Machine Quilting with Style: Pearl Gray Re-imagined

We’ve come to the end of the quilts in my book Machine Quilting with Style! Thanks so much for going on this journey with me, taking another look at all 12 quilts in the book. Writing this book was a dream come true, and as a successful quilting author once told me, “writing a book will change your life.” That’s the truth!

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Pearl Gray at my local guild’s quilt show in 2016 – 1st place, single entrant category.

Pearl Gray shown above is a remake of my original String of Pearls quilt shown below. I made the newer version slightly larger and switched up the background to create a checkerboard effect. I also went with a softer palette in the remake compared to the brighter original.

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String of Pearls at my local guild’s quilt show in 2014 – 1st place, single entrant category.

I love sharing my quilts in quilts shows and every now and then one of them snags a ribbon. However, for this quilt to get the same ribbon in the same category at the same show 2 years apart was definitely a feather in my cap.

Pearl Gray Re-Imagined

Since I designed the quilts in the book in EQ7, it was so fun and easy to switch out the fabrics to give you some new ways to imagine how these quilts can look. Let’s explore a couple of options for Pearl Gray, using some newer fabrics that are available now.

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I recolored this fun version above with Tula Pink True Colors. If you’ve been hoarding some pretty prints, this is the perfect design in which to show them off! Play around with different background and contrast colors to see how the design pops!

The design below shows off Sherri and Chelsi’s line, Desert Bloom from Moda. No matter which fabrics you choose, they are sure to look great!

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Click here to see all of the quilts from Machine Quilting with Style re-imagined.

Click here to see all of the original quilts in the book, with more options.

Click here to get your signed copy of my books.

Christa Watson Books

Yes I love writing books. Yes, there will be more!

Giveaway Time!

And now, for the last giveaway! I really, really enjoy writing books. Like really! Although it takes a ton of time to write all the patterns and make all the quilts, the process is so much fun. What’s also enjoyable is being a part of someone else’s book. It’s a smaller time commitment but still very rewarding.

For the last present to celebrate the one year birthday of Machine Quilting with Style, I’m giving away two copies of I Love Churn Dashes. The release date is Dec 20th, so you can win it before you can buy it!

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Pre-order your copy of I Love Churn Dashes here.

This book is the latest collaboration from my publisher, including 15 fabulous quilts, all from different designers. Come back on Friday for a full peak into this book and the reveal of my quilt! For now, see that orange and gray block on the cover near the logo? That’s mine.🙂

Martingale/That Patchwork Place will send an e-copy to one international winner, and I’ll send a signed, physical copy to one US winner. To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite quilt book ever (other than mine!!) I’d also love to know what makes it special. I’ll select the winners on Monday and notify them via email.

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Pearl Gray by Christa Watson, 66″ x 77″. Photography by Brent Kane for Martingale.

When you make any of the quilts from either of my books – I’d love to see them! Please share your in-progress photos and finishes in my Facebook group: Quilt with Christa.

Now – go make some quilts!

My Week at Craftsy – The Big Announcement

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Opening the door to the Craftsy studio kind of reminded me of Charlie Bucket getting to peak inside Willy Wonka’s factory for the first time. And yes – there was chocolate!!!

Last week I filmed a Craftsy class! It’s been on my bucket list for awhile, and many of you wonderful readers have been asking me to do one now for over 2 years. The stars finally aligned this year for it to happen. Craftsy first approached me at Spring Quilt Market but I was right in the middle of some crazy deadlines, so I told them I wouldn’t be available until the fall. (Can you just imagine how scary that is when someone asks you to do something big and you have to say “I’d love to – but not right now!!”) My class will launch in early January, and I’ll tell you all about it then. But for now, here’s a little recap of how last week went:

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I have a thing for old red-brick buildings!!! This is a view of downtown Denver, (not Craftsy HQ!)

I arrived to Craftsy Headquarters in Denver, Colorado last week and couldn’t help but admire the architecture of this amazing city. When you live in a city known for imploding buildings when they get too old, seeing old brick buildings and interesting architecture is such a treat!

The day after my arrival, it was time to head straight to Craftsy studios which is housed in a one-story industrial complex that used to be a bustling taxi depot back in the day. Very cool. Day 1 consisted of meeting the crew, getting some publicity photos taken, and going over the lessons and agenda so we could begin filming the next day. As an added bonus, I got to participate in a couple of promo videos for the new year. Craftsy has some creative marketing on tap for next year, and it was fun to be a part of that!

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Getting made-up by Danica. What a great way to start each day!

On Day 2, we began filming. I felt quite pampered getting my makeup done and my hair professionally styled each day. That’s something I could definitely get used to! The production crew at Craftsy are super smart – for first time instructors they film some of the lessons out of order so that we can get used to the whole process and not look nervous at the beginning of the video! I loved that I was able to use a teleprompter to help me stay on track whenever I needed it.  By the afternoon, I felt like I had hit my stride.🙂

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Using a teleprompter was such a luxury. But I tried not to rely on it too much!

On Day 3 we wrapped up the series of lessons. As we shot each scene, the producer would make notes and confer with the technical director so that they would know where to splice and dice any scenes that needed post production editing. The camera guy was pretty amazing, too. He knew what shots to get and used a series of 3 cameras so that we could get some really great closeups of my quilting.

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The set was very comfortable even with cameras and lights everywhere.
I even got to quilt on a BERNINA – score!!

The whole process from start to finish was completed over a series of about 3 months from concept planning to the actual filming date. I worked with a content editor to flush out the idea, and the producer was able to help me plan how each concept I teach would show up best on camera. I have to say one thing for sure – it’s a whole lot faster and easier than writing a book, LOL!!

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Sneak peek of one of the smaller samples I quilted live on camera.

Overall, it was a fabulous experience, and if the class does well, I’ll be invited back to film more of them in the future. My class is called The Quilter’s Path: Plan It, Stitch It,Quilt It! It basically explores the steps I take to machine quilt a “real” quilt on a home sewing machine while sharing some of my favorite quilting designs using both the walking foot and free motion techniques.

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My fabulous production crew – they made me feel right at home!

So barring anything out of the ordinary happening between now and release day, it’s scheduled to launch in early January. I’ll keep you posted it gets closer.🙂

For now, be sure to create a Craftsy account if you haven’t already so you’ll be ready to order once the class becomes available. I can’t wait to share it with you! And click here to check out their current holiday promotion using my affiliate link. They have some super deals happening now through Dec. 12th!

Machine Quilting with Style: Facets Re-Imagined

Today I’m excited to re-imagine my favorite quilt – Facets – from my book Machine Quilting with Style. It might be my favorite because it was the first quilt I designed for the book. Or maybe it’s because this was my first stab at improv piecing. The fabrics I used might have had something to do with it, too. And when I quilted it, I was really pushing myself to do something really eye catching. It was very validating when this quilt was also a favorite of judges’ at the AQS Paducah show earlier this year, nabbing a 2nd place in the modern category.

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Facets 63″ x 70″ by Christa Watson

Facets was a huge favorite of several of my friends and followers in my Facebook Group, too! Here is just a sampling of some of the beautiful versions others have made. Notice how they changed it up to make it their own!

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Made by Katherine D – those icy blues are so gorgeous and the black adds drama.

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Leah H. chose pretty purples, made fewer blocks, and added extra solids Just stunning!

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Sharon S. alternated plain and pieced blocks to make this beautiful version.

To see more amazing variations, head over to my Facebook Group: Quilt with Christa and type “Facets” into the search bar. It’s chock full of inspiration!

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My Kona Cotton Designer Palette is available for a limited time only!

Giveaway Time!

I chose my Designer palette of 28 Kona Solids to make my version. Click here to grab a bundle if you’d like to make a quilt similar to mine. The fun thing about improv is that two quilts can look completely different even when using the same fabrics and pattern.

To celebrate the one year anniversary of Machine Quilting with Style, one lucky winner will receive a precut bundle of my entire palette. Let me know which you prefer: a set of 40 precut 2 1/2″ strips, or 40 precut 10″ squares. To enter, leave a comment on this post letting me know if you’ve ever done any improv piecing. For a bonus entry, share a picture of it in my Facebook Group. I’d love to see!

Click here to purchase a signed copy of Machine Quilting with Style.
Click here to see all of the quilts from the book.

Pat Sloan Book Tour – Teach Me to Machine Quilt

First of all, I have a question for you – how does one write 33 books and still stay sane? The answer of course, is if you are the amazing Pat Sloan – the Wonder Woman of the quilting world! I’ve been a big fan of Pat’s ever since I discovered her weekly quilting podcast with American Patchwork and Quilting. (I’ve been a guest a couple of times and it’s really top notch!)

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Pat and me at Fall 2016 International Quilt Market

Pat does it all: she’s a pattern designer, book author, fabric designer, thread curator, fearless facebook leader, community quilting organizer, and more! Plus she’s knows anything and everything when it comes to quilting. And I literally think she knows the entire quilting community by name!!

So without further ado, let’s take a look at her latest book, Teach Me to Machine Quilt, published by (my favorite publisher) Martingale/That Patchwork Place. Photography courtesy of Brent Kane.

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Whenever I teach machine quilting, I always recommend that students learn from as many different instructors as possible. We all have our own ways of teaching similar material, and sometimes it takes hearing the same thing presented in different ways before it really sinks in.

That’s why I highly recommend Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Machine Quilt. Not only does she cover both walking-foot quilting and free-motion quilting, but she shows them on real quilts so you can actually get a better feel for the process. Here are just a couple of my favorites from the book:

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Mini Charm Star Quilt

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Checkerboard Hearts Quilt

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Dresden Candy Dish Mini

Aren’t those just fun?? I would say that my favorite part of the whole book is on page 7 where Pat says, “Yes, You Can Machine Quilt!” With her helpful advice, detailed stepouts and gorgeous photography, owning this book will really improve your machine quilting techniques.

Time for a giveaway!

And now, for the best news of all, Pat’s giving away 5 copies of her book over on HER blog.
Here’s the direct link to enter the giveaway:  blog.patsloan.com/pats-mega-fun-book-tour/

I’m one of the last stops on the tour that runs through Nov 30, so be sure to visit these other sites today:

Click here to see the entire blog hop schedule. Good luck and happy hopping!

Machine Quilting with Style: Broken V Re-Imagined

I’ve been having a great time recoloring all of the quilts from my book Machine Quilting with Style. I hope you’ve been getting inspired by all the possibilities.🙂

Machine Quilting With Style

This week, I’m sharing about Broken V. First, here’s the original – a simple modern design made from half-square triangles. I love how the solids really show off the machine quilting, but it would look just as fabulous in prints!

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Broken V 60″ x 70″ by Christa Watson. Photography by Brent Kane for Martingale.

Broken V Re-imagined

First of all, I thought it would be fun to change out the background to a dark navy while still pairing it up with bold solids:

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I design all of my quilts using Electric Quilt Software.

For the next re-coloring, I thought it would be fun to use Cozy Christmas prints from Lori Holt for a completely different look, perfect for the upcoming holidays:

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Click here to purchase Cozy Christmas precut bundles by Lori Holt.

Celebration Giveaway

Each week along with sharing new versions of each quilt, I’m also hosting  a giveaway. It’s like a 12 week-long birthday party, celebrating the joy that writing this book has brought into my life after just a year in print!

Last time Jean K. and Lillian K each won a four pack of my quilt patterns. This week I’m going to send one lucky winner a copy of The Quilter’s Planner, produced by my friend Stephanie Palmer of Late Night Quilter.

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I was excited to have my Feathered Chevrons quilt included along with 13 other fabulous projects shown below.

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And if that wasn’t exciting enough, Stephanie is also throwing in a fun bundle of Blueberry Park fabric for another lucky winner.

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How to Enter

Just leave a comment below letting me know how you usually plan out your days. Do you use a paper planner? A digital tool? The back of your hand???🙂

I’ll pick 2 US winners next Friday when I reveal the next recolored quilt!

More Inspiration & Where to Buy

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My book was published on my daughter’s birthday last year, so she got the first copy!

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

From all of us to all of you I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get to enjoy time with your loved ones this weekend!

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Apple Pie from my daughter’s church camp fundraiser. Thank goodness we bought plenty so we could test them out ahead of time!!

And even if you are from a country outside the US, I think it’s still totally fine to enjoy some pie for breakfast!

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Our plan for the day is to enjoy our annual morning 5k family run, eat some yummy pie and then hang out with the family and play games. I’m preparing several quilts to bind so I can enjoy the holiday – quilty style!

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I love a scrappy binding!

We participate in a friends and family run each year on Thanksgiving morning. Then we don’t feel so guilty about eating pie for breakfast! If you have a fun holiday tradition, please leave me a comment below – I’d love to know what it is.

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Turkey Trot from Thanksgiving Past – that’s my oldest son wearing a turkey hat!!

My Books on Sale – Just in Time for Holiday Gift Giving

I’m a numbers gal so it’s always fun for me to check and see how well my books are selling and what their ranking is online. Today when I checked, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the price of both of my books have been reduced on Amazon, just in time for holiday shopping! Now, don’t worry, the price that is charged has nothing to do with the royalties I receive once they are sold. In fact, it’s a win for me because they more that are sold, the happier I am!

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So if you’ve been eyeing either of my books, head over to Amazon now to pick them up. And if you already own one or both, grab a copy for a friend and give them the gift of machine quilting!

Click here to purchase Machine Quilting with Style or The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

***Disclaimer*** This screen shot was taken this morning and prices may fluctuate due to demand. But they are still going for less than retail. Also, by purchasing from the links in this post, I’ll receive a small commission for each one sold.. As always, thanks for your support!!

Quilt As Desired Article 5: Quilting Negative Space

The following article was originally written as part of my Quilt As Desired column for the National Quilting Association’s Quilting Quarterly magazine. The association was disbanded after nearly 46 years, so this article was never published. Scroll to the end for links to all of my previously written articles.

Quilting Negative Space by Christa Watson

Negative space, also known as “the background” or “white space,” can include any color of fabric and is not relegated to solids only. Negative space creates contrast in your quilt, allowing the main design to shine. In many modern quilts, there can often be more negative space than design or “positive space,” leading to a conundrum of how to quilt it.
Here are four suggestions on how to quilt negative space:photo1 Photo 1 – Abacus Quilt by Christa Watson

(1) Quilt an allover linear design such as the continuous wavy lines in Abacus (see photo 1). This type of quilting works well regardless of block layout. It can help emphasize the textural quality of the quilt, rather than the absence of design. Continuous wavy lines can be quilted easily with a walking foot and a straight stitch by turning the quilt from side to side, or using a decorative machine stitch. Confident free-motion quilters can comfortably quilt continuous wavy lines back and forth across the entire surface of the quilt.

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Photo 2 – Me and My Shadow by Vicki Ruebel of Orchid Owl Quilts

(2) Create a secondary composition in the negative space. Vicki Ruebel quilted a near-mirror image of her whimsical bird in her award winning quilt, Me and My Shadow (see photo 2). She sketched the outline of the bird and feathers, and used the same drawing to create both the quilted and appliqued birds. She used two layers of batting to create definition, filling in the areas around both birds with free-motion swirls on her long-arm machine.

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Photo 3 – Wholecloth by Ida Ewing of Ida Rather Be Quilting

(3) Divide and conquer if the negative space is too much to tackle at once. Ida Ewing created her negative space design by marking an “E” and echoing around the letter. She then subdivided each section of the quilt and filled it in with a different free-motion motif (see photo 3). This filler technique looks stunning on any size quilt from a small wholecloth piece to a bed-size quilt with vast amounts of negative space.

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Photo 4 – Ida shows what a difference the quilting can make!

(4) Repeat elements from the block into the negative space. For Ida’s Little Guppy quilt (see photo 4), she created a diamond in a square motif with her quilting, emphasizing the square block design. The pebble quilting relates to the circles in the print, unifying the piece.
The next time you are stumped on how to quilt negative space, grab a piece of paper and a pen or pencil and just start doodling. You never know when inspiration will strike!

Further Reading

Click the links below to read all the articles I wrote for NQA:

QuiltCon 2015 (co-authored with Jacquie Gering)
Modern Machine Quilting
Embrace the Line
Filler Designs Add Texture
Handwork Makes a Comeback

Last Class of the Year is at Christmas Goose Quilt Shop in Las Vegas

Local Vegas friends! I’ll be teaching my last machine quilting class of the year at the Christmas Goose Quilt Shop this Wednesday, Nov 16 from 6-9 PM. Stop by the shop or call 702-877-1158 to register. There’s only a few spots left!

Plumb Lines Machine Quilting Detail

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My version of Plumb Lines from The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

I’m teaching Free-Motion Alternatives to Straight Line Quilting  from mine and Angela Walters’ book The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting. This class is already sold out at QuiltCon next year, so here’s your chance to get in on the action! Here’s the full class description:

“Go beyond the straight line and use your free-motion quilting skills to their fullest. In this workshop, students will learn how to turn basic shapes into linear free-motion quilting designs.Quilt them as allover designs across the surface of your quilt, or use them sporadically to create custom quilting motifs. Students should be comfortable with basic machine quilting techniques.”

Award Winning Quilting Techniques

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Plumb Lines earned a second place ribbon at HMQS earlier this year.

Although I can’t promise that your quilting will win an award, you’ll definitely get my seal of approval for learning how to let go of machine quilting perfection in my class. The secret to quilting success is to choose thin blending threads and quilt the heck out of it! Then all you will notice is the yummy quilted texture rather then each individual stitch.

Where I’ll be Traveling to Next

If you can’t make it to this class, click here for my complete teaching schedule. I keep it up to date for myself as well as my potential students. In fact, my family regularly checks my schedule so they know when I’m available for family trips!🙂 I may just be traveling to a city near you!

**As always, thanks for your support! This post contains affiliate links.**

Machine Quilting with Style: Candy Pop Re-imagined

Candy Pop is the 9th (out of 12) quilt patterned in my book Machine Quilting with Style. I was so happy to include a machine applique design. Truth be told, I really, really like machine applique and would love to one day do a book of modern machine applique designs. The problem? I can’t draw very well. But I can create easy geometric shapes like circles!

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Candy Pop 45″ x 45″ by Christa Watson. Photography by Brent Kane for Martingale.

If you cut carefully while making this design, you’ll have several pieces leftover that you can throw on the back. I love making artful pieced backings whenever I can!

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I love it when you can see the machine quilting on the back of the quilt!

Not only does Machine Quilting with Style include 12 beautiful modern quilt patterns. It also includes step by step instructions on how to quilt them. I think it is so important to show all aspects of making a quilt, from start to finish!

Candy Pop Re-imagined

I think I could recolor every design I’ve ever made into black and white and be a happy camper! For some reason, this version of candy pop reminds me of Chinese lanterns:

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Candy Pop, recolored in black, white and red using EQ7 software.

View the Rest of the Quilts

Click here to see the rest of the quilts from the book, along with more optional colorways made by my friends!

Machine Quilting With Style

Click here to get your signed copy of Machine Quilting with Style.

Giveaway Time!

First congratulations to Sherry C. and Laura M. for winning some Hoffman Batik fat quarters.
This week, I’m giving away a 4 pack of my individual quilt patterns. These are written in the same helpful style as the patterns in my books, and they also include machine quilting suggestions!

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Christa Quilts Patterns are available in print or PDF.

I’ll choose 2 winners: one person in the US will receive a printed version of each pattern, and one international winner will receive PDF’s of all 4 quilts patterns. To enter, leave a comment letting me know your favorite way to quilt your quilts – by hand, sit-down machine, long-arm machine, or even by check!

No matter how you finish, I’d love for you to share your quilting progress with me in my Facebook group: Quilt with Christa.

**I have to give a huge thanks to those of you who continue to support me and my family by purchasing my products. This post contains affiliate links. XOXO**