MQWS Blog Hop Day 2 – Pearl Gray

Ready for some more inspiring quilts from Machine Quilting with Style? I have to say, I’ve been working on planning this blog hop from the moment I finished writing the book and am so excited to share more with you today. I don’t consider a quilt “finished” until it has been blogged about so these posts have been a long time coming!

Pearl Gray – The Background Story

Finals B1324.inddPearl Gray 66″ x 77″ by Christa Watson. Photography by Brent Kane.

First of all, I have to consistently remind myself to spell it Gray rather than Grey. I guess the former spelling is the American way and the latter is the European way. It must be my ancestral roots sneaking in there…

Pearl Gray was inspired by an earlier version of this design, my String of Pearls quilt pattern. As soon as I made the first quilt, I immediately knew I wanted to explore more ideas with this concept. Although I usually work in brights, I wanted to see if I could pull off more of a low-volume quilt and still create the contrast in the blocks. I also enjoy creating secondary designs in the background and I really like the checkerboard that emerges when using two different background colors.

pearl_gray_quiltingMy String of Pearls quilting motif is a modern free-motion alternative to straight line quilting!

Because the quilt has a lot going on, I thought an interesting allover quilting design would be the perfect complement to the piecing. I quilted a series of lines and circles which I named String of Pearls – giving homage to my earlier quilt design. As one idea always leads to another, the String of Pearls motif is the first in a series of modern linear designs that I am developing as a free-motion alternative to straight line quilting. So stay tuned for more on that subject in future classes and books! 🙂

My favorite memory of working on this quilt was finishing the binding while on vacation at the beach. There’s nothing better than a little sea-side quilting in my opinion!

Binding at the BeachI wish I could bind next to the beach for all of my quilts!

A Bit More

I was very detailed about each of the quilts in the book. In addition to listing the sizes and materials requirements, I also included design notes and which threads and battings I used for each quilt. Below, I’ve shared some bonus info for you guys that is not in the book:

Modern elements – Low volume fabrics, hard edges with strong contrast and clean lines, simplicity of form, repetitive use of basic geometric shapes, scrappy pieced binding.

Time for me to complete – 40 hours from start to finish.

Turning lemons into lemonade – I originally made this quilt for a magazine pattern, but at the last minute (and before it had been seen in public), it was pulled from publication. Yes, I was a little heart-broken at the time, but I was simultaneously working on my book proposal and needed just one more design with a finished project to submit. Wouldn’t you know – this was the final piece I needed, and now Pearl Gray graces the cover of my book. Don’t you just love it when fate works that way?

Color Option and Fabric Giveaway from Alyce


I’ve been online friends with Alyce Blyth from Blossom Heart Quilts for awhile now and was so excited when we recently got to meet in person at QuiltCon earlier this year. I just love how Alyce has interpreted her version of Pearl Gray. She combined three different quilting motifs from the book and it is so effective. Her binding is to die for, too! But rather than spoil the surprise here, you’ll need to head on over to her blog to see what she’s done.

Alyce is also hosting a giveaway on a separate blog post. She has a bundle of fabrics to share from the same line she used for her version of Pearl Gray. Click here for Alyce’s giveaway!

Bonus from Andover Fabrics


I can’t give enough hugs to the folks over at Andover fabrics. Daryl (aka fabrichick) and Guiseppe (aka giucy_giuce) have been super supportive of my work. Head on over the Andover blog and to check out what they have to say. If you follow Andover on Instagram, there’s a special bonus there, too!

Although Pearl Gray would look gorgeous in any fabric line, I’m really itching to make another one using Lizzy House’s Mini Pearl Bracelets. Aren’t they the cutest?

mini_pearlsMini Pearls by Lizzy House for Andover fabrics, a smaller version of Pearl Bracelets.

Click here for the complete blog hop schedule.

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

8 thoughts on “MQWS Blog Hop Day 2 – Pearl Gray

  1. fl1pper says:

    Hi Christa,

    I pre-ordered your book ages ago, but I got an email from cancelling my order!
    Here’s what they said: Hello,
    We’ve cancelled Machine Quilting with Style: From Walking-Foot Wonders to Free-Motion Favorites (That Patchwork Place) (Asin: 1604686251) from your order 202-7524886-2642762.
    Unfortunately, we’re no longer able to offer this item for sale. Our supplier has informed us that it’s been discontinued and is no longer available. You may find that it’s still available from third-party Sellers on Marketplace but I’m afraid we can’t source stock from these Sellers.
    We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused and hope to see you again soon.
    Customer Service Department

    Just wondered if you knew why? I’m in the UK,

    Thanks 🙂

  2. Fabric Please! says:

    Contratulations, Christa! When you switched from selling yardage to focus on your quilting carreer, I was (selfishly) disappointed. I used to buy my fabric from you. It seems to have worked out for both of us! After reading many of your posts about the ‘business’ end of things, I decided to open my own online fabric shop. It is in part, due to you and your honesty, that I felt I was venturing in with both eyes wide open. Much luck and good wishes to you with your continued success!

  3. springleafstudios says:

    So excited for you and the new book. It was meant to be that your magazine publication fell through. I’m enjoying the hop.

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