My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Monday, November 19, 2012

French braids on a Sunday

Sunday (yesterday for us), was awfully windy.  I stood for ages trying to catch a picture of the gusts visible in the trees outside my lounge window.  Eventually I caught a shot that almost shows how breezy it was.  We did manage to get out and plant another forty odd kanuka trees without getting blown away.  The ground is getting dry now so that will be the last tree planting before Summer and hopefully these will survive - kanuka are pretty tough.

I spent most of the day pottering around in my studio.  I was having a play making a french braid table runner.  The instructions are from a book I borrowed from my guild library, "French Braid Quilts" by Jane Hardy Miller with Arlene Netten.  I made my strips half an inch narrower and now I feel the centre square is a little big in proportion.  I think it's calling for a simple appliqué motif.  The points along the edge will all get trimmed straight and I'm undecided whether to bind it in the deep red or the dark blue?  Any suggestions?

For lunch we had green slime soup for kids, pea and asparagus soup for adults.  Isn't it a glorious colour!  Very yummy too and the kids have no idea they are chowing down on asparagus (they won't touch it in it's recognisable form).

Then keeping with the green theme, I ran the kids a bath.  If you have reluctant bathers like me, a splash of food colouring can be a good motivator.  It's probably a better use for food colouring than actually in food!  It doesn't stain the bath (it might if you have old porcelain or deep scratches) and it only stains the kids if you use too much.  Of course, once my kids are in, they never want to get out....

It's nice to have a normal weekend.  No obligations, no visitors staying, nobody to cook for except your own family.  Hope you had a good one too.


  1. The soup sure is lovely and bright.
    Sounds like my kind of weekend. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

  2. Love your braid - the colours are great and some appliqué or something in the centre could look really nice. I would use the dark blue to bind - letting the red have centre stage, but I'd love to see what you decide looks best!!! Brave children eating green soup AND having a green bath - I don't know if my hubby (let alone my kids!) would have eaten green soup!! Hope Dr Suess and "green eggs and ham" put in an appearance :-)

  3. Teehee....I remember putting food colouring in my kids bath, not because the were reluctant bathers, but just for fun. I use to do crazy things from time time like food colouring in the mashed spuds! They thought it was, well they would probably send in the men with straight jackets!
    I'm with Raewyn on the binding advice.
    Yes it was windy here too, I thought my hair was going to get ripped out at the roots hanging the washing out :-/

  4. Hi Ms Lottie
    Wow that soup looks amazing! I haven't made any soup for ages and just sorting out my freezers I see I have loads of stock to use up! We are getting our pigs back from the butcher today so needed to rearrange the freezers..
    Great to get so many trees planted. We got some in but no as many as we'd hoped/planned and now like you say the ground is pretty dry and hard!
    Your quilt looks beautiful as always..!
    Best wishes Bridget

  5. I've just made this table runner and I'd love to know how you finished yours off, I only started quilting about 6 weeks ago, and I'm doing a Craftsy Block of the Month course to sort of learn how to put things together, so although I've managed to create a number of blocks, I'm not at the sashing/borders/quilting stage yet, I've done a few little things like pot holders and cushions, to try out the techniques, but, I've not quilted an entire 'real project', 'that stitch in the ditch' thing ain't as easy as it sounds!. I'd really like to finish my table runner with the pointy bits intact, is that a honking great mistake? but I'm also dithering about the colour to use. My centre and diamonds are Red, the braids Black and Grey. What did you do in the end?

    1. Go you for getting in to quilting! But yes, I trimmed all my pointy bits off to make straight edges. You can see the finish in my post here:

      But, if you wanted to keep your points, you could try a pillow case finish. Layer a backing, right sides together with your runner, then some batting. Pin and sew a quarter inch seam all the way around your edges, leaving a gap for turning. Turn right sides out (you'll have to trim the seam allowance on your points and use a blunt instrument to poke out your points) and then press and hand stitch your turning gap closed. You could then quilt the layers together. Good luck!

    2. ps. I saw your table runner beginnings in the picture you had on your blogger profile, looks great!


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