Blogger’s Quilt Fest Entry – Modern Trees (Home Machine Quilted)

I’m excited to share another entry into the online Blogger’s Quilt Festival. It’s called Modern Trees. I finished it in December of 2013, and I’ve entered it into the Home Machine Quilted category.

You can view my other entry here.

Modern TreesModern Trees, 43″ x 50″ by Christa Watson, Home Machine Quilted

Modern Trees was made as one of my free quilt alongs and you can still access all of the tutorials to make your own version of this quilt here.

Because I love to encourage and teach others how to free-motion quilt on their home machines, I’ll tell you a little bit more about the machine quilting on this quilt.

Quilting Modern TreesI think free-motion quilting on a domestic machine is super fun and relaxing!

I knew that I wanted to evoke the feeling of snow, but wanted to mix up the background quilting to make it a little more modern. I usually have better results if I plan out my quilting first. Rather than sticking with one motif, I roughly divided the quilt into 3 sections as shown in my diagram below:

20131022_trees_quilt_sketchThe swirls in the top section represent the sky full of billowing clouds ready to burst! The middle section shows snowflakes and snow clusters gently falling to the ground; and the bottom section evokes snowdrifts piling up on the ground. I also decided to throw in a few words just for a touch of holiday whimsy – it’s fun to doodle!

I don’t always stick exactly to the plan, but sketching out my quilting designs gives me a rough guideline to follow.

20131120_quilting_modern_trAs you can see, I used a washable blue marker to write the words, and to draw the larger snowflakes and the star. I quilted the rest of it without marking, adding lots of yummy texture and varying the size of the motifs for interest.

Quilting SwirlsQuilting the swirls was definitely my favorite partΒ  – they are so fun and forgiving! It’s interesting to see how much “poof” is created when quilting so densely.

20131105_aurifil_threadsAnother fun part of any quilt is picking out matching threads for each section. After a couple of years of trial and error and testing on numerous quilts, Aurifil has become my go-to thread for piecing and quilting.

I like to match my threads as closely as possible so you see the texture of the quilting rather than the thread. πŸ™‚ I tried to quilt each tree with a different motif to “decorate” it.


Here’s a closeup of the quilting after the blue marks have been removed – so yummy! (Forgive the lighting – this was taken before I got better lighting in my sewing room!)

20131120_fmq_detail_1And one more, just for fun… (with more bad lighting….)

FMQ Trees DetailThe quilting on this piece actually went very quickly. It took a total of 13 hours and I only worked on it for a couple of hours a day. I think that’s a reasonable amount of time, considering the density of the quilting and customization of the designs. Can’t you just imagine how tactile all this texture feels?

If you like Modern Trees, you can vote for it in the Home Machine Quilted category, starting May 23rd. Entries will appear randomly each time, so you may need to scroll through to find the picture of Modern Trees.

You can also click here to get all the free tutorials to make your own version! πŸ™‚

Modern Trees

Modern Trees by Christa Watson 43″ x 50″

Thanks for stopping by!

39 thoughts on “Blogger’s Quilt Fest Entry – Modern Trees (Home Machine Quilted)

  1. Ann says:

    Christa your quilting, on a home machine no less, is nothing short of amazing! If I quilt for the next thirty years, I will NEVER be able to do that! I wish we lived in the same town – I would be begging you to teach me!

  2. freedomgarden says:

    I’ve always wondered whether or not quilters have to tie in a bunch of thread ends after doing an intricate FMQ motif like that. Do you do that often, or how do you avoid it? I’d love to know! Thanks so much for your blog and for sharing your gorgeous quilts!

    • Christa says:

      It’s mostly a matter of personal preference, and mostly done when entering quilts into shows for judging. You can also take a series of tiny stitches when you begin and end your quilting to secure.

  3. Carole HIll says:

    First, I want to thank you for this wonderful tutorial, I can hardly wait to try this! I also want to thank you for your advice on my jungle quilt that I showed the fabric to you when you were at Quiltique, unfortunately I will not be able to do the zig zag quilt that I wanted to, I didn’t have enough of the bright yellow fabric, so I’m doing a different pattern. I’ll try to show it to you when It’s done. You have given me some great ideas from all your blogs, websites and any other places you blog. Thanks, again

  4. springleafstudios says:

    This one has always impressed me for the quilting you did. I know you love that part but I’m afraid I don’t. For me it’s the designing I love the most.

  5. Jane says:

    Once again I owe you a HUGE thank you Christa! This particular post led me back to your tree quilt along, answered some questions I had about not only FMQ but also the basic stitch in the ditch which I thought I had all figured out! I now plan on following your FMQ tutorials and learn to master this and finish my quilts on my own! You and your blog have been just what I’ve needed as I get back into sewing after taking a 12+ year break to start my family! Now if only you could get my 11 yr old daughter hooked:)

  6. Cheryl says:

    I love this quilt and I loved it when you were doing a quilt a long with it (I so wanted to join but had too much stuff going on at the time, maybe I’ll be able to do it for xmas this year hopefully). Did you know that you are now a no-reply blogger? You never used to be so maybe with your new web domain it changed?

  7. Annette Ackley says:

    Christa, I just looked at your tutorial. Very good!! In the next couple of days, I’m gonna practice some of your designs. Thank you!!

  8. Annette Ackley says:

    Beautiful!! I love your quilting. I need to watch your video. I’ve been tempted to try something big. I’m still learning. I want to make stippling small. I’m interested in how you get all those little circles. Good luck!!!

  9. Joan says:

    Incredible. I have always wanted to really break out of my box, but never sure just how to… I think you have me some get ideas here! Thanks “sew” much!

  10. Sue Laufer says:

    Christa, You do such a great job of explaining your steps. I’m learning so much from your blog. Thank you. I know it takes a lot of time and I appreciate you.

  11. Sandra B says:

    I love this quilt….and the quilting is just awesome. Thanks for sharing…and for the free tutorial. I think I may have to make one for myself!

  12. Cacky says:

    That is spectacular! Seeing this has made me reconsider my aversion to doing my own quilting. Maybe some day I’ll have half the ability….

  13. Janet says:

    I love this quilt! I got the trees finished then had to set it aside. One of my projects to finish this summer. I’m looking forward to fmq using your designs. I usually sketch mine too just so I have direction. Thanks for sharing your quilt along!

  14. Molly says:

    This quilt is the reason I found you Christa and have been following you ever since. It was my second attempt at free motion, I pretty much copied your design verbatim. I am proud of this one and owe it all you!

  15. Lori Smanski says:

    such a pretty quilt, i love the motion of the FMQ and the added words, that all makes is so special

  16. SamanthaK says:

    I just want to run my hand across all of that texture!! I always enjoy seeing your projects! You have definitely given me the bug since I’ve been following your blog to try FMQ on my machine–although, I’m still in the practice on something small stage beings my machine and I don’t get a long when I try it, but the ideas are always swirling in my head and on paper while working on a project….one day I will get brave and give it a go on an actual project. Good Luck to you on your entry!!

  17. Carla says:

    Good morning! Visiting from Finish it up. Your quilting is wonderful! Can’t believe you did this on a domestic . Good on you. I struggle but it’s coming……..

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