It's been windy here lately so it was hard to get the picture below! The quilt is completely straight in real life, I swear. ;)
Pebble Cascade's originates from a CJMQG challenge. Jessica Levitt (one of my dearest quilty friends) and Windham Fabrics provided those who signed up with fat eighths and scraps from Jess's newest fabric collection, Cascade. I've worked with these beautiful fabrics before, so I jumped at the chance (I'm not just saying they are beautiful... they really, really are. They remind me so much of spring and of parks and taking walks and being outside... can you tell I'm ready for spring?).
I began by piecing together blocks of rectangle and square scraps by color, interspersed with gray and off-white (Free Spirit Egg Shell solid - it's soooo soft!). I thought if I started piecing blocks I'd figure out what to do with them eventually and I was right! QuiltCon inspired me to hack those blocks in half and start piecing in curves of bias strips. There is no applique here - just piecing. It was a pleasure to *not* worry about matching up the seams - I wanted the blocks to look a bit off-kilter (some are more so than others). Finally, I added pieces of Eggshell around each block until I had a quilt top. That part took forever and a day, but it was so pleasing to see the top come together over the course of a couple of weeks. It was a peaceful and reinvigorating process for someone who doesn't always revel in piecing.
Free motion quilting is my favorite thing. For real. It took me a while to decide what to do... I mean, all that negative space was begging to be played with! Again, QuiltCon inspired me to create a centralized theme in my quilting and quilt pebble paths curving at random throughout. I discussed my process in depth right here. The pebbling was super relaxing - I made them all different shapes and sizes and marked some of the curves I wanted with my Hera marker.
Up to the end, I kept adding lines to the matchstick quilting (which ended up not being "matchstick" really, but all different sizes apart and very organic/somewhat wavy). I am in love with the texture and I would definitely try this again on other quilts.
So, I'm definitely not Leanne but I sure do love her style! I also enjoyed changing threads throughout - I used dark grey, light gray, cream, bright green, teal, light blue, and navy (each section of the quilt features at least three thread colors). At certain angles, you can see the sections of the quilt glow a little in green or blue (or maybe that's just me :D).
The top's colors are a departure from my typical bright, bold color palette, but oh, I love them so. I felt obliged, though, to go crazy bright on the pieced back; I'm on a mission to use up large scraps and pieces from my stash that coordinate with my quilt tops. The blue quilter's linen was just calling for some little improv triangles (maybe my brain was thinking to contrast the curves from the front?) I bound the whole thing in navy Herringbone fabric by Joel Dewberry - it frames the quilt nicely, no? :)
So, here's my entry into the challenge. Here's a quilt where I stretched my piecing and quilting limits, and I'm quite smitten with the results. Luckily, this one will be traveling around with me as I visit some (somewhat) local guilds this spring! And just wait until you see the rest of the entries from my guild! Some of them are already on the #cascadefabricchallenge hashtag on Instagram, and @jtlevitt will be posting them soon. Just... wow. Seriously, go have a look!