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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ofย  “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. Juls in FL says:

    I never have. I don’t own much solid in my stash, either. Yet, I gravitate to solid fabric quilts first when I see them! Hmmmm.

  2. Laura says:

    have made more than one quilt with all solids. I’m still finding the starkness of all solids something to get used to. I’ve got more ideas to try, though.

  3. Roz Agulnik says:

    have never made a solid quilt before. made one a few years ago that probably should’ve been all solids, but I used some other fabrics geared especially for the baby boy and his family. it was on a modern theme, but not 100%. on my bucket list though! just remembered, a small wallhanging that I made is solid, based on the colorwheel, waiting to be quilted.

  4. Teresa says:

    Hi Christa!

    I have made a solid color quilt before if using all different solids counts. It was a star block quilt with each star as a different solid color. I love the simplicity of how the colors blend together

    I would love a chance to get your newest book! I already own all your other books and just love your style of teaching!

    Best wishes

  5. Lou Brewer says:

    I’ve never made a completely solid quilt, but now that I’ve seen your Lanterns pattern in these vibrant colors, I’m going to have to try it out. This line of fabric is fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Nancy Myers says:

    I began a baby block quilt with solid colors in a class last summer at an AQS show. I have not worked on it in a while. This post brought it back to mind and I will have to get working on it again. I think it will be very illusional.

  7. Charlotta Bright Norby says:

    I wouldn’t call it a solid quilt, I would say a quilt made from solid fabrics! And I have made one full sized and a couple of baby quilts. The full sized quilt was an Amish “imitation,” sort of. Very bright strips with a solid black background. I hand-pieced and hand quilted it and gave it to some dear elderly friends. They held on to it for quite a few years, but he died and later when she moved to a very small room in assisted living with a single bed, she returned it to me, saying she wouldn’t have room for it! I managed to convince her to take another quilt, fit for a single bed. After inspecting the double quilt and finding that it was still in good shape, I passed it to some other common friends who had recently lost everything in a homefire. They were happy to take a “used” quilt!

  8. Julie says:

    I have never made a solid fabric quilt before but looking at yours I’m thinking that it needs to be done. No distractions with pattern fabric and more on design. I love it…๐Ÿ˜Š
    Btw, I just tried anchor quilting for the first time yesterday and I love it. Now let’s just forget about my issues with skipped stitches, lol…๐Ÿ˜

  9. DeniseClason says:

    Hi Christa, ”tis is a book I would love to have. I quilt a lot and have the desisted to keep quilting! I need to quilt one soon!!!! Sounds like funโ€ผ๏ธ ๐Ÿ’Ÿ๐ŸŒ€โœ‚๏ธ

  10. Beth says:

    I love sewing with solids because they show up the design. I have made several quilts from solids and Kona Solids are a favorite because of the variety of color’s.

  11. Lynda Hermann says:

    yes, I have made Gravity, Moda building blocks, Sweet Tooth and several more. while I like working with solids, I also like adding a bit of texture and that is why I love the Grunge fabrics and some of other lines that give similiar textures – mixed with solids it really works. Next on my list is to work with ombres.

  12. Rosalee says:

    Your quilt is stunning Christa, beautiful! I don’t believe that I have ever made a completely solid quilt yet but intend to soon.

  13. Jane Dornfeld says:

    I have made an all solid quilt, and so far it’s my favorite. Looking to do more to get a better handle on color skills.

  14. Glenna Denman says:

    I haven’t not made an all solid quilt yet. I do use your design ideas and appreciate your willingness to share your techniques and ideas. I recently quilted a large quilt that had been waiting in the wings for years. Because I waited, I was able to use some of your designs in the quilting and it received high accolades. Thank you for your inspiration.

  15. Karen Spanton says:

    Hi Christa! No, I have not made a totally solid quilt. I honestly have very few solids in my stash. But you are inspiring me to try something new! I have your first book and love it, and now may need to get this new one! Thank you for being such an inspiration!

  16. Connie says:

    I’ve only worked with prints so far because I just love all the colors and patterns. I do find myself moving toward ‘prints that read as solid’ so solids may not be too far away! Loved your fmq class on Craftsy – it turned my trepidation into eagerness to fmq!

  17. Shari K. says:

    Yes, I made Gravity by Jaybird Quilts and it is completely solid. 108 shades of Kona plus the greys and black for the border!

  18. Vicki says:

    I have one finished quilt made of solids and a second one in progress. I love them both. Your Laterns quilt is a stunner and, of course, your quilting is just fantastic!

  19. Kim Sanderson says:

    Hi Christa, I love this quilt, as I love all your quilts. I have not made a quilt with solids yet as I have a huge stash of other fabrics, Back when I started quilting 30 years ago the “quilting” wasn’t the focus. Mostly “in the ditch” quilting or stippling. I love free motion quilting now, but still use patterned fabric which hides my flaws. ๐Ÿ˜Š ( Quilting flaws) ๐Ÿ˜œ I am going to tackle a solid one soon! I have all your books and am inspired every time I read one. Congrats on the latest publication.

  20. Kathy E. says:

    I really never thought I would until I saw the Postcard From Sweden quilt pattern! I have the entire quilt top made, but just need to get it basted and quilted! I do love it and wouldn’t hesitate to make another all-solids quilt!

  21. Mary D says:

    I made my version of your Modern X quilt in navy & white with lime green accent for a nephew. I also was moved by your quilt named Woven Ribbons so it’s a WIP now. I love color and wow patterns in my fabrics but I am appreciating the drama a solids quilt can create.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  22. Brita says:

    I started out to make an all solids quilt, but I just couldn’t resist adding a few subtle prints (like tone on tone dots and Fossil Ferns). I entered it in a quilt show, and the judge loved that I did that, so it turned out to be the right choice for that quilt. Would love to explore solids more.

  23. Joanna Wells says:

    I am a new quilter, so I haven’t made a quilt with solids yet but I think they are beautiful! Will add it to my long list of things to try.

  24. Judi Rutherford says:

    I have always worked with solids and the color choices now are so amazing! Thanks for all you do to make teh quilting world a fun place to be!

  25. Ann O. says:

    I’m a newbie, so have limited experience, and all of it is with prints so far. I love the fresh look solids provide when combined in a gorgeous quilt like yours, but just sitting there as lone pieces of fabric, solids are just not that exciting to me. The book would be very very helpful in breaking the ice!

  26. Karen Addleman says:

    I have not made a quilt entirely out of solids. I have some fat quarters set aside, but for now I think I like them best mixed with prints.

  27. Martha Cook says:

    I have not attempted to do a completely solid colored quilt. it intimidates me. it so clearly shows mistakes (squiggly lines not smooth ones, those hiccups :)). I would love to win your book. thank you.

  28. Anne Rita Bakken says:

    What a great pattern you nade! I have made pixelated quilts in solids only and loved it. I love how solids graduates within the same color and gives stunning quilts.


  29. Julie Averill says:

    I have never made a completely solid quilt before but after looking at all the quilts in the book I am sure going to !!! Love all of them.

  30. kbaby29 says:

    I bought solid materials to make one and have not done it yet, for two reasons really. The first being since i have always used busy print fabrics, i was actually a little intimidated to start an all solids quilt when i received my (very large) ups order of all solid fabrics. So i got stuck. Then when i was ready to maybe give it a go, I got very busy takibg care of my father who has stage 4 terminal cancer. We have help now with hospice and its easier. I need to take time fir myself a little bit to just shake off tension but i need some inspiration and guidance on all solids i think. I just looove them when i see them on pinterest or in my local quilt shops. I want one of my own and i just itching to make one!

  31. Julie Dunn says:

    I have not made a completely solid quilt, to tell the truth it kind of scares me! Love yours and will try to work up the courage to try it someday.

  32. Cassie Gribble says:

    The most recent solid quilt I made was this spring using one of Rebecca Bryan’s triangle patterns. Love ‘solid’ quilts!

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