Help for Sydney – Doing My Part, Spreading the Word

I just read about the idea that Josh from Molli Sparkles has come up with to help comfort those affected by the tragedy in Sydney, (which occurred near where he works). He’s inviting the online community to come together to donate their time, money, or quilt blocks so that he and his fellow Glitterati in Australia can make at least 6 quilts for family members consisting of about 1080 blocks plus materials for batting, backing and quilting.

Click here for complete details.

molli_sparkles_helpI made a small paypal donation to help defray the cost of materials; then I got to thinking – how could I contribute more?

So I decided to make you guys this offer: from now through Sunday, December 21st, I’ll donate 50% of the sales of all my PDF patterns to the cause. (Of course, you are also welcome to donate directly or help out in the other ways stated on Josh’s blog).

CQ-PatternsI currently only have 5 patterns for sale, so it may not make a big dent, but every little bit helps, right?

It sickens me when I hear of such tragedies in the world, but it does give me comfort when I see quilters band together to offer love and support where they can.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged | 4 Comments

Check out Me Being Crafty Podcast and Listen to My Interview

Hey guys, have you heard of this great new creative podcast? It’s called Me Being Crafty and it’s hosted by Tsoniki Crazy Bull. When Tsoniki reached out to me and invited me to be on the show, I immediately listened to all the past episodes to get a feel for her audience and presentation style. After just a few minutes of listening, I quickly said yes!


Tsoniki encourages you to find your creativity every day, no matter what you do. She interviews fun people like quilters, sewists, lifestyle bloggers, and all sorts of creative folks. On the podcast, Tsoniki shares her passion for creativity along with snippets of her life as a mom and military wife currently living in France, along with a touch of her Native American culture.


Click here to listen to my interview. There’s a player at the top of the page. Just click play to listen on your computer.

You can also subscribe to the podcast via Itunes or Stitcher.

Me Being CraftyTsoniki and I chatted about modern quilting, the importance of quality tools, why I love teaching, and a little bit about my journey as a quilter.

She publishes podcasts twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with one guest per episode. Each podcast runs about 20-30 minutes. They are fun to listen to while sewing!

Click here for my publicity page to check out my other interviews and features. :-)



Posted in Reviews, Sew and Tell | Tagged | Leave a comment

Make a Modern Mini Quilt with My Mini Churn Dash Pattern

I’ve jumped on the mini quilt bandwagon with one of my latest finishes, Mini Churn Dash. I actually made it over the summer, but I’m able to share it with you now that it’s been published in the latest issue of The Quilting Quarterly by the National Quilting Association.

Mini-QADI was actually able to use this mini for two features in the magazine – the pattern on how to make the mini quilt, and my regular recurring column, Quilt As Desired.

Mini_patternI used a few fabrics from Bonnie & Camille’s Miss Kate line, generously provided to me by Moda Fabrics. I had so much fun making this mini!

I wanted to keep both the quilting and the binding in scale so I reduced my quilting stitch length and I finished it with 1/8″ binding rather than the standard 1/4″. It really wasn’t that hard to do. I used single-fold binding strips that were only 1 1/4″ wide and sewed with 1/8″ seams.

mini_bindingI love using Wonder Clips for binding my quilts. The more clips, the better!

In case you missed the magazine issue, you can purchase the individual pattern here.

I’ve been enjoying seeing quilts made with churn dash blocks and am so glad I was able to combine two trending ideas, mini’s and churn dashes into one quilt. If you are inspired to make your own Mini Churn Dash, I’d love to see it! You can share a picture with my via email, on my flickr page, or on Instagram with the hashtag “minichurndash.”

Posted in Christa's Quilts | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Optical Illusion – The Finish

I was able to finish Optical Illusion just in time to submit it to QuiltCon (the all-modern quilt show and conference). Then I got the exciting news that it was selected for judging along with two of my other entries, Abacus and Spiraling Out of Control. There were over 1300 entries submitted this year which totally blew away the amount of entries received the first time around. What an awesome show it’s going to be!

cwatson_Optical_Illusion_1800Optical Illusion, designed, pieced and quilted by Christa Watson

Here’s a detail shot where you can see the quilting a little better:

cwatson_opticalillusion_detI had a lot of fun sharing this one on Instagram, because when my followers scrolled the reduced sized picture up and down, they could get the lines to move. What a fun trick! See if you can get it to move when you scroll this blog post up and down – it’s an interactive quilt!

Another “optical illusion” for this quilt was totally unintentional but added a fun surprise: when you hold it up to the light, you can see the geometric backing fabric shining through the white squares, creating a “stained-glass” effect. Cool huh?

stained-glassThis quilt is as fun to play with as it was to make! Since I finished ahead of schedule, I took a little time to make a not-so-fancy but utilitarian label for it, using the embroidery stitches on my machine. (It’s a Bernina 710 – since I know you are going to ask!)

labelI know several of you have asked for a pattern for it, so that’s in the works. I probably won’t release it though until after QuiltCon, to give me plenty of time to get it ready (and to see how it does during the judging process, LOL!!)

Now, it’s onto the next quilt….

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Christa's Quilts, Quilt Events | Tagged , , | 25 Comments

Enter Your Modern Quilts into NQA’s 46th Annual Show

Ok guys and gals – you are going to see me blogging a lot about the National Quilting Association as I gear up to do a lot of fun things with them over the next year!

Web Banner2First up on the agenda – enter your quilts into their show! Of course they have all of the regular show categories, but I am so stoked that they also have a Modern category. And you know what’s even more exciting? It’s not a juried show which means that you are automatically guaranteed to get in! But here’s the catch – the show is limited to the first 400 entries! Wouldn’t it be amazing if so many of them are modern?

The deadline for entries is April 1st, 2015 and NQA members get a discounted entry so please become a member if you haven’t already! I will be going to the show myself (more about that later) – and I hope to see your quilts!

Posted in Quilt Events | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Sneak Fabric Peek of Some New Projects

I’m excited to get a jump start on some quilts I’m hoping to finish next year. I wanted to play around with precuts and scraps and I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to sew with so many colorful pieces of fabric!

Pat SloanTriangle TipsI’m currently making a quilt using Pat Sloan‘s latest fabric line The Sweet Life which will be in shops (including ours) around February of next year. These are some leftover triangle trimmings from the quilt blocks. I decided they are so fun and colorful that I think I’ll make a bonus project from all of the leftovers. Got any suggestions?

Scrappy Charms_1I also started cracking open some mini charm packs and regular charm packs that I have accumulated over the last couple of months (and this is after attending quilt market and giving most of it away already!!)

Not quite sure what I wanted to do with them, I first sorted them into piles of lights and darks because I knew I wanted high contrast. I was able to flip over quite a few of the medium prints and they turned into pretty low-volume pieces on the back. I just love versatile fabric, don’t you?

scrappy_charms_2I just love the contrast between bright prints and more muted low-volume designs!

I’ve now got the perfect idea in mind – it’s based on a traditional quilt I made years and years ago that I’m going to tweak into a more modern design. I’ve been having a blast sewing together all of these little squares and playing with all these luscious colors and prints!

Posted in Christa's Quilts, Fabric, Sew and Tell | Tagged | 14 Comments

Teaching at John C. Campbell Folkschool in March

One of my goals I stated for 2015 was to seek out new teaching venues. I am excited that my first national teaching event of the year will be a week-long class at the John C. Campbell Folkschool in Brasstown, North Carolina. Click here to register and come join the fun!

20140702_folkschool_housing20140706_folkschool_trailThe accommodations at the Folkschool are just lovely!

From March 8-14, 2015, I will be teaching “How to Make a Modern Quilt” featuring my Modern Logs pattern and I couldn’t be more thrilled! In this intimate setting, I’m going to walk you through the entire process of making a quilt from start to finish, including cutting, piecing, basting, machine quilting and binding. How fun will it be to get away for a week, enjoy some beautiful mountain views, and come back with a finished project?

Modern-Logs-FinishedHow to Make a Modern Quilt featuring Modern Logs

I have to honestly say that I’d never heard of the Folkschool until they contacted me earlier in the year inviting me to teach. When I took at look at their website, read through their rich history (the school has been around since 1925!), and checked out their accommodations, it was easy to yes!

In addition to year-round classes with different instructors every week, the Folkschool features community events, craft auctions and a number of different festivals. It really is a community unto itself!

folkschool_120140706_folkschool_craftsfolkschool_2Arts & crafts, music and dancing are all to be had at the Folkschool!

So here is the deal with registration:  sign up for the week long class and pay your deposit which will hold your seat in class. Then select your choice of lodging and meal packages to fit your budget. For example, my class runs the entire week with orientation beginning on Sunday evening, 5 full days of instruction (Mon-Fri), and a show ‘n tell presentation on Saturday before everyone leaves.

It is a big chunk of change since it’s a week-long event, but compared to the daily rate of other venues I’ve attended it’s quite a bargain. The total instructional time with me is 30 hours and the class sizes are very limited so it’s going to be quite the experience! It makes me giddy thinking how awesome it will be to make new friends and spend an entire week with them focusing on nothing but quilting. I’m also looking forward to evening strolls and early morning walks before class!

20140706_folkschool_naturefolkschool_3I can’t wait to experience those views!!

So if you are even thinking about it, I encourage you to sign up now. Tell your loved ones you’ve been good this year and that this would make the perfect holiday gift. :-)

Posted in Quilt Events, Quilting Classes, Teaching | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Countdown to Christmas with Free EQ7 Designs

I’m excited to be featured on the Do You EQ blog today by my friends over at Electric Quilt! For the next 3 weeks they are sharing 15 free downloadable designs by many of your favorite EQ7 designers. Of course, you need to have the software to use the designs, but once you’ve saved them, you can play around with them and change them up however you like! Click here to join the fun. :-)

EQ7 Christmas Countdown 1Modern Trees, my most popular Quilt Along is being featured today!

Speaking of EQ7 fun, I just got the latest version of EQ Stash, a downloadable collection of hundreds (thousands?) of fabric swatches by all the major fabric companies including Andover (Allison Glass Handcrafted anyone?), Art Gallery, Free Spirit, Kona Solids, and much much more. This will save me tons of time when picking out palettes! Click here to check it out (it’s like super-cheap).


Posted in Favorite Tools | Tagged | 6 Comments

Christa’s Soapbox – 2015 Goals and Some Reflection

For the last two years, I’ve publicly stated my New Year’s Goals on my blog and I’m ready to it again for 2015! I love to call them goals rather than resolutions, and by writing them down, they are more apt to happen. I prefer to get a jump start on the new year by listing them a month early. (I used to be a serious procrastinator, but once I turned 40 that was finally a habit I was able to break!)

2015For anyone who wishes to walk down memory lane, you can take a look at my earlier goals below. I’m proud to say that I’ve actually been able to accomplish most of them!

So without further ado, here are my goals for 2015:

  1. Have a successful book launch later in the year
  2. Continue to work on my health and fitness
  3. Set up a traveling schedule and obtain more teaching opportunities
  4. Plan and propose my next book idea
  5. Increase my circle of quilting friends

I’m pretty excited about these because they will give me the excuse I need to make a boatload of quilts! (Not that I really needed one, right?)

20141111_sewtopia_attendeesMy view from Sewtopia – a modern quilting retreat I attended earlier this year.

Although quilting is my full-time job, I really enjoy traveling to amazing events, meeting new friends, and discovering luscious new fabrics. I’m sure I could stay home behind the scenes and be just as successful running the precut-store part of our business. But I really do need to be around people and share in their quilty excitement.

My kids are growing up and my oldest will graduate and leave home next summer. He’s planning on going on a 2-year mission for our church and then he’ll head off to college when he returns. So next year will be a huge life change for us as we set those plans in motion; we jokingly tell him we are already making plans on what to do with his bedroom when he’s gone! But in the meantime, we are going to have as much fun with him as we can and go on a few family trips before he leaves – I can’t wait!

20141201_familyThis was during our last family trip to Mexico. I love these guys!

I have to say that for the most part, this has been a good year. It’s been super busy of course and it’s had its share of ups and downs. But I can truthfully say after years of hard work (and a few wrinkles and gray hairs), I’m excited for what comes next!

Posted in Personal Life | Tagged | 11 Comments

Black Friday Craftsy Sale – All Classes $19.99 or Less!

Pardon me for blogging about Craftsy twice in one week, but holy-heck-of-a sale, Batman! All classes are $19.99 or less through Monday (sale ends Monday at 11:59 PM).

Click here to view all Craftsy Quilting Classes.


If you’ve had your eye on any of the classes I’ve reviewed in the last few weeks, now is the time to enroll! I wanted to keep this short and sweet. You may now return to your regularly scheduled shopping bonanza. :-) Affiliate links provided by Craftsy.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged | 1 Comment