Lanterns Quilt – My Contribution to Rock Solid

Have you seen the awesome new collaborative book from Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Robert Kaufman? It’s called Rock Solid, featuring 13 different quilt designs made from Kona Solids. My contribution, Lanterns, made the cover, so I thought it would be fun to tell you a little bit more about my quilt. But first, look at all that yummy solid goodness on the cover!

Rock Solid Cover

My quilt, Lanterns, was made from one roll-up (jelly roll) of my Christa Watson designer palette for Robert Kaufman, along with one roll-up of Kona coal. Aren’t they a smashing combination??

Lanterns by Christa Watson

I came up with the design while I was playing around in EQ7 (Electric Quilt software) on my Mac. I’m always designing and playing around with shapes and colors. I’ll usually start with a seed of an idea and then it branches off into a design on its own. The fun thing about my process is that I usually end up with at least 4-5 different variations in different stages of completion. Whenever I’m ready to finalize a new design, I start by looking through my “virtual sketchbook” first!

EQ7 design sketch for lanterns

As you can see, my virtual EQ7 sketch is very similar to the final quilt. Usually when I’m playing around, I’ll randomly color the quilt but I don’t worry about whether or not the colors end up in the exact same spot as designed. Just using the same swatches of color is good enough for me to get an idea of how the quilt will look.

Lanterns Quilt Path step 1

Step 1 – Stitch in the Ditch

When it’s time to plan out the quilting, I’ll print off the EQ7 sketch on paper and then start drawing possible quilting ideas. I know that you can actually draw quilting designs in the program, but it’s usually just faster and easier for me to draw it out by hand. 🙂

Lanterns Quilt Path step 2

Step 2 – Echo the Ditch

I usually make a quilting plan for each quilt I make because it’s much faster to draw out several ideas on paper, than try to dive into the quilt with no plan and then not like the results! I finally put a name to this process of  “finding your path” when my first Craftsy class came out earlier this year.

Lanterns Quilt Path step 3

Step 3 – quilt one design in the background between the blocks.

For the actual quilting I use another process I call “divide and conquer” where I break up the quilting into different segments and just attack one segment at a time. I teach this in my in-person workshops and I love seeing other students get it and start applying it to their own quilts!

Lanterns Quilt Path step 4

Step 4 – quilt a contrasting design in the blocks.

As you can see, my drawing lines are pretty wonky, but that’s okay – it’s the actual stitching that counts! Of course, I draw the designs on paper with contrasting ink so I can see them, but when I do the actual quilting, I use a blending 50 wt. Aurifil cotton thread. For this quilt I used just two thread colors – yellow for the blocks and gray for the background (both from my Piece and Quilt Collection).

Machine Quilting Detail from Lanterns by Christa Watson

Machine quilting detail – I can quilt better than I can draw!

I sure had a great time making my solid colored quilt.
Click here to see all of the quilts from the book and grab your copy!

Giveaway!! If you’d like to win an e-copy of this book, just leave me a comment letting me know if you’ve ever made a completely solid quilt before. If so – how did you like it? I’ll choose a random winner at 6 PM Pacific Time on Saturday, June 17th













65 thoughts on “Lanterns Quilt – My Contribution to Rock Solid

  1. Sierra says:

    I’ve never made an all solid quilt, but I’ve also never made an all patterned one either! I love to try new things.

  2. Kathi says:

    i recently finished a modern amish style wall hanging using mostly solid colors (blue, turquoise, black, purple, and a little fuschia). I like the clean lines of quilts using solid colors. Just finishing a version of your lightning quilt and then planning to tackle another solid color quilt.

    • Susan L. says:

      Love the solid colours and the quilt. I have never worked with all solids in a quilt. One of these days I plan too!

  3. vivoaks says:

    I had an entire reply typed when it dawned on me that I did, indeed, make one all-solid quilt. I did it in Amish colors and made 9-patch hearts. I loved the way it turned out, and it ended up being a wedding quilt for my sister. That was 25 years ago!! Now I generally use blenders instead of solids. I’ve never been a big fan of solids except on Amish-style quilts. Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  4. Carol says:

    I can’t wait too see your book. I am a modern quilter and member of the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild. I am with you….bright solid and geometric! I guess my days of teaching geometry are still working in my head since I retired.

  5. June says:

    Love your lanterns quilt! I haven’t made an all solids quilt yet but it’s definitely on my ‘to do’ list as I am always attracted to the modern look and vibrant colours.

  6. Marilyn says:

    I have made quilts with all solids and like them a lot. The last one was a + quilt for a crayon challenge. I’ll chose a patterned fabric for the back and pick colors from it to make the top often using white or light grey in the negative space.

  7. Alice Gatto says:

    I have not made a quilt with all solid fabrics. The closest one I’ve made is one of corduroy salvaged from my sons pants and that was 30 years ago. Even that one had a few prints in it. I love the look of your lantern quilt and the others that I’ve notice in books and on line lately. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book.

  8. Shifra G. says:

    I haven’t made a completely solid quilt yet, but I just bought a bunch of solids. Lot’s of ideas are swimming around in my head and I hope to make one someday soon.

  9. Nancy says:

    Thanks for the illustrations and explanation walk through on your quilting. I just finished making a table runner out of solids. However, most of the time I wind up throwing some very subtle mottled tone-on-tone textured fabrics in too.

  10. Barbara Forde says:

    Have made a couple of quilts in solids, but have never been very happy with the finished product. Don’t know if it’s just me, but find them quite unforgiving of any mistakes or fudging you might have to do. Also the quilting shows much more and I am not proficient enough to be very satisfied with the end result. Maybe I just need more practise because I love the look of them…just not particularly the look of mine 🙂

  11. Vicki D. says:

    I haven’t yet made a solid quilt but I’ve collected many solid fat quarters. I just need to buy some background fabric. There are several patterns that appeal to me to try and now I can add the lantern pattern to my list. It’s beautiful. I love how free motion looks on solid fabrics.

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