Christa’s Soapbox – Do What You Love!

I’m getting up on my soapbox today (or is it soap box? I don’t know!) to encourage you to do what you love! My recent Road trip to the fantastic California quilt show reminded me of this in so many ways.

String of Pearls at Road to California

Christa Watson with String of Pearls at Road to California, 2014

The classes were phenomenal, the convenience food was actually pretty decent, and the quilts were simply amazing. I realized that I absolutely love going to shows and sharing my quilts, whether they win a ribbon or not. I have to say it was fun to “stalk” my quilt and stealthily listen in as others said nice things about it. πŸ™‚

Plus it was super fun to meet up with a couple of my online friends in person. I had lunch one day with Cindy from Live a Colorful Life and her friends, aka Simply Miss Luella and OP Quilt!

Road to CA Lunch

Eating lunch with blogger friends at Road to Ca

I was also able to meet Andres from Mad Tesla who’s quickly become one of my buddies from the MQG (modern quilt guild) online. He introduced me to a few of his friends from the Ventura MQG and we had the best time swapping opinions on how glad we were to finally see modern quilts at Road to California!

Modern Quilters

Modern Minds Think Alike!

Quilting Rock Star

Debby Brown – A Quilting Rock Star!

One super amazing person who seems to be as passionate about her craft as I am, is quilting instructor Debby Brown.

I took an amazing feather class from her, and I could tell that she is doing what she loves. She was having as much fun teaching, as her students were learning!

Debby Brown is truly a rock star. Not only was she entertaining to listen to and a very well-organized instructor; she also made us feel that we were working at a good pace and making progress with our practice.

Debby prepped the best class kit I have ever seen: a pre-basted baby-quilt sized sandwich marked with spaces for us to quilt in.

We all used the same materials so that Debby could help us trouble shoot if needed. The full-day format really allowed us to explore all types of feathers.

I highly recommend taking a class from Debby if you ever get a chance!

By far, my favorite design that Debby had us try were these swirling vine feathers. Aren’t they the cutest? I can totally see myself quilting this on one of my quilts in the future.

Swirling Feathers

Feathers can be fun (and modern)!

The entire class got to quilt on Handi Quilter Sweet 16 machine the whole day. I felt right at home because the movement is similar to quilting on a domestic machine; there’s just a lot more room! It was fun to play with feathers and fills and create all sorts of interesting textures.

More Fun Feathers!

More Fun Feathers!

I took a few mental notes on how I can be a better teacher. Debby was so good and patient with questions, really explained things until everyone understood, and had her own machine set up so that we could watch her stitch out the designs before we tried them.

Hello Kitty!

Hello Kitty Rings!

The icing on the cake was when Debby gave out a few “prizes” to students who answered her pop-quiz questions correctly.

Hello – Kitty, this was a super fun class!

So remember, when it comes to quilting, or anything else for that matter, just do what you love.

I love machine quilting and modern designs – what do you love?

29 thoughts on “Christa’s Soapbox – Do What You Love!

  1. Carole Hill says:

    Hi Christa, I’m so thankful for all the information you gave from the show. I used to live in Cali, in Long Beach, and you can get to a lot of shows from there. I’ve tried feathers, but I need a lot more practice, and I really like the other pattern you’re showing with the feathers. I remember when Stacy was president of the Queens, and you did a class on machine quilting, that really helped me to try other things, Do you still mark your patterns on every thing you do, or do you freehand quilt? thanks for that knowlege. I now have a Bailey’s machine which I have not yet put on my frame, but use it like the sweet-sixteen, I like the long arm capacity it has. While I’m not quite into modern quilts, I sort of do my own thing. I take heart of all your comments and those of other bloggers. I’m learning a lot from the blogs. Thanks!

  2. Elizabeth E. says:

    Had a great lunch with you “chewing” over quilt issues, quilt themes, quilt people, and the show in general. If you ever come again, we’ll have you join our group for dinner–great to meet you!

  3. treadlemusic says:

    My Sweet Sixteen and Juki TL2010Q are my ‘go to’ FMQ machines. Both are wonderful! The swirly vine motif is one of my faves and is so versatile….borders, narrow spaces, background fill…it can fill so many needs (see: ). The show, once again, has gotten rave reviews and Debby’s class sounds wonderful!!!! I am sure many benefited from her talented presentation. Hugs………………

  4. Anne Beier says:

    I have been quilting for 20 years. But I fell in love with Modern Quilting about a year ago and am now working on a few. The fact that this new movement came along at this point in my quilting career is perfect, because I was looking for new challenges. Question – What type of machine did Debby use for machine quilting those swirls? Thanks, Christa.

  5. Sandra Walker says:

    Christa, I must say you’re looking GOOD! I seem to remember you writing a post a while back about running again, losing weight…you can really see it in your face! Of course, it also helps to be glowing with happiness being in a place buzzing with all things quilting. So cool to meet the humans behind the blogs too – even just emailing back and forth with you a couple of times has put a personal touch now to reading your blog. Thanks for being personable; that’s a super-important quality in a teacher. πŸ™‚

  6. Alice says:

    What I love most is seeing all of my rows match up correctly. I currently have three quilt tops in the works and am going to stitch in the ditch with fancy stitches from the quilting section on my wonderful Husquvarna SE on one of the granddaughter quilts. Then I am going to try your trick of drawing patterns on paper and then trying them on sample blocks.
    I’m glad you had such a good time and appreciate your encouragement and insight.

  7. Wendy Rubbo says:

    Sounds like you had a fabulous time! While I’ll never get out ti CA, I can live vicariously through you in this one. Loved your descriptions of the people you met and the things you were able to do. πŸ™‚
    I’ve tried to join the MQG in Virginia Beach VA a couple times, filled out their online form, twice but no response. Is there one here or is that bogus? Anyone know?
    In the meantime, we’re waiting for the Mid-Atlantic show in Newport News the end of this month. That’s always a fun show.

    • Christa says:

      I know that the national MQG keeps an updated list of guilds on their site so you can try that. You can also join the larger group as an individual member. Have a great time at the show!

  8. farmquilter says:

    I love quilting…any kind!! Loving modern but I am in the figuring out stage of a quilt for a customer that I really need to get figured out – she wants modern quilting but the quilt doesn’t look modern to me 😦 Of course she wants to send it to lots of shows and magazines, so there is no pressure!!! I’ll keep dreaming about the quilt and the answer will arrive!!

    • Christa says:

      Of course – no pressure! To me, modern quilting is all about adding fabulous textures that don’t have to be marked or evenly spaced. I prefer a more organic look πŸ™‚

  9. Sue Moore says:

    If I can’t actually go to these shows (I’m in Australia) in person I know I can rely on you to report to me (& others of coarse) on what’s happening in the quilt world! Keep up the good work ! :-)) haha

  10. Debi Bielawski says:

    Now that I have found MODERN QUILTING I am so in love my boyfriend want know if ai am still going to marry him or the TWO new sewing machines I just got…and I owe it all to you for 1. Introducing me to modern quilting and 2. For encouraging me to do what I love …now I am working on FMQ. Feather swirls sure when I master bubbles and circles.

  11. Vicki says:

    What a fun post! I wish that I could have been there with Deborah and Cindy! I agree with you whole heartedly. I love the challenge of piecing a new pattern.

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