with the direction of the chisel, I flip the fabric so that I'm ready to sew.
I've flipped the fabric over and will sew down the right side from the top to the bottom.  The die cuts off the tip of the triangle, which makes it a whole lot easier to line pieces up.  Once I have the next piece sewn, I head to the iron and press to the right again.  From there you just alternate sides (and chisel angles), adding a new piece as you go. 

I'm not sure yet how long I'm going to make my braids.  Once the length is determined, then you just sew the strips together.  A sashing piece could be placed in between the braids so that less braids are needed for a quilt top.  The ideas are endless.

When I have my braids completed, I will be sure to post more pictures so you can see how to line up the strips.

Let me know if you have comments or questions. 


Barb said...

Oh my gosh Becky, I need to get that die...what a lovely tutorial.

Mary said...

I don't have the chisel die either I hadn't even thought about using it for a braid. I love braid borders but have never made one. I'll add that to the list of dies that I want.

SewCalGal said...

excellent tutorial. Thanks. Great idea!