Blooming Wallflowers Week 5 – Basting

Welcome to everyone’s LEAST favorite part of making a quilt – basting! But hopefully with my methods and tips, it will be less painful of a chore for you. My #1 tip is to take your time with basting and don’t rush the process. If you have a nice and flat quilt while basting, it will make machine quilting sooo much easier!!

Spray Basting - smoothing the quilt

The key to successful basting is ensuring smooth, flat layers.

I use 505 Basting Spray to baste my quilts. It allows me to avoid pins while quilting and it ensures that every single inch of the quilt is sticking to every other inch. I have already created complete photo tutorials of my step by step process using either a design wall or a table. See the links below the image check them out:

Spray Baste

Below is a short 25 second video of me smoothing out the layers on the design wall, using a long acrylic ruler. Once I do this over the whole quilt, I take it to the ironing board and iron it, first from the back side and then from the front. The iron sets the glue and it’s ready to quilt!

If you would like to see the entire basting process on video (using a table), be sure to check out my Craftsy/Bluprint Class – Startup Library: Quilting. It walks you through the entire process of making a quilt from start to finish – over 6 hours of video content!!

Startup Library Craftsy Class by Christa WatsonClick here to enroll in my Startup Library Quilting Class

Hopefully between my videos and written tutorials, the entire basting process won’t seem so scary!

Next week will be another catch up break as I head to QuiltCon, so remember to share pics of your progress on Instagram #bloomingwallflowersquilt or in my ChristaQuilts Facebook Group. If I share your pic on my next blog post, you’ll win a free PDF pattern of your choice as my way of saying thanks for quilting along!

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

IMPORTANT LINKS

Come See Me at QuiltCon 2019 in Nashville! (And a fun personal update)

I can’t believe it’s already time to get packed and ready for QuiltCon which is happening next week! It’s been a whirlwind of a year for our family so far – moving into a new home and getting ready for our younger son leave for his mission to China this week. The older one will be moving back home for awhile to work for us, and we are sooo glad we got the bigger house with an extra room! During all the chaos, we were even able to sneak in a last minute Disney vacation over the weekend. It was a great way to celebrate all the changes happening this year!

Watsons at Disney 2019

Disneyland is truly our happy place!! Although it was a chilly weekend, I kept nice and toasty warm with my MQG Hoodie I got at last year’s QuiltCon!

But now, it’s time to transition back into quilting mode big time!! And I’m so excited to do that with my first teaching event of the year! If you are planning on attending QuiltCon but didn’t make it into my sold-out workshops, I have great news for you: there’s still room in my lecture, plus I’ll be doing several free events on the flow show all weekend long. So be sure to come up and say hi – I’d love to chat with you!

BERNINA demos at QuiltCon

Here’s my schedule of events:

Christa’s QuiltCon Schedule

  • Friday 1:00 PM Stage Demo – Free Motion Quilting with BERNINA
  • Friday 1:30 PM Meet ‘n Greet – Booth 712 Designs by Sarah J.
  • Friday 5:00 PM Stage Demo – Electric Quilt 8
  • Saturday 11:00 AM Stage Demo – Walking Foot Quilting with BERNINA
  • Saturday 11:30 AM Meet ‘n Greet – Booth 712 Designs by Sarah J.
  • Sunday 10:15 AM Lecture – Modern Machine Quilting

Click here to register for my lecture.

Christa EQ and QuiltCon

So far I have attended every QuiltCon since the event began in 2013. This will be my third time teaching there and it’s my favorite show of the year! I always get inspired when I go and I love learning more about the modern quilting aesthetic. Plus, it’s super fun to meet up with friends, many of which I’ve met because of my involvement with QuiltCon!

Christa and Sarah J

I’m excited to hang out in my pal Sarah J’s booth next week. She’ll have many of my fabrics, patterns and of course my books! Stop by to say hi and I’ll be happy to sign anything you like… (a book, a pattern, your arm, a blank check… just kidding!!)

QuiltCon 2019

Are you planning to attend? If so – I’ll see you there!!

Abstract Garden Blog Hop and Fabric Giveaways!

What a fun week this is going to be! I have blog posts going up later this week about QuiltCon  and the Blooming Wallflowers quilt along and I can’t wait. To top it off, Benartex is hosting a blog hop for Abstract Garden all week over on their blog at Sew in Love with Fabric. You’ll be able to see fabulous projects made by the amazing lineup of makers below. Plus, each one will be giving away a fat quarter bundle, so there’s tons of chances to win, whoo hoo!!

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo Studio

Blog Hop Participants and Schedule

Click each of the links below to visit the blog and bookmark it for later in the week when they’ll be sharing. It’s going to be Sew. Much. Fun!!

Monday 
Benartex Blog – Intro & inspiration about my designs

Tuesday
Sherry Shish from Powered by Quilting
Lee Monroe from May Chappell

Wednesday
Annie Unrein from Patterns by Annie
Pam and Lynn from The Stitch TV Show

Thursday

Friday
Abstract Garden by Christa Watson for Benartex

Blooming Wallflowers Week 4 – Sewing the Quilt Top

I love seeing everyone’s progress on their Blooming Wallflowers quilts! Whether you are making it from my fabrics, or something completely different, they are looking so fabulous! Check out the hashtag #bloomingwallflowersquilt on Instagram or in my Facebook group to see how everyone is doing. This week we will sew our completed blocks from last week to make the quilt top.

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Pattern

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Top – Throw Size

This quilt top is sewn together in diagonal rows, so it’s much easier to assemble than it looks. The trick in getting it right is to pay attention to the placement of each individual block. When I made mine, I constantly referred to the pattern cover and the quilt top assembly diagram on pages 8-9 of the pattern for proper color placement.

If you have the space, I recommend laying out the entire top on a design wall or large area and then working on sewing one diagonal row at a time. When you sew the blocks together, you’ll have little triangle tips sticking out that you’ll want to trim up once each row is complete.

Tips for Sewing the Top

My number 1 piecing tip for accuracy is to sew slowly and keep an accurate quarter inch seam. I also like to use a stiletto which allows me to get right up into the seam I’m sewing together. In the short video below, notice how I’m joining the blocks so that I get a perfectly crisp point. I sew with a shorter stitch length (2.0 instead of 2.5) and I’ve pressed my seams open so that everything lies flat and the intersections are easy to see. I also slow down and ensure that the ends will match. You can also use pins if needed.

Remember to chain piece for speed and efficiency. That means to start sewing two blocks together and then without clipping threads in between, add the next two pieces to be joined. Whenever I start and finish a section of sewing I use a scrap of fabric as a “leader” or “ender” to catch my threads and prevent things from become a big mess!

Your “homework” for this week is to complete the quilt top. But remember, if you are just starting, that’s ok.  This quilt along will stay up indefinitely so you can work at your own pace.

IMPORTANT LINKS

EQ Design Challenge – Win a Fat Quarter Bundle of Abstract Garden

I’ve partnered up with my friends at Electric Quilt once again to offer free digital images of my latest fabric line, Abstract Garden. You can use the images in Electric Quilt software to design lots of fun quilts!

Abstract Garden Digital Images

Click here to download Abstract Garden digital images for EQ.
(You must have the software installed on your computer for it to work.)

In fact, that’s how I designed my newest quilt patterns made from my fabric. Once I design a fabric line and the digital images are sent off to the mill for printing, I import them into EQ8 to use as a palette while designing. That way I can see exactly how the finished quilt will look before I ever cut into my fabric!

Abstract Garden Fat Quarter Bundle

2 random entrants will each win a fat quarter bundle of Abstract Garden!

Once you’ve got your images, it’s time to play! You can enter your design for a chance to win one of 2 Abstract Garden fat quarter bundles, courtesy of Benartex Fabrics. The contest runs the entire month of February so you have plenty of time to design to your heart’s content!

Electric Quilt Design Contest for Abstract Garden

Click here to get the digital images for EQ and enter the contest. I can’t wait to see your entry!

Blooming Wallflowers Week 3 – Continue Sewing the Blocks & Loads of Inspiration!

If you are new to the Blooming Wallflowers Quilt along, click here for links to all of the QAL posts.

Blooming Wallflowers Triangle in a Square Blocks

Click here to get the Blooming Wallflowers (printed) quilt pattern to join in the fun!
Click here to purchase the downloadable PDF version.

Welcome to Week 3 of Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Along! I’ve built in a few “catch-up” breaks so that you won’t feel overwhelmed with the process. After all, there are a LOT of blocks to sew! This week we are continuing to make the blocks as shown in the videos from last week.

Inspiration From Fellow Quilt Along Participants

Here’s some inspiration to motivate you as you start, or continue to work on your blocks. Each person featured will get a free PDF pattern of their choice as my thanks for sharing their progress!

Blooming Wallflowers Work in Pr

Patti B has picked out a lovely blue and and yellow combo that I think is going to be just fabulous!! She’s got her rulers and pattern ready to go and will make great progress in no time!

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Along

Charald C. purchased a Blooming Wallflowers quilt kit and she’s finished cutting all her pieces; now they are ready to sew! I love how she lined them all up in yummy colorful stacks!

Blooming Wallflowers QAL

Caroline C. has chosen a rainbow of yummy goodness for her quilt. I’m in love with the aqua polka dot that she’s using for her background. I can’t wait to see it coming together!!

Blooming Wallflowers QAL

Kimberly W. took my advice about sewing all of one side of the triangle first and then all of the other side to make the sewing faster! I love her batik-y prints!!

Blooming Wallflowers QAL

Laina L. is about halfway through sewing her stack of blocks. Don’t they look great? She’s also using the Abstract Garden/Modern Marks fabric combo.

I hope this inspires you to make one of your own, and remember, you can join in anytime! Click the links below for supply lists and other important info. And continue to share your progress in my Facebook group, or on Instagram using the hashtag #bloomingwallflowersquilt.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Coming up next week will will start putting the top together so stay tuned!!

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Pattern

New Home Progress Week 7 – Designing My Quilting Studio (+Free Shipping!)

We are continuing to make great progress on settling into our new home. Most of the big stuff has been moved, except for my sewing room. But this week, I started designing how I want it to look, and I had someone from Ikea come and measure the space so we can plan out a very functional working studio. Here are a rough floor-plan so far:

Sewing Room Floorplan

Sewing Room Floorplan

I basically have two areas – a big open loft and a small corner nook. (The lines in the upper left corner represent open hallways so that’s not actually part of the space.) My plan is to have wall-to-wall cabinets on one wall (#’s 1-8) and the opposite blank wall will be for my design wall. The lower left (#’s 9-11) will be base cabinets with a smooth surface on top for cutting, and I want to add a cozy chair for hand sewing.

The rectangles in the center and the right side wall represent rough placement of my sewing table and computer desk. I never had a work desk in my old studio so I’m excited for the change.

Here’s the rough rendering of the space in 3-D (with the left rectangle and clear rectangle representing room openings):

sewing Studio Floorplan

For so long, most of my furniture has been a mis-match of hand-me downs and ugly plastic storage bins. I’m sooo excited that in the new studio, everything will be behind closed doors in nice, pretty built-in cabinets.

Sewing Room Plan

Designing my space is like designing a quilt – I need to see what it will look like before I start!

Here are the accessories I’ve picked out so far – off white cabinet fronts with interesting texture, silver handles, and a gray counter top.

Sewing Room Look

Things may change as I finalize the design this weekend, but hopefully everything will be ready by the end of February. Fortunately I’m in a lull with my quilting until the end of March, when new sample fabrics start arriving for spring quilt market. (More about that later!) So hopefully that will give me the time and headspace I need to get it all set up how I want.

Free Shipping on All Orders over $25!!

So let’s celebrate another weekly milestone with a sale!! From now through next Tuesday, when you spend at least $25 from my designer shop at Shop.ChristaQuilts.com you’ll get Free Shipping!!

You must use code MOVE7 in the coupon box at checkout to get the deal. So stock up on some of your faves guilt-free (and that means less stuff for me to put on my shelves, LOL!!!)

Sewing Nook

One of my earlier sketches as I was planning things out.

And now, I’ll pretend like I’m sitting in my cozy chair in one corner of my studio, enjoying some relaxing hand binding in a clean, organized and finished home… stay tuned for the next update!!

I’m the Guest Curator For February’s Quilty Box!

I have some super fun and exciting news to share: I’ll be the guest curator for February’s Quilty Box. And even better news: click here to get $10 off your first Quilty Box subscription!

Quilty Box February 2019

Here’s the way this fun subscription service works: choose a 1 month, 3 month, 6 month or one year subscription and received a fabulous box of quilt goodies curated by some of your favorite designers. They usually include fabrics, a brand-new pattern, and several awesome notions, all for an amazing lower price over what you would pay for them separately. And the more months you sign up for, the better the deal gets!

February 2019 QuiltyBox with Christa Watson

Click here to get $10 off your first subscription of QuiltyBox.

Each monthly box is like getting a fun surprise in the mail, so be sure to up by Feb 9th! It will ship approximately February 11, and as a special bonus for subscribers of my box, I’ll be offering an exclusive quilt along in March with a brand new pattern that will be revealed in the February box. I can’t wait for you to see it! and I can’t wait for the big reveal, coming soon!!!

Blooming Wallflowers Week 2: Sewing the Blocks

This week it’s time to start sewing our blocks from the pieces we cut out last week. (Be sure to scroll to the end for all of the pertinent QAL links.) And don’t worry if you haven’t started yet; next week will be a catch-up week so you won’t get too far behind!

Anatomy of a Triangle in a square block

Triangle in a Square Block

Designed in EQ8, using Abstract Garden & Modern Marks by Christa Watson for Benartex
Note that this is the FINISHED block, not including seam allowances

The triangle in the middle is called an isosceles triangle which has two sides that are the same length. Many people confuse this with an equilateral triangle because it looks similar, but it’s not. So take care to ensure the triangle is in the correct orientation when sewing it together. Just remember to keep the blunt edge at the top of the block and you’ll be fine.

The triangles on the sides are called “scalene right triangles” because none of the sides are the same length and it has a 90 degree angle. The triangles are similar to each other except that one is a “left-facing” triangle and the other is a “right-facing” triangle. For ease of reference, I refer to them as triangle pairs in the pattern since you need both to complete each block.

(Silent) Video Tutorial

Please bear with me as I’m still learning how to do videos on my own.  So for now, they won’t have sound. As I add videos to the QAL, hopefully they’ll get better each week. Think of it this way: I’m doing this Quilt-Along for YOU, but it’s a YouTube-Learning-Along for ME, LOL!!

Follow along on page 7 of the Blooming Wallflowers quilt pattern for detailed instructions of what I’m doing in the (silent) video below:

Tips to Remember

(1) Notice that the middle triangle has the blunted edge at the top and the two half rectangles have the blunted edge at the bottom. The most common mistake people make is switching the placement of the triangles so be careful not to do that.

(2) Once the placement looks good, pin the units and sew them right sides together. If you are sewing multiple blocks, be sure and chain piece (assembly line sew) all the lefts, then all the rights, etc. I always recommend sewing with a smaller stitch length and pressing the seams open for flatter blocks.

(3) When your blocks are sewn correctly, the top triangle tip will be floating 1/4″ from the the top (for seam allowances) and the bottom triangle tips will go all the way to the edges. Don’t forget to trim off the little dog ears (excess triangles) sticking out beyond the edge of the blocks!

Above is a 20 second video snippet showing how I quickly cut apart my chain pieced units using of of my favorite notions: the Triangle Thread cutter from SunflowerQuilts.

Homework: Sew all of the Blocks

Half of the blocks will be made with the light blue centers while the other half will be made from the assorted colorful prints. See page 7 of the pattern for details.

Blooming Wallflowers QAL by Christa Watson of Christa Quilts

So remember, you’ll have 2 weeks to finish up your blocks. Next week I’ll share a few inspiration images showing the different block combinations that you all are making. Everyone who gets featured will get a free PDF pattern of their choice, so be sure to share your progress in my Facebook group, or on Instagram using the hashtag #bloomingwallflowersquilt.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Blooming Wallflowers Triangle in a Square Blocks

 

Home Update Week 6 – Save 10% on Your Entire Order!

Whew! I can’t believe it’s been 6 weeks since we decided to move. We’ve now been in the home  for 3 weeks and there is still. So. Much. To. Do!!! But we are making great progress each week.
The interior painting is finally done, and Jason installed shelves for me in the laundry room.

Laundry RoomI’m enjoying adding touches of color to our home!

In our previous home we had really nice wood cabinets in the laundry room, but discovered that we never used them. Things got shoved in there, never to see the light of day. So this time around, I think shelves will be much more functional and will provide tons of space for all of my cleaning essentials. I’m excited to have a utility sink and there’s plenty of room for a folding table too, once the appliances are moved in.

Dining Room Before and After

Dining Room before and after: darker versus lighter teal.

The other big change we accomplished was swapping out the dining room paint for a lighter, more muted teal. At first we had painted it a very dark turquoise, which I loved on the sample card, but realized quickly that it was way too intense and didn’t quite match the rest of the house. Once we changed it to a softer tone I was much happier. Yes, it cost a little extra for paint and labor, but in the end, It was totally worth it!

Kitchen

The kitchen area was a huge selling point for us and is truly the heart of this home!

Our kitchen area is in the focal point of the home and really sets the color palette for the downstairs area. The backsplash is a really pretty teal/green/blue combo which looks fantastic against the dark gray/brown cabinets and silver appliances. I’m waiting to purchase barstools until the rest of the living room furniture has been acquired to ensure it all harmonizes together. So be on the lookout for more updates as they happen!

Quilt on a Couch

I want to incorporate more quilts into my decorating, too! I’ve draped my LatticeWork quilt on the couch which adds a fun pop of color, while being super cozy for cuddling!!
Now I’m just waiting for the rest of the living room furniture to arrive.

Use code MOVE6 to Save 10% on Your Entire Order

My sewing room will be the LAST thing to get set up in the house but that’s okay since I don’t have any sewing deadlines until the end of next month. In the meantime, you can take advantage of this week’s sale: 10% off anything and everything in my store at shop.ChristaQuilts.comUse code MOVE6 at checkout, and thanks for your support of our latest adventure!!