Blogger’s Quilt Fest Entry – Spiraling Out of Control (Original Design)

I’m excited to participate in the Blogger’s Online Quilt Festival with my first of two entries, Spiraling Out of Control. I am entering it into the Original Design category and voting begins May 23rd.

You can view my other entry here.

Modern Quilt

Spiraling Out of Control, 70″ x 70″ by Christa Watson, Original Design

Those of you who follow my blog on a regular basis will have seen this quilt before. However since I’m entering it into the Original Design category, I thought I’d share with you a little bit about the design process that went into making this quilt.

Parallel Lines

I started with this block I had created in EQ7 for a modern design competition. After being selected as a finalist, I held onto the design for a bit, thinking I might do something more with it later. When the MQG’s first fabric challenge of 2014 was announced, I started playing around with my design again, seeing how it could evolve by changing a few lines.

Improv String BlockI kept the light background, added more lines, and drew them at odd angles rather than parallel. I digitally colored the strips using the challenge fabric we were to work with. I liked where this was going, but thought it needed something more dramatic.

So I pieced two sample blocks using two different backgrounds – dark and medium grey. I wanted to see which colorway would provide the most visual impact.


I used the lighter grey block as a sample to test various machine quilting designs.

At this point my gut was telling me to go with the darker background fabric, but just to be sure, I started recoloring my original digital layout. Once I got this far with the coloring, I knew the darker fabric was the right choice. 🙂

spiraling_color_choicesSince I knew I wanted each block to be different, I had to figure out a way to sew the blocks without using traditional paper-foundation piecing methods. I solved the problem by cutting long strips of fabric in various widths and lengths, and sewing them together improvisationally, keeping the overall diagonal line intact. I then trimmed up the blocks using a large square ruler so they were all the same size.


The hardest part was making sure the shorter strips were longer than the ruler!

So that’s how this quilt design came to be. In addition to design, machine quilting is one of my favorite steps of the quilt-making process. Here are some detailed shots of the machine quilting and thread choices:

aurifilYummy Aurifil threads in matching colors!

straight_line_quiltingStraight-Line Quilting in the Negative Space

 quilting_zig_zagsQuilting zig-zags in matching thread colors – lots of threads to tie off later!

color_backColorful Thread-play on the Back

spiraling_detailQuilting Detail – Front

Spiraling Out of Control measures 70″ x 70″ and it has been one of my most fun quilts to make! You can vote for it as your favorite in the Original Design category of the Blogger’s Quilt Festival starting May 23, 2014.

Please note: quilts will show up randomly in each festival category, and they will not be numbered or named. You may need to scroll through to find my quilt on the category page. 🙂

As always, thanks for your support!

17 thoughts on “Blogger’s Quilt Fest Entry – Spiraling Out of Control (Original Design)

  1. Ann says:

    Wonderful quilt and excellent explanation. How thoughtful of you to share your creative process; it was so fun to see the development.

  2. Paula J. Newbry says:

    Awesome quilt, as it’s one of my favorite types of quilts to make, but you made this soooo modern and I love it! Love the backing with the colored thread on the back – so creative you are! Best of luck on this entry! It’s a winner for sure!

  3. rachaeldaisy says:

    What a striking quilt! I love the movement the lines create. The colourful quilting on the back adds is wonderful surprise too.

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