Machine Quilting Blog Hop – Week 4

Have you been following along with the Machine Quilting Blog Hop? Four friends, (Kristin, Jenny, Vicki and HollyAnne) are working their way through mine and Angela Walters’ book The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting. They are sharing their amazing practice week by week.

The Original Inspiration

This week they are practicing motifs from Fractured Squares in the book. In my version of the quilt shown below, I quilted straight and wavy lines using a walking foot for the whole quilt.

In Angela’s version, she free-motion quilted quilted fun, geometric motifs on her long arm.

Machine quilting practice

Now let’s take a look to see how the amazing blog hoppers interpreted these designs in their own way.

HollyAnne chose to quilt Angela’s chevron designs, but rather than doing them free motion, she used some of my tips for walking foot quilting. Don’t these look great?

Machine Quilting practice from HollyAnne

Click here to see more of HollyAnne’s practice samples.
She’s included a video on her progress, and has shown how to quilt some of these designs on a real quilt!

Kristin focused on the center motif in my version of Fractured Squares for one of her designs. She also embraced one of my other tips: if you want your machine quilting to stand out, use a highly contrasting thread. If you want it to blend in, use a matching thread.

Kristin Machine Quilting practice.

Be sure to check out Kristin’s blog post to see what she did with the wavy lines!

Vicki also chose to quilt the chevron motifs, and combined them with some of the other free-motion designs from the book. I really love it when others take these ideas and change them up to create new combinations.

Machine Quilting practic with Vicki

Click here to check out some of the other motifs Vicki tried, plus watch her video for more inspiration!

Finally, Jenny combined several of the designs in the same block and I really like how it turned out, don’t you?

Jenny's quilting practice

Click here to read more details of Jenny’s progress on her blog.

Be sure to continue to follow all 4 of them and watch their progress. I think they are doing such an amazing job, don’t you?

Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

Click here to pick up your copy of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting, signed by me and Angela Walters.

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Teaching at MQX Midwest September 2017

Just a quick note in between teaching events to let you all know that class registration for MQX Quilt Show Midwest in Springfield, Illinois opens up next Monday, May 15th. The dates are September 27-30, 2017 and I’ll be teaching 4 different quilting classes, all on the domestic machine. I can’t wait!!

MQX 2017

MQX holds a special place in my heart because it’s the first national show that I ever got a ribbon. It was for my String of Pearls quilt back in 2013. Although it was just an honorable mention award, to me it felt like best of show and really gave me the confidence to enter more shows. I’ve been entering this show ever since and was thrilled to be invited to teach there year this year.

String of Pearls at MQX

My show hanging at MQX in 2013 – my first national quilt show ribbon!!
String of Pearls Pattern Available Here.

With my busy travel schedule, I don’t have much time to travel just for fun, so getting to teach at a show that’s been on my bucket list for awhile is super exciting.

Click here to see a sneak peek of the classes I’ll be teaching. If you plan on attending, let me know – I’d love to see you there!

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Come see My Trunk Show in Vegas this Week – It’s free!

Just popping in with a quick note to say I’m putting the finishing touches on my lecture and trunk show I’ll presenting for Desert Quilters of Nevada on Thursday night at 7 PM at the Henderson Convention Center. The guild is very generous and allows visitors to check out their meetings for free. During the lecture/trunk show I’ll be sharing quilts from my books and patterns. Along with the Thursday night lecture, I’ll be teaching classes on Friday and Saturday.

I love sharing my quilts with other enthusiasts!

As of last check, my Saturday class (machine quilting) is just about full but there’s still plenty of room in the Friday class (improv piecing), and non-guild members are welcome to register. Click here for details. If you’re in town, I’d love to see you!

(PS – don’t forget to preorder my next book and get a free bonus pattern!)

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And Sew it Begins – The Machine Quilting Blog Hop

Hi all – I’m just popping in to let you know the Machine Quilting Blog Hop kicks off today!
Here are all the links to the bloggers who have coordinated this fun event. Visit each of their blogs for the next 10 Mondays to see how they are learning to improve their skills using mine and Angela’s book, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting:

Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

Click here to get the Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting, signed by me and Angela.
As a special bonus, I’ll throw in a free pattern with your order of ANY of my books!

Quiltin’ Jenny is working her way through the book using some UFO’s to practice her skills. Check out her blog to see details of how she quilted this pretty piece:

Machin Quilting Practice

Head over to Vicki’s blog, My Creative Corner 3 to see a video on how she’s started quilting this lovely modern sampler, plus other tips she’s learned from the book. Do you recognize that improv star block in the upper right?

Machine Quilting Blog Hop Practice

HollyAnne gets bonus points for doing what I recommend in all my classes: sketch it, then stitch it! Be sure to check out her blog to see how well she turned her doodles into actual quilting!

Sketch It, Then Stitch It

Kristin is a natural when it comes to quilting. I love how she used high contrast thread so she can really see what’s she’s doing. Visit her blog to see the other motifs she’s practiced this week, plus some of her favorite tools:

Kristin's machine quilting practice

I’m really impressed with how well they are doing so far. They’ll be working their way through the book, one chapter at a time over the next 10 weeks. I’m excited to watch their progress!

If you are quilting along, you can post comments on any of their blogs and interact with them. You are also welcome to join my Facebook group:  Quilt with Christa and share your progress.

Happy quilting, friends!!

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My Log Cabin Quilt from Machine Quilting with Style is Now up for Bid

Just a quick reminder that my quilt Ripples, from Machine Quilting with Style is now available to bid on. 100% off the money raised will go to help out my friend Stacy Perry who’s currently battling Stage 4 colon cancer. Bidding will run through Saturday night and is open to all. The quilt will be shipped free to a US winner (along with a signed copy of the book) and Int’l winners will just pay actual shipping costs.

Ripples Quilt

Ripples is a modern log cabin made from improv blocks. It measures 66″ x 88″

Click here to go to the StracyStrong Facebook page to place your bid.

Scroll down to find the quilt listing and enter your bid in the comments. The winner will then pay via PayPal. While you are there, be sure take a look at all of the other amazing items up for bid.

If you live near the Las Vegas area, there will also be a benefit this Saturday night, featuring the music of local performer Ben Hale. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door and all proceeds will benefit Stacy and her family. To purchase tickets (or make a donation if you are unable to attend), go to PayPal, click on family and friends option and use the email address: stacystrongfoundation@gmail.com.

Thanks so much for your kind thoughts and prayers for the Perry family. Stacy has been fighting back strong and with rigorous chemo and several surgeries, her cancer tumors have been shrinking. We continue to pray for miracles in her life. 🙂

Click her to follow her journey at StacyStrong.

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Introducing Craftsy’s Startup Library: Longer Format Wokshops

Just a quick note to say that Craftsy is doing a new series of classes called “Startup Library.” They are a longer format (and therefore a bit more expensive). Rather than the standard 1 1/2 to 2 hour class, the Startup Library workshops will be anywhere between 4-6 hours, literally taking you from start to finish through any project. Right now they only have 3 new classes available (hand embroidery, cake decorating, and painting with watercolors ). But I have it on good authority that there will be a startup class for every craft they offer (including quilting later this year – hint, hint). How cool is that??

Because I’m a Craftsy Instructor, I get to offer you a special discount not available anywhere else. From now until July 19, you can use my instructor affiliate links below to save 25% off the regular price of these classes. Click the images for details and to see a preview of that class:

Startup Library Classes:

Cratfsy startup library Hand EmbroideryClick here to save 25% off Startup Library: Hand Embroidery

Startup Library: Painting with WatercolorsClick here to save 25% off Startup Library: Cake Decorating

Craftsy Startup Library Painting with WatercolorsClick here to save 25% off Startup Library: Painting with Watercolors

This new series is designed to help you master a craft, whether you’ve dabbled in it before, or are completely new to it. I know I’ve always wanted to learn more about cake decorating, so I think I’m going to have to enroll in that one as a treat for myself, once I finish my next quilting deadline!!

Just like all of the other Craftsy classes they offer (including mine), you can interact with the instructor and other students by posting questions and comments on the Craftsy platform.

how the coupon works

When you use my instructor affilaite links above, you won’t see the discount until you add it to your cart, so I know it can be a bit confusing. Just click the link of the class you want and it will take you to the home page for that class. It should say “coupon has been applied to your cart” on the top of the page, so you know it worked. Then click “add to cart”, check out and you’ll be all set. You can add more than one startup library class to your cart with the links above and get the discount on both.

If you decide to enroll, please let me know what you think about the new longer format. Happy making!!

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Charity Fundraiser – Bid on My Quilt and Help a Friend in Need

Friends, I always try to stay positive around here, but now I’m asking for your help for a dear friend of mine. About 9 months ago, my friend Stacy Perry was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. She’s a young mom of 4 who lives here in Las Vegas and she’s an amazing mom, wife, crafter and all around great gal. In fact I found an old blog post where she shared 2 quilts she had made several years ago.

Stacy is strong and she’s been aggressively fighting her cancer since first receiving the diagnosis. She’s doing everything she can with the help of friends, family and fellow church members. By the grace of God, she’s already seen miracles during this fight as her tumors have been shrinking. Her whole life right now is battling cancer, traveling out of state to specialists, and enduring multiple rounds of chemo. She’s chronicling her fight over on her facebook page at Stacy Strong.

Here’s where you can get involved. Several of Stacy’s friends are holding a fundraiser to help defray the enormous expenses she and her family are having to endure as she fights her battle. They’ve rounded up a whole bunch of items that will be auctioned off over on her facebook page starting Tuesday, April 25 and running through Saturday April 29th.

It includes some pretty amazing items like vacation rentals, jewelry, airline tickets and beautiful hand-made items. There will be a live silent auction that takes place for locals on Saturday night, along with an online auction that runs all week.

Machine Quilting With Style

For the auction I’ve donated a signed copy of my book Machine Quilting with Style, along with my quilt “Ripples” from the book (together as one large prize). I chose this quilt because Aqua is Stacy’s favorite color. 🙂 I want someone special to have this quilt, and I hope you’ll consider bidding on it to help her out.

Ripples Quilt

Here’s how it works:

Like her facebook page: Stacy Strong Cancer Be Gone so you can see the items up for bid. Sneak peeks of some have already been posted and the rest will be shared on Tuesday.

Starting on Tuesday, the online bidding begins. It’s very simple: you just place your bid in the comments of each item, and all winners will pay through paypal. Items will be shipped if needed and bidding is open to all. The bidding runs through Saturday night and complete details are included in the posts on her facebook page.

The important thing is that you have to like her page so that you can see the items up for bid. In fact, I recommend changing your default preferences this week to see all posts from her page.

If bidding is not your thing, they’ve also set up a go fund me page where you can donate any amount with a credit card.

 

Stacy Strong

This is Stacy’s true nature: love and kindess for all, no matter what circumstances are thrown at her. She’s strong and with your help I know she will kick cancer’s butt!!

I hope you’ll be able to help her by bidding, donating, or even just sending along a cheerful message of encouragement. Stacy truly is one of the strongest people I know and throughout her fight she’s kept up her good cheer and has stayed positive through it all.

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Pre-Order Piece and Quilt with Precuts – My Next Book!

You guys! I wrote another book!! Piece and Quilt with Precuts will be published this August and I’m now taking pre-orders for signed copies through my site at shop.christaquilts.com.

Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa WatsonYou can see lots of sneak peeks here on the cover!! But wait, there’s more…

Now first things first. I’m totally happy for you to purchase the book where you like. However, when you purchase it directly from me, I earn more on each book since I’m the one selling them. Also, when you order from me, you’ll be guaranteed to get them as soon as they ship! The estimated shipping date is August 17, which just happens to be my birthday so that’s super exciting!! I’ll have a grand time, eating cake and signing your books! But don’t worry, I’ll be careful not to spill any, LOL!!

Sneak Peek of Piece and Quilt with PrecutsSneak Peek #1 from Piece and Quilt with Precuts – are you excited?

So FYI, another reason I’m pushing preorders this time around is based on the demand of my last two books. When people preordered them on Amazon, there was a delay in customers getting them because Amazon had to first get them from the publisher, and then fulfill the orders.

Although the publisher knows how many to ship to Amazon, it always takes Amazon several days to process and they get a little bogged down. So when you pre-order your signed copy from me, it’s a win-win for us both and you don’t have to wait!! (Ahem.. plus my preorder price is actually lower than the current price on Amazon as of this writing…)

Sneak Peek of Piece and Quilt with PrecutsSneak Peek #2  from Piece and Quilt with Precuts – one of my favorite motifs to quilt!!

And just to sweeten the deal, with every pre-order of Piece and Quilt with Precuts placed directly through me  before June 30th, I’m going to throw in a bonus pattern from my pattern shop for free!! When you check out, you can let me know which pattern you prefer in the comments. Or just leave it blank and I’ll surprise you. (For anyone who has already pre-ordered, you’ll get a free pattern too – but it will be a surprise!! I don’t want you to feel left out!!)

And did I mention the books will be personally signed by me??? (Wink wink!)

Sneak Peek #1 from Piece and Quilt with Precut

Sneak Peek #3 from Piece and Quilt with Precuts – Alison Glass fabric is so good, it’s in here twice!

Writing this book was such a joy but there’s a crazy story to go along with it. Just after I had turned in my manuscript for my first book, Machine Quilting with Style, I immediately came up with the idea for Piece and Quilt with Precuts – easy to piece patterns made from precuts along with step-by-step machine quilting instructions for each quilt.

So I set to work designing the patterns, fleshing out the details, and submitting a detailed proposal to the publisher. No sooner had I begun work on the book when the folks at Martingale contacted me and said “we love this book and want you to write it. However, can you wait just a bit? We have another idea we’d like you to do instead.” And then I proceeded to write my second book, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting with Angela Walters.  So needless to say once that book was finished, it was time to get back to this one! So in essence, I wrote three books in 3 years, one right after another. Crazy huh??

Sneak Peek #1 from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Sneak Peek #4 from Piece and Quilt with Precuts – Improv piecing AND quilting in the same quilt!!

Martingale was sooo awesome and supportive during this crazy time. They even offered to help me piece or bind the quilts if needed. But being the control freak that I am, I politely declined. I have this crazy obsession that when it comes to quilting, I must do all my own “stunts”, LOL!! For me, there’s something personally satisfying in taking ownership of every stitch. 🙂

So later on this summer once the book publishes, I’ll share details of all 11 quilts and 18 machine quilting motifs that are included in the book. I’ll also do a blog hop with some friends who will be trying out their own versions of some of the designs.

Sneak Peek #3 from Piece and Quilt with Precuts - Alison Glass fabric is so good, it's in here twice!

Sneak Peek #5 from Piece and Quilt with Precuts – Why quilt straight lines when you can go wavy?

One other thing I wanted to tell you that’s special about Piece and Quilt with Precuts is that the name is all mine. For those that don’t know, whenever you publish a book or magazine pattern, the editor reserves the right to re-name it, or work with you to come up with a name they think they will sell. The first 2 book names came straight from Martingale, and I think they did a fantastic job, since I was totally clueless as to what to choose LOL!! However, when writing this book, the name was all me, baby and I’m so proud that they chose to keep it!!

And now, I know what you are wondering…. have I already started on book #4?? No, not quite yet. I decided I needed a little breather before jumping into my next book idea or 3. And some other big opportunites have come my way that I’ll get to tell you about just after this book launches. So stay tuned, it’s never a dull moment around here!

Click here to preorder your copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts.

As always, thanks for your support that allows me to do this crazy quilting thing full time!!

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The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting – 1 Year Anniversary!

Today is a very special day. It marks the one year anniversary of the book that changed my life!
Writing The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting with Angela Walters was not only an amazing experience, but it has led to so many more life changing events! Since the book came out, I’ve taught at QuiltCon, released my first Craftsy class, won awards on 3 quilts from the book, traveled around the country meeting so many of you, and I’ll be sharing a couple new huge things, later on this year.

If you’ll indulge me, I thought it would be fun to share a little yearbook recap of mine and Angela’s encounters since we first met at QuiltCon in 2013.

Christa Watson and Angela Walters

First time we met, in her class at QuiltCon in 2013. We bonded over machine quilting!

Angela Walters and Christa Watson, Spring 2015

Meeting up at Spring Quilt Market 2015 to finalize the details of our book. We had to be stealthy so no one would know what was going on!!

Christa Watson, Jennifer Keltner, Angela Walters

Jennifer Keltner, CVO of Martingale/That Patchwork Place met us at QuiltCon 2016 to give us the first copies of our book before it published that spring. We were so thrilled!!

Angela and Christa at Schoolhouse

Presenting our book to shop owners at Quilt Market in Spring 2016. It was a packed room!

We also collaborated with Patchwork Threads to produce T-Shirts to go along with the book!
Click here to get Angela’s shirt.
Click here to get my shirt.

To help promote the book, our publisher hosted meet and greets and quilting demos at both spring and fall market in 2016. Everyone we met was sooo kind!!

At fall market 2016. We planned out more book publicity and joked about how she had written 6 books by the time I had written 2. I don’t think I can keep up LOL!!

Angela Walters and Christa Watson

Angela paid a visit to my hometown guild in Jan 2017 which happened just after I had injured my arm. Although busy with teaching and lecturing, she made sure I was well taken care of!!

Angela Walters, Christa Watson, Tula Pink at QuiltCon 2017

Most fun photo bomb ever: during our QuiltCon 2017 booksigning, Tula Pink joined in the fun! After all, the “I wrote a  book with Angela” club is pretty small so far!

It’s been an amazing ride and neither one of us is ready to slow down yet! We’ve been very pleased with the reception that The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting has been getting. We each made the same 10 quilts from start to finish, showing different fabrics and quilting designs. So it’s really like 2 books in one. Whether you like to piece, or quilt, or both – we’ve got you covered!!

Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

Click here to view all of the quilts from The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

Upcoming Machine Quilting Blog Hop Starts May 1

A fun group of bloggers recently hatched together an idea to do a 10 week-long blog hop, working their way through the book one chapter at a time.

The group consists of HollyAnne, Vicki, Kristin, and Jen. Starting May 1, you can follow them on their blogs (click each of their names) and follow the instagram hashtag #machinequiltingbloghop as they share their real world experiences while improving their machine quilting skills. The best part is, they’ve invited you to join their journey.

Christa HollyAnne Angela

HollyAnne telling us all about their plans for the Machine Quilting Blog Hop at QuiltCon 2017

So grab a signed copy of the book (if you don’t have it already) and join the fun. I I can’t wait to see everyone’s progress! You can check out HollyAnne’s blog here for more complete info.

One more thing, if you’ve made a quilt from the book, or if you’ve tried some of the quilting motifs on your own quilts, please share pics with me in my Facebook Group: Quilt with Christa. I’d love to see how you are doing!

Now it’s time to go put the finishing touches on my next book. Watch for pre-order details about that later this week!!

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Vermont Quilt Festival Class Registration Now Open – See My Schedule

This year I’m getting to travel to so many beautiful places I’ve never been before. That includes Essex, Vermont to teach at the Vermont Quilt Festival which has been going strong for 41 years! The show runs from Fri-Sunday, June 23-25 and classes start on Thursday, June 22. I’ll be teaching a total of 4 classes plus a trunk show. Read below for details:

Vermont Quilt Festival

The registration process for the show requires you to create an account and then purchase your $35 registration ticket which includes entry into the show the entire time. After registration, you  can then select the classes you wish to take.  It’s a little cumbersome, so to make it easier, here are some quick links:

Step 1Click here to create an account on their site. Then login.

Step 2Click here to add the $35 registration. Click “book ticket” to add it to your cart. The item “registration” is located in the “class categories” option.

Step 3Click here to view and add classes to your cart. You can search classes by category, instructor or date.

Step 4Click here to view and select any of my classes. Click each image individually to add it to your cart. Then check out and pay as you normally would.

The system will allow you to view the classes, but it won’t allow you to add classes to your cart until you’ve added the registration option. When you click on the detail of each class, it will list the number of seats still available.

Here’s what I’m teaching:

#118 – Modern Machine Quilting

Christa Watson Books

Thursday, June 22: 8-3
Take your modern quilts to the next level by adding depth and dimension to your designs. The secret is learning to let go of perfection by practicing over a dozen different asymmetrical textures that require little to no marking of the quilt. Students will utilize both free-motion and walking foot techniques by practicing on small practice samples or leftover quilt blocks. Students may bring in their tops for a discussion of possible quilting ideas.

Click here to purchase the recommended books, signed by me.

#203 – Ultimate Free Motion Fillers

Friday June 23: 8-12
Learn 12 fun fillers in just 4 hours! This class will walk you through a dozen of the free-motion motifs from The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting. This will be a fast paced class, so students should be comfortable working with their machines and have a little bit of experience with machine quilting. Book Required: The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting.

Click here to purchase the required book, signed by me and Angela.

#204 – Machine Quilting Trunk Show

Colorful chevrons

Friday, June 23: 1:30-3:30
I enjoy making complete quilts from start to finish, and am excited to share quilts from my books and patterns. I’ll share a few tips I’ve learned that make the machine quilting process easier, and will present a variety of designs that can be done on a home sewing machine. Exact quilts shown will vary and my lecture will include detailed images of machine quilting, as well as an opportunity to get up close and personal with my quilts.

#321 – Structured Improv Piecing (Facets)

Facets

Saturday, June 24: 8-3
Learn how to dive into improvisational piecing, but in an organized way. Students will create their own crazy pieced fabric, then give it some structure when they make their own Facets quilt top. Class includes instruction for quilt top only. Required book: Machine Quilting With Style.

Click here to purchase the required book, signed by me.

#413 – String of Pearls

String of pearls

Sunday, June 25: 8-12
Show off your favorite collection of fabrics with this bright, graphic quilt. It’s a great first pattern to get your feet wet with modern design. The blocks are easy to sew with plenty of background space for you to add interesting quilting texture. Class includes the instruction for quilt top only.

Click here to purchase the required pattern.

If you plan to attend the show, please let me know in the comments! It would be so great to meet you in person. 🙂

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