Featured Designer: Heather Black of Quiltachusetts

Today I’m happy to have a guest post from my friend Heather Black of Quiltachusetts. Heather is a talented designer of modern quilts and when you visit her blog, you’ll recognize some of the designs on her published page.

Heather Black

Her most recent adventure is fabric design, and I know you’ll enjoy hearing about that. Take it away, Heather!


I’m so honored that Christa asked me to be a guest on her blog. Christa was one of the first quilters I met online and she’s been a mentor as well as a friend through the years. 

She encouraged me to follow my own sensibilities when it came to designing quilts and gave me the courage to branch out into fabric design when Paintbrush Studio came calling.

Fat quarters of Sketchbook by Heather Black for Paintbrush Studio

Earlier this year my first fabric line, Sketchbook for Paintbrush Studio, was released. I don’t know what I would have done without Christa’s support and guidance. The fabric line was inspired by a quilt I designed called Swatches.

Swatches by Heather Black

When I designed this quilt, I wanted the pink swatches to look like paint cakes, but the quilting is where I really found inspiration for the fabric line. 

I liked the black outline quilting around the paint cakes. It reminded me of doodling or sketching, and from there I began playing with shapes and textures that had the same feel and look.

Detail, Swatches by Heather Black

I also designed three different quilts to go along with the fabric line. They’re Sketchbook Sampler, Office Daydreams and Topsy-Turvy. Two of the designs are fat quarter friendly, and they use Painter’s Palette Solids as the background.

All of the prints from the line and the patterns are now available in my shop, quiltachusetts.com.

I’m so thankful to Paintbrush Studio for taking the risk and giving me a chance to design fabric. I really love the process and the creativity of it all.  My second fabric line, Road Trip, will be out before the end of the year. It’s all very exciting.

Again, this fabric line was inspired by a quilt I designed, and that quilt was inspired by all the road trips my family took and still takes. We’ve driven all over the USA and parts of Canada. 

I really appreciate the memories and time spent with my parents and siblings. The Road Trip fabric line is a combination of bright cheery colors and geometric shapes.

Road Trip by Heather Black

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a bit about the inspiration behind my quilts and fabric. I love the design process and making quilts and I encourage all quilters to add their own personality to every quilt they create.

Detail, Road Trip by Heather Black

Isn’t it great to see that Heather has found her creative voice? She has a unique style all her own. It was fun to hear how her modern quilt designs inspired fabric designs! Be sure to visit Heather’s website and her blog, and follow her on Instagram: @quiltachusetts.

Modern Logs QAL Part 6: Free Motion Stipple Quilting

I love it when we get to the machine quilting part of a Quilt Along! I’ve just finished my fourth book on machine quilting so I feel like that is one of my specialties. I’m excited for you to try free motion stipple quilting like I did on my Modern Logs, or another quilting design of your choice.

I made a video with all my best tips and tricks for quilting Modern Logs. Just nine minutes but it’s packed full of help and guidance! Click play below to watch.

 

If you’ve never tried free motion quilting or a stipple (also called a meander), layer up a couple of fat quarters with batting and practice there before you start on your real quilt. You can quilt on this practice sandwich many times over, using it as a warm-up if you like.

I can’t wait to see how you decide to quilt your Modern Logs!

Click here for links to the Modern Logs quilt along.
Click here to get the Modern Logs quilt kit while supplies last.
Click here to purchase Modern Logs quilt pattern – paper version.
Click here to purchase the Modern Logs quilt pattern – PDF version.

Click here to see other people’s Modern Logs and how different and exciting they are!

99 Machine-Quilting Designs – Preorder Now!

99 Machine Quilting Designs Today I’m excited to share a sneak peek of a several designs included in my upcoming book, 99 Machine Quilting Designs.  There are still few of days left pre-order my new book and get all the bonus premiums as well as reduced shipping.

When I teach in person, students stitch a series of practice samples to try out different walking foot and free motion designs. Now you can see 99 of those “in the cloth” along with a quilting diagram and instructions on how to quilt it. 

Click here to preorder now!

It was so much fun to dream up all these combinations and then to quilt the samples. The fabrics are Superior Solids from Benartex, the batting is from Hobbs and the thread is from my Aurifil thread kits. The samples were made on my Bernina 770 QE.

Just imagine me cheering you on as you try out these designs on your next project! Delivery is February 2021. I know the time will fly and it will be here before you know it!!

Grab these Bonuses with Your Preorder by 10/20/20

If you pre-order my book by Oct. 20, you’ll get a complimentary fat quarter of my fabric from one of my 6 fabrics lines, chosen at random. (Don’t you love surprises?!)

Good Vibes Fat Quarters

You also get one of my patterns so that you can practice your favorite designs from the book!

I’ll also sign it for you – which I promise will be a good luck charm as you quilt!!

Click here to pre-order 99 Machine-Quilting Designs for just $25.95 (regular retail price is $28.95). I can’t wait to quilt with you!

Featured Designer: Charisma Horton

I’m having a ball seeing what everyone makes from my fabrics so I thought I’d share some of the amazing quilts my good friend Charisma Horton from Charisma’s Corner has made from my prints. She’s a prolific and talented pattern designer and chances are, you have one of her patterns in your stash! I’ll let Charisma tell us a little bit more about these beauties in her own words….

Charisma Horton

Hi Everybody! I am so excited to share a little about the quilts I have designed using Christa’s fabrics. I met Christa a few years ago in a design group. She has always been so generous with sharing information and collaborations.

I was a really new designer when I originally contacted Christa to use her fabrics. Since then I have designed several quilts using her lines of fabric. I love working with her lines because they are so versatile. You will find that many of my designs are based upon color as a feature design element.

Check out The Hive made from geo pop:

Click here to get The Hive quilt pattern from Charisma’s Corner on Etsy

“The Hive” was designed and waiting for the perfect line of fabric to come along and bring it to life. That was Geo Pop.  I was so excited that Christa loved my design & displayed it in her booth at quilt market last year:

The Hive made from Geo Pop

The Hive pattern with the white background looks great next to Christa’s Bling pattern in Black!!

All the rest of the quilts that I have designed using Christa’s fabrics were a direct result of seeing her lines. Meaning that I designed the quilts specifically after seeing her fabric swatches.

Mid Mod was designed with Gridwork:

Mid Mod by Charisma Horton

Click here to get Mid Mod quilt pattern from Charisma’s Corner on Etsy

First of all, I have to say that I LOVE-LOVE Gridwork. I made 2 published projects with this line and I have another coming out in a magazine that I can’t share yet. But it’s a very special quilt and I can’t wait to share that one as well. I am a HUGE fan of this line because I love the colors, the grids and all of the lovely textures.

Mid Mod is my take on Mid Century modern art. I wanted to create a quilt that was easy to complete but looked random and freeform. I think many people are pleasantly surprised when they make this pattern. It’s WAY easier than it looks. I also have these blocks mocked up in several different layouts. There are so many ways to arrange these blocks and make the quilt your own.

Before I was a pattern designer, when I bought patterns, I treated them as a jumping off point. I wanted to make them my own. This pattern can easily be changed to fit your own style.

Nate and Tate Pillows Made from Gridwork

I am one of those quilters that loves all styles. This next pattern looks vastly different than the Mid Century modern one that I just shared!

Nate and Tate PillowsClick here to get Nate & Tate pillow pattern from Charisma’s Corner on Etsy

Can you get any more cutesy than these gnome bench pillows? I had some scraps left from my Mid Mod project and I didn’t waste one inch! LOL. I keep my Christa fabrics in separate bags, away from the rest of my scraps so that I can save them for something special.

Who else does that? Haha! I can’t help it!  I just knew I could use them for something else and I whipped out these pillows. They have been a great addition for the seasons. They are also great gifts.

Groovy Chutes from Good Vibes

Groovy Chutes by Charisma Horton

Click here to get Groovy Chutes quilt pattern from Charisma’s Corner on Etsy

Since Christa and I have been working together on these projects we have become great friends, even though we’ve never met in real life!! We realized we were about the same age and we are both 80’s kids. So when she released her next line, Good Vibes, it was like totally, radically, awesome! Haha!

I immediately channeled my spiral perm, mall bangs, watermelon Bubblicious and thought about the times I carried my boom box to the playground to listen to my tunes. Yes! I actually did that! D batteries were in high demand in the 80’s!

Groovy Cutes is clean, simple and takes us back to simpler times. Little things made us happy or maybe I was just intoxicated from all of the aqua net? Haha! Either way, good times.

I am so blessed to get to work with Christa. Whether her fabrics help bring my designs to life or whether her designs spark creative designs from me I feel like we are a great team! I am anxiously waiting for the next set of swatches! *hint-hint*

From Christa:

Thanks Charisma – I sure hope everyone loves your fun, colorful quilts as much as I do. And here’s a hint… I’m working on my next fabric line right now – you’ll be one of the first to see it before anyone else!!

EQ Design Challenge Call for Entry: You Could Win Good Vibes Fabric

Design challenge alert!! I’ve partnered with Electric Quilt and Benartex, LLC. to bring you a fun design contest. Download swatches of my Good Vibes fabric, design an original quilt using EQ, and enter to win a bundle of my fabric. This is a great way to stretch your creativity and you don’t even have to make the quilt.GoodVibes-Challenge

You DO have to use Electric Quilt to enter this contest, but you DO NOT have to make the quilt! 2 lucky winners will each win a Bundle of my Good Vibes fabric.

The exciting part about this design challenge is that I get to pick one of the winners! My friends over at Benartex will pick the other. I’ve done this contest for most of my fabric lines so far and I just LOVE seeing what you all create!!

Good Vibes fat quarters

To enter

Design your own, original quilt in EQ using the Good Vibes fabrics then submit an image of it to EQ by 11:59pm ET on October 31, 2020. Download the free Good Vibes fabrics for EQ here.

For other rules and to submit, click here to visit the Electric Quilt Blog.

I can’t wait to see your entries!!

 

Modern Logs QAL Part 5 – Spray Basting

It’s time to baste your Modern Logs quilt – are you excited?? I’ve developed my spray basting method using a design wall and it cuts the basting time in half!! I made a YouTube video below explaining the entire process. Hit play to watch and let me know if you have any questions!

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Pre-Order My New Book: 99 Machine-Quilting Designs

I am beyond excited to introduce my new book today! I’m really proud of 99 Machine-Quilting Designs. It’s full of ideas and options for walking-foot and free-motion quilting!

99 Machine Quilting Designs

Click here to pre-order your signed copy of 99 Machine Quilting Deigns 

This book is for you if:

  • You want to try machine quilting
  • You’re afraid to try machine quilting
  • You want to expand your skill set
  • You know quite a bit but you want fresh ideas

Pre-orders open today with early bird bonuses!


Order my new book by Oct. 10 to a free mystery fat quarter and other bonus items!

I’m super excited to offer special bonus premiums to people who place orders now. If you pre-order 99 Machine-Quilting Designs directly from me now through Oct. 10, you’ll get it at the lowest price of  just $25.95 plus FREE US SHIPPING with no coupon required on your end.

After that date, the free shipping offer goes away.

The early bird gets the worm, so here’s the list of bonuses that will also be included in your package when it ships early next year:

Free Surprise Pattern with Purchase for a Limited Time

Christa Quilts Patterns

One of my paper quilt patterns will be included as a bonus when you pre-order
99 Machine Quilting Designs.

That’s three bonus items, a reduced price, AND free shipping when you pre-order by Oct. 10.  Oh yeah, it also includes a signed copy  the book, LOL!!! The books have gone to print now and are slated to arrive February 1st. It will be here before you know it!!  

You’ll be able to start practicing new machine quilting skills as soon as the book arrives because we’ll have special events planned at that time.

Free Mystery FQ with Purchase for a Limited Time

Order 99 Machine-Quilting Designs by Oct. 10 to get a free fat quarter and other bonus items!

extra Bonuses are for a Limited Time Only

Here’s the fun part: This first 10 days of pre-orders is the only time free US shipping is included as a bonus. And we all love free shipping! (For my international friends, the shipping has been reduced for you for a limited time).

I will be offering pre-order bonuses for a limited time.  Every 10 days, one of the freebies will go away, and the price of the book will increase, so act now for the lowest price with the highest level of perks!!

Click here to pre-order 99 Machine-Quilting Designs and get all of the bonus items. The pre-order price is $25.95 through Oct. 10.

99 Machine Quilting Designs

Click here to pre-order 99 Machine Quilting Deigns and claim your bonus freebies!!

If you are still on the fence about pre-ordering my new book, Here’s a video so you can see how I make machine quilting accessible to anyone with a sewing machine. Watch for more indepth quilting videos next year after the book arrives!!

Get the whole set!!

While you are waiting for book #4 to arrive, be sure to stock up on my three previous machine quilting books while supplies last. If you’re looking to round out your machine quilting library, this is the perfect time to grab them at a reduced price of just $19.95 each!

I can’t wait to tell you more about 99 Machine-Quilting Designs! It’s the best one yet!

99 Machine Quilting Designs

Click here to pre-order 99 Machine-Quilting Designs for $25.95 and get all the bonuses.

Modern Logs Inspiration

The Modern Logs Quilt Along is in full swing, and that means everyone has started to post their blocks, tops and finishes. This is one of my favorite parts! And I want you to explore your own creativity so I’m thrilled when you add stash fabrics or play around with the setting or otherwise add your own special touch.

Today I’m sharing a variety of other people’s Modern Logs in different stages so you can appreciate the versatility of this design. I hope you enjoy them! Be sure to check out my facebook group and #modernlogsquilt on instagram for more great examples!!

Modern Logs by Barbara F

Barbara F. used one fat quarter bundle of Good Vibes as she grouped similar colors together in each block. She also chose a straight set instead of the offset design shown in the pattern. Those random bits are fabulous, and I love it when you all make this design your own!

Modern Logs by Laina L

Laina L. used a variety of colors from all my fabric lines.  Isn’t her finish beautiful?


Modern Logs by Michele H

Michele H went for an earthy look with rich batiks that  feel like a gentle autumn morning. Well done!
 
Modern Logs by April S

I often say that prints from my collections over the years work great together, and April S took me at my word. I see Abstract Garden, Gridwork, Modern Marks, Fandangle and Good Vibes for sure. What a lovely mashup!

Click here to shop all of my fabrics!

Modern Logs by Judi H

I love the patriotic look chosen by Judi H for her Modern Logs. Classic red, white and blue with a touch of gold, maybe for a yellow ribbon?! She wondered if they were too wonky, but I think not. The beauty of improv is that everyone’s quilt comes out differently!

Modern Logs by Sharon C

Sharon’s working on her version of Modern Logs made from the Modern Logs quilt kit. You can can choose to orient the rows horizontally or vertically – the choice is up to you!

Although Sharon has used the exact same fabrics as my version below – notice how different they look. That’s the versatility of this design and I can’t wait to see more!

My version of Modern Logs

Shop my Good Vibes fabric collection!

Modern Logs by Jo O

Jo O’s version of Modern Logs really makes me smile. Notice the cats? I can almost see their tails swishing. I love the pops of dusty pink. And the deep gold is heavenly! So much to love right here.

Modern Logs 1 by Ellen A

Ellen went for a graphic quality with bright blues and yellows. It’s a winning combination! And she didn’t stop there.

Modern Logs 2 by Ellen A

She used just four blocks and some ingenuity to create another improvisational design. Both quilts are headed to a NICU. That’s pretty heartwarming!

As you have seen, this quilt can take on any personality. Your stash can make it totally unique, or it looks terrific in my fabrics, too.

My thanks to all the makers above for joining me for the QAL and sharing their work. It inspires me and I hope it does the same for you!

Modern Logs Quilt Pattern

If you still need the pattern:

And remember that the Quilt Along steps will remain up, so you can jump in and sew at your convenience any time.

Modern Logs by Christa Watson

Sneak Peek of My Next Book; Grab my Current Books on Sale!

I’m so excited to share with you the cover art for my brand new book, 99 Machine Quilting Designs, coming soon! I don’t have a release date yet, but once I do, I’ll open up pre-orders with some bonus incentives and freebies for those who order early. So stay tuned for more info!!

99 Machine Quilting Designs

Get my Current Books for just $19.95 Each!

While supplies last, I’m giving you a chance to stock up on my previous books to complete your machine quilting library. I’m offering these for a price way below the retail price, AND I’m happy to sign a personal message to you – just leave me a note with your order!

Click here to purchase my other 3 books on sale, while supplies last!Machine Quilting Books by Christa Watson

Over the years, I’ve hosted several quilt alongs from my books to help you gain confidence in making a quilt from start to finish. Here’s a roundup of some of them that you can still access anytime, on your own schedule. All you need is a copy of the book for the pattern and I’m here to cheer you on every step of the way!

Facets from Machine Quilting with Style

Facets Quilt

Get the pattern for Facets from my book Machine Quilting with Style.

If you loved trying out Improv Piecing while making Modern Logs, you will love this take on it, too! Use up your smallest scraps to create this gorgeous quilt! I was thrilled that it won a ribbon in a national show a few years ago, and it’s still one of my favorite quilts!

Click here for links to the Facets Quilt Along

Dot ‘n’ Dash from Piece and quilt with Precuts

Dot 'n Dash quilt by Christa Watson

Get the pattern for Dot’n’Dash from my book Piece and Quilt with Precuts.

Dot ‘n’ Dash is my modern version of a jelly roll quilt! I used precut strips of my Fandangle fabric line for this remake version, but you’ll find a different inspiring colorway in my book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts. No matter how you slice it, it looks great every time!

Click here for links to Dot ‘n’ Dash Quilt Along

Squiggles from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Squiggles by Christa Watson

Get the pattern for Squiggles from my book Piece and Quilt with Precuts.

I really enjoyed remaking Squiggles from charm packs of my bold and colorful prints. The original pattern in the book uses a softer color palette which just goes to show this design looks great no matter which fabrics you choose!

Click here for links to the Squiggles Quilt Along

I sure enjoy being a cheerleader for do-it-yourself quilting and can’t wait to share more about the new book. In the meantime, I hope the projects above will keep you busy!!

Modern Logs QAL Part 4: Optional Pieced Quilt Backing

Whenever I make a super scrappy looking quilt like Modern Logs, I often have a lot of leftovers that I love to incorporate into the back of the quilt. This allows me to use up more fabric, personalize the quilt a bit, and make the back (almost) as interesting as the front! If you prefer to use a plain pieced back, this week will give you more time to finish your quilt top.

Modern Logs pieced quilt backing, made from leftover Good Vibes fat quarters, 2 yards of Gumballs print in Coral and a few leftover odds and ends from previous fabric lines.

Set aside the Binding Strips

Before you begin the pieced backing, be sure you’ve set aside enough of the straight strips for a scrappy binding. See the note in the pattern on page 3. Or you can use all of one fabric for binding and use up ALL of the leftovers on the back. The choice is up to you. We will come back to binding at the end of the QAL so stay tuned.

The image above shows half of the binding strips I cut from one set of Good Vibes fat quarters. I decided to double the size of my quilt so in reality I had twice as many. Notice how a couple are shorter – that’s because I ended up using a few extra chunks of fabric for my blocks.

There’s also 20 fabrics in the group, but only 18 strips here because I used a couple of them to finish some blocks. I still had plenty of leftovers for binding, and if for some reason you ever run short, just grab a similar color from your stash and no one will ever know!!

Now, let’s get on with sewing the pieced back!

Sew Scraps into Larger Pieced Chunks

When making a pieced backing from leftovers, think of it like a puzzle. You want to cover the quilt top with enough extra fabric on all sides (about 5-6″) and you want each of the “chunks” of the puzzle to be rectangular or square in shape so it all fits together.

First I sorted all of my leftover strips in similar lengths.

Then I sewed similar length strips into pairs and joined those into bigger complete chunks. Be sure to alternate seams when sewing so that the strips don’t warp or bend out of shape.

Now, your sizes and numbers of leftovers will vary so don’t overthink it too much. I sewed these together randomly and it was fun, mindless sewing! You can even do this anytime you have leftovers!

Once the leftover bits are sewn, it will look pretty messy and uneven. But not to worry, just trim off the ends and you’ll have a nice piece of “made” fabric that you can treat just like you would a regular piece of fabric with evenly trimmed sides. It doesn’t matter how long or wide this pice is. It’s just one of the “chunks” in your puzzle piece!

Repeat this process until all of your leftover bits are sewn into larger pieced chunks. You get to decide how small of a piece you want to use. I think my smallest pieces were about 4″-6″ long and the longest ones were full sized strips.

If you want to, you can sew some of the smaller pieced chunks into larger chunks, filling in with bits and pieces of other fabrics – leftover charm pack squares or jelly roll strips, odd shaped pieces that are too big to go in your stash, but too small to throw away.

When making these improv pieced blocks, the size doesn’t matter because it all depends on what you have to work with. Just square up the pieced chunk once you join the pieces together. When it’s finished, trim all sizes so that you have a pieced rectangular or square in shape. Make as many of these as you can, or save some of the improv patchwork to fill in the holes in your puzzle.

Piecing the Puzzle

Now comes the really fun part! Using your “puzzle” pieces, start covering up your quilt top! You can do this on the design wall, floor, bed, or anyplace you can lay out the quilt nice and flat. You can calculate all the math ahead of time, or just let it take shape randomly, which is what I did. Just like sewing your quilt blocks, it’s important to always sew straight edges together.

Step 1 – establish a framework

In the image above, I first started with a big chunk of fabric. I had 2 yards of Good Vibes Gumballs in Coral so I cut it into a few random pieces. I wanted these to be big chunks but none of them was large enough to go across the entire quilt. I’m establishing a framework here of 3 big areas to piece: left, middle and right.

Look how the edges are hanging over a few inches all around. I also left the selvages intact on both pieces on the left side. Because it’s my fabric with my name on it, I thought that would be a fun addition to the quilt!

Now it’s time to fill in the gaps!

Step 2 – fill in the gaps

I used two leftover chunks of fabric from my Gridwork line in coordinating colors to fill in 2 of the holes. These will give a pop of color to the back and keep things interesting. The piece looks more dynamic with the seams placed at different eye levels. Just remember that anything placed around the borders will get trimmed off so keep any border pieces nice and big.

I also started filling in the middle section with a bit of pieced patchwork near the bottom. I made it the same length as the chunk of Gumballs fabric below it so the edges wold match up nicely. This meant trimming off the selvage on one edge of the Gumbals print in the center bottom section.

Step 4 – add more pieced chunks

Keep in mind that the entire center section will need to be the same pieced width, so use a round number that’s easy to remember. My center section is somewhere around 36″ wide if I remember correctly. That math works nicely with leftover 40″ long pieces since they are quick and easy to trim up.

I filled in the center section with the rest of my pieced patchwork chunks. Trim them down, or add more pieces to make them all the same length. The fun part is deciding how far apart to space them and what else to use as fillers. Once I have an idea of where the patchwork units will go, them I trim them to size and treat them like regular pieced blocks.

Don’t forget to press as you go!

Be sure to use good technique while sewing: accurate 1/4″ seams and lots of pressing. I pressed seams open for all of the patchwork improv chunks and to the side when the chunky seams were sewn next to a plan flat piece of fabric. Press each seam just like you would when sewing blocks and rows together.

Step 5 – add pops of color  between the pieced units

I wanted to separate the pieced chunks a little so that I could admire the patchwork and allow my eyes to move around the piece. It was fun to add pops of color to tie it all together. Once the 3 sections were finalized, I sewed them together to finish the backing.

At this point, it’s ok that the outside edges aren’t even because that will get trimmed off after quilting. As long as the pieced backing covers the quilt a few inches on all 4 sides, it’s good to go!

Next week we will baste the quilt!

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