Another fun video has just dropped over on my YouTube channel! This week I’m teaching how to avoid the dreaded puckers while machine quilting. The secret is to baste well, and divide and conquer. I also show how to combine walking foot and free-motion on my Charming Chevrons quilt for a custom result with lots of yummy texture. Click play below to watch:
Grab the Quilt Kit or Pattern
While my videos are always free to watch, I appreciate your support by purchasing the quilt pattern or optional kit. I have 2 sizes of Charming Chevrons quilt kits currently available. And here’s a spoiler alert: I’ll be showing how to make the larger size in a future video, so stay tuned!!
What do you like to listen to when you sew? Music? Audio books? TV? Me – I absolutely love listening to sewing podcasts. It’s like enjoying a quilty chat with friends, but I don’t have to talk back! Well, recently I was the one doing the talking when I was a guest on “Measure Twice, Cut Once” from Stitched by Susan.
We chatted all things quilting and I was able to share more about my quilty story and how I got into the biz. Susan has one of those really great radio voices, and I love listening to her podcast on a regular basis. You can find her podcast, and the others I recommending below on Itunes and all the usual podcast places.
Quilter on Fire Podcast with Brandy Maslowski
Speaking of Podcasts, I’m also excited to tell you I was recently interviewed for the Quilter on Fire podcast, too. Brandy and I chatted before we both attended QuiltCon earlier this year – and then we ended up being roommates for the show, which was super fun!! My episode with her drops on May 17, 2022 so be sure to subscribe now and listen in!
More Podcast Recommendations
Here’s a list of some of the current quilting podcasts I’m enjoying listening to right now:
I enjoy Kristin’s podcast because she talks about what she’s currently sewing or quilting. But she also includes other crafts, reading recommendations and home making tips, too. It’s really delightful to listen to while I sew!
I’ve actually been a guest on Stephanie’s podcast a few times and she has such a silky smooth voice, perfect for radio!! She also discusses what she’s making along with sewing tips and guest interviews. It’s a really nice mix of content to listen to.
This one features casual conversations with guests in the sewing/quilting community. I enjoy listening to stories from creative people on what excites them, what inspires their work and how they grow and connect with their communities.
I love this one because of all the quilty biz chat. Elizabeth has interesting guests who share their stories along with tips on how to grow your creative business. It’s been very educational & inspiring to listen to.
I started listening to Behind the Seams when several of my friends who had written books with them were interviewed and I really like the format of this podcast. They share stories about the makers they feature in their books and it’s a real joy to listen to.
(Spoiler alert! My next book will be with C&T so I assume they’ll have me on to talk about it sometime, so that should be fun!!)
This one is from the editors of Quilting Daily and I love the peppy flow and the conversation among the hosts. Add it to your list if you haven’t done so already!
What are some of YOUR recommendations?
Over the years, this list has grown or shrunk, depending on my interests, and who’s still currently putting out content. There are lots of podcasts out there but some of my earlier hosts have “pod-faded” meaning they are no longer producing new episodes.
But I’m always on the lookout for more fun recommendations, so please tell me some of your faves in the comments and I’ll be sure to check them out!
Writing books sure has been an amazing journey and it’s allowed me to meet and make so many amazing quilty friends. Plus, I’ve been able to travel the country and even teach internationally, too. I’ve mentioned this before, but I feel called to share what I know and it gives me such joy when others learn to love machine quilting as much as I do.
In case you missed it, you can watch the previous episode by clicking play below.
I’m thrilled to announce that I will be teaching at Quilt Festival this fall in Houston, Texas. This is especially exciting because it will be my first time teaching and attending this show. I was slated to teach last fall, but then we had to deal with an unexpected family emergency, and I had to cancel last minute. (All is good now – so no worries!)
I love to teach – especially in person!!
Class registration will open soon and this show has a good chance of selling out. So I’d like to share my schedule with you so you can plan your trip now and be all set to register when the time comes:
How to Make a Quilting Plan Workshop Thursday, Nov 3, 2-5 PM
I originally taught this class at QuiltCon back in February and it was a hit! It sold out right away because we focused on breaking down the planning process into manageable steps that anyone can master.
How Do I Quilt It? Lecture Friday, Nov 4, 10-11 AM
This is my most popular lecture that inspired my newest book that comes out later this year. (More on that soon, I promise!!)
Quilting Between the Lines with Your Walking Foot Friday Nov 4, 2-5 PM
Learn to use your seam lines as a guide for no mark quilting and lots of fun!
Modern Machine Quilting: Walking Foot Wonders Friday Nov 4, 6-9 PM
More walking foot fun and different motifs than the other walking foot class. Sign up for 1 or both!
Modern Machine Quilting: Free Motion Favorites Saturday Nov 5, 9 AM – 12 PM
Learn to quilt perfectly imperfect quilting textures that are fun and forgiving to stitch!
Quilting Between the Lines using Free-Motion Motifs Saturday Nov 5, 2-5 PM
More free motion fun! All of my quilting classes can be taken separately or together; you’ll learn fun techniques in each of them!
I’ll be teaching material found in all of my current books (plus the new one) and it’s a great way to practice your skills. If you haven’t yet taken a class from me, I teach in an easy going style that’s approachable for all levels. It’s absolutely my favorite thing to do!
Stay tuned for more info on registration. I’ll include more details about each class coming soon!!
It’s my favorite time of the week again! It’s time to share my latest and greatest video tutorial with you, and you can subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss a thing. Click play below to learn how to make Color Weave, a fun modern quilt that’s much easier to make than it looks!
I love making these videos not only to help you successfully make the quilt I’m showcasing, but also to help you improve your machine quilting skills. Think of each of the quilting designs that I share as it’s own stand-alone pattern that you can apply to any quilt in your UFO (unfinished fabric object) pile!!
How You Can Support My Free Tutorials
I’ll continue to keep the video content free, and then all I ask is for you to purchase a copy of my quilt patterns to follow along.
Where possible, I’ll also include links to the products I used to make these quilts, if the fabric is still available. When it’s not, I always suggest that you can get a similar look just by choosing similar (rainbow) colors from your stash, or my online shop.
My plan is to eventually create videos from all my current quilt patterns that I’ve already released. But of course I’m working behind the scenes on new fabrics and patterns, too.
For each weekly video I release, I’m hard at work editing and filming new tutorials as I make my way through my stash of secret sewing projects! This will keep me busy, but will also keep the content flowing on a consistent basis.
Behind the Scenes of my Quilting Videos
Here’s a little bit of what it looks like “behind the scenes” while I film. In the image below, I’ve hung the quilt I’m discussing on my design wall and started to set up the lighting. I’ll zoom in close so that all you see is me and a closeup of the quilt behind me. This is for the video segments where I’m talking directly to you, the audience.
I’m still working on getting the lighting right, but it’s all a fun work in progress!!
Below is the view from the other side of my sewing room. I’ve hung up some notes that I’ve printed in a large font and taped to my storage cabinets so I can see them from across the room. I go off script all the time of course, but at least this keep me on track of what important points I want to cover.
I also use a combination of different tripods to get overhead shots and closeup shots of the actual quilting process. I do all of my filming with my iphone and then edit everything in iMovie. Right now I just use one phone, but eventually I hope to use two so that I can film two angles at the same time. It’s all a work in progress and I’m learning so much with each new video I make!
My favorite tripod can adjust up or down, and has a bendable goose-neck so that I can get different angles when needed. It’s not perfect, but – just like quilting – that never stops me from trying!!
Now that I have a working format for my videos it’s pretty simple to film while I make the quilts. What works for me is to set up my camera phone on a simple tripod while I sew and not worry about any background noise. Then I take a bunch of those video snippets, edit out the sound and the record a voice over explaining what I’m doing while I’m doing it.
You’ll notice that for a lot of my earlier patterns, I don’t have much video of me actually cutting or sewing the quilt top, so I’ve been focusing more on the machine quilting and finishing techniques. But in my newer videos that I’m filming now, I’ll include more of the full quilt making process.
By alternating full quilting tutorial videos every other week with my informal “Quilt Chats” it keeps me busy, but not TOO busy!
Subscribe to Keep the Fun Content Coming!
So thanks for all the love and thanks for watching and subscribing to my YouTube channel. It’s growing my leaps and bounds and I couldn’t be more excited! To find my channel, you can search ChristaQuilts on YouTube OR you can type ChristaQuilts.TV into your web browser and it will redirect you.
Feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you’d love to see more of. I aim to please!!
The most important thing about my cabinet is double checking that your machine will fit the space allowed for the drop-down table. The official measurements are listed below, but the most important thing is to measure the width and depth of your machine. If it’s less than 23 1/2″ by 12 1/2″ you should be good to go.
Cabinet fully open, will all leaves extended: 71 5/8″ W x 40″ D x 29″ H
Cabinet closed with side leaf down: 56 1/2″ W x 22 5/8″ D x 29″ H
Quilt leaf (back extension): 55 3/4″ x W x 18 1/4″ D
Right side leaf for notions and stuff: 15 3/4″ W x 19 5/8″ D
Lift opening (table top cutout): 23 3/4″ x 12 1/2″ D
Drawer (open or closed on left): 18 3/4″ x 15″ D x 3 1/2″ H
Cover for drawer (extra table space): 22 3/4″ W x 14 3/8 D
Partial List of Machines that Fit
I’ve been told that all BERNINAs and all Juki models will fit. However, double check your specific machine, just in case. You may have an older machine not on this list so it’s up to you to ensure proper measuring before placing your order. The cabinet will hold about 98% of the machines out there, except for the really huge ones.
Where Will it Ship?
The cabinet will be sent via FED EX “White Glove Delivery” which is available for 90-95 percent fo the continental US. This means it will arrive fully assembled, and they’ll deliver it to any room in your home, and even take away the packaging if you’d like. For anyone outside of this delivery area, we can discuss options on a case by case basis. Right now I can’t ship it out of the country, so my international friends will need to contact their nearest Arrow dealer.
Questions – Just Ask!
This is a big purchase so I want to help you through every step of the process. If you have a local Arrow dealer nearby, you are welcome to order it from them instead of me. I’m just here to provide a convenience for those who don’t have local access to one.
So please ask me any questions you have before purchase (and after, too)! You can reply in the comments, or shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first small batch of quilt blocks sold out right away during the local trade show, but more will be coming around mid July. I’ll open up orders for them around that time, to ensure there aren’t any production or shipping issues that may cause a delay.
I’ve been sewing on my cabinet since last October, when the first cabinet was sent to me to test and make sure I was happy with it. The answer has been a resounding yes!! I’ve made over a doze quilts on it since then (many in secret…) and I can’t emphasize enough what a joy it’s been to work on.
In Case You Missed It…
Check out the following information I’ve shared previously:
Click below to watch my “unboxing” when my Cabinet was delivered back in October:
I promise – you are going to love your cabinet as much as I do. In fact, I would say the cabinet is just as important as the machine you put in it! (But shhh…..don’t let me BERNINA dealer friends hear me say that, LOL!!)
Thanks so much for all the love for my videos! It’s a lot of work putting up a new video each week, but I am loving the format! It took me years to finally take the plunge and be consistently active on YouTube but I’m loving the feedback! In this week’s episode I’m sharing the story about how my first book came about, plus a virtual trunk show of all the quilts with lots of quilting detail. Watch below:
As I mentioned in my video, Machine Quilting with Style is now out of print, but you can grab one of the few remaining copies online at Shop.ChristaQuilts.com – and I’ll be happy to sign it for you! As of this writing there are less than 200 copies left and when they are gone, they are gone!!
Writing this book back in 2015 really changed my quilty life for the better. It was a dream come true and catapulted my quilting career. I learned so much while writing it and it’s helped me become a better teacher, too. If you already own this book, I’d love to know – what’s your favorite quilt from the book?
So here’s the story about how my quilting table came to be. It’s been a 2 year process, but over 20 years in the making. This is a long story, but I hope you enjoy the journey along with me! And if you want more details about pricing & delivery click here: http://eepurl.com/dOqCgb & I’ll be happy to email that to you!
So waaay back in the late 90s when I began quilting, my supportive mother picked up an inexpensive sewing table for me that fit my machine. I don’t remember the brand, and the store she purchased it from went out of business soon after. But it worked.
Once I upgraded my machine back in 2013, my original insert no longer fit. So to create as flat of an area as possible I covered the hole with the extension that came with my machine and propped a couple of books underneath so the machine was sitting at *mostly* the right height. That was hack job #1!
Old Table Setup:
Next, I realized the table I had didn’t have enough space to hold my scissors, thread, seam ripper and a drink right where I needed them, to the right of my machine. Stuff was always falling of the side, so I set up a little tray next to my table to catch anything that fell down. Hack job #2!!
But most frustrating of all, whenever I quilted a large quilt, most of it would end up in my lap because there was no where to hold the bulk of the quilt as I pushed it under my machine.
My table against the wall with a small table in front, forming an L shape to hold the quilt.
Once I moved into my new house with a larger studio space, I tried several different locations for my workspace. I finally decided to put my old table in the middle of the room instead of tucked into a corner. Now I discovered a whole new set of problems with my workspace!
Hello wobbly legs!!! And non-locking casters that would slip & slide on my laminate flooring!
My older table had very flimsy legs that would move out of position whenever I tried to move the table. That caused the back extension to slam down, sending anything on top of it flying through the room! And the casters didn’t lock so it never did stay firmly in place unless shoved against a wall. But you gotta work with what you have, right??
Also, whenever I quilted a large quilt, it would fall off the back and side of the table causing a ton of grief while quilting.
Due to gravity, a falling quilt creates friction and drag, wreaking havoc on your stitches!
This pulled on the quilt, causing friction and drag… and ugly stitches. I tried to mitigate this with hack job #4: taping up cardboard around the edges, but that didn’t really work!
About this same time I began to share more videos on social media, and folks began asking where to find a table just like mine. I creatively zoomed in so they couldn’t see the ugly hack jobs I had created. And it wasn’t just one or two people, it was dozens and dozens. Like crazy! In fact, I got so many questions about where to find one like mine, that I started shying away from sharing more videos because sadly, I had no answer for them!
So I decided, you know what?? I need to find a table that’s perfect for domestic machine quilting. And if I offered to make some videos about it, maybe a sewing furniture company would give me one in exchange for some promo, or perhaps let me buy one at a discount.
So I started searching and researching and contacting several of the furniture manufacturers out there. I did get a couple of nice offers of tables and cabinets currently on the market but as I examined them, I realized none of them suited my needs. I couldn’t believe NO ONE had a solution to the quilt falling off the sides of the table. And although there were a few tables that came pretty close to my needs, they were either way too big, or much too expensive for my budget.
The New Cabinet Situation
So you know what they say, necessity is the mother of invention! I began making sketches and taking pics of my hack job in the hopes that I could present my idea for a NEW table to a company who would be willing to work with me. Several helpful folks recommended a few companies that could create a custom cabinet for me. But that’s not what I wanted.
Not only did I need a solution for myself, I needed a stock item that I could recommend to others as well, since I knew the question of “where did you get your table?” would be asked over and over and over and over and over and over and over again!!
Well, thankfully from some mutual industry connections, I was introduced to the amazing team over at Arrow Sewing, and we hit it off from the start! They worked with me on my design specifications and were realistic to let me know what was possible and what wasn’t.
We recently launched the Christa Cabinet and Christa’s Quilt Blocks at a trade show right here in Las Vegas. This was for sewing dealers who come to these events to find the latests and greatest for their shops. I was a little nervous since I’d never done anything like this before.
We set up a cabinet display and I actually demoed for 3 days in a row, showing how the everything worked while quilting an actual quilt. Well, the cabinet and blocks where a hit! I was actually surprised with how well the quilt blocks sold, but when folks realized that they could fit on any table, including those they already had in stock, it was a no brainer.
Christa’s Quilt Blocks are like guard rails for your quilt! They keep it from falling overboard!
Arrow talked me into becoming a drop-ship dealer which means that you can order it directly from me, and then they will ship the cabinet directly to you so that I don’t have to warehouse, since I don’t have an actual shop.
It’s a nice way to get the cabinet to people who don’t have a local dealer nearby. And so as not to compete too much with other dealers, I’m only offering MY table & accessories, rather than their full catalog of furniture.
I really have been pleased throughout the entire process and very happy with the reception so far. I’ll be opening up online orders on May 2nd, so be sure and sign up to get notified once it’s ready to launch. I’ll email you with special incentive that I can’t share publicly!!
I’m excited that my Christa Cabinet is finally being introduced into the world, and I can’t wait to see other folks sewing and quilting on it, too!
Well, this dream has been a long time coming. My Christa Cabinet that I designed in conjunction with Arrow Sewing is now in production, and will start shipping to dealers and consumers in May, 2022.
Christa’s Cabinet Specs
In this post I want to give you the basic details: beauty shots, pics etc. Then stay tuned for another email where I share more of the behind the scenes of how we developed it and launched it into the world. So here are the official measurements that I know many of you have been eagerly awaiting:
Cabinet fully open, will all leaves extended: 71 5/8″ W x 40″ D x 29 3/8″ H
Cabinet closed with side leaf down: 56 1/2″ W x 22 5/8″ D x 29 3/8″ H
Quilt leaf (back extension): 55 3/4″ x W x 18 1/4″ D
Right side leaf for notions and stuff: 15 3/4″ W x 19 5/8″ D
Lift opening (table top cutout): 23 3/4″ x 12 1/2″ D
Drawer (open or closed on left): 18 3/4″ x 15″ D x 3 1/2″ H
Cover for drawer (extra table space): 22 3/4″ x 14 3/8 D
It fits my BERNINA 770QE perfectly and will accommodate about 98% of the machines on the market. That’s basically all but the biggest machines. So measure the width of your machine from end to end and then compare it with the cutout measurement above to see if it will fit.
I designed this table especially for domestic machine quilters like myself who need room to hold the quilt and supplies (scissors, thread, snacks etc) so that it’s very comfortable while you stitch. It has room to hold the weight and bulk of the quilt in all the right places.
Machines that will Fit
This is not an exhaustive list, but it includes most of the current machines on the market that will fit. But be sure to measure your machine to be sure. The opening is the M7 size.
Bonus – Christa’s Quilt Blocks
But really, the magic of this table, and any cabinet for that matter, is being able to keep the quilt from sliding off the ends of the table, especially if it’s not pushed up against a wall. My quilt blocks are like guardrails for your quilt and hold everything in place to prevent friction and drag on the quilt. The number one machine quilting tip I share in my classes is to make sure that the immediate area you are stitching is flat and moves freely. This makes machine quilting such a joy and it’s all about moving your quilt smoothly under the machine.
When I first got my table to test drive several months ago, I used one set of quilt blocks (2 pieces total). However, I quickly found that it worked best to set up 4 of the blocks along the back AND side edges for complete coverage. In the picture above, I was showing it at a local trade show (more about that later) and I loved having all 4 blocks attached to the table at once!
So the best thing about Christa’s Quilt Blocks is that they will actually fit on any sewing table! Isn’t that great??
One set of quilt clocks includes 2 boards and 2 clamps that easily attach precisely where you want them. Here’s a better detail image of how they attach:
Where/How to Buy
So the Christa Cabinet is available to order starting in May. Christa’s Quilt Blocks are an add on purchase and are also available separately if you already have another table or cabinet. They are in production now and will be here roughly mid to late June.
You can also order a custom insert made to fit your sewing machine, and that will arrive separately as well. I’ll help you through the entire process if you choose to get it from me, but you can also head to your local Arrow dealer if you have one nearby.
I know you all are very interested in the price and I’m still working out final details. Because of something called MAP (minimum advertised pricing), I must sell it the at the publicly listed retail price. However, I can offer some incentives via email, so please click here to get a special email offer when I begin taking orders on May 2nd.
Because I do not have a physical brick and mortar shop, when you order from me, the cabinet will come fully assembled and the delivery guys will even bring it into your home and set it up. It’s an amazing service that is bundled into the price I’ll be offering. Press play below to see a quick video I made a few months ago, once my cabinet was delivered:
Isn’t that great? Ok, who else kept wanting to yell, “pivot!!” when they were climbing up the stairs??? LOL!!
I don’t do any embroidery but a friend of mine does. She came over to sew with me recently and check out my cabinet. She was thrilled with the fact that the table top is large enough to accommodate her embroidery system.
Like any part of your sewing setup, this is definitely an investment, but I wanted to keep it affordable. One of the ways to do that was by offering a manual lift (instead of hydraulic) and keeping the bells and whistles to a minimum. But I can tell you from experience, this is the perfect table for those who wish to quilt on a home sewing machine like I do. All of my recent videos I’ve been sharing, plus all of the quilts I’ve made over the last 6 months have been stitched on this cabinet and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results!
Questions? Just Ask!
Please feel free to ask me ANY questions you have about my cabinet or quilt blocks. and I’ll do my best to answer.
Here are answers to a couple other questions I’ve gotten recently: yes, you can remove your bobbin while the table is lowered to flat-bed position. And YES, you can still use your knee lift if you have one. You just need to specify that when you purchase your custom insert.
I sure hope you enjoy this cabinet as much as I do. It’s been a game changer for sure!
Remember to sign up for my email newsletter to get detailed info on pricing, delivery and bonus incentives. And stay tuned for more behind the scenes on how my cabinet came to be.
I have another fun video for you this week! Learn to quilt simple wavy lines with your walking foot or intergrated dual feed. I’m demoing how do this on my free Puzzle Box quilt pattern. Click below to watch:
If you haven’t already done so visit my Free Patterns Page (click here) to download my Puzzle Box pattern, plus a few others. These are great quilts to make to practice your machine quilting skills!
I made this quilt from 2 strip rolls of my Good Vibes fabric line. I specifically designed this collection so that it would include half lights and half darks. Contrast is the key to the success of this design!
Wavy lines are the simplest, fastest machine quilting design you can do. In fact, it’s the first design I teach my students in my machine quilting workshops. Once you feel comfortable with one design, it will give you the confidence to keep improving your skills!
Now I’m curious to know – what’s your favorite machine quilting motif to stitch? What’s a design you’d love to learn or get better at? I love making more quilts because it’s a great excuse to try new things!!