Friday, May 15, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Pebble Cascade

For this spring's Blogger's Quilt Festival, I'm sharing two quilts. The first is my most modern quilt (in my opinion): Pebble Cascade. I really didn't know where this project was going to go until it was already going. It has unexpectedly become one of my favorites ever, and it was both a real challenge and a real pleasure to make.


I made this quilt as part of the Cascade Fabric Challenge through Jessica Levitt and Windham Fabrics, and I'm honored that it won third place! "Pebble Cascade" was the first time I tried two key techniques: bias strip curve piecing and matchstick quilting.


Now that it's finished, I look at this quilt to bring calm, zen, and peace to my life.  To me, it evokes waterfalls and gardens full of flowers blooming. At one of my recent lectures, a quilter mentioned that she saw the curves as branches of the trees giving glimpses of the sky. That's the fun of improv - the message is in the eye of the beholder.

 

My favorite part is the color gradation throughout the quilt, which was planned out. I pieced the blocks as scraps in an improvisational fashion, and gave myself a stipulation: include one piece of gray and one strip of white in each square. I was going to just sash the blocks, but I wanted to try some bias strip curved piecing (using a slash and insert technique). I'm so pleased with the outcome and I can't wait to try the technique again with more curves. I didn't try to match the blocks up again; it was easier and more interesting to let them end up where they ended up.


The quilting was intense and easily the most time-consuming part of making the quilt.  First, I started pebbling in curves on my home machine (using minimal marking - I just wanted them to mimic the curves in the quilt). The lines were created "organically" with my free motion quilting foot - they are not completely straight and I did not attempt to make them so. They are spaced irregularly and I used 7 different thread colors. I chose colors according to the section I was quilting. You can read even more about the process here, in my original post, and you might want to check out the tutorial and resources I wrote up for Sew Mama Sew earlier this week.


The back - coordinating stash prints and some improv triangles to contrast the curves on the front!

I'm entering this one into the Modern Category. I hope you enjoy seeing all of the beautiful quilts on display at Amy's Creative Side!
My past Blogger's Quilt Festival entries:
Fall 2014 (nominated for Viewer's Choice)
Spring 2012 (First Place in Baby Quilt Category)

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15 comments:

  1. What a great quilt for the modern category, Jess! I really love the subtle color gradation and the slice and insert piecing being echoed in the quilting is fabulous. :)

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  2. I totally "get" waterfall from this too. I like the pebbles you added to the quilting. Do you have any good resources for the curved piecing with the bias strips?

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  3. I have been so deep in this Banner Hell that I forgot it was Blogger's Quilt Festival this week...and then you posted and I was like, wut. Eff I am so behind on life. Anyway, I love your quilt and quilting and fabrics and layout...etc etc. Smooches.

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  4. I really like this quilt - all of it! Well done!!! Makes me smile looking at it :)

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  5. Hi Jess: You have a wonderful quilt. It is so peaceful to look at and yet new elements jump out every time. Good luck.

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  6. Lovely quilt. The colours are really calming and the quilting is fab :)

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  7. I really like this quilt, from the piecing to the quilting, it all works so well together.

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  8. Love your design. I especially like that you do not try to match the blocks after adding the curves.
    So much more interesting

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  9. What a great quilt! Really love the colors.:)

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  10. Love how you have added the branches and cascade of pebbles. Not to mention the colors are among my favorites!

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  11. lovely quilt, I enjoyed reading about your method for making it as I'd have no idea where to start with a quilt like this! Your quilting is beautiful

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  12. Great use of color and fabric, love the swirly bits. Great design.

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  13. Love your quilt. It truly evokes calm with a bit of whimsy in the floating windblown "sticks".

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  14. It's just stunning! Your quilting is fantastic!!!

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