Results from my Entries into DQN Quilt Show 2019 – Quilt Las Vegas

Earlier this spring, my local quilt guild held their annual show which has been going on for nearly 30 years (I think). It’s always fun to participate in my guild, and even more thrilling when my entries get a ribbon. So I thought I’d share them with you – along with the judging feedback I received:

Bling – Honorable Mention, Modern Category

Bling Quilt by Christa WatsonBling quilt pattern is now available in Print (click here) or PDF (click here).

This is the original version of my Bling quilt, made using a Fandangle fat quarters plus white background fabric. (I recently remade 2 more versions of the quilt using Geo Pop fat quarters with white or black background.)

Judge’s Comments for this quilt:
  • Print choices and placement create a lively quilt.
  • The woven quilting design contributes movement and texture.
  • Very good binding technique.
  • Pieced binding frames quilt well and contributes to unity.

Modern Star Struck – 2nd Place Pieced, Single Maker

Modern Starstruck by Christa Watson

The pattern for Starstruck can be found in my book Piece and Quilt with Precuts.

This is one of my favorite quilts because it was made using every fabric in my very first fabric line Modern Marks. The pattern comes from my book Piece and Quilt with Precuts and I was happy to be able to get a good color contrast without using any background fabrics. It’s all in how you pair them up! (The original quilt from the book was made in black and white.)

free-motion quilting on starstruck

Click here to get a Modern Marks fat quarter bundle – while supplies last!

The prints in this quilt are pretty busy so it’s hard to see the quilting, but I really enjoyed quilting it densely with 2 different designs in each block – that’s a total of 48 different motifs in one quilt!

Judge’s Comments for this quilt:
  • Excellent variety of prints create visual texture.
  • Very good value contrast between stars and background in individual blocks.
  • Blocks are well pieced.
  • Outside quilt edges should be straight and corners should be 90 degrees.
  • Good binding technique.

Color Weave – 1st Place Modern

Color Weave Quilt by Christa Watson

Click here to join the quilt along to make this quilt.
Color Weave was made from Abstract Garden precut strips + background.

It’s always hard to get a good pic of quilts hanging in a show, due to lighting and space constraints, but I love how the quilting shows up in this picture. I was pleasantly surprised at the positive comments I overhead about this quilt while walking the show. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has a thing for bright, rainbow quilts!

Judge’s Comments for this quilt:
  • Beautiful color gradation.
  • Print choices lend wonderful visual texture.
  • Strong vertical lines are created through fabric placement.
  • Outside quilt corners should be 90 degrees.
  • Variegated thread unifies quilt top and provides visual accents on gray background fabrics.

Overall, I’m very pleased that the judge liked my bold bright colors and my busy fabric prints. The quilting wasn’t the star of the show in any of these quilts – and in fact, 2 of them utilized very simple walking foot quilting. I haven’t been entering as many quilt shows this year because I’ve been so busy designing fabrics and writing quilt patterns. But this was just the boost I needed to make it a priority once again!

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 2 – Sewing the Subunits

This week we are sewing our cut pieces into larger units, following the instructions and diagrams as given in the Color Weave quilt pattern. Next week, we will assemble the units into blocks. Be sure to scroll to the end for important quilt along links you may have missed!

Several people have asked why I cut out all of the individual units rather than using strip piecing and I’m happy to explain why: because it’s much more accurate!

Rainbow Weave blocks in progress

When you sew long skinny strips of fabric and then cut them, you have a much greater chance of stretching your fabric as you sew. So if I know the units are cut to the correct size to begin with, the blocks will turn out the right size, and won’t warp or stretch out of shape. However, I’m happy for you to continue using any method or technique that you are comfortable with and works for you, because after all, you are the boss of your quilt!!

Triple Square Units

Once you’ve cut out all of the pieces according to the chart in the pattern, it’s time to sew them into larger units. You CAN sew one block at a time if you like, but I find that very tedious and time consuming.

Triple Square Blocks from Rainbow Weave Quilt Pattern

First sew together ALL of the triple square units, then press the seams open when you are finished so your blocks will lie nice and flat. In order to prevent the edges of your seams from splitting open I recommend sewing with a shorter stitch length (like 2.0 instead of 2.5) or backstitching at the start and end of each unit.

Chain Piecing Video Clip

Take a look at this short (slient) video showing how I chain piece 2 units together at a time. I use a stilleto for accuracy and make sure I’m sewing with an accurate 1/4″ seam. Take care that you don’t veer off at the end of the square while sewing. I also engage the “hover” feature on my machine (a BERNINA 770QE). This automatically raises the foot up slightly when I stop sewing, so it’s much easier to slide the next set of units to be sewn under the machine.

In this next video, I’m using a Triangle Thread Cutter to quickly clip the threads in between each chain pieced unit. Once I’m through, I’ll sew the other square to the other side to complete my triple square units.

Side Units

Once you’ve completed the triple square units,  you can also construct all of the longer units that will be sewn on to the left side of each block. This unit consists of 2 small squares and a rectangle. If you make 11 each of the following units, you’ll be in good shape to finish all of the blocks after next week’s post. If you are using different fabrics, make a note in your pattern and substitute your fabrics for those shown below.

Be sure to refer to the Color Weave quilt pattern as you sew.

Rainbow Weave Units

Next week we will complete the blocks!

Important Links

Click here to purchase my Abstract Garden Strip roll
Click here to get the Color Weave quilt pattern – PDF version
Click here to get the Color Weave quilt pattern – print version
Click here to buy additional Abstract Garden Quilt Fabric
Click here for links to the previous quilt along posts
Click here to share your progress in my Facebook group

New Quilt Patterns Featuring Geo Pop!

I’m excited to release three new patterns that I created to showcase my new fabric line, Geo Pop which will be shipping to stores in August/September. Just like all of my quilt patterns, they will look great in any fabrics you choose! And they are available in either print or PDF.

Bling – Fat Quarter Friendly

Bling Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson

Bling comes in three sizes and is made from 20 fat quarters plus background. I loved the design so much I had to make it twice! The key to color success is choosing a very high contrasting background. I wanted to show off the black and white prints from Geo Pop and I love how they turned out!

Optical Illusion – 3 Colors, Fun to Look At!

Bling Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson

It only takes 3 fabrics to create this stunning Optical Illusion! Scroll up and down to watch the lines play tricks on your eyes. Yes, they really are straight!! I’ve made my version using geometric prints in black, white and gray, but I’d love to see this made up in other colors, too! I’ve included instructions for 3 sizes and like all of my patterns, it also includes machine quilting suggestions.

Infrastructure – a Modern Row Quilt

Infrastructure Quilt Pattern

This stunning quilt is a collaboration between me and my very talented friend Heather Black. I sent her digital images of Geo Pop early on and asked her to come up with a fun modern design with straight piecing (rather than the curves she’s well known for). I think she knocked it out of the park with this design while cleverly using every fabric in the line. I love this quilt so much that it will be my next quilt along in September, once the fabrics have been released. I can’t wait!!

Once Geo Pop hits stores later this year, I’ll share more about the making of each quilt. Remember – I’m here to cheer you on every step of the way so that you enjoy making these quilts as much as I did!

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 1 – Cutting

Welcome to the Color Weave quilt along! Cutting and color placement is the key to the success of this design. There is definitely a lot of cutting involved, but just take it step-by-step and give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the process!

Rainbow Weave Quilt

Click here to purchase the Color Weave Kit

This Week’s Homework – Subcutting the Strips

Although my Abstract Garden Strip Roll includes 20 different fabrics (2 of each), you will only need 17 of them (34 strips total) to get the glowing rainbow effect. Set aside the gray strips and the pastel “tracks” prints for another project, or use them on the back of the quilt.

In my Color Weave pattern, the strips are listed and cut in rainbow order, making it easier to keep track. Cut the strips into the subunits listed in the pattern cutting chart. Keep all of the same piles together and remember to measure twice, cut once!

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here to purchase additional Abstract Garden fabric.

If you are using a different set of rainbow colored strips, you will need 2 of each fabric to get the rainbow effect. You could also make it super scrappy, or coordinated scrappy (same color, different fabrics for each rainbow strip).

The background grays will be quicker to cut since it’s only two additional fabrics. These can either be cut from yardage or from a strip roll of each. Because I cut mine from yardage, I starched them before cutting, so they curled up a little in the corners. But they have a little more body to them now which will make lining up the pieces for sewing much easier.

Starching tip

I prefer to only starch yardage (not precuts or finished blocks). I use inexpensive starch from the grocery store (my favorite is Faultess Premium). The trick to avoid flaking is to starch on one side of the fabric and let it rest for about 30 seconds, then flip the fabric over and iron from the other side. If you want crisper, stiffer fabric, repeat the process for both sides of the fabric.

Fandangle Gray Confetti Crosshatch by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here to purchase yardage of  the Confetti Crosshatch grays from my Fandangle collection.

Bonus Tips

If you are comfortable cutting through multiple layers accurately, you can cut through two folded strips (4 layers of fabric) at a time. Just keep track of how many units you need to cut per fabric and the number of units you need to cut from each strip. There’s not much room for error, so remember to measure twice, cut once!

If you do make a boo-boo when cutting, you can get additional Abstract Garden fabric at shop.ChristaQuilts.com. Or substitute a similar color in your stash for a scrappier, custom look!

Next week we’ll start sewing the pieces into blocks, but remember – you can work at your own pace so feel free to jump ahead if you are an eager beaver, or slow down and enjoy the process.

Remember to share your progress on social media using the hashtag #colorweavequilt. Not only will others cheer you on, but you can see lots of other ways to make this quilt and change things up to make it uniquely your own!

Rainbow Weave Quilt blocks

IMPORTANT LINKS: Supply List & Schedule, Where to buy

I’m Off to BERNINA University!

Tomorrow I fly out for my next fun event – setting up my booth and teaching a couple of classes to dealers at BERNINA University. BU is an industry event exclusively for BERNINA dealers that’s held in different locations around the country. This will be my third time attending and it’s been great for getting up close and personal with quilt shop owners who carry the brand.

BERNINA U 2018My BU Booth last year when Fandangle fabric was released.
Click here to get the fabric, kits and quilt patterns shown.

At the show, I’m able to show off my newest line of fabric (which shops can order from Benartex), sell my latest patterns designed to support my fabrics, and talk one-on-one with shop owners.

No matter how huge the quilting industry is, it’s so important to create relationships with shops who carry my products. Many of them have also invited me to come teach at their shops, so I’m looking forward to traveling to new places over the next few years.

Big BERNINA at BU

Giant BERNINA on display at BU for their 125th anniversary last year.

If you’d like me to visit your local BERNINA dealer – be sure to have them contact me and I’ll be glad to add them to my teaching schedule. I’m currently booked through the end of 2020 but have just opened up my calendar for 2021 and it’s starting to fill.

Be sure to follow my adventures over the coming week on instagram @christaquilts and I’ll continue to share fun things here on the blog, too – so stay tuned!

Color Weave Color Options – The Quilt Along Begins Next Week!

We are less than week away from the start of my Color Weave quilt along and I can’t wait! I love getting people excited to quilt their own quilts and I’m going to be there, cheering you on every step of the way from cutting to binding!

Color Weave Quilt Pattern

Three Color Version

Below is an earlier version of the quilt I made for a magazine when testing out the design. It’s actually smaller than the one in the pattern, but it shows the same quilt using 3 solid colors instead. I will be focusing on the rainbow version during this quilt along, but the Color Weave pattern includes step by step instructions for both options.

Color Weave by Christa Watson

The same color option (in the larger throw size) is included in the pattern.

Make it Scrappy

My friend Pam, (who with her cohost Lynn produce The Stitch TV Show on YouTube) is making a wonderfully scrappy version of Color Weave. In her screen shot below you can see how she still gets the woven color effect, but if you look closely, each section of the weave is a different piece of scrap fabric. How cool is that?

Scrappy ColorWeave from The Stitch TV Show

You can click here to watch Pam’s process as she sorted through her stash, deciding which fabrics would work and which wouldn’t. Her approach is super versatile and used pieces as small as a 5″ charm square. The units are all cut the same size as given in the pattern, but using multiple fabrics for each woven strip really gives it a ton of depth and sparkle.

Rainbow Option

If you choose to make the Rainbow version like mine, you can use one Abstract Garden strip roll, or select 2 precut strips of the same fabric per rainbow weave as shown below. Then choose two contrasting background fabrics. I used light and dark gray, but other combos will work, too!

Color Weave Quilt

Click here to purchase the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – Print version.
Click here to purchase the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – PDF version.

Color Weave Quilt

Click here to buy the Abstract Garden strip roll.

Color Weave Quilt by Christa Watson

Click here to get additional yardage and precuts of Abstract Garden

All you need to get started are some rainbow color strips, the pattern, and a can do attitude!
Click here  for the complete supply list and quilt along schedule. I can’t wait to see your progress!

Free Fat Quarter with $50 Purchase!

I was cleaning and organizing my sewing room and realized I have a TON of leftover fat quarters from quilts in progress, bolt ends, and fat quarter bundles from all four of my fabric lines: Modern Marks, Fandangle, Abstract Garden, and Geo Pop.

Christa Watson FQ's

Don’t they look like colorful candy?? This is just a small sampling of my freebies for you!!

Rather than trying to cram them in somewhere and let them collect dust, I’d rather give them to you!! So from now on, all orders of $50 or more from my little online store at shop.ChristaQuilts.com will get one of these beauties as a surprise in their package!

Modern Marks Fabric swatches

Click here to shop all remaining Modern Marks fabric.

Fandangle fabrics

Click here to shop all remaining Fandangle fabric.

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo

Click here to shop all remaining Abstract Garden fabric.

Geo Pop by Christa Watson

Click here to preorder bundles of Geo Pop fabric.

I’m very much a minimalist, and although I’m keeping plenty of yardage of all my collections on hand for personal use, I have a hard time storing smaller pieces of fabric. So I’m excited to send them your way instead! 🙂

Click here to shop my fabrics, patterns, books, and thread at Shop.ChristaQuilts.com.

Quilt Shops that Carry Abstract Garden

Below is the current list of shops I know of who’ve purchased Abstract Garden from Benartex. Keep in mind that I don’t get a report of who orders from distributors or international stores unless they tell me. So if you know of another shop, I’ll be glad to add them to the list!

Christa Watson Abstract Garden

Click here to purchase quilt patterns seen above, plus many more!

Clickable links are included for shops selling online.
For all others – contact them directly.

Note: shops that have purchased the full line are indicated with ***
fabrics may go in an out of stock and this is by no means a complete list.

1915 Inspired – Raleigh, NC
A Stitch in Time – Franklin, NC
***Always in Stitches – Nobelsville, IN***
***Bernina Sewing Center – Greenville, SC***
Bernina Sewing Etc. – Ridgeland MS
***Blue Bar Quilts – Middleton, WI***
Carolina Quilt – Vorhees, NJ
Checker Distributors – Nationwide
***Christa Quilts  ———– That’s Me!!***
***The Crafty Bundler – Online***
Distribuidora de Tejidos SLU – Valencia, Spain
***E. E. Schenck Distributor – Nationwide***
eQuilter.com – Online Only
***Fabric.com – Online Only***
Fabrics Plus – Anacortes, WA
Heirlooms Forever – Tupelo, MS
Highered Hands – Hopewell, NY
***Homestead Hearth – Mexico, MO***
***Kennard & Kennard – Australian Distributors***
Kiki’s Quilt Shack – Fresno, CA
***Long Teh Trading Co. Distributor – Taichung City, Taiwan***
***Jordan Fabrics – Grants Pass, OR***
***Meissner Sewing – Sacramento, CA***
***Niemanns-Land Quiltshop – Germany and Online***
Mennonite Quilt Center – Reedley, CA
Midwest Textiles & Supplies Distributor – Nationwide
Patches & Stitches – Huntsville, AL
***QBFabrics – Distributor to the Netherlands***
***Quilt Basket – Wappingers Falls, NY***
Quilt Nuts – Sand Springs, OK
Quilting Gardner – McLouth, KS
Quilts & Treasures – East Longmeadow, MA
***Sew Many Ideas – Jackson, TN***
Sew Much More – Waukesha, WI
Stitchin’ Heaven – Mineola, TX
Stofgalleriet Engros – Distributor to Denmark
The Quilted Nest – Collingswood, NJ
The Sewing Source – Lake Villa, IL
***The Vintage Owl – Silsbee, TX***
Trend-Tex Fabrics – Distributor to Canada
Watt A Find – Mesquite, TX
Whale’s Tail Quilt Shop – Ketchikan, AK
Wooden Spool Boutique – Odessa, TX
Zweigart & Sawitzki,GmbH&Co.KG – Distributor to Germany

Abstract Garden Fabric

Click here to get Abstract Garden yardage, bundles and kits from me while supplies last.

Color Weave Quilt Along Supply List and QAL Schedule

Let’s dive into a summer full of color! In two weeks I’ll kick off my free Quilt Along featuring Color Weave – the perfect quilt that you can work on at your own pace and on your own schedule! This should give you enough time to gather your supplies and be ready for some quilting fun!

Color Weave Quilt Abstract Garden Fabric

This quilt was originally made for the February Quilty Box and they had exclusive rights to it for the first couple of months. Now that the rights have reverted back to me, I was able to release the pattern (in print and PDF) to share it will you all.

It’s made from one Abstract Garden strip roll, plus approximately 3 yards of each of the grays from Fandangle. But you can certainly use whichever fabrics you like to make it your own.

Color Weave Quilt Along Supply List

So here’s what ya need to get started:

**Click here to purchase a complete Color Weave quilt kit, while supplies last.**

Here’s the complete pattern cover front and back. You can change it up and use just 3 colors for a completely different look, and I’ve included backing requirements, too. Click the image below to enlarge.

Color Weave Quilt Pattern

Color Weave Quilt Along Schedule

Each Monday for the 8 weeks, I’ll write up a post with bonus content and tips on top of what you’ll find in the pattern. Each time a post goes live, I’ll update the links below so you can refer back to it any time you are working on your quilt.

  • Week 1 – Cutting
  • Week 2 – Sewing the Subunits
  • Week 3 – Completing the Blocks
  • Week 4 – Quilt Top Assembly
  • Week 5 – Backing and Basting
  • Week 6 – Stitching in the Ditch
  • Week 7 – Machine Quilting Random Crosshatch
  • Week 8 – Machine Binding

Just like all of my quilt alongs, I’ll guide you through the entire quilt making process from cutting to binding. After all, I want you to have just as much fun making this quilt as I did!!

Color Weave Quilt Pattern by Christa Quilts

The fun begins next week, so gather your supplies, and join the fun anytime right here on my blog. If you want to receive a notice each time a new blog post has published, enter your email in the subscribe box (found on the left of the screen on a computer, or scroll down to the very bottom of your screen on a mobile device).

Click here to join my ChristaQuilts Facebook group to share your progress!

Quilts and Projects from my Booth at KC Spring Market 2019

As promised, here’s a virtual tour of my quilt market booth, where I showcased my brand new Geo Pop line (shipping in Aug/Sept) and shared new things made from my current line, Abstract Garden. Quilt Market is an industry only trade who which took place in Kansas City, MO. Ready for a bunch of inspiring pics??? Here goes:

Christa Watson Spring Quilt Market 2019

Here’s the whole booth at a glance. I features some brand new quilt patterns, along with some fabulous projects made from my designer friends. Putting up a booth is no easy feat; fortunately I do get help from Benartex with booth setup, but it still takes all day!

Make These Fun Projects from Geo Pop

Mini Quilts Made from Geo Pop by Christa Watson for Benartex

Two of my talented friends made the projects above. You can get the Sew Speedy quilt pattern from Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio.  The Retro Runner pattern is brand new from Margaret Travis of Eazy Peazy Quilts.

Colour Maze quilt with Geo Pop

This amazing strip-roll quilt is called Colour Maze, from the uber talented Linda Sullivan of Colourwerx. How fab would it look made from an Abstract Garden Strip Roll?? On the benc above left, you’ll see the adorable rope bowl made by Vicki Arnold of SewPositivelyVickie on Instragram (who also made my adorable name tag below.)

I displayed my Geo Pop fat quarter bundle (which you can pre-order now), plus my quilt patterns that work great in any of my lines (or other fabrics for that matter.) Shops really liked being able to my current patterns directly from me and take them home from the show!

Woven Bag with Geo Pop

Don’t you love this woven bag made by Sherry Shish of Powered by Quilting? I believe she’s currently working on a pattern for it, so stay tuned!!

Spark Quilt by Tammi Silvers

Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis chose white and gray, with pops of blue and green for her brand new Spark quilt pattern, coming soon. Isn’t it super cool and modern? On top of the quilt are the new patterns being released this spring , so stay tuned for more info when they are ready!

Sprinkled throughout the booth were more pops of color – bags and accessories from the folks over at ByAnnie. They make quick gifts and give you a fast finish!

Mally the Maker and Miss Bunny

Domestic machine quilting goddess Leah Day recently released her first fiction novel, “Mally the Maker” about a young girl on a quest to find her missing grandmother. Her companion is Miss Bunny, her beloved doll. Leah created a pattern to go along with the book and even made a miss Bunny for me (which my daughter quickly claimed.)

Geo Pop Dress

You can see above that Miss Bunny and I are both wearing matching dresses – from the Mosaic Dots print in green. Just behind me and left I showcased my Pieced Primrose pattern made from Abstract Garden fabric. Because the line is currently in stock, I wanted to show how nicely the two colorful groups play with each other.

Aurifil Thread

I also displayed my newest Aurifil Thread kit – The Variegated Collection. I used it to quilt the Pieced Primrose quilts as well as Color Weave. It was fun to share quilting tips with anyone who stopped by!

I displayed a few Abstract Garden fat quarter bundles throughout the booth, so shops could touch and feel the actual fabrics.

Bling Quilts with Geo Pop

The highlight of my booth was two versions of my Bling pattern that I made, with either black or white background from the line. It just takes 20 fat quarters of Geo Pop (or your favorite fabrics) and it goes together super fast!

Click here to pre-order the Bling quilt pattern – shipping mid June.

Abstract Garden Color Weave Quilt

Color Weave Quilt from Abstract Garden

By far, my Color Weave quilt got the most attention because of its striking color gradation. I wrote the Color Weave pattern to showcase the Abstract Garden strip roll, and paired it with the grays from Fandangle which has been reprinted several times.

Although it was a ton of work to pull this together for 3 days of display, it was worth it seeing all of the smiles of everyone who’s ordered it so far for their shops. I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour, and believe it or not, it’s already time for me to start prepping for fall market, LOL!!

Where to Buy Geo Pop