Christa’s Soap Box – I’m Jumping Off the Deep End With My Patterns

After literally 10 years of going back and forth on whether I wanted to design and write individual quilt patterns, I’ve finally come to a decision – I’m going to do it! For real! :-) I’m jumping on the bandwagon, diving in head first, or whichever metaphor is appropriate for what I’m doing, LOL!

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll know that the best way for me to accomplish a given task is to blog about it. So guess what? I’ve decided to take you along with me on this journey as I go from concept to completion.

CQ-PatternsThese cover shots are ok – but there’s no branding!

The background leading up to this decision:

I’ve seriously wanted to do patterns forever but never thought I had the skills to successfully sell my own patterns. I can do all the math and come up with the designs, but the idea of creating a professional looking layout was a huge roadblock for me. It hasn’t stopped me from releasing a limited number of self-designed PDF patterns, but I wasn’t ready to get serious about pattern design until now.

At first I thought I’d learn how to do everything myself, take some online courses, and read a few books on how to create a professionally looking layout. But you know what – I tried that and found that it’s just not fun for me. In the end, I’ve decided to hire a graphic designer (hi Lindsie!) to do that part for me, so I could concentrate on what I love best: designing, writing, and making quilts.

It hit me like a ton of bricks when I realized this is the same reason people hire others to do their machine quilting. Those graphic designers are probably rolling their eyes at me thinking, “but it’s so easy” – the same way I’m out there trying to encourage others, “but machine quilting is so fun!” I will machine quilt in my sleep if I have to, as long as I can avoid having to illustrate and layout my own patterns, LOL!!

patternMy one and only print pattern can use a little help with graphics – don’t you think?

The First Steps

Like I said, I’m going the professional graphic designer route, but you certainly don’t have to! I’m also working with my friend Tina from Mod Geometry to do a little pattern testing on the side. I’ll first update and re-release all of my current PDF patterns, and finish a few that are in various stages of completion. Then I will release the print versions with sales channels to be determined later.

I’m also working with Lindsie to update the look and feel of my logo and blog. Nothing will change functionally, but we’ll work together to create some cohesive branding, which I’m really excited about.

Quilty ChevronsNow that I have the rights back to Colorful Chevrons, I can re-release it myself.

Future Goals

I guess the big pie-in-the-sky dream for any pattern designer is to have a booth at quilt market and get picked up by national distributors. While I’ll certainly consider that for the future, it won’t be the measure of my success in the short term.

For now, I’ll be happy to have professional looking patterns which I can sell to my fabulous readers, use to teach from myself, and offer to other instructors for them to teach from. I get a lot of requests to use my designs as the basis for other teachers’ classes, so If I can help them out with a ready-made pattern at an affordable price, then it’s a win-win for all of us!

Mini_patternGetting published in magazines was a great way to get my feet wet with pattern writing!

A Little Bonus

For a limited time, you can purchase any of my current PDF patterns for just 4.95! When all is said and done, I’ll offer them for the normal going rate once they are all jazzed up. So stock up now while you can!

CQ-PatternsHopefully my collection of patterns will grow over time.

 If you’ve purchased any of my patterns in the past, I’d love to hear your feedback on how I can improve them in the future. Just shoot me an email or leave your comments below.

And if you are thinking of getting into pattern design – don’t wait 10 years like I did!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Business, Publishing, Soapbox | Tagged | 17 Comments

My Blog is a Finalist in the Craftsy Blogger Awards!

I got some super fun news over the weekend. My blog was selected as one of four finalists for Best Quilting Tutorials in the Craftsy Blogger Awards. Thanks to those of you who nominated me – I really appreciate it!

2015BlogAwards

The other three bloggers are pretty amazing and a couple of them are definitely more well-known that I am, so my chances of winning are pretty slim. But, what an honor just to make the final cut! With the hundreds of quilting blogs out there, being one of the top four makes all the work I do very validating.

CraftsyVoteformeOf course, I’d love your vote, but be sure to look through all the categories and vote for your favorites. :-) Just in case you are new to my blog, you can check out all of my free quilt along tutorials here.

Voting runs through Wednesday, January 28th. May the best bloggers win!

Posted in Quilt Events, Sew and Tell | Tagged , | 21 Comments

Have You Heard of Make Modern Magazine?

Hey guys, it’s been awhile since I’ve done a review but I wanted to tell you about this cool new digital magazine that just recently launched. It’s called Make Modern Magazine and is the brainchild of three super creative gals from Australia – Jane Kelly, Kristy Lea, and Lara Motta.

Make Modern Issue Three CollageMake Modern – Issue 3

I’ve known Kristy online for a couple of years. She’s an amazing pattern designer with a penchant for paper-piecing (say that 3 times fast) and I love everything she does! I do have to mention that I’m a little biased towards this magazine because I’ve been invited to share a pattern in a future issue (more details as that gets closer).

Make Modern is chock full of great article as well as patterns. I don’t know about you, but I really like “reading” quilting magazines, not just looking at all the pretty pictures, though it includes many of those as well. Some of my favorite issues have included tips on free-motion quilting (of course!), working with half-square triangles, and profiles of many of my favorite makers. Because I love being part of the online community, it’s especially fun to see well-known blogging friends contributing to the magazine.

MM Issue Two CollageMake Modern – Issue 2

You can purchase single issues of the magazine as well as 3 issue (6 month) or 6 issue (yearly) digital subscriptions. I myself ordered the yearly subscription to get the best discount and I get an email with a link to the PDF download as each issue is published.

One of my favorite things about this being a digital magazine is that it includes tons of embedded links that take you right to the pattern designer’s blog to get to know more about them. How cool is that? Each issue also includes some pretty generous giveaways just for their readers.

MM Issue One Collage

I invite you to check it out – I think you’ll really like it! And if you are an aspiring designer like me, I know they are always looking for submissions.

By the way, if you want to listen to Jane & Kristy’s awesome accents, be sure to catch their recent interview on the Modern Sewciety podcast!

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Come Take a Class with me at the NQA Quilt Show!

I will be teaching this summer at the 46th annual quilt show hosted by the National Quilting Association and I’d love for you to join me! Hosting a show for 46 years is quite impressive and I’m so pleased to join the other amazing instructors. The show runs from Thursday-Saturday, June 18-20 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Click here for class preview.

Web Banner2Here’s what I will be teaching:

Modern Logs  This class is quickly become a student favorite. It’s fun to teach the same workshop in multiple venues and I love to see how everyone makes it in their own way! My quilt measures 48″ x 54″ and it’s super easy to make it larger – just add more blocks!

I recently found out this quilt won an honorable mention in the Modern category at Road to California, so I’m glad the judges liked it as much as my students do. :-)

Modern Logs

Modern Logs by Christa Watson, 48″ x 54″

Modern Machine Quilting  Enjoy the satisfaction that comes with learning to quilt your own quilts! In class, I’ll teach a plethora of walking foot wonders and free-motion favorites that are accomplished with little to no marking. Let go of perfection and enjoy the rich textural effects of modern quilting!

modern machine quilting samples

Modern Machine Quilting Samples by Christa Watson

Charming Chevrons  The one that started it all, this design was my entry into the world of modern quilting. It’s quick and easy to make from your favorite collection of charm squares, whether they are solids, prints, or a mix of both!

Colorful Chevrons

Charming (Colorful) Chevrons 64″ x 80″

If you’d like to be a part of the show, you can enter your quilts here. NQA is a non-juried show which means they will accept the first 400 entries. The show includes a modern category as well, and I can’t wait to see all the gorgeous quilts in person!

See ya there!!

 

 

Posted in Quilting Classes, Teaching | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Lori M. who is the winner of the Kaufman Skinny Strips and Moda Charm Pack shown below! I’ve sent you an email directly. Thanks also to those of you who participated by reading my weekly email newsletter. :-)

Precuts

If you haven’t yet subscribed to my Friendly Threads newsletter, click here to join!

Posted in Fabric, Giveaways | Tagged | 5 Comments

Around the World Blog Hop – Remix

Isn’t it such fun to meet a variety of bloggers, quilters, and pattern designers? I previously participated in the Around the World Blog hop back in September where I was able to share a bit about my creative process.

around_the_worldFree Clipart Courtesy of Clipartof.com

I think it’s gone around the world a few times and it’s come back to me once again, this time from my lovely friend Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting Melissa. I have to give a huge shout out to Melissa, who also has a book coming out with Martingale. She was the one who encouraged me to submit my book proposal to them and I couldn’t be more grateful!

melssa_corryMelissa Corry of Happy Quilting Melissa

Melissa was tagged by Melissa Mortensen who was tagged by Amanda Herring who was tagged by Amber Johnson who was tagged by Amy Smart who was tagged by Jen Kingwell who was tagged by Sue Spargo and it goes on and on from there! So be sure to check out each of these fabulous women’s posts. I think you’ll learn something new and be inspired!

2015-01-08 12.03.21

I’m currently working on some secret sewing featuring the fabulous Handcrafted batik collection by Alison Glass for Andover fabrics. I can’t wait for the big reveal!

If you haven’t shared your journey yet, I invite you to now! Just write up a post by next Monday, January 26th and link back to this post. Then invite a friend or two to join the fun by mentioning them in your post going forward. On your blog, feel free to answer these questions any way you like:

What are you working on?
How does your work differ from others?
Why do you do what you do?
How does your creative process work?

I can’t wait to read your responses!

Posted in Soapbox | Tagged | 2 Comments

Fabric Friday – Global Shipping for Precuts and a Giveaway!

For this week’s Fabric Friday, I thought I’d do something a little different – let’s have a giveaway!!

But first, I have some great news for my international friends: most of our precuts are now available for global shipping! Whoo hoo! I believe this is a pilot program, which if successful, will hopefully mean that all items will be available for international shipping in the future.

Click here to see which precuts this applies to. :-)

PrecutsOne of you will win these precut bundles by signing up for my newsletter!

And now for the giveaway…

One lucky winner will receive the precut bundles shown above: a Skinny Strip (1 1/2″ x 40″ strips) of Valori Wells Blueprint Basics in Summer, plus a charm pack of Bella Snow.

Enter to win!

Click here to subscribe to my weekly email newsletter and you’ll be automatically entered to win! I use a double opt in system which means you’ll receive a confirmation email once you’ve added your name to the list. Be sure to find that email (check your spam box just in case) and open it to ensure you’ve been registered.

blueprint basics summerFabric swatches from Blueprint Basics – Summer

If you are already signed up for my newsletter, you don’t have to do a thing – you are already entered. Imagine that – you don’t even need to leave me a comment! Though of course you still can if you want to. :-)

The giveaway is open to everyone worldwide through Monday, January 19th at midnight PST. I’ll draw a winner’s name and announce it on the blog during the day on Tuesday.

Have a happy sewing weekend!

Posted in Fabric, Giveaways | Tagged , , | 54 Comments

A Concern About Bloglovin’…

Hey guys – do you run across this problem? I follow a LOT of blogs via Bloglovin’. However, I’ve noticed lately that I don’t always see all of the blogs I follow in my feed. In fact, a couple of my blog followers have said the same thing about my blog – they aren’t getting my blog updates on a regular basis. Now that is disconcerting.

Here's Christa!Hey guys – thanks for reading!

I’m not a techie – so here’s an easy fix: subscribe to my blog directly via email so that you get an email each time I publish a post. Just look for the subscription box on the right-hand sidebar. I usually try to post about 3-4 times per week.

Also, while you are at it, you can sign up for my weekly email newsletter here. I try to curate different content across all of my social media platforms; so between my blog, instagram, and email, you can keep up with me and all of my quilty antics! :-)

Posted in Soapbox | Tagged | 27 Comments

Check out the Bee Hive – A Fun, Free Year Long Block of the Month

I love it when my quilty, bloggy friends do cool stuff. Have you visited my friend Alyce from Blossom Heart Quilts? Not only is she a recurring writer for Make Modern Magazine and awesome pattern writer, she’s a generous designer as well.

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For all of 2015, she’s put together a fun, free BOM (Block of the Month) program that anyone can follow along with. It’s called The Bee Hive and she’s featuring not just one, but two block tutorials each and every month!

20150110_beehive_block_tictactoe

January’s first block of the month features this awesome tic-tac-toe block!

Here’s how it will work:

The first block of the month will feature a unique 12″ finished block design by Alyce, that when laid out side by side forms a secondary design. Then, the second block of each month will be designed by a host of talented guest designers. Alyce’s blog will be the place to go to keep up with all of the tutorials.

20150110_beehive_tictactoeI love the modern, graphic look of these tic-tac-toe blocks set together!

I will be the guest designer for April and I’ve included the complete schedule below. Just think, if you follow along all year, you’ll have 24 finished blocks! As with any quilt along, you are welcome to work at your own pace and join in anytime. :-)

The Schedule

January 12 – Tic Tac Toe
January 26 – Kristy from Quiet Play

February 9 – Chainlink
February 23 – Janice from Better Off Thread

March 9 – Houndstooth
March 23 – Jane aka Quiltjane

April 6 – Spinwheel
April 20 – Christa from Christa Quilts

May 4 – Busy
May 18 – Angie from Gnome Angel

June 1 – Bunting
June 15 – Anne from Play Crafts

July 13 – Abacus
July 27 – Jess from Elven Garden Quilts

August 10 – Homebase
August 24 – Joshua from Molli Sparkles

September 7 – In The Middle
September 21 – Jennie from Clover and Violet

October 5 – Magic 8 Ball
October 19 – Diane from From Blank Pages

November 2 – Alpine
November 16 – Melissa from Ms Midge

December 14 – Treasure Hunt
December 28 – Finale

When you do join the fun, Alyce has created a hashtag so you can share your blocks on social media: #thebeehivequilts. I can’t wait to see what everyone makes!

Posted in Quilt Alongs, Tutorials | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Las Vegas Modern Friends – Come Join Me!

This is an invitation to my local Las Vegas friends and those in the surrounding area, to come join the local modern guild! The Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild has been around for a few years, but they made a New Year’s resolution to become an official affiliate group of the national Modern Quilt Guild!

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Isn’t that exciting? I’m helping out by getting all the paperwork together and recruiting a few of my friends. Be sure to check out details about upcoming meetings on the LVMQG blog and join the fun. :-)

 

Posted in Quilt Events, Sew and Tell, Soapbox | Tagged , | 1 Comment