Machine Quilting Blog Hop Week 9 – And a Giveaway!

I have to give a quick shoutout to Michele B. and Lou B. who were the winners of the last two book giveaways for Rock Solid and I Love House Blocks! Now it’s time for another fun book giveaway with 4 chances to win!

Machine Quilting Blog Hop

Four friends of mine, HollyAnne, Vicki, Kristin, and Jen have been working their way through mine and Angela’s book, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting. The book includes 10 different quilts with different machine quilting motifs to practice in each chapter. These fun bloggers have been diligently practicing their machine quilting skills, week by week, and it’s amazing to see how far they’ve come in just a short period of time!

Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

To celebrate their progress, they are offering a chance to win the book on their blogs. I highly recommend visiting each one of them and spend some time looking back through their journey. It’s one thing for me to tell you that machine quilting success is possible; it’s quite another for you to see actual results!

Here’s a sampling of inspiration from each of them this week with a link to each of their blogs in bold. Please visit them, and get inspired in your own quilting journey!

HollyAnne – String and Story

HollyAnne applied many of the quilting techniques from the book to “Modern Birds in the Air,” a pattern designed by our good friend Frances of the Off-Kilter Quilt, that goes along with her book of the same name. Be sure to visit HollyAnne’s blog for the big reveal!

Machine quilting by HollyAnne Knight

HollyAnne’s work is a great example of my favorite machine quilting tip: when in doubt – add more quilting! All you see is there gorgeous texture rather than individual stitches.

Vicki – My Creative Corner 3

Vicki has been quilting on a longarm and practicing both mine and Angela’s motifs. No stranger to quilting, she’s been quilting for others for years and it’s been fun to watch her work her way through the book on her longarm. Click here to see more of Vicki’s progress this week, and be sure to go back and check out her previous posts.

Machine Quilting by Vicki Holloway

Vicki is also a podcaster. In case you missed it, she interviewed me on a recent episode where we chatted about the book, the hop, and machine quilting in general. It was so fun!

Kristin Esser –

Kristin is no stranger to good workmanship with contributions to many magazines, and her newly published book with Minki Kim, Sew Illustrated. It’s been fun to watch her develop her machine quilting skills and try out all of the different ideas! Visit her blog for more closeup pics!

Kristin Esser Machine Quilting

I love seeing how each person combines the motifs in their own unique way!

Jen Greer – Quiltin’ Jenny

I first met Jenny when I taught at her quilt guild last year and we hit instantly hit it off! Since then, I’ve been able to get to know all of the bloggers and I love how they are also cheerleaders for “do it yourself” quilting! It’s not hard to be instant friends with others who love machine quilting as much a I do!! Be sure and pop over to her blog for her favorite tips and tricks!!

Jen Greer Machine Quilting

Look at all that yummy texture!!

If you’ve been following along, I hope you are encouraged to give machine quilting a try. Next week, they will share the “grand finale” which combines every thing they learned. I’ve already seen a few sneak peeks on Instagram, and it’s quite amazing!!

But just remember: whether you quilt by hand, by machine, or even “by check” – I’m here to encourage you every step of the way!!



Latest Finish to Share – My Hometown from I Love House Blocks

I’m back with another fun finish to share, my contribution to the “Blockbuster Series” of quilt books – I Love House Blocks.

I Love House Blocks

My quilt is shown on the cover and I made it from a fun bundle of Pat Sloan’s fabric from Moda.

I made the house centers log cabin style and added a quick and easy paper pieced rooftop. I love adding lots of negative space (background) to my quilts so I can show off some fun quilting. Because I was on a deadline I quilted this one with simple swirls and wavy lines in a light gray Aurifil thread from my neutrals collection.

My Hometown by Christa Watson

My Hometown – such a fun quick and easy quilt to make!

The book includes a total of 14 fun house themed quilts which you can view here.

Giveaways GalorE!

Giveaway #1: If you’d like to win a ecopy this book from me, please leave a comment  letting me know if you’ve ever made a house themed quilt before. In my 20+ years of quilting, this was a first one for me!!! Everyone is eligble to enter and I’ll choose a random winner at the end of the day on Monday June, 26th.

Giveaway #2. Head over to Stitch This! the Martingale/That Patchwork Place blog for another chance to win! I love keeping copies of all books I own on my computer – then I have access to them anytime!







Lanterns Quilt – My Contribution to Rock Solid

Have you seen the awesome new collaborative book from Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Robert Kaufman? It’s called Rock Solid, featuring 13 different quilt designs made from Kona Solids. My contribution, Lanterns, made the cover, so I thought it would be fun to tell you a little bit more about my quilt. But first, look at all that yummy solid goodness on the cover!

Rock Solid Cover

My quilt, Lanterns, was made from one roll-up (jelly roll) of my Christa Watson designer palette for Robert Kaufman, along with one roll-up of Kona coal. Aren’t they a smashing combination??

Lanterns by Christa Watson

I came up with the design while I was playing around in EQ7 (Electric Quilt software) on my Mac. I’m always designing and playing around with shapes and colors. I’ll usually start with a seed of an idea and then it branches off into a design on its own. The fun thing about my process is that I usually end up with at least 4-5 different variations in different stages of completion. Whenever I’m ready to finalize a new design, I start by looking through my “virtual sketchbook” first!

EQ7 design sketch for lanterns

As you can see, my virtual EQ7 sketch is very similar to the final quilt. Usually when I’m playing around, I’ll randomly color the quilt but I don’t worry about whether or not the colors end up in the exact same spot as designed. Just using the same swatches of color is good enough for me to get an idea of how the quilt will look.

Lanterns Quilt Path step 1

Step 1 – Stitch in the Ditch

When it’s time to plan out the quilting, I’ll print off the EQ7 sketch on paper and then start drawing possible quilting ideas. I know that you can actually draw quilting designs in the program, but it’s usually just faster and easier for me to draw it out by hand. 🙂

Lanterns Quilt Path step 2

Step 2 – Echo the Ditch

I usually make a quilting plan for each quilt I make because it’s much faster to draw out several ideas on paper, than try to dive into the quilt with no plan and then not like the results! I finally put a name to this process of  “finding your path” when my first Craftsy class came out earlier this year.

Lanterns Quilt Path step 3

Step 3 – quilt one design in the background between the blocks.

For the actual quilting I use another process I call “divide and conquer” where I break up the quilting into different segments and just attack one segment at a time. I teach this in my in-person workshops and I love seeing other students get it and start applying it to their own quilts!

Lanterns Quilt Path step 4

Step 4 – quilt a contrasting design in the blocks.

As you can see, my drawing lines are pretty wonky, but that’s okay – it’s the actual stitching that counts! Of course, I draw the designs on paper with contrasting ink so I can see them, but when I do the actual quilting, I use a blending 50 wt. Aurifil cotton thread. For this quilt I used just two thread colors – yellow for the blocks and gray for the background (both from my Piece and Quilt Collection).

Machine Quilting Detail from Lanterns by Christa Watson

Machine quilting detail – I can quilt better than I can draw!

I sure had a great time making my solid colored quilt.
Click here to see all of the quilts from the book and grab your copy!

Giveaway!! If you’d like to win an e-copy of this book, just leave me a comment letting me know if you’ve ever made a completely solid quilt before. If so – how did you like it? I’ll choose a random winner at 6 PM Pacific Time on Saturday, June 17th













I’m Back from Panguitch Quilt Walk 2017 and I Had a Blast!

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared an update after I’ve taught a class. I’m usually thinking ahead to the next one. But I got back early enough so I had time to look through my pictures and share a few snippets from my time at the Panguitch Quilt Walk Festival. No matter where I go, I always meet the same type of fun and friendly students in my classes. I have to admit, one of the reasons I love to teach is for the camaraderie!

Christa Watson Trunk Show

I arrived on Wednesday night with Jason and the kids in tow. We got settled in and each of the teachers who were there were able to quickly introduce themselves and let everyone know what they were teaching. Although my classes had filled up right away, they put me in a large home-ec classroom (all classes were taught at the local high school) so I told the organizers they were welcome to squeeze in as many people as there were seats.

Christa Watson Trunk Show

I shared about 20 quilts in my trunk show, all made beginning in 2013.

Thursday was my longest, busiest day. I started off with a trunk show of my quilts and shared a little bit about my quilting journey from traditional to modern quilter. I always like to include a little story about the making of each quilt along with some tips on how I quilted it.

Christa Watson Trunk Show

My Positive Direction quilt is always a crowd pleaser!

Then I taught two sessions of free-motion quilting that same day. I kept the classes moving at a fast pace that I didn’t even have time to stop and take pics! I like to teach ideas from all three of my books and then help the students think about them in new ways. It’s always a treat to see what they come up with!

On Friday, things slowed down a bit and I taught the first session of walking foot quilting while Jason and the kids did a little hiking at Bryce Canyon. Students usually agree that walking foot quilting is much easier to do than free-motion quilting, but several signed up for both classes and seemed to enjoy it.

Student Work from Walking Foot Quilting

Student Work from my Walking Foot Quilting Class – Wavy Grid

On Saturday I taught a second session of walking foot quilting, and then we came home. I was able to get a few pics in class and it always amazes me how students take a concept they learn in class and really run with it!

Student Work from Walking Foot Quilting

More Student Work – Shattered Linens is a huge favorite!

I’ll be home for just over a week before I head out to the Vermont Quilt Festival. I’ll be there for an entire week, judging along with Kimberly Einmo, then teaching four classes and sharing a trunk show.

As of today, there are still openings in each of my classes and my lecture. Click here for more info. Now it’s time to unpack, catch up on a few deadlines, and start packing all over again!!













Teaching Update – Summer and Fall 2017

I get a lot of comments and questions from so many of you wonderful readers, asking when I’ll be in your neck of the woods. So I thought I’d share a quick teaching update, letting you know where I’m headed in the next few months. If you are in the area, I’d love to see you in one of my classes or lectures!

Here’s Where I’ll Be:

June 7-10 Panguitch Quilt Walk Festival
I’m teaching 4 machine quilting classes – and while those are already sold out, I will be participating in “meet the teacher” on Wednesday evening at 5:30. I’ll also be giving a trunk show on Thursday at 12:15 PM which is free to all attendees.

June 20-25 Vermont Quilt Festival
I’m teaching 2 machine quilting classes, (Thursday or Friday) 2 piecing classes (Saturday or Sunday) and giving a lecture and trunk show on Friday afternoon. As of today, there is still plenty of room in all of them. Click here for class info.

July 28-29 Quilt Nebraska
I’m teaching machine quilting on Friday and piecing on Saturday. Hosted by the Nebraska State quilt guild, this is a retreat-style convention with different package options and a great lineup of teachers to choose from. Click here for the registration booklet – the cutoff is June 22 and non-guild members are welcome for an additional fee.

August 17-19 Coastal Prairie Quilt Guild of Texas and Houston MQG
I’m presenting a machine quilting workshop and lecture to each group for their members. You can check with each guild to join, or to see if they allow visitors.

Christa Watson Teaches

September 15-16 Sew Yeah Quilting in Las Vegas
I’ll be teaching machine quilting and giving a trunk show from my new book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts which publishes in August. Save the date as class signups will open later this summer!

September 22-23 Glendale Quilt Show in Pasadena, CA
This fun event boasts Luke Haynes as the featured artist which should be a real treat! Retreat packages are available as well as registration for individual workshops. I’ll be teaching a full day of machine quilting on Friday and two half day piecing workshops on Saturday.
Click here for show flyer with all the details.

September 27-30 MQX Quilt Show in Springfield, IL
I’m super excited about this one! I got my first national ribbon at this show back in 2013 and I’ve bee dying to attend the show ever since! Classes are filling up fast, but there are still a few spots left in my 4 different machine quilting workshops. Click here for details.

Click here for my complete teaching schedule. I have workshops scheduled nationwide through 2019 and I update it on a regular basis. Thanks to all past and future students – you are the reason I love what I do!

Christa Teaches







My Week at Craftsy – May 2017

It’s been a little bit quieter around here the last few weeks, because I’ve been hard at work getting ready to bring you some new exciting things coming this year! The first sneak peek I can share is that I just wrapped up filming on my next Craftsy class that will debut later this summer.

Christa on Set at Craftsy

This was my last day of filming and I got to cuddle up with the quilt I made on set once we finished. I’ll tell you more about this quilt when the class  is ready – it was so fun and fast to make!!

My new class is part of Craftsy’s debut “Startup Library” which consists of longer, in-depth courses across all of their major craft topics. They are aimed at beginners or those who may be involved in one craft, but want to try their hand at something new. I was so pleased to represent quilting!

Startup Library: Quilting with Christa Watson

I was there filming for a total of 5 days, and prior to that I worked with their great editorial team for months, honing in on the content that I’ll be presenting. In a nutshell, I got to focus on my favorite topic: teaching new students how to make a complete quilt from start to finish!

Christa with the Craftsy Crew

Christa and the Craftsy crew – we made a great team! And yes, there were smoothies….

On Set at Craftsy

My fabulous  content editor, Linda Permann helped me baste on camera. I wanted to make sure I included this important step, and I love that she got to cameo as my “helper!”

Returning to Craftsy for a second time was much less stressful because I knew a little bit more about what to expect this time around, such as getting my hair and makeup professionally done each day, and knowing that we would put in long hours of work which would get edited down to just a few minutes. I love the magic of television!!

Christa Watson and Angela Walters at Craftsy

Angela Walters and I took turns in the hot seat getting professionally made up each day by the lovely and talented Danica. This is was my favorite way to start each day!

While I was there, I got to mingle with a couple of others on set who were also filming their next projects. Angela Walters happened to be there at the beginning of the week, filming the next season of The Midnight Quilt Show.

Joshusa John Russell: Man About Cake

And Joshua John Russell from Make About Cake was there at the end of the week, gearing up for the next series of episodes for his popular YouTube show. Behind the scenes fact: I asked him how much cake he ate in each episode and he told me he never touches the stuff. True story!!

Now that I’ve written three books and filmed two classes, I can really appreciate the similarities and differences between both types of delivery. A book is a longer, slower sort of project, while a video class has a much quicker turnaround, but is also more intense. I’ve realized that I love creating both types of products, and I’m so grateful work with people who have a knack for editing and polishing my content so that I can look my best!

Stay tuned for more, and in the meantime, if you haven’t purchased my first class yet, you can click here to get 50% off of The Quilter’s Path. (Be sure to add the class to your cart to see the discount.)

The Quilter's Path by Christa Watson








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.



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!




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!)




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!!