Before I totally commit to a new quilt project, I almost always make a test block to confirm that I like both the design and the fabrics I have chosen. More than once I have shifted gears, changing either my fabric selections or tweaking the pattern.
No test block this time. I’m about to embark on a big quilting project that is requiring a huge leap of faith on my part. And I’m unbelievably excited about it.
The project is in Victoria Findlay Wolfe‘s new book, Modern Quilt Magic, published by C&T Publishing:
Back in August, when Victoria was promoting her book on social media, I fell in love with one of the designs in it, Cascade, made with a curved braid strip ruler. I ordered book and ruler on the spot:
Notice how the quilt gradates from dark to light and back to dark again? The gradation is a function of both color and value. After studying Victoria’s version, which is very colorful and scrappy, I decided to go with a restricted palette of black, grey, gold, and white. I rarely work with all neutrals in a quilt so this is quite a departure for me. Despite the restricted palette, this quilt is going to be very scrappy, also a departure for me.
I started collecting fat quarters and quarter-yard cuts — yet another departure, as I am usually incapable of buying cuts of fabric smaller than a yard. In this case, I kept finding fabrics in my color range that seemed like good candidates.
As I looked over the instructions, I realized that I was going to have to cut lots and lots of curved braid strips from lots and lots of fabrics before sewing a single seam. That’s because of the way color and value gradate in the quilt: it’s essential to lay out the curves on a design wall and determine the final placement before sewing any of the curved braid strips together.
So I started gathering fabrics and cutting curves:
That’s a lot of curves, isn’t it? You’re looking at about 250 of them — roughly half the number needed for a twin size quilt. No going back now!
Every day I try to cut out a few more curves. By the time I finish my current project, a quilt for one of my granddaughters, I hope to start working on this new one.
I’m stepping far outside my comfort zone in every way with this quilt. Could that be why I find it so exciting?