MQWS Blog Hop Day 5 – Ripples

Are you enjoying the roundup of quilts from my new book? I’ve shared 5 so far, with 7 more to go! Be sure to order your signed copy of Machine Quilting With Style and I’ll pop it in the mail right away. I can’t wait to see how you make these designs your own. 🙂

Ripples – The Background Story

ripplesRipples 66″ x 88″ by Christa Watson. Photography by Brent Kane.

Who doesn’t love a good Log Cabin design? When it comes to choosing fabrics for a quilt, my philosophy is “more is more.” I mean – why use just one or two fabrics when 20 will do? I had fun picking out tons of aqua and grey fabrics from my stash, and I think this quilt would look stunning in any color combination.

cutting_stripsIt was so much to choose fabrics and cut strips for this quilt!

Although the structure of the quilt is easily recognizable as a Log Cabin variation, I used a technique I call “Structured Improv” on several quilts in the book. The basic idea is to liberate the piecing by using irregular shapes and fabric widths while constructing the blocks. I sew my blocks slightly oversized, then trim them down, making sure they all fit together in the end.

If you look closely at the wonky log cabin blocks, you will notice that the strip widths vary, and there aren’t always an even number of strips on either side of the block. Also, I didn’t strictly use all lights on one side and darks on the other like you would for a traditional log cabin quilt. This makes the whole design pop, and making these blocks was SO. MUCH. FUN!

quilting_textureI love adding lines of quilting texture with a decorative stitch. It was very a meditative process.

I quilted Ripples completely using the  IDF (integrated dual feed)on my BERNINA with a decorative stitch. This is liking having a walking foot built into the machine! Of the 12 quilts in the book, 5 use walking foot quilting exclusively, 4 have extensive free-motion quilting, and the other three combine both techniques in the same quilt. As people buy the book and start sharing their versions with me, it will be so fun to see how the machine quilting designs are used in different ways!

A Bit More

piecing_backingThe pieced backing of Ripples – you could make this as scrappy improv front!

I was thrilled when the publisher agreed to included the pieced backing for Ripples as a bonus project in the book! I literally took all of my extra fabric chunks that I pulled for the quilt and used them up on the back. I love back art – don’t you?

Elements That Make This Quilt Modern: Low volume fabrics, on-trend color scheme, improvisational piecing, skewed block assembly, asymmetrical design, transparency, inspired by tradition.

Time to Complete: 47 hours from start to finish including the pieced backing. (It’s big!)

Quilting Inspiration from Melissa Corry

happy-quilting-blog-headerMy dear friend Melissa from Happy Quilting is one of those prolific quilters that can bust out a quilt in no time. Can you believe that she made 52 quilts last year? And she loves the quilting part as much as I do – which gives her extra credit in my book. 🙂  She’s pretty great at keeping secrets, too. I didn’t get a chance to see the final reveal until today and it is so good I can hardly stand it. The color combo is fabulous and the arrangement she and her MIL chose is just divine! Be sure to pop on over to Melissa’s blog for some more quilty goodness!

Melissa is a fellow Martingale author who released her first book, Irish Chain Quilts, earlier this year. I had the pleasure of being on Melissa’s blog hop this past summer, and I’m so glad she returned the favor!

More from the Art of Home and Blue Nickel Studios


The very talented Jacquelynne Steves from The Art of Home crafts a beautiful e-magazine 4 times per year, once each season. She recently interviewed me for her next issue which will be published in October. And the best part? It’s completely free! Click here to sign up so you don’t miss a thing! Then hop on over to Jacquelynne’s blog for her stop on the tour. She wrote a very kind book review. 🙂

Jacquelynne is also hosting a sew-along day coming up pretty soon and I’m throwing in a prize for that. So be sure to check it out! Then for some bonus content be sure to check out her roundup of holiday sewing tutorials. 🙂

Scott Hansen from Blue Nickel Studios is not only a talented quilter, he’s a great writer as well. He writes the “I am Gen Q” profiles for the magazine of the same name and recently chose to interview me for the next issue. (You’ll hear more from Gen Q later in the hop.)

I thought it was amazing how he could turn my dry answers into an interesting and witty read! For Scott’s stop on the hop he decided to try out one of the free motion quilting designs from the book and I think he did a fantastic job.

Pop on over to Scott’s blog to check it out – and he has a fun little giveaway, too!

Click here for the complete blog hop schedule.

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

7 thoughts on “MQWS Blog Hop Day 5 – Ripples

  1. Debbie Robbins says:

    I have used your book (with Angela Walters) and now you are making me think I need this, too. I have only done one log cabin quilt and it was a fun Halloween quilt with funky purple and green colors.

  2. 2bleubirdzsssing4u says:

    I love turquoise. It’s hard to choose between yours and Melissa’s. Hers is very eye catching the way she has the colors arranged cause so much movement. Yours is more restful. Both are so nice.

  3. treadlemusic says:

    I love the color combo!!!! And, of course, your ‘take’ on a wonky Log Cabin is brilliant! Very do-able with a fresh feel. I think that your final stitching ideas will encourage many to try their hand at completing any of their own quilts!!!!!! Great post, BTW!!!!!!!!

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