Spiraling out of Control Update – My Quilt Gets Around!

In my “former” life as a traditional quilter years and years ago, I hardly ever kept any of my quilts. I would finish them off just in time to send them to a show, use them as a teaching sample, or give them as gifts. My show and teaching quilts were mostly earmarked to give away even before they were made, and usually after only one showing. So I never really understood the value of keeping and sharing the same quilts in several venues. Until now.

Modern QuiltSpiraling out of Control by Christa Watson 70″ x 70″

I love how my friend Leanne from She Can Quilt says she is a “quilt-show enterer” rather than a “show quilter.” I think I will adopt that moniker, too. Somehow it seems less intimidating. I’ve been enjoying entering my Spiraling Out of Control quilt in several competitions this year while helping to spread the modern quilt aesthetic.

Spiraling Out of Control started off as my entry into the Riley Blake/MQG challenge, made it’s appearance at my local show, traveled to AQS Charlotte for a brief appearance, and most recently was accepted as part of the Modern Quilt Guild Showcase for the upcoming International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX.

spiraling_backBacking detail of Spiraling out of Control by Christa Watson

As an added bonus, it will be showcased in Quilt Scene Magazine which is a special issue that focuses on Quilt Market and Festival each year. What fun! Right now my quilts get to travel more than I do; but hopefully in the future, I will get to go with them more often! :-)

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Christa's Quilts, Sew and Tell | Tagged | 5 Comments

It’s Time for Another Fabric Giveaway – One from Me, One from Craftsy

I usually don’t promote companies who sell fabric since that’s an integral part of my business. However, when it comes to Craftsy, I don’t mind singing their praises. They’ve been very good to me in helping get my name out there via their blog, so I don’t mind returning the favor whenever I hear about something cool they are doing. :-)

craftsy_kitI’m kind of partial to the Blue Garden kit, myself!

From now through August 27th, you can win a Craftsy quilt kit (including backing) from one of the two choices above. Craftsy is holding this giveaway on their website, so be sure and click here to enter.

And now, just to sweeten the pot, I’ll add my own giveaway to the fun! I have a heaping pile of hunks and chunks leftover from ends of bolts when I used to sell fabric by the yard. I have a mystery box full of at least 20 yards of premium quality brand new fabric fabric waiting to go to one of you!

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Just leave a comment below telling me which Craftsy class is on your “to-watch” list. Pretty soon, I will get back to my habit of regularly reviewing their online classes and I can’t wait. I have quite a few to watch in my queue!

To recap:

  • Enter the Craftsy Kit Giveaway here
  • To win my mystery fabric giveaway, leave a comment below telling me what’s on your Craftsy bucket list.
  • Both giveaways are open to US/Canadian addresses only (sorry – that darn postage gets me everytime!!)
  • Both giveaways end Wednesday, August 27th at Noon PST (or slightly later)
  • Craftsy will notify their winner; I will notify mine via email.

 

Posted in Giveaways | Tagged , | 360 Comments

It’s Fabric Friday, Friends, and I am in Love with Solids

Can I just say I am in love with solids? When I first got into quilting nearly 2 decades ago, solid fabrics did not catch my eye. Sure, I appreciated Amish quilts in all their simplistic beauty and I loved the value of a good tone-one-tone blender; but I was not ready for solids – or maybe they just weren’t ready for me…

20140809_modern_solids_swatchAt any rate, I’ve fallen in love with them over the last few years, partly due to the fact that I love how quilting really shows up on them. Also, when working with solids, the design of the quilt is much more important and makes a much bigger impact.

So it’s no wonder that I jumped at the chance to carry the motherload of solid precuts: Denyse Schmidt’s Modern Solids bundle from Free Spirit. It’s a box full of 75 tantalizing solids in every color you could imagine!

20140809_modern_solidsI mean just look at all of these pretties!! I could seriously ditch my stash and work with only solids if given the chance… (but don’t worry – I have no plans to take such a drastic step!)

I only have a limited number of these boxes, since they are pretty hefty. But hopefully FreeSpirit will keep them around for awhile and maybe, if we are lucky, add to the collection as time goes by!

Click here to shop my entire line of solid precuts.

Are you a solids-lover like I am? Or do you prefer prints?

 

Posted in Fabric | Tagged , | 9 Comments

WIP Wednesday – Free Motion Quilting Frenzy

I’ve been quilting like crazy, trying to finish up quite a few projects on a deadline. The sad thing is that I won’t be able to share them for awhile, but the good news is that I can share little work-in-progress snippets here and there. (The pictures are all from my instagram feed so they are not the highest quality – but you get the idea!)

20140809_fmq_4I can get lost in pebbles! They are fun to stitch but very time consuming! I usually put on a good audio book and keep stitching until I can’t stand it or until my shoulders ache – then I take a break and do something else!

I’ve been having a blast playing around with different weights and colors of Aurifil threads as I quilt my myriad of projects. My go-to thread is the standard 50 weight cotton which blends wonderfully with any fabrics.

20140809_fmq_3I’m also experimenting with quilting spirals – in a slightly heavier thread – I love it!

However, I have been getting a little more daring. I usually try to match my thread colors to my fabrics but have been playing with variegated thread colors and heavier weights, too. I’m really liking the 40 weight Aurifil cotton which is just a tad heavier than the 50 weight (the smaller the number – the heavier the thread).

20140809_fmq_1Who doesn’t love a good stipple? Technically, the larger scale is called “meandering.”

I even tried some of the heavier 28 weight which adds a nice definition to the quilting. I love the Aurifil cottons because they go through my machine with ease and they don’t break! I usually use a size 80 needle with the size 50 thread and then switch to a heaver size 90 needle when dealing with the thicker threads. So far, so good.

20140809_fmq_2Loops are a great go-to design anytime. They always look good on any pattern!

I usually stick with the regular 50 weight thread in the bobbin in a similar color so that I can pack a lot of thread onto one bobbin for more non-stop quilting.

20140809_fmq_5Swirls always take my breath away. They don’t have to be perfect, either, to look good!

How about you? What are you working on this week?

20140809_fmq_threadNearly empty spools of thread make me happy!

Posted in Christa's Quilts, Favorite Tools, Sew and Tell | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

String of Pearls Class Registration Closes August 15th

For all of my friends in the Las Vegas area and nearby, here’s a reminder that I will be teaching at the annual Desert Quilters of Nevada quilting retreat which occurs September 26-28 of this year in Mesquite, Nevada.

I will be teaching my String of Pearls quilt on Saturday, September 27th, and registration closes this Friday, August 15th.

string_of_pearls_ribbonHere’s me with String of Pearls at the DQN quilt show earlier this year.

I just realized you don’t have to be a member of DQN to attend the retreat (otherwise I would have made this announcement sooner), so why don’t you grab a few buddies and join me this fall? It will be tons of fun!!

Click here to download and print off a retreat registration form.

It would be fun to see you there!

Posted in Quilting Classes | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Listen to My Interview on the Modern Sewciety Podcast!

You guys know how much I love listening to quilting podcasts while I sew. Well, I was very flattered when Stephanie Kendron, the host of Modern Sewciety, invited me to come on her show and chat about my own personal quilt story.

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The Modern Sewciety podcast is all about spreading the love of quilting and sewing, and getting to know other modern creative bloggers and their stories. Stephanie is an excellent hostess who put me right at ease, and we had such a fun chat! I admire her for her tenacity, and her goal of making the sewing and quilting community a fun place to be!

Click here to listen to episode #37 featuring my interview along with Holly Degroot of Bijou Lovely and fabric designer Anna Maria Horner!!

Click here to check out the rest of the shows, or subscribe to Modern Sewciety via Itunes.

I love to listening to podcasts for inspiration while I sew – it’s like being at a good ‘old fashioned quilting bee, but I don’t have to talk back!! I hope you enjoy it. :-)

Posted in Quilt Events, Sew and Tell | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Craftsy Sale – Save up to 50% off All Classes

Ok, guys and gals it’s really killing me not to be able to have time to share as many fun things on the blog as I am used to. I really look forward to getting back to my regular blogging pace in September!

craftsy_loveCraftsy mini quilt pattern by Right Patterns

But in the meantime, I can quickly share fun news and announcements that are happening in the quilting world, like this one: from now through Monday, all Craftsy classes are on sale up to 50% off!! Whoo hoo!

In the past I’ve written up several reviews of classes I’ve personally taken myself. Below are my top 4 picks for machine quilting classes. Click each link to read the review, then sign up while it’s on sale!!

Creative Quilting with Your Walking Foot by Jacquie Gering (50% off)

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Start Free-Motion Quilting with Elizabeth Dackson (33% off)

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Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine by Ann Petersen (50% off)

Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine

Dot to Dot Quilting with Angela Walters (20% off)

Dot to Dot Quilting

Click here to see all Craftsy Classes on sale and have a happy quilting weekend!

Posted in Quilt Events | Tagged | 1 Comment

QuiltCon Show News – Submit your Entries for 2015

I like to encourage others to submit their quilts into shows whether it be at the local or national level, so I’m here with some fun news related to QuiltCon – the biannual quilt show and conference put on by The Modern Quilt Guild.

QuiltConThe MQG education committee has been hard at work getting the word out to prepare for what is going to be an amazing show! The biggest and perhaps most exciting news is that this year, Modern Quilt Guild members can as many quilts as they wish into the show.

It will be a juried show, which means that a panel will select which quilts make it into the show based on an online application with photos. Deadline for entry is November 30, 2014, so there’s plenty of time for you think about what you want to enter, or to make something just for the show!

The Modern Quilt Guild has written up a couple of posts on their blog which explain the category entries and other important info, plus details about upcoming challenges. Click here for part one and here for part two to find out more details. I hope you enter and get to show off your amazing work!

Posted in Quilt Events | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Support 100 Quilts For Kids!

I’m excited to participate in 100 Quilts for Kids this year – both with a donation quilt and as one of the prize sponsors. (So If I happen to win one of the random drawings, I’ll be glad to pass that onto someone else!)

Busy Hands

“Busy Hands” – the quilt I will be donating to 100 Quilts for Kids this year.

100 Quilts for Kids is an annual charity quilt drive to encourage quilters to make a quilt, donate it to a child in need, and be entered for fabulous prizes for their efforts. In 2014, 100 Quilts for Kids will run from August 1st-September 30th.

20140804_100_quiltsOriginally started by Katie Blakesley of Swim, Bike, Quilt, this fabulous charity event is now being coordinated by Heather Tompkins of Quilts in the Queue. I’m happy to support this worthy cause and encourage you to do the same.

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The idea is to find a local charity to support. I plan on giving my quilt to Project Linus, and you can click here for tons of other ideas of where you can donate.

Heather is hosting a linky party on her site where you can share pictures of quilts you are making and donating. So be sure to join in the fun! After all, isn’t sewing with a purpose so rewarding?

Posted in Quilt Events | Tagged | 10 Comments

Precuts on Clearance

I have some fun fabric news to share this week. Jason has set up a section of our precut store exclusively for precuts on clearance. This will give us a chance to drastically reduce prices on precuts that we either bought too many of, or those that haven’t sold as quickly as we would have liked.

Here a few examples of some fun eye candy clearance for your stash:

clearance_loraxDr. Seuss The Lorax Quilt Kit. Clearance price $59.95.

clearance_parfaitHoffman Bali Pop Parfait – Clearance price $28.95 (regular retail price $41.95)

clearance_flatsFlats Jelly Roll by Angela Yosten. Clearance price $26.95 – Just a few left!

clearance_contempoContempo Layer Cake – Clearance price $28.95

clearance_konaGreener Pastures FQ Kona Solids Bundle – $32.95 on Clearance

Click here to shop our entire precut clearance section!

Posted in Fabric | Tagged , | 1 Comment