MQWS Blog Hop Day 11 – Facets

If you love the fabrics in Facets, be sure to sign up for my weekly email newsletter, and get a free pattern showing them in a different way. (Of course you can choose your own fabrics, too!)

Facets – The Background Story

Facets_KonaFacets 63″ x 70″ by Christa Watson. Photo courtesy of Robert Kaufman.

I love coordinated scrappy quilts and improvisational piecing, yet I’m more of a “structured improv” kind of gal. I like to randomly sew together a bunch of scrappy goodness, then create order and structure from the chaos. For Facets, I chose 28 Kona Cottons in warm reds, oranges, and yellows, with some green thrown in for good measure. The palette reminds me of crisp juicy apples!

facets_stripsIt was such fun to cut up these fabrics into smaller chunks to play with!

It was very liberating to create my own crazy-pieced fabric to work with:

crazy pieced yardageRandomly sewing bits of fabric together is very therapeutic!

I really went to town with the machine quilting on this one. I used both walking-foot quilting and free-motion techniques when quilting Facets. Whenever I quilt, I like to think about the logical sequence of steps I take before starting. That way, it doesn’t seem too overwhelming.

facets_quiltingUsing my “scrunch and smoosh” method for dealing with the bulk while quilting. There’s an extra table under there which helps hold up the weight of the quilt.

I love quilting swirls, and combining them with switchbacks really creates a lot of movement.

Finals B1324.inddPhotography by Brent Kane.

A Bit More – and a Bonus Giveaway!

I was stoked when Robert Kaufman decided to add this grouping to their designer palette series this fall. Coming in October, you’ll be able to get your hands on the Christa Watson Designer Palette in fat quarters, ten squares, charm squares, and roll-ups! You can create a quilt just like mine, but of course it will still be different because of the improv element. 🙂

What makes this quilt modern – offset grid layout, improvisational piecing, geometric design with high contrast and graphic impact, exclusive use of flat solids, bold, bright color palette, design goes all the way to the edges, organically quilted machine quilting.

Time for me to complete – 47 hours from start to finish, including the improv piecing.

How would you like to get your hands on a fat quarter bundle of my designer palette?

Christa Watson Designer PaletteThe Christa Watson Designer Palette – available at quilts shops everywhere in October!

To enter the giveaway for a 28 piece fat quarter bundle of my favorite Kona colors, just comment letting me know whether you’ve ever tried improv piecing and what you think about it. I’ll draw a winner at the end of the day on Sunday and announce their name on Monday, Sept. 28th.

And remember, don’t forget to vote for your favorite quilt for my QAL in January! Since I know you are dying to ask – yes, Facets is MY favorite quilt from the book. 🙂

Quilting Inspiration from kristy daum


I think my favorite part of this blog hop is seeing all of the amazing quilts from my talented friends! Kristy Daum from St. Louis Victorian and I have been online friends for awhile and finally got to meet up at QuiltCon earlier this year. You may remember Kristy’s amazing pixelated quilts featuring David Tennant as Dr. Who and the lovely Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock.

Now Kristy has knocked it out of the park with her version of Facets. I really love it when others really take an idea and make it their own! It was fun watching her instagram sneek peaks, and her final reveal today will take your breath away.

Pop on over to Kristy’s blog to see her version of Facets.

Teri’s Take


The amazing Teri Lucas from Terificreations shared a sneak peak of some Facets blocks on the Generation Q website earlier in the week. She chose to use solid pieces of fabric and did some killer quilting on them! Like me, she prefers to quilt on a home-sewing machine and she is one talented lady!! She’s one of those that I can talk quilting with all day long!

So far we’ve only met in person once, and I can’t wait to see her again at the next event. She’s always so thoughtful and encouraging – just the type of quilty friend you want in your corner. Teri is offering a book giveaway on her site. While you are there, be sure to browse around, and check out her amazing quilting!!

Head over to Teri’s blog to enter her giveaway.

Visit The Quilting Gallery

quiltinggalleryMichele Foster is the brilliant name and voice behind the highly popular website the Quilting Gallery. We first met online when I was an advertiser on her site, many moons ago. We have turned that business relationship into a really great friendship and I hope someday soon that we can meet up in person. I mean, if you are like me, you can always use another BQF (best quilting friend), right?

Michele blogs and shares so much inspiration about what’s happening in the quilting community, and she’s has written very nice things about my book over on her blog today. She even scored extra points with me by saying that Facets is her favorite quilt, too! In addition to being a prolific quilter, Michele is an amazing designer and hosts lots of fun clubs on her site. As part of her stop, she’s generously including a fun giveaway of her own. 🙂

Visit the Quilting Gallery blog and enter to win a membership to Michele’s mini quilting club!

Click here for the complete blog hop schedule.

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

224 thoughts on “MQWS Blog Hop Day 11 – Facets

  1. Mary Jane says:

    I have never tried improv quilting but I absolutely love your bundle of colors and I can see them in so many different quilts, I have to add them to my stash!

  2. lilquilter says:

    I’ve done some improv piecing just to try it out – I took a class with Gwen Marston several years ago (one of my many UFOs – I’m too easily distracted!) – and hope to put a dent in my scrap pile by doing more. Facets will be a perfect project! Love those colors and I need to boost my stash of solids, so I hope I win this giveaway!

  3. Judy says:

    I have yet to try improv piecing. It does seem like a fun way to make a quilt and also a great way to use up some leftover fabrics from other quilts.

  4. Hayley says:

    I made an improv mini with scraps from another mini. They were quite large and it seemed such a waste to throw it away, so I just went for it. I found it really hard! But I loved the finished product

  5. Diane says:

    I haven’t tried improv piecing yet – still not enough confidence in my ability to put colors together and make it look good. Thanks!

  6. Joyce Hennessey says:

    I have never tried improve but it is on my bucket list. I’m sure it will be sooner rather then later. really have the urge now.

  7. Jan Beasley says:

    Yes, I did a little improv piecing years ago and used it for the centers of log cabin blocks. I liked the result and still have the quilt.

  8. Leanne Parsons says:

    I’ve done some improv, but I find it a little stressful while I’m working on it…then in the end I’m surprised by how much I like the result 🙂 I think I like more controlled improv too.

  9. sheri turner says:

    I recently did a journal cover because I wanted to start small,thinking of setting up my old pfaff machine just to sew scraps,when i need a break from the traditional patterns I typically make,I can turn loose a little with scraps,ty for ideas for improv!

  10. Joye says:

    I have made a few one-hour baskets recently with improv pieced outsides inspired by the Scrap Vortex method of Crazy Mom Quilts. That’s the extent of my improv piecing. Love your spiral quilting. That’s the design I want to try when I get my copy of your book. Thanks.

  11. Lisa E says:

    I have never tried Improv. To be honest, it doesn’t appeal to me. I’m orderly in real life and want my quilts to be that way too! I love your quilt bundle.

  12. spx823 says:

    I have never tried Improv. It looks so fun but also scary for me as a fairly new quilter. I love your blog and get a lot of inspiration from it.

  13. Sherry Jurykovsky says:

    I love the idea of improve quilting. I tried a little block but never committed to a bigger project. This pattern looks just yummy. I’d love to try something with those colors.

  14. Lynn says:

    I have not tried improv piecing but I want to try it! I think it would be a great way to use up some of my scraps! I loved this blog post!

  15. Debby says:

    I love fabric color collections like yours. I haven’t tried this kind of improv piecing because I have not seen a pattern that has appealed to me before. But I really like this Facets quilt. So far it is one of my two favorites of the Hop so far. I am loving this Hop, it is such fun.

  16. Jenn S says:

    I have only done improv piecing with scraps. What I love about your quilt is you keep a minimal palate with that pop of green. I would love to use your colors in a quilt.

  17. Kathy Gentry says:

    Beautiful quilt and a great way to use up scraps. I have done strip piecing and really like that technique–a little simpler than this but a similar effect. This is the first time I have visited your site. Your book looks great!

  18. sharon says:

    i have not done any improv piecing as I always thought mine would be to chaotic
    but this shape mixed with a white backround is anything but

  19. Denise in PA says:

    I really like the Facets quilt, Christa! I have tried improv – and it makes me nervous – LOL I definitely like “structured improv” as you termed it. I would absolutely make Facets. It would be great to do with your bundle – thanks so much for the chance to win!

  20. Deb M says:

    I’ve not yet tried improv piecing (I’m just starting out in quilting and still a little afraid of it). Looking at what you’ve done gives me inspiration!

  21. Nann says:

    My improv piecing is sometimes deliberate and oftentimes unintentional. (Do it once, it’s a mistake; do it twice, it’s a design element!) My FMQ is frequently improv, too. The blog hop has been fun. I look forward to reading and using your book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  22. Mara says:

    I have not done improve piecing, I’m not a big fan of scrappy but I like your idea of “structured improv” and how awesome is that to have your own color palette!! Congratulations!

  23. Megan says:

    Yes, I’m a fan of improv piecing, though like you I like my improv to have at least a little structure. Thanks for the giveaway – such a great color palette you’ve put together!

  24. Maria Leal says:

    I tried improv piecing by accident. I was trying out different color strips & sizes, couldn’t decide, so I sewed them all together. It turned out rather nice. Then I thought would this be considered a crazy patch block. Looked it up & realized that it was not. Didn’t know what to call it, but I do now.

  25. Barbara Showell says:

    yes, I have tried improv. It calls for a little “shift” in the brain from more traditional quiltmaking. I really need to build up my solid stash, thanks for the chance!

  26. pauladquilts says:

    Improv freaks out the perfectionist in me, but I think this might be managable for me. Love the quilt, and the colors are perfect!

  27. Gayle Fahrion says:

    Yes. I made an EH Mod Mossaic panel to incorporate in a cover for my Juki. It turned out better than I imagined. Our guild is participating in the QuiltCon challenge so I’m knee deep in improv at the moment. Love improv and plan to do a lot more. Thanks!

  28. Tracey M says:

    I took a piece of Zombie fabric and added small pieces of coordinating fabric around it at different angles until it was about 10 inches square. Then I added batting and backing and sewed Frankenstein stitches across the seams. I just need to put a border on it. Its for my daughter. It was fun to make, and you don’t have to be perfect. I want to try it with with lace and ribbon and vintage fabric. Your quilt makes me think of Lifesavers Candy! Would love to win this fabric too.

  29. gcot says:

    I have made one improv quilt just recently. It was so much fun! The only problems that it doesn’t really go with my more traditional deco. I have solved the problem by giving it away and have already made a plan to repeat! love your facets quilt!

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