Scrap quilts call to my heart and appeal to my soul. Prairie Braid is one that makes me feel warm, cozy and cuddled. It looks complicated, but is surprisingly easy to make.
This quilt was entered in a local fair this past weekend and won first in its class and Grand Champion for machine quilting. All fabrics were from stash. Cultural Note: In Canada, the red ribbon is the desirable one. A blue ribbon means second place. I like the rosette, but LOVE the bonus gift certificate to my favourite fabric store.
Prairie braid is a traditional design. The piece size I use , 1.5″ by 4.5″, is one of my standard cutting sizes for scraps. I have a box that I continually add to as I cut up left-overs. When the box looks full, I make a quilt. I separate lights and darks on two kitchen trays, then start sewing. This is a great mindless sewing project, as I only have to alternate light and dark. Not too difficult! The trickiest construction element is joining the edges of the strips. After trimming, they are on the bias, so require careful handling. I spray with my homemade starch before trimming and joining, which helps a great deal to keep them flat and true.
Prairie Braid is one of those patterns that looks much more complicated than it really is. It is actually easy to make, fun and a great colour value exercise. In my scrap recipe, I always aim to include red and yellow for sparkle and plaids and stripes for interest. This quilt has them all.
My work is challenging and at the end of the day, I am often quite tired. Typically, if I can get started on a project, I find renewed energy. So I look for something easy to do to get me started. When I don’t feel like sewing, I cut up scraps. On days when I am too tired to tackle a complex project, I sit and sew on projects like this. No heavy thinking required. Just relaxing, mindless sewing. It is almost like meditation. Prairie Braid strips are easy to do when I am tired. Everything is already cut and ready for me to sew. When I don’t have to make decisions, it is much easier to get started. And of course, once started, it is easy to continue. Keeping a project like this on the go helps me accomplish more.
Take Away Lesson:
Making it easy for myself to get started makes it much more likely I will get started and then of course, more likely I will get a completed project.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Sally Berger
So many fail because they don’t get started – they don’t go. They don’t overcome inertia. They don’t begin.” W Clement Stone