Christa’s Soap Box – Modern Quilting Validation

It’s no secret I’ve fallen head over heels for modern quilting and the community that surrounds it. Because of this vibrant movement, I’ve probably made more meaningful quilts in the last year than I have in the previous ten years combined! This weekend my tastes were validated when 3 of my modern quilts took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place ribbons in my traditional guild’s annual quilt show. πŸ™‚

20140404_ribbon_buttonsRibbon winners got to wear these buttons of pride while walking around the show!

I’ve been a member of the Desert Quilters of Nevada going on 18 years now. It’s a lively group, full of encouragement and support. Even though I’m one of the youngest of the 400+ member group (and have been ever since I joined nearly 2 decades ago), the guild has offered me a place to share my quilts, practice my teaching skills, and attend amazing workshops and events.

20140404_stringofpearls_dqnString of Pearls by Christa Watson, 1st Place – DQN Pieced Category 2014

DQN is very open minded when it comes to the latest happenings in the quilt world. They have a very healthy art quilt subgroup and they’ve even recently started a modern “circle.”

I’m super excited that they’ve invited me to teach String of Pearls at this year’s annual quilting retreat. But I’m even more jazzed that the theme of the retreat is going to be “It’s a Modern World.” I mean, how cool is that??

20140404_dqn_modern_x_2ndModern X by Christa Watson, 2nd Place – DQN Modern Category 2014

At the show it was fun to see people walk by Modern X and do a double take. One gentleman I spoke to, a long-arm quilter by trade, couldn’t figure out where I started and stopped my lines of stitching.

When I told him I quilted long lines from one edge of the quilt to the other on my Bernina, he said you couldn’t really do that type of uninterrupted straight-line quilting on a long arm. (Score one for the domestic quilters!)

20140404_dqn_spiralling_3rdSpiraling Out of Control by Christa Watson, 3rd Place – DQN Modern Category

And I have to admit, it was super validating when Spiraling Out of Control took a 3rd place ribbon. This is probably my most favorite quilt to date and one where I really stretched myself doing stuff I’d never tried before. I always try to remind everyone (including myself) that I don’t enter my quilts in shows to win ribbons, but it sure is like icing on the cake when they do!

I have to give a final shout out to this fabulous quilt below which is NOT mine. It was made by one of my students who began it in my Charming Chevrons class last year. I couldn’t have been more proud to see that ribbon hanging on it!

20140404_dqn_grey_chevy_stuGray Chevy by Suzanne Mayfield, quilted by Brenda Alcorn, 1st Place – DQN Modern Category

Suzanne kindly credited me in her description as the pattern designer, so in some small way, I even got to be a part of this award-winning quilt, too!

20140404_chevy_tagWell, now you know what this means – it’s time to go make more quilts!

56 thoughts on “Christa’s Soap Box – Modern Quilting Validation

  1. Cheryl says:

    Congrats on so many wins! Your quilts are beautiful. It is very nice to hear that modern quilts won at a traditional quilt guild show. My traditional quilt guild just had a show 2 weeks ago and about 15-20 of the 100 quilts were “modern” and none of them won a single ribbon (the quilts were not judged, it was just viewers choice).

  2. Krista says:

    They are beauties and I’m so encouraged that your guild seems to embrace all styles of quilting. I feel they draw from and inform each other and should be viewed together. I’ve heard a few lifelong quilters categorically despise modern quilting and it makes me sad. I love looking at others work even if it’s not one I want to make myself. I don’t make art quilts or use many batiks, but have spent 10 min or more staring at one in a show trying to figure out how they achieved a certain effect. The more people who quilt the more styles there will be and the more the merrier!

  3. farmquilter says:

    Congratulations!!! All ribbons were totally deserved!!! Love your quilts and the quilting – and yeah, with some quilting patterns, domestic sewing machines are easier than the longarms, but you won’t find me using mine for quilting!! Just amazing what you can do on your DSM!!

  4. Christy says:

    Congratulations Christa! I was lucky enough to see String of Pearls in person at Road to California. I’ve got plans to enter one of my quilts in a show for the first time this summer. Excited and nervous about it!

  5. Lynette says:

    Congratulations, Christa! Your quilts sure deserve the accolades. I get super antsy sometimes waiting for time-sensitive priority quilts to Get Out Of The Way so I can quilt my String of Pearls top. Thanks for being so generous with sharing your designs and knowledge. πŸ˜€ Enjoy those ribbons!

  6. freedomgarden says:

    That is so amazing! Congratulations! I must say my favorite is the “spiraling out of control”, it is so awesome – was that the quilt that you did for the riley blake challenge? SO many quilts. I get a lot of inspiration from the online quilting community, too – from people like you!!

    Emily at

  7. Christine Sherman says:

    Congrats Christa πŸ™‚ So happy to see the spiraling out of control got an award, it is AWESOME. Sometimes I just sit and look at it and think what a true work of art it is. I told you before, but have to say it again, it’s one of my most favorite quilts ever! The modern x is on my to do list to, it’s a definite eye catcher!

  8. Lorna McMahon says:

    Sew proud of you – and your student, Suzanne! Each of these quilts is equally beautiful and you two are so deserving of those awards. Love the first pic in today’s post – those sparkling eyes and sweet smile sure look good on you!

  9. Debi says:

    Christa, am not surprised one bit. You are talented and very creative. Congratulations…to you and your student. I am sure there will be many more to come.

  10. Karen Seitz says:

    Congratulations on your buttons! πŸ™‚ Suzanne’s Gray Chevy is spectacular — kudos to her as well!

  11. Sandra Walker says:

    You’re so cute with the ra-ra DSM part! I quilt on both DSM and my AvantΓ©, and there are definite advantages to each, that being a huge one. I’m hoping the guild I’ve joined in my new hometown will have a Modern category in our show this coming Fall! And congratulations on so many ribbons!

  12. Carole Hill says:

    I went to the show yesterday, and saw your quilts in person, your pictures don’t do them justice, I especially liked your string of pearls quilt, and the colorful chevron that you student did. Just love those colors. Congrats! It must have taken you hours to do the “pearls” on the string of pearls quilt, I have not tried those yet, but it looks like fun.

  13. Diane C says:

    Awesome showing, Christa!! Congratulations on your wins. That is terrific and I’m so happy for you. I’m definitely leaning toward modern these days although I do still love some of the traditional block designs – but with the more ‘modern’ fabrics.

  14. dlk3265 says:

    Congratulations! I’ve got to say that this kind of modern is good! I went to the Austin Quilt Guild show and my goodness, it was really strict there. I like the extra quilt that you showcased! the prints are fabulous. I do not think I could get on the modern movement because I love busy prints way too much! πŸ™‚

  15. Sally H says:

    I love the idea of ribbon buttons the winner can wear. I’ve been to quilt shows where I have accidentally found someone with a quilt on display and it is always fun talking to them about that experience. (The most fun was a portrait quilt at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival — I happened to be at the right place, at the right time and got to meet not only the maker, but the subject and members of her family!) Those buttons would allow me stop you to say “Congratulations!”

  16. Pat Sell says:

    I have been a fan since I discovered your quilt-alongs and am sooo proud of you! Notonly do you do a wonderful job of coming up with modern designs, but your enthusiasm is catching. Keep up the good work! πŸ™‚

  17. Karen says:

    So happy for you – three ribbons, how exciting! I have enjoyed following your blog and seeing your wonderful work.

  18. knitnkwilt says:

    Spiraling out of Control is one of my favorite quilts–glad it got a ribbon. How exciting to have three and to have influenced another. It is nice that your traditional guild is open. Mind is open to art quilts, but this year refused to have a “modern” category. However Elizabeth Hartman did a program on modern quilts (after the decision had been made) that I think changed some minds. WE’ll see next year. And whoopee! There is something DSMs can do that long arm machines can’t.

  19. says:

    Congrats Christa!! Your quilts are beautiful and so deserving of these awards!!! (Congrats to your student as well!)

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