Dianne here: Well I have finally unpacked from the Valley Forge Braid In (both my large suitcase and the duffel I bought at the Bethlehem Goodwill to carry more woolen treasures home).
One reason for the slow unpacking was that my son got married the Saturday after the Braid In and I wanted to tell you that despite suggestions that I wear the pillbox hat/basket that I modeled in the Fashion Show (see left) that Christine described in her last post, I didn’t!
As Delsie advised me, the groom’s mother should ‘wear beige and be quiet’! So I was….
But I want to tell you more about the ‘new butt called Annie’s Fanny that Christine described in her next to last post (Reflections on Teaching at the Braid In). It is named after an experienced braider and quilter Anne Morton Caldwell from GA who experimented to determine where to cut a strip in order to easily make ‘right angle’ seams for butting. She showed three of us her method when we visited her in February and we went home intrigued. I tried it successfully several times then unsuccessfully a few more. It frustrated me no end, because I knew there were clear advantages to her method (dubbed Annie’s Fanny by her) over the several others I am fond of, and so I kept trying. Descriptions of my failures were helpful to Christine as she translated Anne’s instruction into text and diagrams; always want to be helpful!
The result is a clearly explained and diagrammed ‘fool proof’ butt which has several advantages to my thinking (these are for left openings: Christine is working on diagrams for right openings): It is logical in how the pins are located (start over finish, open folds up, pinned in the same location on start and finish); it takes less loops to butt so good in tighter spaces; because more intuitive, I think easier to butt when using all same fabric which I often do; the seams are right angled in the same way as we seam new strips so easier to do on machine; seams are hidden easily; and quite amazingly, there is little manipulation needed after the last seam to get the braid ‘back to normal’.
The first reason, logical butt, is worth expanding upon. Most other butts I have learned (and even liked) seem magical and not as intuitive as this one or the enclosed end butt we describe in the book (which is best used for fancy braids) so much so that I have needed written instructions each time I butt…..this method is so logical that I can easily repeat the butt without the instructions after just a few tries! Why then did I fail initially? It was in the rebraiding step; I inadvertently crossed the seamed strands-Christine worked on that misstep and came up with a logical way to place the stopper pins to prevent this from happening.
How can you learn more? Order the 28 page Butt Booklet from Christine for $12 plus shipping by contacting her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some photos of the booklet: apologies for all the white space: I CANNOT seem to move the photos, grrrrr.