Piece and Quilt with Precuts Quilt 11 – Spools

Can you believe it? Today I’m sharing the last quilt from my book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts. Be sure and stick around for tomorrow’s blog hop wrap-up as I announce an epic giveaway (hint – it’s a QUILT!!!) and something fun to look forward to in the future!

Meet Spools, which is possibly my favorite quilt in the book. (I know – just like children you can’t really have a favorite, right???)

Spools by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Spools Photography courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Brent Kane

Piece It

My favorite thing about this quilt is that it expands on a concept that I introduced in my first book. (Remember Facets from Machine Quilting with Style? Similar piecing concept, totally different design!!)

Spools uses many leftovers from other quilts in the book as well as scraps from my scrap bin. It was so fun to combine any sized pieces to create my own “made” fabric, and then cut them up into recognizable shapes – a process I call “structured improv.”

Original spools design in EQ7

Original EQ7 design concept  for Spools. I made each spool a different color instead.

When I originally designed this quilt I had thought of mixing up a bunch of different scraps to make each of the spool blocks along with a scrappy border. The image above was my original EQ7 design for the quilt. But as I was getting ready to make the quilt I had a last minute stroke of inspiration to make them color blocked instead. And instead of a scrappy border, I made a scrappy binding around the edges that matches the color of the spool blocks!

I much prefer the quilt I ended up making, where each spool is a different color of “thread” – don’t you?? Now after making this quilt, I feel like any scrap can work its way into a future improv-pieced quilt!

Quilt It

Machine Quilting on Spools

I used a combination of two quilting designs. In each of the spool blocks I quilted wavy textured lines using a matching Aurifil thread. Then in the background I combined another fun free-motion technique I teach called “free-motion improv.”

You basically combine several of your favorite free-motion motifs and mash them all up together in the same quilt, changing designs every 2-3 motifs. It’s a fun way to quilt that adds tons of interest and texture to the design.

Free Motion Improv on Spools

Machine quilting details on Spools.

One of the reasons I quilt my quilts so densely is to hide my mistakes. After all, when you quilt one line of imperfect stitches it really stands out like a sore thumb. However, if you surround it with more imperfect quilting, all you notice is the beautiful texture rather than the individual stitches!

More Arrows inspiration

Check out the bloggers below for their takes on Spools, and be on the lookout for giveaways! I hope you’ve enjoyed traveling to all of the stops on the hop for more ideas on how to make any of the quilts in my book!

Sandra Starley: Textile Time Travels

Sandra Starley Halloween Quilt -Spools

Who says you have to make rainbow colored blocks? Sandra decided to make mini-sized Halloween themed spools, complete with spooky background prints. Now this makes me want to make one for all the holidays! I mean, how cool would it look in reds and greens for Christmas, or red, white and blue for a patriotic quilt? This opens up a world of ideas for you to explore!!

Be sure and keep an eye on Sandra’s blog in the future to see how she quilts it!

Jen Shaffer: Patterns by Jen

Spools made by Jen

I love how Jen made her quilt similar to the original, but she totally changed up the quilting. She used a combination of “modern zig-zags” in the sashing which I introduce earlier in the book. Plus she combined it with “triangle texture”, a motif I teach in my first book.

Visit Jen’s blog to see some really great process pics showing how she approached the improv piecing. I’m proud of her for going outside her comfort zone! While there, you’ll even see the coordinating pillow she made with another machine quilting design from the book!

Today’s Gift: Win Scraps of My new fabric

Since we’ve been talking about how to use up your scraps, I thought it would be fun to offer a unique giveaway today. Many of you know I’ve been sharing sneak peeks of my new fabric line, Modern Marks, which releases this November from Benartex. Well, I’ve been working behind the scenes, making a bunch of quilts from the new fabric to show it off a bit later. That means that I’ve accumulated a ton of scraps, so I’ve decided to give them away to one of you!

Modern Marks fabric scraps

This bundle of scraps could be yours! It’s Modern Marks by Christa Watson for Benartex.

This means that one lucky winner will be the first (other than me) to get their hands on my fabric, before anyone can even buy it!!! Now that you know what you can do with scraps, the sky’s the limit when it comes to using them.

To enter, leave me a comment letting me know which quilt from the book is your favorite. If you haven’t had a chance to see them all, click here for the blog hop schedule, with links to each of the quilts. I’ll choose a winner’s name at random on Monday morning and notify them via email. I’m happy to ship your box of scraps anywhere, with the understanding that an international winner will pay shipping (less the cost of shipping it to the US).

Piece and Quilt with Precuts Blog Hop

And finally, if you’ve enjoyed the blog hop, be sure to pick up a signed copy of my book. It’s been a joy to write, and even more satisfying to share all of the quilts with you. Be sure and stop by tomorrow to see what’s coming up next!

Update: Winner Selected and Comments Closed

Congrats to Brandy F.  who has been contacted via email.















153 thoughts on “Piece and Quilt with Precuts Quilt 11 – Spools

  1. Sherry Jurykovsky says:

    I’m leaning towards Starstruck as my favorite but Arrows comes a close second. I’ve been following you for a couple of years and love everything you do. And I’d love to add to my stash.

  2. birdlooker says:

    If I have to pick just one, Squiggles is it. This, by the way, has been the MOST fun blog hop!

  3. Lisa Marie says:

    Gridwork has been my favorite through the hop, but now that I’ve seen Spools it may be number one. Love the pile of scraps, what a thrill it would be to win that!

  4. Nanacy N says:

    I am still in love with Starstruck, but the spools have always been second. Maybe I need to win and do some improve piecing.

  5. Anita Jackson says:

    Difficult to really chose 1 quilt to be a favorite 😉 I guess I am going to choose Spools though because I just adore the one made with the Halloween fabrics!

  6. Barbara Lasky says:

    Love the spools quilt. I like rainbow quilts where shades of the different color families are used.

  7. RoxAnna Foudray says:

    So far it has to be Spools, I love that you use up all those bit and pieces that are left over. Lovely quilts throughout the book again though, Christa.

  8. Shirley Shingara says:

    Squiggles is my favorite but others keep me wavering. Guess I’ll just have to make them all!!

  9. Wilma Schirra-Kays says:

    Not sure which is my favorite…love them all. Like the scrappiness of spools, also arrows…

  10. Angela Morrison says:

    I have several favorites but I think possibly Arrows was my most favorite! I am lucky enough to have a signed copy of your book and can’t wait to make a quilt from it 🙂

  11. Catrin Lewis says:

    I think that gridwork would have to be my favourite although I do have a soft spot for dot and dash!

  12. lowcadre says:

    I’m having trouble picking just one favorite but I’ve always loved star quilts so I’m going with Starstruck

  13. Mary D says:

    Lots of great quilt inspiration in your book and from the blog hop participants. I still find the Starstruck quilt made by Sherri Noel to be my favorite. I really enjoyed this blog hop.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  14. Kim says:

    I am really into scraps lately and Spool totally caught my eye since I can easily use scraps from each color. For that reason I’ll have to say that Spools is my favorite.

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