Pieced Primrose Quilt Along Week 8-Binding to Finish

I sure have enjoyed making my Pieced Primrose quilts and I hope you have, too. Now it’s time to put the finishing touches on the quilt with binding- either by hand or machine. Just remember, if you are still working on your quilt, I’m here to cheer you on – no matter how long it takes!

Pieced Primrose Warm Colorway

Because I wanted to include all 10 prints of warm or cool from my Abstract Garden line, I used 9 fabrics for the blocks and then the focal print “Raised Beds” for the backing and binding of both Pieced Primrose quilts.

Pieced Primrose in the Cool Colorway

When I first started quilting, I used to cut my binding strips 2 1/4″ wide, but recently I’ve started cutting them 2″ wide which makes for a nice, narrow finish that’s 1/4″ wide on both sides of the quilt. To figure out how many strips to cut, take the perimeter of the quilt (length of each side of the quilt) and add 10″. Then divide that number by your width of fabric and that tells you how many strips to cut.

For example, the Pieced Primrose wall size is 35″ on each side, so (35″ x 4) + 10 = 150″ of binding needed. I divide that by the usable fabric width of 40″ to which I round up to 4 strips to cut. (150/40 = 3.75). This simple quilt math works for any size quilt you need to make!

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson Raised Beds

Click here to get the Abstract garden “Raised Beds” fabric by the yard.

I was in a hurry to make my quilts on a deadline for quilt market when this fabric line was first released,  so I don’t have any step by step pics of my binding.  However, I click the links below to for several binding tutorials from previous quits:

LINKS AT A GLANCE

Click the links below for supplies needed to make Pieced Primrose

Pieced Primrose Quilt Throw Size

Pieced Primrose quilts show in the the throw size above.

Save the Date: Block Chain Quilt Along Coming Next Month!

I’m so pleased with how many of you have said you love doing my quilt alongs! So this year I’m thrilled to be sharing more quilt alongs than ever before! Now don’t feel like you have to do every single one – but I like to share a variety so that there’s something for everyone. I recently took a vote in my Facebook group and the overwhelming majority wanted to make Block Chain next and I can’t wait!
Block Chain by Christa Watson

Fabric requirements are super easy this time around: just one charm pack plus 2 contrasting background fabrics (black and gray or other combo). The quilt shown above and on the Block Chain pattern cover is Throw size, but you can make it in any sizes listed on the pattern, or easily adapt it to any size you like. The secret? Just make more blocks or add borders.

All you need is a copy of my  Block Chain quilt pattern to follow along. The quilt along itself is free!! Here’s the materials list sown on the back of the pattern cover – click to enlarge:

Block Chain Quilt Pattern

The fun will begin March 16 and just like all of my quilt alongs, we will go over every step of the quilt-making process: fabric selection, cutting, piecing, basting, quilting AND binding. If you follow me on the entire journey – you’ll have a fully finished quilt by the end, whoo hoo!!

So who wants to make this one with me?

Pieced Primrose Quit Along Week 7 – Machine Quilting

Can you believe we are almost to the end of our Paper Pieced Primrose Quilt Along? If you are just now hearing about it, scroll to the end for links to all of the other QAL posts. I’ll leave them up indefinitely so that you can make this quilt on your own time and schedule.

Paper Pieced Primrose

Click here to get the Pieced Primrose Quilt Kit made from Abstract Garden.

Quilting on Busy Quilts

The first thing to think about when quilting a busy quilt such as my versions shown above, is that the quilting won’t be a focal part of the quilt. It’s more about the interplay of the fabric colors and the geometry of the pieced design. So a busy quilt is a great place to practice a new quilting design, or one that you want to get better quilting.

machine quilt from Pieced Primrose

In the Pieced Primrose quilt pattern, I give machine quilting suggestions (just like I do in ALL of my quilt patterns). Because I made two versions of the same quilt, I quilted them with two different allover edge to edge free-motion designs: round spirals and square spirals.

When quilting an edge to edge design – I start on one side of the quilt and work my way across the quilt in a methodical fashion, block by block.

Variegated collection by Christa Watson

I used my Aurifil Variegated Thread Collection in blue and pink for each of the respective colorways. They blend into all of the fabrics and added a little bit of sparkle to the quilts. Here are a few detail shots below:

Abstract Garden Warm – click images to enlarge

Free Motion Swirls

Free Motion Swirls

Abstract Garden Cool – click images to enlarge

free motion boxes

free motion boxes

My favorite thing about quilting an allover edge to edge design is that it adds yummy texture to the quilt and is sooo forgiving! Your motifs don’t have to be perfect because you won’t see the individual stitches. And the best way to hide imperfect quilting is to surround it with MORE imperfect quilting!!

See Me qulting on Video!

I recently quilted 3 different versions of another quilt – Terrace Tiles using 3 different free-motion designs in the same way. I stitched Swirls and Boxes (similar to Square Spirals) on two of them and other fun design – Jagged Stipple – on the third.

Click play below to see  me quilting 3 different free-motion designs on Terrace Tiles:

LINKS AT A GLANCE

Click the links below for supplies needed to make Pieced Primrose

Next week we will bind our quilts to finish!

Pieced Primrose Warm
Pieced Primrose Abstract Garden Warm
Pieced Primrose CoolPieced Primose Quilt Abstract Garden Cool

Terrace Tiles Quilts: Ta Da! They are Finished!

This is the final part of my “making of” series for Terrace Tiles. I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey and are inspired to make your own version! See below for info about these quilts and the previous progress posts.

Terrace Tiles by Christa Watson

Terrace Tiles Finished Quilt Stats

  • Finished sizes: Amethyst and Citron 38″ x 57″; Breeze 57″ x 76″
  • Designed using Electric Quilt 8 software
  • Pieced and quilted by Christa Watson on my Bernina 770QE
  • Fabric collection: Gridwork by Christa Watson for Benartex
  • Pattern: Terrace Tiles by Christa Watson
  • Batting used: Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 cotton/polyester
  • Thread used: Aurifil 50 weight cotton from The Variegated Collection by Christa Watson
  • Quilting designs: edge to edge swirls, boxes and jagged stipple
  • Completed: October of 2019

Terrace Tiles Amethyst

Terrace Tiles Amethyst

Terrace Tiles Amethyst

Terrace tiles Breeze

Terrace Tiles Breeze 1500

Terrace Tiles Breeze

Terrace Tiles Citron

Terrace Tiles Citron

Terrace Tiles Citron

Kits and Patterns Available

MakinG of Terrace Tiles

Terrace Tiles pattern front cover

Terrace Tiles pattern back cover

Win It Wednesday From Benartex – Your Chance to Win my Fabric and Patterns!

This week, Benartex is promoting my new Gridwork fabric on their social media channels. Along with that, they run a weekly Win-it Wednesday promotion. Today is your chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Gridwork + 2 of my quilt patterns made from it.

Gridwork by Christa WatsonClick here to get fat quarter bundles or yardage of Gridwork.

3 lucky winners will each win one of the color ways: Amethyst, Breeze, or Citron along with my Block Chain and Terrace Tiles quilt patterns.

Christa Quilts Patterns

Click here to get my quilt patterns – printed paper version.
Click here tog et my quilt patterns – PDF download version.

To enter, head over to @benartex_fabrics on instagram and leave a comment there. You must follow both Benartex and me @christaquilts on instagram to win. Contest is open until Tuesday, February 18th at 11:59 pm EST. Three winners will be announced on Wednesday, February 19th on the Benartex social media account.

Good luck and happy sewing!

Pieced Primrose Quilt Along Week 6 – Basting

And now we come to everyone’s least favorite part of making a quilt – basting!! But really, if you just set aside the time to do it’s not that bad! Here’s what both versions of Pieced Primose look like up on my design wall that also doubles as my basting area. Read on for helfpul ways to tackle this part of the quilt-making process. It’s easier than you think!

Pieced Primrose Quilts Basted

Get the Pieced Primose kits here – in cool or warm, large or small.

Because I wanted to include all 10 warm or cool fabrics from Abstract Garden in both colorways of Pieced Primrose, I used 9 fabrics for the blocks, and then the multicolor print “Raised Beds” for the backing and binding. The wall size kit includes the backing; for the larger size you’d need 6 yards of either color.

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson Raised Beds

Click here to get yardage of the Raised Beds print from Abstract Garden

I’ve basted my quilts many different ways over the last few years, and I try to share as much about the process as I can. So take a look at the different tutorials below from prior quilts I’ve made. I’m sure one of them will make your quilting life easier!!

Spray bastinG Video Tutorial

Click here (or the image below) for my spray basting video tutorial.

This is the first full-fledged basting tutorial I’ve created for my YouTube channel. I filmed and edited it while making my Infrastructure quilt. In reality it takes about an hour to do, but with the magic of edting, you can watch on super speed which only takes about 7 minutes. Too bad I can’t baste that quickly in real life, right??

Spray basting photo tutorial

Here’s the step by step process shared in my video above, but will still photos on my Modern Puzzle quilt made from Jelly Rolls.

Click here for my spray basting tutorial using a design wall.

Wall Basting Quilt Tutorial for Modern Puzzle Free Quilt Pattern

Table basting photo tutorial

If you don’t have a dedicated design wall, no problem! You can still do my spray basting method using a table. It’s the method I used when making my Improv Squares quilt:

Click here for my table basting tutorial.

Spray Baste

Safety Pin Basting Tutorial

Finally, here’s the way I USED to baste my quilts until about 5-6 years ago – using safety pins! It’s still a good method if basting spray isn’t your thing.

Click here for my safety pin basting tutorial.

Basted

If you have another method you prefer, feel free to share you tips or links in the comments for others to see. Until next week – happy piecing and basting!!

LINKS AT A GLANCE

Click the links below for supplies needed to make this quilt:

Next Week – Machine Quilting Ideas for Pieced Primrose

Swirls quilting

Making of Terrace Tiles Part 4: Machine Quilting & Binding

Today I’m excited to share some machine quilting tips and videos for all 3 versions of my Terrace Tiles quilts. My thought is why make one quilt when you can make 3 in almost the same amount of time, right?? LOL!!

Choosing Thread colors

Aurifil Variegated Thread by Christa Watson

The variegated thread color above is actually a combo of red, white and blue but it looks pink and purple when quilted on the Amethyst quilt!

Because these quilts are so bright and colorful, I decided to quilt them using 3 different colors from my Aurifil Variegated Thread Collection. I’ve really been enjoying quilting with them because they add a bit of whimsy and sparkle to my busy quilts! Whenever I pick colors, I audition the thread by placing the spool on top of the fabrics to see how it will blend in.

Aurifil Variegated Thread by Christa Watson

Variegated thread on the Breeze colorway in progress!

It’s often surprising how well a thread will blend in even if the colors aren’t an exact match to the fabric. I normally use the same color it top and bobbin and don’t worry about whether or not the same colors will line up perfectly – that’s an impossible task. But with the variegated colors, any imperfections are hard to see and that makes for stress free quilting!

Aurifil Variegated Thread by Christa Watson

The black and white will add an extra dimension to this modern color palette!

Choosing the Quilting Designs

Because I was in a hurry to make these quilts for quilt market last fall, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to finish them. I pride myself on quilting my own quilts because (1) that’s my favorite part and (2) I’m a little bit of a control freak. So I knew I had to choose designs that would look great and wouldn’t take too much time.

free motion swirls

Swirls in progress on the Amethyst colorway. Don’t stress about the imperfections!

Also, I wanted these quilts to do double duty. Not only do they showcase my Gridwork fabric and Terrace Tiles quilt pattern, they also are examples of 3 different motifs I teach in my machine quilting workshops: Swirls on the Amethsyt colorway, Boxes on the Breeze colorway, and Jagged Stipple on the Citron colorway.

modern free motion

Boxes on the Breeze colorway is one of my favorite modern machine quilting designs.

The fastest and easiest way to finish a quilt with free motion is to choose one design and quilt it from edge to edge across the quilt regardless of the pieced quilt design. It’s also a forgiving way to hide wonky or irregular seams. Just focus on one block at a time, and before you know it, the whole thing is finished! Another way to speed up the process is to quilt the motifs on a larger scale, because that takes up more space in less time.

Jagged stipple by Christa Watson

Jagged stipple is my modern, angular version of it’s traditional cousin, smooth curving stipple.

Just to give you an idea of how fast these designs are to stitch out, it took me about 3 hours to quit swirls on the baby size Amethyst version, 5 hours to quilt boxes on the throw-sized Breeze version, and 2 hours to quilt jagged stipple on the baby sized Citron version. Although the Citron quilt is the same size as the Amethyst, jagged stipple is a much looser design than swirls, so it was a bit faster.

Scrunching and Smooshing the Quilt

Because I do everything on a sit down machine, it’s important to control the weight and bulk of the quilt. I still have yet to find the perfect quilting table, so this is what my hacked together set up looks like below:

Christa Quilts Studio

I got this table for a song 20+ years ago and sadly I don’t even remember the brand!

My sewing machine is flush with the bed of the table so it can hold most of the weight. It’s pushed against the wall so the quilt won’t fall off the back of the table. Most of the bulk is to my left, and I’ve placed a TV tray forming an L shape to hold more of the quilt as I scrunch and smoosh it through the machine. I also have a comfortable ergonomic chair that I can roll around easily.

Christa Quilts Studio

A larger throat space on my machine makes a huge difference when managing the bulk!

On a bright sunny day I like to look out the window which gives me lots of natural light while I’m sewing and quilting! When the quilt falls into my lap, I just scrunch and smoosh it out of the way as needed while I quilt.

I hope this helps you overcome your fear of free motion when choosing and allover textural design like this. The key is to fill in all the spaces, so your eye doesn’t notice any of the imperfections.

See it on Video!

Here’s a YouTube video I made showing me actually fee motion quilting each quilt. The video is just under 8 minutes and it’s packed with tips as I quilt each of the 3 quilts shown above. I’m stitching in real time with the volume on my machine so you can see and hear what it looks like “in real life.” Notice how much I stop and reposition my hands:

Scrappy Binding

gridwork fabric scrappy binding

Sew the leftovers together randomly for a fun, scrappy binding!

I love a scrappy binding, especially when making quilts from fat quarters. For Terrace Tiles, you just use up the leftovers and piece them together randomly to carry the colorful chaos all the way to the edges of the quilt.

scrappy binding gridwork fabric

You can join the ends on an angle or edge to edge!

I prefer to cut my binding strips 2″ wide so they finish nice and narrow and are even on both sides. I press each of the seams open to reduce bulk and make sure the binding  is long enough to go around the entire quilt with a few inches extra.

gridwork scrappy binding

Another great thing about scrappy binding  is you can always add more strips!

Although I prefer the look of hand binding, machine binding is a great way to finish fast! Here are my two favorite ways to bind, either by hand or machine:

Remember, if you make your own version of this quilt, please share. You can use #terracetilesquilt on instagram, or you can share your progress in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group. I’d love to see it!!

Terrace Tiles by Christa Watson

LINKS AT A GLANCE:

Click here for the making of Terrace Tiles, Part 3
Click here to get the Terrace Tiles quilt pattern – paper version
Click here to get the Terrace Tiles quilt pattern  – PDF version
Click here to get the Terrace Tiles quilt kits + Gridwork by the yard
Click here to get my Aurifil thread collections: colors, neutrals, or variegated
Click here for my binding tutorial (on a previous quilt)

Come See Me (and my Quilts) at QuiltCon 2020 in Austin, Texas!

QuiltCon, put on by The Modern Quilt Guild is absolutely my favorite quilting event to attend! It’s taking place this year in Austin, Texas February 20-23 and I can’t wait!!

QuiltCon 2020

The first modern quilt show and conference took place back in 2013 and I’ve attended each and everyone one since. It’s a can’t miss event for me and this year I’m especially thrilled to taking classes, doing some meet’n greet events, and sharing my quilts on the show floor and in several vendor’s booths.

Meet ‘n Greets on Friday and Saturday

I’m thrilled to be invited for a couple of meet ‘n greets with quilt shops who will be selling my fabrics, books and patterns at the show. So please stop by and say hi, show me what you are working on, and get some tips and tips on machine quilting or modern design:

Loving Stitches Booth #545 on Friday Feb 21, 1-2 PMQuiltCon Meet'n greet

Click here to visit Loving Stitches’ website online!

HoMESTEAD hearth Booth #404 on Saturday Feb 22, 10-11 aM

Homestead Hearth Quiltcon

Click here to visit Homestead Hearth’s website online!

The LearninG Never Stops

I’m excited to be taking a whole slew of design classes from a couple of my talented friends, Heather Black of Quiltachusetts and Daisy Aschehoug of Warm Folk. I love gettin to be a student at the show this year because my quilting education is always a work in progress!

I’ll also squeeze in several lectures and I’m excited to check out the awards ceremony and other social events throughout the show. Let me know if you’ll be in attending any of these events:

Christa's QuiltCon 2020 schedule

My Color Weave Quilt is in The Show

I’m thrilled that my Color Weave quilt will be hanging in the judged part of the show this year. I entered it into the American Patchwork and Quilting Challenge category with the theme of “stripes” for this year. I can’t wait to see how others interpreted that idea!Color Weave Quilt

Several of my other quilts will be on display in the Homestead Hearth booth, Loving Stitches booth and also the Hobbs batting booth. I love loaning them out so they can help decorate the vendor booths and also so they can be seen by a wider audience.

Christa QuiltsSome of my quilts that will be on display in vendor booths throughout the show.

Be on the lookout for Bling, Block Chain, Optical Illusion, Infrastructure and several more! If you’ve ever been to a national quilt show before, I’m sure you’ll agree that the quilts hanging up in the booths are just as fun an inspiring as those in the show!

So if you are planning to attend let me know – I’d love to see you! And if you’ll be watching all the action at home, check out the Instagram hashtag #quiltcon for some amazing inspiration from the show. Now it’s time to start dreaming about the quilts I’ll make for next year’s show……

QuiltCon 2020

Pieced Primrose Quilt Along Week 5 – Quilt Top Assembly

How are your Pieced Primrose blocks coming along? Did you check out some of the optional layouts from last week’s post? This week will be pretty straightforward as we sew the blocks and add borders to complete the quilt top.

Pieced Primrose Quilt Pattern

Quilt Top Assembly

For my cool and warm versions of the quilt, I’m doing the standard layout as shown on the cover of the Pieced Primrose Quilt pattern above. It’s the same basic layout whether you are making the smaller wall size, or the larger throw size.

First I sewed all of the foundation pieced blocks into larger 4 block units. The trick is to rotate the blocks so they look like the image below and sew 2 rows of 2 blocks each . Because of the bias edges on the blocks, you want to hand them carefully and use pins to ensure the edges match correctly.

Although the block seams are pressed to the side during block assembly (due to the foundation paper piecing process), I press the larger block seams open so they will lie flat.

Large Primrose Block – Warm Colorway

Pieced Primrose Blocks Warm

Large Primrose Block – Cool Colorway

Primrose Block Cool Large

For the wall size quilt you will be making 4 of these larger blocks. For the throw size, you will be making 20 of them. Just remember that you can always change up the size of your quilt by adjusting the number of blocks that you sew.

Click here to get the Pieced Primrose kit in warm or cool, wall or throw size.

Pieced Primrose Throw Size Layout

Pieced Primrose Quilt

Adding the Borders

Although the pattern gives you the correct measurements to cut for the borders, I always recommend measuring your quilt top first. It can shrink or grow depending on how accurate your seam allowances are.

The best advice is to measure both sides and through the middle, then cut your side border strips to this length. After the side borders are sewn, measure again with the borders attached and cut the top and bottom borders to match.

Wall Size Finished Top – Warm
Pieced Primrose Warm
Wall Size Finished Top – Cool

Pieced Primrose Cool

Next week we will baste our quilts and get them ready for machine quilting. So if you are still sewing your blocks together, don’t worry – you still have plenty of time! Remember to share your progress on instagram #piecedprimrose quilt or in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group.

LINKS AT A GLANCE

Click the links below for supplies needed to make this quilt:

Making of Terrace Tiles Part 3 – Sewing the Top, Backing and Basting

My Terrace Tiles quilt pattern is quickly becoming a favorite because it is so fast and fun to make!! Last week I shared some tips on piecing the quilt blocks. Now it’s time to finish the quilt tops and get them ready for quilting.

Terrace Tiles in Gridwork Citron Colorway
Citron Terrace Tiles Quilt

You can either arrange all the blocks on a design wall or other flat space; or you can sew them together into larger sets of 4 blocks like I did to speed up the process.  I’m not worrying about block placement at this point. The more random the better!

I’ll take a little bit of time to arrange them in a pleasing order, but I won’t overthink it.

Terrace Tiles in Gridwork Amethyst Colorway

Terrace Tiles Quilt Amethyst Colorway

I don’t worry too much if the blocks get a little wrinkly at this point. I’ve used spray starch on the fabric before I cut it which gives the blocks a tendency to wrinkle when handled. But that’s ok – once the top is sewn up and basted they won’t be as flimsy or prone to wrinkling. I also press each seam as I go to keep my blocks as flat as possible.

Terrace Tiles in Gridwork Breeze Colorway

Terrace Tiles Quilt Breeze colorway

I made the Amethyst and Citron quilts in the smaller crib size. For the Breeze colorway, I wanted to make it in the bigger throw size with more blocks.

Once the blocks are assembled into the quilt top, I take what’s called a “Victory lap:” I sew about 1/8″ around the edges with a longer stitch length to secure the edge seams from splitting open. If the quilt has borders, then you don’t need to worry about that step.

Prepping the Backing

The crib size calls for 2 yards of backing so that you can piece part of it if needed. However, you can get away with less fabric if you measure and baste carefully. As long as the backing is a couple of inches bigger than the quilt top on all sides, you’ll be ok. Below the backing just barely covers the finished quilt top on the left and right, but it’s still enough, thank goodness!

Gridwork backing fabric

Click here to get coordinating Arches Stripe fabric for backing.

I’ll make sure to pull up the backing from the floor so that it covers the entire quilt top; then I’ll trim off the extra fabric, and press it with starch before I baste.

I also like to take a picture of the batting with the quilt I so I can remember which one I used.

Quilt batting

Basting the Quilt

I like to set up a table in my back yard and apply 505 basting spray to the wrong side of the top and backing. It’s much easier to spray the top and backing separately and it uses less spray than spraying the batting instead. Below I’m basting the throw sized quilt so it requires a larger backing.

505 basting spray

After spraying outside, I bring the top and backing inside and assemble them on my design wall, one layer at a time.

Below, you can see how I pieced the backing for the throw size in the Breeze Colorway: two 2-yard pieces of the blue Hourglass fabric with a horizontal seam in the middle. Don’t worry too much about the small wrinkles – those will get ironed out at the end once the layers are assembled.

Quilt Batting

Click here to get the blue Hourglass fabric for backing of the Breeze Terrace Tiles quilt.

I prefer to work with Hobbs batting on a roll so I’ll roll out just enough batting to cover the top plus a few inches, then cut if off the roll and trim off the extra after it’s all basted. I smooth out one layer at a time on my design wall: backing, then batting, then quilt top.

A long acrylic ruler is handy to smooth out each layer. I use a separate one just for basting, since it tends to get sticky from the basting spray.

Quilt basting
Click here to get the Circle Grid fabric in purple/red for the backing of the Amethyst quilt.

Above is the Amethyst quilt after basting. I’ll trim off the extra batting and backing fabric so that there’s only about 1″ sticking out on all sides for quilting. That way the excess won’t accidentally get tucked under itself while quilting!!

The final step (not shown) is to iron the front and back of the basted quilt with a hot dry iron. This presses out any wrinkles and helps set the glue so things don’t shift while quilting.

Next week I’ll share some pics and videos the machine quilting I did for each quilt, so stay tuned!

Terrace Tiles by Christa Watson

LINKS AT A GLANCE:

Click here for the making of Terrace Tiles, Part 2
Click here to get the Terrace Tiles quilt pattern – paper version
Click here to get the Terrace Tiles quilt pattern  – PDF version
Click here to get the Terrace Tiles quilt kits + Gridwork by the yard