French Braid Obsession: New Ideas for the Imaginative Quilter, by Jane Hardy Miller

Jane Hardy Miller is a quilter, designer, teacher and author who I find very talented. She was born and raised in California, where she eventually attended college and law school. Her mother, a home economics teacher, taught her to sew by hand and machine, beginning at age five. Jane made her first quilt in 1968, and for the next ten years, she made about one per year, inventing techniques as she went along. She practiced law briefly in Hawaii and California before moving to Miami in 1979, where she married, had two children, and finally took a beginning quilting class. She has been working and teaching in a local quilt shop since 1987.

Many quilters may already know the book “French Braid Quilts”, written by Jane Hardy Miller and Arlene Netten, or the book “French Braid Obsession”, by Jane Hardy Miller. But as I wasn’t aware of these books until recently, I wanted to share my perspective on these delightful books with you.

French Braid Quilts uses a spin on the original log cabin quilt design. This book encourage quilters to play with color, while providing the reader insight on the basics of the design to make French Braids, as well as creative separators and borders.

French Braid Obsession also provides basic insights on how to make a French Braid quilt, but the book provides 8 new design variations. There is also instructions to make beautiful quilted Christmas Tree skirts using the French Braid techniques. But I must say I fell in love with insights on how a French Braid design can be used as a border to make a spectacular quilt.

Personally, I can’t wait to make a quilt using the “Boston Braid” or “Flying Free” designs from the French Braid Obsession book. But I also realize I need to make basic Braid Quilt first. Fortunately I have a nice stash of fabrics and think I can pull off my first basic Braid Quilt quickly, especially with the great instructions that are provided in these books. And they have definitely helped to increas my confidence level for working with color, as French Braid Obsession does a fantastic job providing insights to help with fabric selection.

Overall, I am very pleased with the quality of writing, instructions and colorful photos in these books. The two books compliment each other very well, so it isn’t a matter that you would only want one or the other (you’ll want both in your library). If you don’t have your own copies, I’d highly recommend you buy them both before they are not just out of print, but out of stock!

For retail book orders, contact http://www.urbanelementz.com/; please allow 3 weeks for personalized copies. For wholesale orders contact http://www.ctpub.com/or any major distributor. And your local quilt store may also offer these books for sale too!

For information on workshops, lectures or commissions, contact Jane Hardy Miller at jane@frenchbraidquilts.com.

http://www.frenchbraidquilts.com/

When I finish my first French Braid quilt, along with my first “French Braid Obsession” quilt, I’ll definitely share photos with you. Until then, here are some links to photos of some French Braid quilts on the web, which you may want to look at. And I’m sure you’ll agree with me, the owners of these quilts certainly did a fantastic job (with the help of these great books):

Ann Ferguson, an Australian quilt designer, who realized the beauty in Jane Hardy Miller’s designs, made this beautiful quilt. She appropriately named this quilt
“Bloomin’ Braid” and she gave it to her Mum for her 80th birthday last year, as she loves to garden.

Ann is definitely a talented designer, teacher and a fellow blogger. If you want to see more of Ann’s beautiful quilts, sign up for one of her classes, and read her delightful blog, check out her site:
http://annfergusonquiltopiadesign.blogspot.com/

Also, here is a link to picture of another beautiful quilt with the French Braid Obsession designs.
http://dakotacountystarquilters.org/images/2008%20retreat/retreat_2008_beth_blue_french_braid2.jpg

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5 thoughts on “French Braid Obsession: New Ideas for the Imaginative Quilter, by Jane Hardy Miller”

  1. Hi,I was just referred to your blog by a friend who saw one of my quilts on it! Mine is the Kaffe Fasset/ Valerie Wells one in the first link above. I love French Braid too and the wonderful things you can do with it – looking forward to tryng something from the new book too. Thanks, Ann.

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