First time Road to California quilt contest contestant, Cassandra Beaver, was a double winner at Road 2020. She won Honorable Mention in the Other Large category for Complementary Convergence and she won $2,500 from Sponsor, The Grace Company, for Outstanding Modern Quilt, Lateral Ascension.
A Winning Sewer at an Early Age
Road’s 2020 double winner, Cassandra Beaver, grew up enjoyed watching her Mom sew and quilt. When Cassandra was about four, her mother started teaching her how to sew. Cassandra finished her first doll/wall quilt when she was eight years old. She continued learning to sew and making quilt projects for the next ten years in 4-H and has been sewing and quilting ever since.
In high school, Cassandra entered the fashion show portion of the AQS show in Paducah. She recalls that it was a lot of fun meeting so many talented quilters during the show. Cassandra ended up receiving an award for the best student entry.
As a college student, Cassandra worked in the theatre department costume shop, sewing theatrical costumes and soft props. She continued this work for many years following graduation. Then, in 2014, Cassandra returned to quilting, creating a modern interpretation of a log cabin quilt made using a potholder quilt technique. That quilt was accepted into the Paducah AQS Show.
Outstanding Modern Quilt
Lateral Ascension was inspired by Cassandra’s work in the theater department. Says Cassandra, “As a theater designer, I drafted quite a few spiral staircases. This quilt design is based on the side view of a staircase draft in the very beginning stages. The quilt shows the simplified placement of stair treads prior to adding the handrail and spindles.”
Cassandra first made a mini quilt version of her design concept a couple of years prior to constructing the larger quilt. She adjusted the proportions and techniques a bit before making the second quilt. She had felt confident with the design before she began the construction process. Actual construction time was just under two weeks because she was really hoping to get it done in time to enter a show!
Lateral Ascension was the first quilt that Cassandra experimented with combining large stitch hand quilting with machine quilting. The colors of the quilting thread were chosen to add to the design. Matchstick quilting stitches in a heavier 12 weight thread pull the color of each stair tread out to the edge of the quilt. Cassandra shared, “When you first look at the quilt, the color palette appears quite limited, but when you look more closely, you will see that all primary and secondary colors are represented in the design.”
Cassandra wasn’t able to attend Road 2020, so she depended on Instagram friends to let her know how she fared. She was “stunned” to receive a photo with a ribbon on Lateral Ascension. Then, when she received another picture, this time of Complementary Convergence with a ribbon on it, Cassandra says she “was over the moon! It’s amazing to win one award, but two was beyond my wildest dreams!”
The prize money for Lateral Ascension was used toward the purchase of a much-needed laptop upgrade.
This double winner had been preparing patterns to be released for wholesale at Spring Quilt Market, which was cancelled due to the Coronavirus. Creatively, she is working on a 100-day project that she started on January 1st and had hoped to have finished by April 9th. It is a blue and white improvisational log cabin quilt that is constructed entirely from her scrap and stash fabrics.
To learn more about double winner, Cassandra Beaver, please visit her website.