Rug Braiding Class

I so enjoyed the class where I learned how to attach braiding to hooking; it’s the perfect finish to a hooked piece. When I finished up Mr. Snowman the other day, I thought I would like to add another row – and I am curious about braiding in general, so I Googled rug braiding. Not much comes up, I can tell you, so it must be a very small group who braids. Amazingly enough, I did find a woman in Wisconsin who was teaching classes in Cedarburg WI, which is not so far away, so…

…on Thursday morning with a sausage biscuit in hand, I motored up north. It was a dark, cool foggy morning and became more so as I got into Wisconsin. All went well, the traffic wasn’t bad and I arrived in good time. The venue was Ye Olde Schoolhouse, a quilt store I had missed on our last trip to Cedarburg. It was a 2011 winner of the Better Homes & Gardens Quilt Sampler Store award. It is a charming old(e) schoolhouse, full to bursting with fabrics and supplies which surely are a reproduction quilter maker’s dream!

The class was taught by Terri Schaefer whose business is called In The Wool. She’s been hooking and braiding for a long time and rents the classroom from the quilt store owner several times a year. She has a following of braiders, so maybe I will go there again the next time she is teaching.

I decided to start with a round chair mat, though certainly it can grow and grow if I choose! To keep the strips of wool in order, they are held with a rubber band. (That should discourage the cats from fooling with them, I hope…) 2″ is evidently a good width for a beginner. The multi-colored ticking in the front is one of Terri’s wools. I also used the red plaid and the dark green plaid from my stash. The gold roll, also from Terri, is for a future project!

Terri has developed quite an interesting method to start her braiding. This is one reason I like to take classes from a variety of teachers – I can try both and decide which one makes sense to me. Kris McDermet starts this way:

And Terri starts with a T shape. Both are fairly tedious to do, with a good bit of hand sewing to secure the wool, but that’s usually the case when starting any project.

Leslie and Lynn were also taking the class. Lynn was starting a large oval rug and had a container of lovely wools to add to it (and I meant to photograph it!). Leslie was working on a narrow braided rug for her daughter, which you can see below. I like how that black and white plaid pops out! Terri was a very good teacher and answered all of my many questions. She had a lot of great rugs to show us and so much information to share. I wish I had taken pictures of her rugs, but I was so intent on my work…

This is what I completed braiding and lacing by the end of the afternoon. It doesn’t look very big but it’s about 12″ in diameter.

I’d like to add another color before I finish and am thinking that the braiding part might be a good thing to do during of the Super Bowl…

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