Friday, May 24, 2019

Cascade Top

It's been another week of to-dos, and check-offs ✔

My sewing room biggie was piecing Cascade, a pattern in Victoria Findlay-Wolfe's book Modern Quilt Magic. While I adore this design, and all the versions of it I've seen on Instagram (follow #cascadequilt), I thought it was one of the almost the most challenging quilts I've ever pieced. Each curved braid combined bias and curves, and then point-matching when columns of braids were joined to one another.

Here's the acrylic curve braid strip ruler I used to cut all 513 pieces, though in truth I cut out about 560, so I'd have extra to play with.

This is the arrangement of each column of curved braids. Piecing starts at the bottom, and follows a bias curve. Then, each column was supposed to be a straight edge. That didn't exactly work out.

I learned two things...

First, because all the curved braid seam allowances were pressed the same way, when those pieces were joined - in side-by-side columns - that seam was thick!

I found the presser foot pressure control (third picture down, on the right) on my Bernina 770QE, and lessened it. Here it's set on 5, but I later lowered it further, to 0. That helped the foot climb up and down each pile of seams.

Second, as instructed I matched points and pinned columns together.

That didn't always guarantee a match! This didn't make me happy. 

I unstitched and resewed 18 or so seams for a better match. Though usually the mis-match wasn't due a sewing error, but rather to excess fabric between points. Because I cut all the curved braid pieces using the same acrylic ruler, I have to believe that different brands of fabric behaved differently as I sewed. In a few cases, I actually resewed the braid curve seam, to take up excess fabric, and then resewed columns. Whew.

Hours later, and after cutting away extra fabric to straighten the top and bottom, I completed the quilt top. It measures a whopping 88-1/2" X 95-1/2", barely fitting my design wall. I love the way the colors "cascade" through the quilt. Ha! Such a clever, apropos name! It's taken quite a bit of Mary Ellen's Best Pressed to get this as smooth and flat as possible. Of course, as we all want... I'm hoping my quilter will "quilt out" any waves and wobbles. Ha, ha, ha. Guess that's me! 

This week, my first order of 12-weight Aurifil thread arrived. It's touted for big stitch quilting, which I plan to do on my selvage quilt (after machine quilting to stabilize the selvage areas). In the center of this picture you'll see a navy blue box. Do you recognize it? It's Thread Heaven! More than a year ago, that company went out of business. Hand quilters and embroiders have lamented that Thread Heaven is no more. Well, I found it at the online shop (scroll to the bottom), and the owner isn't charging an arm and a leg! Only $3.75. Of course, I bought several.

This picture represents my current to-dos. In the forefront are (from the bottom up): "Ring Me" solid scraps quilt, basted and ready for quilting; selvage quilt, basted and ready for quilting; "Cascade Quilt" ready for basting; and in the background, my 2019 temperature quilt that needs attention. My to-dos are pretty clear.

This week I completed edits on chapter 13 of my dad's autobiography. He's asked for a few pictures to include in his book, and this is one I am happy to provide. It's a framed, under-glass, pencil drawing of my grandparent's farm home outside of Covington, Ohio. The house is vacant now, and in such disrepair that this is how we'd all like to remember it. I drew this in 1968, when I was 15 years old, in ninth grade. I had a wonderful art teacher.

This week's audiobook didn't hold my interested, and it took determination to slog to a finish.

"Good Omens" by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, is being turned into a TV series. These fellas also wrote "American Gods" that was turned into a TV series I didn't care for. So why I thought I'd like this book, I'm not sure.

If you're a reader who likes a good fantasy, with schemes between good and evil - literally, the devil and his evil minions, and an angel - then you'll enjoy this. Add some 10 and 11 year old kids, the four horsemen of the apocalypse riding motorcycles, a witch and witch-hunters, and a few opinionated humans, you might get the idea that this is a phantasmagorical story! You'd be correct.

Linda's score: 2.8/5

Thinking of friends and family who have plans for a long Memorial Day weekend... Be safe. Have a good time! Linda



Robbie said...

I am so impressed you continued making this curved braided quilt! It is stunning and glad it was you and not me! HA Thanks for sharing!!!

Susan Snooks said...

Wow, that curved quilt did give you some headaches Linda! Good for you for persevering! And what a great drawing to include in your father's book! Drawing may be your next hobby?

Debbie said...

Wow! Sorry for the struggle on the braid quilt but it's definitely a stunner!

Jackie's Stitches said...

This quilt is worth every effort putting it together! It's fantastic!

Curious to see how you feel about the thread heaven. Not sure I'm a fan.

Nancy said...

The quilt is beautiful, but the struggle is real. Your drawing is really well done- lots of details. And Thread Heaven- I'm glad you found it, it does help!

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

Your braid quilt turned out wonderfully even with all the struggles. The color scheme is so you and so fitting for Florida. I don't assume you'll be making another one any time soon though. Sounds to me like you are quite the perfectionist when it comes to those points matching. Don't look too closely at my work because my points don't match so well. I'm very impressed with your drawing too. It's a very special piece to have in your family. Have a relaxing Memorial Day weekend.

Quilting Babcia said...

Wow, that Cascade top certainly turned into a labor of love to complete! It is glorious though and I would guess that nobody else would ever notice any little mismatches that might have slipped in. Your artistic talents began at a very early age, that drawing of your grandparents' farmhouse is wonderful, made especially so since the house has fallen on hard times. Have a lovely Memorial Day!

Quilter Kathy said...

That is a gorgeous quilt! i've never heard of that ruler before!

OPQuilt said...

That is a wowser of a quilt, and I can't believe your determination to get those seams matched. You are impressive. I clicked over to Pumpkin Vines to get some Thread Heaven. They only have one left, and it's a whopping $9.30 mailing to get it to me. I think I'll pass, but looks like you sold them out!

Karen's Korner said...

The result was worth all the extra sewing.

Karen @runsewfun said...

An excellent piecing post. I imagine you pressed the long vertical seams open? Though even that leaves for thick, doubled over seam allowances. I'll be watching for how you quilt this.
That pencil drawing is wonderful. You sure are one talented woman.

Susie Q said...

Just read the 2020 Quilt Con registration starts June 25 AND it is in Austin. Surely you will be there !!!!!!

Amy's Crafty Shenanigans said...

I love your Cascade quilt! I am contemplating making this quilt so I am happy I have your post about how it comes together.


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