March 18, 2016

Cascade Amy Butler Style

My newest finish . . . Tequila Sunrise.


tequila sunrise quilt, Cascade quilt pattern by SpringLeaf Studios

I've been wanting to make a new quilt with my Cascade pattern and when these lovely, mostly Amy Butler, fabrics found their way to the top of my stash it was time. After months of winter drab, some intense color therapy was definitely in order. Think tropical sunsets or desert blooms.


In the beginning, I pulled several fabrics for consideration. Some are Kaffe Fassett. There's also some Tula Pink and Valorie Wells. But mostly it's Amy Butler prints from her Bright Heart and Soul Blossoms collections. While not all are from the same fabric line or designer, they are mostly from the same manufacturer so the coloring works quite well together.

To start, I auditioned the fabrics on my design wall to determine which ones worked. I eliminated the far left top row as too white, the 4th and 5th from the right in the middle row because they had too much green/blue and the far right bottom row plus the big floral hanging down lower. Leo was a great help in the selection process. He really knows his colors.


Once the final palette was chosen, the cutting got underway. I just love to see the pile of trimmings build up. Even though none of this is really useable I still have trouble throwing them away. I've been known to throw trimmings like these into glass jars just for the color. Now I toss them in a bag to be used later for pet bed stuffing. What can I say? It's hard to let go . . .


With the pieces cut, the next step was figuring out the arrangement of prints. I started by nailing down the large square arrangement on my design wall. I ended up placing the cool colors in somewhat of a value sequence from dark to light. The colors are so intense and saturated there isn't a great deal of value change so it's mostly a contrast of color rather than value. After the large square positions are determined, I placed the small squares that form the triangles by folding them over on the diagonal.

Piecing the top went quickly once my design decisions were made. That's one of the things I love about the Cascade pattern . . . it goes together fast. All the seams nest so the alignment is easy too.

Basting isn't my favorite thing to do. Usually I clean the floor, then spread it all out and baste on my hands and knees. Talk about sore knees and lower back!  So this time I used my folding craft table. I could only do part of it at a time and was a little worried the back might not be smooth enough but it all worked perfectly. I can't see doing a very big quilt this way but for quilts up to about 60" wide it works fine. And to think I nearly sold this table because I wasn't using it. Whew . . . glad I didn't. It's coming in handy for a lot of things. And my back is happy.


I quilted wandering wavy lines from top to bottom. The back is pieced with a row of blocks and I needed to make sure these were as straight as possible to the quilt front when I basted the layers. I think it turned out pretty darn good.


Finishing up wasn't without a small glitch. I managed to twist the binding when I sewed the ends together. It wasn't the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last time I make this mistake. Bet you've done that one at least once too. At least it's an easy fix.


I usually hand stitch my bindings but this time I used the machine binding method where you sew the binding to the back (instead of the front) and then fold it over to the front and top stitch it down. I like this machine method because I can see how the stitching lines up along the binding. It's not without it's problems though. For one, the binding is just never as straight as my hand stitched binding are. For another, I don't love how the stitching shows on the front. But it's better than when I stitch in the ditch and blindly try (hope) to catch the binding on the back. That method never works well for me. I'll keep trying and experimenting with my stitching alignment and maybe I'll get better and it will look nicer. I used aqua thread on top to match the binding and orange in the bobbin to make the backing. Worked fairly well. Do you have a preferred machine binding technique?


I tossed it on my studio chair last night after finishing the binding and first thing this morning a certain fuzzy girl found her way underneath. Isn't she sweet?


If you're interested in Cascade you can find it on Craftsy and Etsy.

Linking up with NTT at My Quilt Infatuation.

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24 comments:

  1. First, I love your quilt. Love it! Second, I save my trimmings for dog beds too. Third, I am now sewing my bindings on the machine too, and like you, I'm not entirely happy with them. I do it the same way you do and I'm finding that the more I do, the better I am, they are tricky. If I make a really really special quilt, I will hand sew it.

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  2. It's a beautiful joyful quilt! Like you I don't have confidence in machining a binding on the front in order to catch it on the back and it never looks perfect - front, or back. My neatest ever binding involved the method you used above, but this must have been a freak as I've never been able to replicate it :-)

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  3. Gorgeous quilt! I hate hand-sewing bindings, so do most of mine by machine. I don't mind the edge-stitch on the front, although depending on patterns and fabrics I often sew to the front first, then wrap to the back and put the top-stitching on the back. That way the smooth binding side is on the front. It does add a visible line of stitching on the quilt top close to the binding (not quite in the ditch), and on some quilts that could be undesirable. But usually, IMO, what's another line of stitching after adding quilting lines all over? As for stitching in the ditch from the front and catching the back binding edge? Completely hopeless, I've never produced anything but a sloppy mess attempting it that way!

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  4. It's quite lovelyAnne, and perfect for the seasons n.

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  5. The quilt really just glows and is so happy! I laugh at myself when I twist the binding at the final join. At least it is always a quick fix. :)

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  6. Breath of Spring on a snowy day! And I love that it immediately became a Cat Fort. The true stamp of approval is cat hair, of course!

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  7. This is such a beautiful quilt! I'm working on my machine binding--not thrilled, but sometimes I just don't have the time to hand stitch it down.

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  8. Wow, this is beautiful Anne! What a glorious splash of colour that is! You inspire me to try machine finishing the binding- yours is SO neat!

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  9. Beautiful - love the "citrus" look with the lovely greens you have in there. You mention machine binding, I was doing just this yesterday and this morning on the quilt for our grand-daughter. For some reason I still stitched on the from, folded and then stitched in the ditch on the front side, I also missed a couple of places on the back, must try your method.

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  10. That is gorgeous - the fabrics, the colors, the design, the backing - all stunning. Welcome spring!

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  11. Instead of doing straight stitch for sewing on front of border after turning, try using a 3 point zig zag especially with the thread multi shaded to match. If you centre it on the stitches seen where you attached the border at the back, you shouldn't have any problem. Love the quilt.

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  12. This is such a great version of your pattern, I just love all of the color, color, color! It is a wonderful quilt for spring. Your kitty is so cute too.

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  13. Stunning quilt! Such happy colors. And I love the photo of your beautiful kitty!

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  14. Oh Anne, it's stunning! You made it to go with your side table, right? They go beautifully together! I am finally comfortable with binding by machine and learned using Rita Hodge's method where you are stitching in the ditch blindly from the front, but I learned to pin perpendicular to the binding so I can go along at a good pace and feel pretty good about catching the binding on the back.

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  15. Some of those scraps look big enough to go in a crazy quilt - right? Now you don't have to throw them away! Your quilt is stunningly beautiful.

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  16. Oh, my! so gorgeous!! I loved reading about your process and how the winnowing took place. You are smarter than me. I tend to cut out my blocks and then replace them (which is why I have a lot of large scraps...). I love your finished quilt, and that binding is perfection. You are amazing. :)

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  17. Beautiful quilt, the colors are just stunning and that pattern really makes it work.

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  18. This is gorgeous, the fabric placement is outstanding, what a beauty! Love the colors and the orange and aqua quilting.

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  19. How lovely! I'm so glad you pointed me this way! That is spot on for a cool melon color scheme. We are thinking along the same lines! happy quilting!

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  20. Brilliant quilt Ann! Happy, fun, bright and beautiful :))

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  21. Brilliant quilt Ann! Happy, fun, bright and beautiful :))

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  22. Lovely. So bright and colorful. I have done bindings as you describe for years now. Practice helps. One trick I've learned is to press the sewn binding seam away from the quilt back before bringing the binding to the front. Then I sew along the edge.

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  23. Lovely. So bright and colorful. I have done bindings as you describe for years now. Practice helps. One trick I've learned is to press the sewn binding seam away from the quilt back before bringing the binding to the front. Then I sew along the edge.

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