How to Make a Pieced Quilt Backing Tutorial

This is my favorite way to use up leftover scraps while making an interesting quilt back! Below is a roundup of some of my favorite pieced backs that I’ve made over the years. Click each of the links below to get instructions on how to make the quilt back (or front)!

Modern Logs Quilt Leftovers

Click here for the Modern Logs quilt backing tutorial.

I made this one from my Good Vibes scraps plus a few leftover strips of my other fabric collections.

Pieced Quilt Backing

Bar Graphs Pieced Backing

This was the pieced backing for an early version of my Charming Chevrons Quilt pattern. I love how the machine quilting lined up on the back – that was purely accidental and not planned!

Click here for the pieced quilt back tutorial.

Quilt Back

Leftover Fat Quarters Pieced Quilt Back

This black and white backing used up leftover fat quarters for one of the quilts in my first book, Machine Quilting with Style. The front of the quilt is called Lightning and it was a modern take on a rail fence design in black and white with a pop of yellow.

Click here to download the free PDF pattern for this pieced quilt back.

Surplus Strips Pieced Backing

While I don’t have step by step tutorial for this one, I used up leftover blocks from the front combined with larger chunks of fabric in coordinating colors. This is an easy way to add a pop of interest to your back, and it’s much faster to piece together.

Click here to get my Surplus Strips digital quilt pattern.

Shades of Gray Pieced Quilt Back

Sometimes I will sketch out exactly how I want the pieced quilt backing to look in EQ8. This can more easily help me figure out the dimension to cut each piece. See the before and after pics below:

Shades of Grey Backing
Click here for the tutorial and dimensions to cut for my Shades of Gray pieced backing.

I hope you enjoyed that walk down memory lane. I want to know – have you ever made a pieced quilt back before? If so – how did you like it?

Now it’s time for me to go make some more pieced backs – and fronts!! Happy quilting, friends!!

Add Some Color to Your Stash!

One of things I love most about being a fabric designer is creating fabrics to add to my own personal stash. Although I’ve now designed 6 fabric lines for Benartex (#7 on the way soon!!), I really just look at it as a continuation of one large collection, LOL! To help you fill out the rainbow in your stash, I’ve created custom color bundles from a mix of all of my fabric lines.

Click here to grab your favorite fat quarter color bundle!

Red Fat Quarters

My red color bundle includes fabrics from Abstract Garden, Geo Pop, Gridwork & Good Vibes

Orange Fat Quarters

My orange color bundle includes fabrics from Fandangle, Abstract Garden, Geo Pop & Good Vibes

Yellow Fat Quarters

My yellow color bundle includes fabrics from Geo Pop & Good Vibes

Green Fat Quarters

My green color bundle includes fabrics from Geo Pop, Gridwork & Good Vibes

Medium/Dark Blue Fat Quarters

My medium/dark blue fat quarter bundle includes fabrics from Abstract Garden, Geo Pop & Gridwork

Light Blue Fat Quarters

My light blue fat quarter bundle includes fabrics from Abstract Garden, Gridwork & Good Vibes

Pink Fat Quarters

My pink fat quarter bundle includes fabrics from Fandangle, Abstract Garden, Geo Pop & Gridwork

Purple Fat Quarters

My purple fat quarter bundle includes fabrics from Abstract Garden, Geo Pop and Gridwork

Black, White & Gray Fat Quarters

My neutral fat quarter bundle includes fabrics from Fandangle, Geo Pop, Gridwork and Good Vibes

Which bundle is your favorite? Which colors would you like to see more of? Leave me a comment – I’d love to know!!

Join Me for the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show March 2022!

Save the date: registration for the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show opens Sept 7, 2021 and the show itself takes place March 3-5, 2022.

I’ll be teaching 3 full day workshops and I can’t wait! Check out my schedule below:

Thursday March 3, 9-5 PM Walking Foot Wonders

Detail shown is Wavy Grid motif stitched on Bling quilt pattern.

Learn to stitch beyond the ditch and unleash the power of your walking foot to quilt modern or traditional designs. Walking foot motifs to be taught include: wavy lines, decorative stitches, irregular grids, large continuous spirals, several straight line variations, and more! You’ll leave class armed with the confidence that yes, you can quilt your own quilts! Class will also include a discussion on basting, favorite tools and supplies that make the job easier, plus tips for putting it all together on a real quilt.  Students should be comfortable with their sewing machines and will practice on their own pre-basted fabric and batting samples.

Friday March 4, 9-5 PM Free-Motion Favorites

Detail shown is Jagged Stipple motif stitched on Terrace Tiles quilt pattern.

Embrace perfectly imperfect quilting! That means little to no marking, and a whole lot of gorgeous texture. Ease into free-motion quilting with asymmetrical wavy lines, then move onto loops, traditional and modern stippling, plus curvy fillers like wishbones and cursive l’s that can expand to fit any space. Finish it off with several swirl variations, and you’ve got a toolbox of motifs to try on your next quilt! Class will also include a discussion of basic free-motion quilting tips and tools, plus figuring out how to combine motifs together in the same quilt. Students should be comfortable with their sewing machines and will practice on their own pre-basted fabric and batting samples.

For both of my machine quilting classes, we will be working from my latest book, 99 Machine Quilting Designs. If you haven’t grabbed it yet, you can order your signed copy of the book here.

99 Machine Quilting Designs
My 4th book, 99 Machine Quilting Designs was published by Martingale/That Patchwork Place in 2021.

Saturday March 5, 9-4 PM Improv Piecing – Modern Logs

Modern Logs Quilt Top
Modern Logs Quilt Pattern made from Good Vibes Fat Quarters

Put a modern spin on a classic block while you learn to create improvisationally pieced Log Cabin blocks. Choose two sets of fabrics that have good contrast, such as lights and darks. You’ll need 10 fat quarters of assorted lights and 10 fat quarters of assorted darks to make the 48″ x 54″ quilt. Pattern is required and includes additional sizes. Suitable for all skill levels.

A copy of my Modern Logs Quilt Pattern is required for the class. Click here to get the optional Modern Logs kit.

Be sure to leave a comment letting me know if you plan to attend. I’d love to see you there!

Click here for complete workshop details, schedules and instructors for IHQS.

I’m Now an AccuQuilt Go! Getter!

I’m so thrilled to let you know I’ve just partnered with AccuQuilt to be one of their newest brand ambassadors. When they invited me to be a Go! Getter, how could I say no?? After all, I’ve been admiring their cutters and dies for a looong time and now is finally the right time to start investing in their system.

I received my first box of goodies recently, so I made an ”unboxing” video to tell you all about it. Check it out on my YouTube channel here:

Here are all of the die bundles included in the video (affiliate links):

Click here to learn more about the Go Big Electronic Starter Set.

Click here to learn more about the Go Qube Mix and Match 12″ Block Set

Click here to learn more about the Angles Companion Set for 12″ Blocks

Click here to learn more about the Corners Companion Set for 12″ Blocks

Click here to learn more about the Go! Me Die Cutter

Click here to learn more about the Go Qube English Paper Piecing 1″ Sides

Click here to learn more about AccuQuilt patterns and books

So What Does a Go! Getter Actually Do???

This is a fancy way of saying I’ll be working with their dies and cutters, designing patterns using their dies, and generally sharing about my adventures with this awesome system. I hope you’ll follow me in my journey. It’s going to be great!!! So now I’m curious – what’s YOUR favorite die shape or block? Please leave me a comment and let me know!!

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Save the Date: QuiltCon 2022 registration opens August 4!

I’m so excited to be back teaching live and in person at various events throughout throughout the country (and the world!!) I’m especially thrilled to be returning to the QuiltCon faculty in Phoenix from February 16-20, 2022. It’s my absolute favorite event!!

I’ll be teaching a total of 3 workshops all about domestic machine quilting!

Make a note of the class numbers, times and dates and be sure to register first thing on August 4th Workshops tend to fill up very quickly and many sell out on the first day. If you aren’t yet a member of The Modern Quilt Guild – be sure to join so you don’t miss out!

Quilting Between the Lines: Walking Foot

DSMQ005 Friday, February 18, 6 – 9 p.m.

Get out of the ditch and learn to quilt between the lines instead! In this domestic machine quilting workshop, you will learn several of the walking-foot designs showcased in Christa’s book, “99 Machine Quilting Designs.” Using your seam lines as a guide, you’ll learn how to stitch organic, linear designs with no marking of the quilt! These include but are not limited to: chevrons, zigzags, parallel lines, wavy line variations, and some gentle curves. You will leave empowered to embrace the beauty of imperfection as you learn to quilt your own quilts!

Quilting Between the Lines: Free Motion

DSMQ010 Saturday, February 19, 6 – 9 p.m

Use the seam lines on your quilt as a guide to add gorgeous texture to your quilts with absolutely no marking! In this domestic machine quilting workshop, you will practice many free-motion designs showcased in Christa’s book, “99 Machine Quilting Designs.” Embrace perfectly imperfect quilting while exploring a wide range of mo- tifs that include: continuous curves, S-curves, geometric chains, chevrons, zig-zags, and other linear geometrics. You will leave class armed with the confidence that you can indeed quilt your own quilts!

Both of these quilting classes are brand new and are based on many of the motifs included in my new book, 99 Machine Quilting Designs. You can grab your signed copy here.

99 machine quilting designs

How to Make a Quilting Plan

QP001 Thursday, February 17, 6 – 9 p.m

This class is part lecture, part hands-on design workshop with an emphasis on domestic machine quilting. After discussing the often-asked question, “How do I quilt it?” you will practice sketching quilting motifs on paper, then learn strategies to apply those designs to an actual quilt top. You will have a chance to create several different quilting plans using images of your own quilts printed on paper, as well as learning how to create quilting plans for a wide variety of quilt designs. If time permits, Christa will also discuss options for designing a quilting plan as a group, using some of your quilt tops as examples. This is a no-sew workshop.

Download the Class Catalog

Click here to view the interactive class catalog, or download it to read at your leisure!

Be sure to leave me a comment if you plan to attend – I’d love to see you!!

Join me on the Quilting Hour July 30, 2021

I’m excited to announce I’ll be a guest on a brand new video series called The Quilting Hour! It’s hosted by Lee Chappell Monroe of May Chappell and will be presented by C&T’s Creative Spark. Here’s a quick roundup of who all the guests will be. I can’t wait!!

Quilting Conversations with Trendsetting Designers For Quilt Enthusiasts

The Quilting Hour dives deeper into quilting techniques and trends. Each week the LIVE one-hour conversations will focus on a specific theme or technique. Expert quilter Lee Chappell Monroe of May Chappell will host 2-3 sensational guests and guide the conversation to be sure you learn the most you can on the theme of the week. Of course there will be time to ask questions so come ready to participate.

If you miss the LIVE event, don’t worry. Each week’s discussion will be recorded and accessible to watch at your leisure.

So pick a discussion topic you want to learn more about or better yet sign up for the entire series!

Here’s a list of dates and topics that will be included in the series:

I’m excited that they’ve saved the best for last!! On July 30, I’ll be the featured guest along with Teri Lucas and we will be chatting all things domestic machine quilting!!

Click here for full details and to register for this series.

It’s going to be “sew” much fun!

Here’s a fun promo video of all the guest that will be on the show. I hope you’ll join us!!

Click here to join The Quilting Hour!

WHO WANTS TO COME WITH ME TO SPAIN??

Next year from March 19-27, you can come with me on an adventure of a lifetime to Spain, including stops in Barcelona, Madrid, and Sitges for the world renowned international patchwork festival. I’ve been invited by Craftsy and Craft tours to headline this amazing event.

We are going to do such fun things like marzipan making, touring a craft village, meeting up with other quilters, and of course, quilting! I’ll hang out with everyone each day of the tour, plus we’ve set aside time for 2 half day workshops.

A view of Sitges, Spain

In the first workshop, students will get to practice their hand piecing skills while making the Star of Spain mini quilt; an original design by me inspired by the colors and landscape of this beautiful country.

Kits will be provided and are included in the cost of the tour. You’ll get everything you need to make this cute mini – in your choice of colors below! Plus, I’l die cut everything for you ahead of time, so you’ll have more time to sew!

Star of Spain Mini Quilt – Exclusively for Tour Attendees

In the second workshop, students will discuss machine quilting options and learn Christa’s successful tips and tricks for machine quilting. We won’t need to worry about machines on the trip, but we’ll get a whole lot of inspiration and this will be an interactive class!

Here’s a quick video I made, inviting you on the tour. My enthusiasm for this trip is unbridled, and I can’t wait for you to join me!! So grab your friends, loved ones, or quilting buddies for this bucket list adventure!

Click HERE for complete travel itinerary and registration information.

A $1000 deposit is required, and the rest of the balance can be paid in $350 monthly installments. You’ll want to reserve your spot by 6/21/21 for the best price, and there’s a “land-only” option available if you prefer to travel to Spain yourself.

Spaces are limited to just 28 students, and I’ve already been getting emails from groups of friends who plan to go together. How fun is that?? If you DON’T have a buddy to go with – sign up to share a room with another student and make a new friend on the tour!

It’s going to be epic!!

So – who’s going to join me???

Click here to join me in Spain next year!

More Live Teaching This Year!

I am so thrilled to be getting back to live teaching this year. My next big upcoming event takes place in Nebraska August 5-7. I’ll be teaching for BERNINA Sewing Center of Omaha & BERNINA of Lincoln. I can hardly wait!

I’ll be teaching the same things at each shop. We will kick off the event with my popular “How Do I Quilt It?” lecture in the evening. Then the following day I’ll teach my hands-on Modern Machine Quilting full day workshop.

So first you’ll learn the theory of how I quilt my quilts, then you’ll be able to practice my fun and easy walking foot & free motion techniques. By the end of the event you’ll be a better quilter, guaranteed!!

Just one of the walking foot designs you’ll learn!

It’s a closeup of the continuous spiral on my Sparkling Stars quilt.

Click here to register for the Omaha event, Thursday-Friday
Click here to register for the Lincoln event, Friday-Saturday

I can’t wait to see you there!!

Register for my Online Lectures at Minnesota Quilt Show!

I sure can’t wait to get back to in person teaching later this year. But in the meantime I’m excited that I can reach more people online that may not have a chance to travel and see me otherwise.

I’m very pleased to be offering two of my popular lectures at the virtual Minnesota Quilt Show in June.

Here are the details with links to register:

The Hallmarks of Modern Quilting Lecture

June 9, 2021 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Central Time

This informative lecture is full of quilting examples demonstrating how the modern aesthetic can apply to the machine quilting process. Learn how negative space, minimalism, graphic geometry, improvisation and other hallmarks of the modern aesthetic can be incorporated into your machine quilting work. Attendees will gain a better understanding of why many modern quilters choose to employ an abundance of straight line and “industrial looking” designs rather than quilting overly ornate and perfectly symmetrical motifs. Skill level: All levels. Cost: $10 (member) / $12 (non-member).

Click here to register for the Minnesota Quilters Virtual Quilt Show

How Do I Quilt It? Lecture

June 10, 2021 7:30 – 8:30 PM Central Time

The secret to successful quilting is in the planning and preparation. I’ll guide you through the steps I take to make each quilting experience fun and stress free. Once you see my methods, you’ll feel empowered to quilt your own quilts! Learn how I baste my quilts, make a quilting plan, choose thread colors, divide and conquer each task, and apply rich texture with little to no marking of the quilt. Skill level: All levels. Cost: $10 (member) / $12 (non-member).

Click here to register for the Minnesota Quilters Virtual Quilt Show

Click here to see my complete, up-to-date teaching schedule. Hopefully I’ll be at a location near you!!!

Virtual Trunk Show of My Book Quilts

Well it’s been awhile since I last posted, but life just got in the way! However, today I’m excited to be back blogging agin and sharing a virtual trunk show of my quilts for your viewing pleasure. Below are all of the patterned quilts from my books, plus several alternate versions. The best part is that each of my book includes step by step instructions to make the quilt top, and also how to quilt them. Enjoy!!

Click here to get signed copies of my books.

Books by Christa Watson

Piece and Quilt with Precuts (2017)

Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

All of the quilts in this book are precut friendly and each pattern includes piecing instructions and a quilting plan with diagrams and quilting suggestions. You can mix and match pieced patterns and quilting motifs to your heart’s content!

Squiggles – Original Version from the Book

Click here for the blog post about this quilt.

Squiggles by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Squiggles Remake using Modern Marks Fabric

Click here for the Quilt Along for this quilt.

Squiggles by Christa Watson

Gridwork – Original Version from the Book

Click here for the blog post about this quilt.

Gridwork by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Gridwork Remake by Vicky Holloway Using Modern Marks

Click here for Vicky’s blog post about this quilt.

Gridwork by Vicki Holloway

Frequency – Original Version from the Book

Click here for the blog post about this quilt.

Frequency by Christa Watson for Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Frequency – Mini remake using Modern Marks

Click here to read more about this collaboration between me and Leah Day.

Mini Frequency wiht Modern Marks

S.W.A.K

Click here for the blog post about this quilt.

SWAK from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Starstruck – Original Version from the Book

Click here for the blog post about this quilt.

Starstruck by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Starstruck remake using Modern Marks

Click here for the blog post about this quilt.

Modern Starstuck by Christa Watson

Dot ‘n’ Dash – Original Version from the Book

Click here for the blog post about this quilt.

Dot 'n' Dash by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Dot ‘n’ Dash remake using Fandangle

Click here for the Quilt Along for this quilt.

Dot 'n Dash quilt by Christa Watson

Twinkling Diamonds

Click here for the blog post about this quilt.

Twinkling Diamonds by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Windows

Click here for the blog post about this quilt.

Windows from Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

Kites

Click here for the blog post about this quilt.

Kites Quilt from Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

Arrows

Click here for the blog post about this quilt.

Arrows from Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

Spools – Original Version from the Book

Click here for the blog post about this quilt.

QuiltCon reject 2
Spools Remake by Hollyanne Knight Using Modern Marks

Click here for Hollyanne’s blog post about this quilt.

Spools from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting (2016)

Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

Angela Walters and I each made the same ten quilts in our own choice of fabrics and quilting motifs. There are 10 different patterns presented along with over 50 different machine quilting designs. Below are each of the 20 quilts we made showcasing different color combos and machine quilting suggestions.

Choosing Colors

Click here to read more about this quilt.

Choosing Colors by Christa Watson

Christa’s version – in rainbow order.

Choosing Colors made by Angela Walters

Angela’s version – mix it up and throw in a scrappy binding!

Swirling Butterflies

Click here to read more about this quilt.

Swirling Butterflies Wholecloth Quilt

Christa’s version – bold and contemporary.

Swirling Butterflies Angela Walters

Angela’s version – white and traditional.

Plumb Lines

Click here to read more about this quilt.

My version of Plumb Lines won 2nd Place, Modern at HMQS in 2016.

Plumb Lines Quilt

Christa’s version – free-motion alternatives to straight line quilting.

Plumb Lines Quilt

Angela’s version – peachy keen!!

Cornered

Click here to read more about this quilt.

Corned quilt by Christa Watson

Christa’s version – pretty in pink!

Cornered by Angela Walters

Angela’s version – make your friends green with envy when you learn how to quilt these motifs!

Directionally Challenged

Click here to read more about this quilt.

Directionally Challenged by Christa Watson

Christa’s Version in shades of blue with walking foot quilting and FMQ.

Directionally Challenged by Angela Walters

Angela’s version in red showing how to break down large blocks for quilting success.

Migration

Click here to read more about this quilt.

Migration Quilt

Christa’s version – grid quilting in warm earthy tones.

Migration by Angela Walters

Angela’s version – jewel box quilting with lots of negative space fillers.

Exploding Star

Click here to read more about this quilt.

Exploding Star by Christa Watson

Christa’s version using Angela’s fabrics with walking foot continuous spiral quilting.

Exploding Star by Angela Walters

Angela’s version quilted with multi-sized spirals.

fractured squares

Click here to read more about this quilt.

Fractured_Squares_Christa

Christa’s version – completely quilted with a walking foot.

Fractured_Squares_Angela

Angela’s version – having fun with improv borders!

Quatrefoil Applique

Click here to read more about this quilt.

Quatrefoil-Applique_Christa

Christa’s version – it’s a machine quilting sampler!

Quatrefoil-Applique_Angela

Angela’s version – bold and dramatic.

U-Turns

Click here to read more about this quilt.

U-Turns_Christa

Christa’s version – cool teal solids with a touch of print.

U-Turns_Angela

Angela’s version – perfect for practicing turning a corner!

Machine Quilting with Style (2015)

Click each highlighted link below each image for more about that quilt.

Machine Quilting With Style

13 friends each remade the 12 quilts + 1 of the backings. I have included their versions, too. Photography of my quilts courtesy of Martingale and Brent Kane. Here’s the order in which they are presented in the book:

ripplesRipples, made by me

ripples_melissa

Ripples, made by Melissa Corry and her MIL Barbara

mqws_rainRain, made by me
Juried into QuiltCon 2016
Shown at MQG Exhibit at Int’l Quilt Festival

rain_drizzle_cheryl

Drizzle, made by Cheryl Brickey

color crystals.Color Crystals, made by me

colorcrystals_vicki

Color Crystals, made by Vicki Ruebel
Honorable Mention, PIQF 2015
Faculty Award, MQX New England 2016

technicolor_backing

Technicolor backing made by me

technicolorbacking_ida

Urban sunrise, made by Ida Ewing
Best Machine Quilting, Pahrump Quilt Show 2016

Little Man's FancyLittle Man’s Fancy, made by me

littlemansfancy_tina

Little Man’s Fancy, made by Tina Guthmann

staticStatic, made by me

static_quilt_lee

Static, made by Lee Heinrich

square in a squareSquare in a Square, made by me
Juried into Road to California, 2016

squareinasquare_stacy

Square in a Square, made by Stacy Cooper

focal_point

Focal Point, made by me
Juried into QuiltCon 2016

Focal Point - Chic Neutrals no lines

Focal Point, recolored in EQ7 using Chic Neutrals fabric from Amy Ellis

focalpoint_amy

Focal Point, made by Amy Garro

Lightning and backing

Lightning, made by me
Bonus backing tutorial from Martingale
Juried into Road to California 2016

lightning_leannePink, made by Leanne Chahley

Candy_PopCandy Pop, made by me
Awarded 3rd Place, Applique at DQN 2016 Quilt Show

candypop_linda

Candy Pop, made by Linda Hungerford

BrokenVBroken V, made by me

brokenv_sharon

Broken V, made by Sharon McConnell

Facets_Kona

Facets, made by me
2nd Place Modern, AQS Paducah 2016
Juried into AQS Phoenix 2016
Quilt Along Blog Series 2016

facets_kristy

Facets, made by Kristy Daum

Finals B1324.inddPearl Gray, made by me
1st Place Large, Single Maker, DQN 2016 Quilt Show

pearl_gray_alyce

Pearl Gray, made by Alyce Blyth

 Click Here for Signed Copies of All 3 Books

Books by Christa Watson