Learning Two New Quilt Blocks Before Year’s End: Granny Square and Braid

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Granny Square and Braid. These two blocks have been on my To Learn list all year. That list is so long, I thought I needed to cross a couple things off before the new year got here.

So… I Googled both and found easy tutorials to follow. (See bottom of post)

First off, since I was working with my orange scraps, that was the color I used to make the first Granny Square block. Made four.

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Then I made two green ones. Not sure what I will do with the orange ones but I think the green ones will look nice next to my scrap block I showed you a few days ago. What do you think? Might work, huh.

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The Granny Square is easy though the hardest part (to me) was getting a pleasing arrangement. I think I like the darker shades best. The light shades seem to get lost.

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I didn’t use white fabric for the last round since I will probably use white for sashing. Squares are 2 1/2″ and I used scraps where I could and some stash. The block finishes at 9″ square. As I make my way through my scraps, I plan to make more Granny Square blocks in different colors.

Braid Block

I LOVE the look. I have seen some really pretty quilts around the net using this technique. Mine will be all different shades of green (still working from that huge bag of green scraps). I was kind of worried it would be too bland BUT I think with the sashing it will be OK.

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I sewed 50 strips and it measured 36″. Got a ways to go before it begins to look like a quilt top. My strips are 1 1/2″ by 4 1/2″. The tutorial said any size strip will work just to make sure the length was 2 1/2 times the width. Most of my scrap strips were 1 1/2″ anyway. Didn’t make sense not to use them. I was so excited to get started. But it took about four hours to cut all the strips. I cut hundreds.

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Why did I cut so many? No clue. I couldn’t stop!! 😀

Now, I have to sit and sew. And take frequent breaks. Hopefully I won’t get bored building my braid quilt top. I will set up a reward system. Sew 50 strips. Go for a snack. Sew 50 more. Go take a nap. That sounds like a plan I can work with.

What about you? What quilt blocks are on your To Do List? Do tell.

Here are the links to the tutorials I used.



Linking up to…




19 comments on “Learning Two New Quilt Blocks Before Year’s End: Granny Square and Braid

  1. Aoife says:

    I’ve wanted to make the granny square for ages, but other projects always seem to get in the way. Might make it a resolution for New Year and hopefullyget to it in the summer!! Always lovely to learn other people’s insights, thank you 🙂

  2. I love your granny squares and braids! I have been wanting to try both out, myself.
    I also love how you have been using all your scraps to do it!

  3. Belinda says:

    Donna, I fell in love with the braid quilts a few months ago. I bought a book to have some new ideas. Of course, I haven’t had time to try them all! 😉 Eleanor Burns has a braid pattern that includes a template; I ordered that and made her pattern for Christmas gifts for my grandchildren. It was fun! Also, I got the June Tailor Shape Cut ruler for Christmas and I think it is going to help me cut strips (and shapes) more accurately. I thought about you when I got it. 🙂

    • don_mae says:

      Hi Belinda. I have that ruler, can you believe it!! I bought it on-line I think last year or early this year. It’s the 12″ by 12″ one. I LOVE it for cutting larger pieces of fabric. So easy to use. Too bad I can’t use it to trim all my little scrap pieces. So glad to hear you are getting in some sewing time.

  4. Lennette says:

    I love love love the braids and granny squares you made!!! I’ve done a few quilts using the braid pattern and the French braid pattern and I love them. I HAVE to try your granny square pattern because it’s gorgeous!!!!

  5. Loris Mills says:

    I am particularly interested in your braid quilt. Yours is looking wonderful! Thank you for sharing the link to the tutorial 🙂

  6. sonnethawk says:

    The squares are absolutely gorgeous! I am turning “green” with envy! LOL! I am just teasing! You sure are a busy beaver! You did an absolutely beautiful job as always! I LOVE both designs! ❤

  7. sonnethawk says:

    I was also looking at the completed quilts on your quilt page yesterday. They sure are beautiful! I also like the Cathedral window pin cushion you have pictured on the sidebar. I want to try the Cathedral window eventually.

    • don_mae says:

      Hi Tanya, thanks so much for looking at the quilts I made. I have many more not listed due to them not yet being quilted. I think maybe I will create a page just for quilt tops. And then once they are quilted, move them to the finished quilts page. You will love making the Cathedral window pattern. It is so easy!!

  8. Barb N says:

    Great job – love all of them. I just ordered a pattern using solids, which is something I haven’t done before. Honeycomb by Kati Spencer http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/other/honeycomb/39735.

    • don_mae says:

      Hi Barb N, that is such a pretty quilt. Love the design. I am like you, I rarely use just solids. But it is on “the list” of quilts to make in the future. Have fun making yours and thanks for stopping by.

  9. Sara says:

    I like your plan of attack for those strips! Sounds like a good day to me:)

  10. Pat says:

    I like your braid block and granny squares, but I’m a sucker for green and orange.

  11. Lyndsey says:

    I like your braid blocks and granny squares. I’m making a great granny block (one extra round to the block). It’s in Christmas fabric ready for next year. Nothing like getting started early!

  12. Deb says:

    I’ve seen the granny squares before but never the braid! Love them both. 🙂

  13. Sarah C. says:

    Beautiful blocks, and both are ones I’ve wanted to try! Yours look lovely, and I’m especially fond of those greens! Whoop whoop!!

  14. don_mae says:

    Hi everyone, thanks much for leaving me comment love. Love it. I do hope you will try these blocks. They are easy to make and fun to put together.

  15. Val Edwards says:

    Hi, Donna. Many thanks for sharing your inspired and inspiring textile creations, I wish my year had been soooooooooooo productive! Wishing you and yours a Happy and Joyful New Year – just think of the ‘joys-yet-to-come’ in 2013.
    Warm Regards,
    Val E (Wales UK)

  16. I love the look of the braid. It is fantastic. I really want to try that one day and pinned your post so I dont forget it.

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