MQWS Blog Hop Day 1 – Color Crystals

Welcome to day one of the star-studded, international blog hop for my newly released book Machine Quilting With Style!  You know what they say – quilting is good therapy, so I invite you to enjoy all of the beautiful eye-candy that will be shared over the next two weeks. Who knows – by following along, you may just be inspired to improve your (quilty) life and make some friends along the way! 🙂

Color Crystals – The Background Story

Finals B1324.inddColory Crystals 54″ x 62″ by Christa Watson. Photography by Brent Kane.

I love using precuts, I adore solid fabrics, and I’m head over heels for modern aesthetics, so I wanted to design an original quilt that incorporated all three. The first spark of this idea came from the backing of a quilt I made a few years ago. I played around with the stair step design and scaled it down so that it could incorporate precut strips to their best advantage. For my quilt I chose the Kona Solids New Bright roll up along with a Kona Solids Black roll up and I think they pair together quilt nicely – don’t you?

colorcrystals_wipHere’s my work in progress – using my design wall to lay out the colors in a pleasing arrangement. Wouldn’t this be fun using a white background, too?

For the machine quilting I wanted to try out Aurifil variegated cottons and I really like the effect it gives. I chose to be a little more subtle with the background quilting, allowing the colored sections to really pop!

colorcrystals_quiltingUsing variegated thread allowed me to add texture without switching thread colors.

Bonus Design – Technicolor Backing

After designing the front of Color Crystals, I knew I would have lots of leftover precut strips. Instead of letting them languish in my scrap basket, I decided to use them up on the back to create a secondary design.

technicolor_backingThe pattern to make the Technicolor Backing is included in the book!

A Bit More

Even though this book is written for all quilters, I do tend to gravitate more towards modern design. I thought it would be fun to explain why I think this design fits the definition of a modern quilt!

What Makes This Quilt Modern – Color Crystals incorporates bold colors, with sharply defined boundaries between the minimalist design and the background negative space. The piecing uses simple shapes to create graphic visual impact with highly contrasting solid fabrics.

Time for me to Complete – 22 hours from start to finish, including the pieced backing.

Color Options and Quilting Ideas from Vicki and Ida

Two of my local BQF’s (best quilting friends) Vicki Ruebel and Ida Ewing each took on the challenge of making this quilt in their own unique way. You may just decide you like their versions better, and that’s totally okay!!

Orchid-Owl-QuiltsVicki recreated a stunning version of Color Crystals using her favorite Tula Pink prints, and her quilting is just to die for. She told me she couldn’t wait to quilt all of that negative space! Vicki quilts on a longarm and it’s been so fun watching her share her sneak peeks. In fact, her quilting is so good that her quilt was recently accepted into the Pacific International Quilt Festival.  I love having talented friends, no matter what type of machine they use!

Visit Vicki’s blog at Orchid Owl Quilts to see her amazing show-quilt!

ida_headerIda decided to make the backing into a stand-alone quilt using gorgeous ombre solids. She also machine quilts on her home machine just like I do, so pop on over to her blog at Ida Rather Be Quilting to see her work her magic. You’ll be glad you did!

Bonus Inspiration


Sarah Craig  wrote a very kind book review over on her blog at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and I didn’t even bribe her to do it! In fact, she went above and beyond by remaking the front and back of Color Crystals and finishing it off with some gorgeous quilting. Be sure to pop on over to check out what she had to say, and see how she made it her own.

Bonus Prize!!

Today over on the Craftsy blog, I shared a little bit about the blog hop with Craftsy readers. Not only does it include general information about the hop, I included a couple extra goodies that you just may want to win! Click on over to check it out.

patsloanYes, that is Pat in front of my quilt. 🙂 This was taken at Quilt Market in the Martingale booth.

Finally, I have to give a huge shout out to my good friend and adopted mentor, the one and only Pat Sloan! She’s interviewing me today on her podcast at American Patchwork and Quilting along with Gudrun Erla and Jessica Alexandrakis. It should be a fun show! Be sure to listen in live, at 1 PM Pacific Time or download the podcast later from Itunes or Stitchr.

American Patchwork Quilting Pocast episode 276 sept 14 2015

Click here for the complete blog hop schedule.

Click here purchase your autographed copy of Machine Quilting With Style.

10 thoughts on “MQWS Blog Hop Day 1 – Color Crystals

  1. Lily says:

    First of all congrats for your quilt Christa! Hope you keep on writing more! And… about the quilt, it is very beautiful and cute! The color combination of the bright colors is just amazing and the quilt is looking very elegant! Even the way you’ve expressed your joy through this article is quiet interesting!

  2. Karen says:

    Christa–just how COOL are all of these celebrations for your book! How totally wonderful for you and so well deserved. The crystal quilt is gorgeous–love the color combinations! Bye for now–gotta Hop 🙂

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