My QuiltCon Entries for 2019 and a Plea for Kindness Online

I love this time of year. Not only for the holidays, but also to see what quilts everyone has entered for next year’s QuiltCon show. So far, I’ve been to every show since it began in 2013 and I’ve also had at least one quilt accepted for each show which is always fun to see. I just received word that one of three of my entries got in this year and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Blooming Wallflowers Accepted

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

Click here to get the PDF pattern for Blooming Wallflowers
Click here to get the print pattern for Blooming Wallflowers
Kits available – while supplies last

It’s really special to me that this quilt was accepted, because I had originally made a slightly different version (shown below) for a magazine (using my first line, Modern Marks). I entered the first version into the show last year and it was rejected then. I know that the jury changes from year to year and the group of quilts to choose from is always different, so that just goes to show that it’s always worth trying again if you think you have a really great design.

In the updated version (seen above), I still used the same dark Navy from Modern Marks, but paired it with coordinates from Abstract Garden.

Earlier Version – Made from Modern Marks

star Shadow by Christa WatsonThis version was a “reject” for QuiltCon 2018

Out of the Box Declined

This quilt was such fun to make and I’ll for sure be entering it into other shows. One thing I’ve learned is that my commercial quilt designs I make for patterns and books tend to be a little more on the more “modern traditionalism” side of things which usually has a ton of entries, so I’m never disappointed when one of them doesn’t make the cut. I’ve actually designed a super-modern version of this quilt with much more negative space that I may try to make and enter for next year, so we’ll see what happens!

Out of the Box by Christa Watson for American Patchwork and Quilting using Fandangle fabric

This quilt was originally made for a magazine to showcase Fandangle Fat Quarters.
I plan to remake it in an upcoming fabric line and re-release the pattern, so stay tuned!

Beaded Lanterns Declined

This one didn’t surprise me at all because all though it’s a dynamic design, it’s still very traditional in the layout and setting. But I still love it since it was easy to pattern and teach. This is the first year that I didn’t have time to make a quilt specifically for the show, but I’m still glad I entered. It’s always fun to be part of the process!!

Beaded Lanterns Finished Quilt

Beaded Lanterns was made to showcase Fandangle precut strips.
Kits available while supplies last.
Get the free pattern here.

A Plea for Kindness

Before you leave comments online saying “I can’t believe so and so’s quilt didn’t get in” or “what were those jurors thinking, they are crazy!” or anything of that nature, please remember to be kind.

I know that emotions tend to run a little high when everyone gets their notices that their quilts weren’t accepted. However, I always remind myself, it’s just simple math. There were 1750 quilts entered this year, and the show usually only had room for 400. So that means that less than 1 in 4 will get in on average. In other words, 75% of the quilts entered will not make it into the show. But that doesn’t make them “rejects.”  I’m sure that if QuiltCon had the room, they’d take as many quilts as they could.

I enter a lot of national shows, most of which are much larger than QuiltCon in terms of numbers of quilts on display. However, they don’t get nearly the amount of entries as QuiltCon does and I never hear negative comments about quilts that don’t make it in. I think it’s because QuiltCon and the MQG have such a large internet presence and we all know how easy it is to make an off-handed comment online. My one request would be to keep things as positive as you can, even if you didn’t get in. I know that the folks working behind the scenes put in untold numbers of hours to make a great show and I’m so thankful for the hard work they do!

In fact, if you’d like to treat yourself to a really inspiring “virtual” quilt show online, be sure to check out the hashtag “quiltconreject” on instagram. It’s a visual feast for sure!

Other Quilt Show Venues

And if you are thinking about entering your quilt into a large national show, here’s a few more that I’d highly recommend:

Blooming Wallflowers made with Abstract Garden and Modern Marks

Now it’s time to add a hanging sleeve and label to this quilt so it’s ready to ship!

New Home Journey Part 1 – The Decision to Move

So we just did a crazy thing. We decided to buy a new house!! After 13 years of living in the same home, we started thinking about how we could expand my studio space – because thanks to all of you – I’ve outgrown my current situation. So my husband Jason and I sat down and started planning out whether to renovate our current home, rent out a separate office/studio space, or just buy a bigger home.

Our New Home

This will be our new home very soon, if all goes according to plan.

Being the former CPA that he is, Jason was able to crunch the numbers and realize it made more sense to find a bigger used home in great condition. The perfect place for us would ideally be not too far from our current home, since we love the area and we have established roots here.

So we thought it would take a while to find exactly what we needed, and I was worried about the timing. Next year starts getting really busy for me in the spring and summer, which are usually the most popular times of the year to move. But low and behold, a few days after we started looking, we found the exact floor plan we were looking for at a price we could afford, and it’s ready for immediate move-in.

Kitchen

The sleek modern cabinets, wide open spaces, and gorgeous kitchen really sold us on this house.
Now to start making some cozy quilts to match…..

The best part is that this house is just a few minutes away from our current home, and (super important for our kids) in the same church community where we’ve spent years developing friendships. And to make it even more perfect, it’s on the same street as one of my daughter’s really good friends. So this really seems to be another case of the universe leading me where I need to go. (I love it when that happens!)

So here’s where the timing gets super interesting. Although this particular home had been on the market for several months with no offers, once we quickly decided it was “the one,” it seemed as if everyone else wanted to buy it, too! The day we decided to put an offer on the house, we were notified that there were already two other offers and they weren’t accepting any more after the end of THAT day. Oh no… but this is OUR home we thought!!

Open plan downstairs

I love open floor plans with lots natural light.
Decorating this space is going to be so much fun!

As luck would have it, we were able to get a quick pre-approval from the bank, and thanks to the excellent (and quick) work of our realtor friend, we were able to make a strategic offer that was below the asking price, but still the highest offer on the table. If we had waited one extra day to decide… we would have lost out on it!

Image from Ikea – not my home, though I wish!!
I imagine this cheerful Ikea couch would look so fun in my new home.
Or maybe one in teal, or navy, or seafoam…. it will be fun to decide!

So now, we need to get ready to move! Of course there’s paperwork to finalize and there’s always the chance that something could fall through. But I’m an optimist and prefer to think about what could go right and the steps I need to take to make it happen.

Dining Room

Here’s my friend’s dining room, who recently purchased the exact same home. I love the accent walls and want to achieve the same look, but with more of a modern vibe.

Now the plan is to measure all of the rooms, budget out some improvements, and begin the moving process while still living in our current home.

In order to avoid the horrors of having to temporarily move to a smaller rental, or even worse, trying to move an entire household AND business in one weekend, we are going to move a little bit at a time over a few weeks so as to avoid any major disruptions with our business. After all, if we don’t work, we don’t eat – one of the “joys” of being self-employed! 🙂

Sewing Room

This will be my new sewing studio. The camera angle makes it look long and skinny, but it’s more of a square. I imagine built-in cabinets along the left wall, my sewing table under the window, and a humongous design wall along the right wall (which needs to be repainted first).

And here’s another fortunate miracle of timing: after being busy with deadlines, projects and travel non-stop for the last 4 years, I actually have a bit of a breather over the next few months.

My next book deadline isn’t until later next year, I don’t have any sewing deadlines until fabric samples arrive in the spring, and my next teaching event isn’t until QuiltCon in February. So rather than sewing in December and January, I’ll be “piecing” together my new creative space!

Sewing Studio part 2

This is the view from the opposite end of the sewing room. The corner nook would be perfect for more built in shelving, with a cozy chair for hand-work or reading. The guest room is nearby with a large walk-in closet for extra storage and my husband gets a larger office, too.

I’m excited to document this process in real time, and hope you’ll indulge me as I focus a little bit more on home-making and a little bit less on quilt-making.

But don’t worry, I’m still planning to host our next quilt along in January, but with a slightly later start date. Fortunately the quilt along steps have already been sewn and photographed, so you all can sew-along, while I’m setting up my new workspace. I’ll approach this new venture like any other large project: one step at a time!

Backyard

The backyard isn’t very big since the house footprint takes up most of the land. But I love the low- maintenance landscaping, and there’s still plenty of room to spray baste my quilts.

Stay tuned for the next part of my new-home adventure. I can’t wait for the journey!

New Patterns and Kits: Pieced Primrose, Geese in the Garden, Blooming Wallflowers, LatticeWork

Just a quick note to say that the print versions of my 4 new patterns have now arrived from the printer – whoo hoo! Although they were made to feature my new Abstract Garden fabric line, they are versatile to use any fabrics you like! You can pull similar colors, or mix it up for your own unique take! I’m also offering kits for each, while supplies last.

Abstract Garden Quilt Patterns

To give you a quick overview of the quality and layout of the print versions, I made this short one-minute (silent) YouTube video of me thumbing through the pages. They are printed on high quality semi-gloss paper with a firm cover so they’ll hold up while you use them! Click the image below to watch.

And now, to end this post with some colorful “eye candy” here are images of the finished quilts themselves. Coming up soon, I’ll be blogging more about the making of each quilt with some bonus tutorials and tips. And don’t forget, I’ll be hosting a quilt along to make Blooming Wallflowers in January, so be on the lookout for the QAL schedule, coming soon!

Pieced Primrose Quilts

Click here to purchase this pattern.
Click here to purchase the kit.

Pieced Primrose Quilts Made from Abstract Garden

Geese in the Garden Quilts

Click here to purchase this pattern.
Click here to purchase the kit.

Geese in the Garden with Abstract Garden fabric

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt

Click here to purchase this pattern.
Click here to purchase the kit.

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

LatticeWork Quilt

Click here to purchase this pattern.
Click here to purchase the kit.

LatticeWork Quilt Made from Abstract Garden

Things to Make from Fandangle – Containers from By Annie

I’m back with more fun things you can make from Fandangle, my current line that’s in stores now. Of course these fun containers would look great in any fabrics, but I’m thrilled that my friends from By Annie chose to showcase them with some of my favorite prints!

Clam Up

Clam Up Made from FandangleClick here to get the Clam Up Pattern from By Annie

Aren’t these bags the cutest!! I love how Annie chose to use the cool colorway of Fandangle in different combinations for this set. Howe fun would it be to wrap a small trinket or gift in the smallest bag and then stack them all together by size. It’s as much fun as playing with Matroyska dolls, but for quilters!!

Contain Yourself

By Annie Containers with Fandangle

Click here to get the Contain Yourself pattern from By Annie

These are absolutely the best containers!! My favorite is the big one made from Baubles and Bits in teal, and the smaller ones are perfect for organizing quilting and sewing notions. It’s on my bucket list to make these for all the nooks and crannies in my sewing room to keep the mess under control!

Take a Stand

Fandangle Fabric

Click here to purchase the Take a Stand pattern from By Annie

This functional tote is perfect for organizing your sewing notions on the go. I love how Annie paired up the warm Fandangle prints in red and orange with a touch of gray. It always makes me giddy to see how others combine with my fabrics!!

Running with Scissors

Fandangle Fabric

Fandangle Fabric

Click here to purchase the Running with Scissors pattern from By Annie

Although I usually just stick to just making flat “2-D” quilts, my mom loves sewing these functional “3-D” items like containers and totes. I think I’ve just added a few more for her to make!!

Click here to purchase yardage of my prints to make some of your own!!

Things to Make from Fandangle – Heather Black’s Beads and Baubles

Right now I’m currently doing a bunch of “secret sewing” – things I can’t share with you until several months in the future. But instead of going radio silent for awhile, I thought I would fill the time with previous projects that my friends and I have made to keep you inspired.

Beads and Baubles by Heather Black

Get the PDF Pattern for Beads and Baubles by Heather Black

For starters, I’d like to share with you Beads and Baubles – a quilt that my talented friend Heather Black (from Quiltachusetts) made to showcase Fandangle Fat Quarters. I love how she paired the prints with some soft tone on tone Color Weave prints to create a fun stripe in the background.

She named her quilt after the focus print from my collection, called “Baubles and Bits.” (I think these prints together would make a fun, modern Christmas quilt!)

Fandangle Fabric, Baubles and Bits print

Click here to get yardage of Baubles and Bits in Teal or Red

To further tie in the theme, she quilted it with an allover design that’s similar to the “Beaded Curtain” print from the line. I think it’s the perfect motif for this amazing quilt!

Machine Quilting by Heather Black

Click here to grab a fat quarter bundle of Fandangle.

Heather created this design with some simple curved piecing and I love how the oval shapes look like beads. She has released this pattern as a PDF version in her Etsy shop and I’d love to see what it looks like in different fabrics, too!

Beads and Baubles by Heather Black

Click here to get the PDF Pattern for Beads and Baubles by Heather Black

Heather is so talented and I love her modern design sense! She’s made quilts from my fabric before (click here to see her amazing Pearl Pendants quilt) and she’s got several more designs in the works using my current and upcoming lines, too. I can’t wait for you to see them!

And now I have a question for you – have you ever tried curved piecing? If so – how did it go? Leave me a comment as I’d love to know. I’ve only done it sparingly but I love the look!

Abstract Garden Precuts Are Here!!

I’m so excited – it’s like early Christmas around here! My shipment of Abstract Garden precuts have just arrived, and the yardage should be here soon, whoo hoo! Take a quick peek below:

While I encourage all of you to ask for my fabrics at your local quilt shop, I understand that not everyone has access to a great shop close by. So I always order extras that I’m happy to share while supplies last. Here’s what I’ve got:

Abstract Garden 20 Fat Quarters

Click here to purchase Abstract Garden Fat Quarters

Abstract Garden Fat Quarters by Christa Watson for Benartex

This is the second time I’ve featured 20 prints in a line. It’s the perfect amount I think because it won’t break the bank, and it’s enough to make a substantial sized quilt. I do love a good rainbow and I’m excited to see how everyone will mix and match the different prints!

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson for Benartex
Click here to get Abstract Garden bundles in FQ, 1/2 Yard, or Full Yards

Pair these with a contrasting background (like the greys from Fandangle) and you can’t go wrong! If you need more than a FQ, you can also get these in 1/2 yard or full yard cuts.

Abstract Garden Strip-Pies: 40 – 2 1/2″ x 42″ Strips

Click here to purchase Abstract Garden Strip-pies

You can either pronounce them stripp-ees (rhymes with hippies), or strip Pies (mmm… pie!!). But however you do it, I love the look of them and how they are packaged. They are separated into warm and cool for you by the manufacturer, which just makes me smile!!

Otherwise known as “jelly rolls, pinwheels, roll-ups” etc, these are much easier to ship since they will fit easily into a flat rate envelope. And the best part is, they don’t fuzz up as much!!

Abstract Garden 10×10’s – 42 Squares

Click here to purchase Abstract Garden 10×10’s

Abstract Garden Layer Cake

These are probably my least used precut, but they are great to cut up when you want to make a really scrappy quilt! I like using them when I want a lot of 5″ squares of the same fabric, since it’s a bit cheaper to crosscut each square in half twice, rather than buying 4 charm packs. They are also fun to slice up when making a pattern like my Improv Squares, and I love whipping up a fun pieced back by sewing all 42 squares together, set 6 x 7.

If you work a lot with 10″ squares (also known as Layer Cakes), please leave me a comment and let me know how you use them. I’d love to know!

Abstract Garden Charm Packs: 42 – 5″ Squares

Click here to purchase Abstract Garden Charm Packs

Abstract Garden Charm Packs

Charm packs are the most popular precut because it’s a great way to sample the entire line of fabric at the lowest price. You can quickly whip up a baby quilt from just one pack, or combine packs together for a larger quilt. Because the charm packs include a total of 42 squares, you get 2 of each print in the collection, plus 3 of the main “Raised Beds” print.

I hope you love these pretties as much as I do! Click here to grab your favorites!

Sign up for My Next Quilt Along in January: Blooming Wallflowers

Can I say how much I enjoy doing quilt alongs with you all? It keeps me motivated to design and make new things, and nothing thrills me more than seeing all the variety of quilts that are being made, even when we all start with the same basic pattern. So I’m excited to announce the next quilt along which will start January 4th!

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

We will be making my Blooming Wallflowers quilt from start to finish over 12 weeks. Each Friday starting in Janaury, I’ll share a new blog post with inspiration pictures, bonus tips and plenty of cheerleading to keep you motivated. I’ve built in a couple of breaks to the quilt along, so it should be a nice and relaxing pace, and easy to follow along!

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

Get the Pattern

The quilt along itself is free, all you need to purchase is a copy of the pattern:
Click here to purchase the PDF version of Blooming Wallflowers
Click here to purchase the print version of Blooming Wallflowers

Optional Kit

Of course, you can use whichever fabrics you like, but I’ve put together an optional fabric kit which includes all the fabric to make the quilt top and binding as shown above: Fat Eights of 12 different Blooming Roses prints, 1 1/4 yards of light blue Tracks for the accent, and 4 yards of Modern Marks Herringbone Navy for background and binding.

Click here to purchase the Blooming Wallflowers kit – Throw Size

Blooming Wallflowers made with Abstract Garden and Modern Marks

Sign up to Follow Along (Free)

It’s completely free to follow along and you will gain tips and tricks for better quilt making, even if you don’t want to actually make the quilt!

Click here to sign up and be notified each time a new quilt along step has been released.

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Along

I’ll post the complete supply list and schedule on January 4th and will then give everyone a couple of weeks to gather their materials and supplies before we dive into cutting on January 18th. We will wrap up by the end of March and I’ll encourage everyone to post their progress in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group. After all, doing things with friends is a large part of the fun!

So who wants to join me?? Leave a comment if you plan to follow along, either making the quilt – or virtually in your head!!

Black Friday-Cyber Monday: Preorder Abstract Garden Fabric on Sale!

I just got the best news ever! My Abstract Garden line is shipping a little early and should be here soon! To celebrate, for this weekend only, you can use the code BLACKFRIDAY to get 10% off your preorder of any of the yardage. As soon as it arrives on my doorstep I’ll cut it and get it out the door to you, while supplies last.

Abstract Garden Fabric

Click here and use code BLACKFRIDAY to get 10% off any fabric order by the yard.

Here’s the fine print:

  • I’m offering it in 2 yard increments only, but will be happy to cut continuous yardage for you.
  • I’m happy to ship international – any shipping overages will be credited back to your account.
  • Sale price applies to yardage only, but I’m happy to combine shipping for other items purchased in the same transaction.
  • Coupon also applies to remaining yardage of my other lines: Modern Marks and Fandangle.
  • I don’t have an exact shipping date but it will most likely be in early December.

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo

Click here to preorder Abstract Garden – use code BLACKFRIDAY to save 10%

New Quilt Pattern – LatticeWork

Happy Turkey Day!! I’m so thankful to you, dear blog reader for your support you’ve given me over the years. I started this blog on Thanksgiving Day back in 2010 and little did I know that it would lead to what I’m doing today – a full time career in the quilting industry.

LatticeWork Quilt Made from Abstract Garden

LatticeWork Quilt – Throw Size

On this day of thanks, I’m so happy to be sharing more fun and inspiring projects with you! Take a look at LatticeWork, the 4th and final quilt pattern I’ve released to go along with my Abstract Garden fabric line (which starts shipping to stores in December).

Abstract Garden Quilt Patterns

If you missed the previous 3 quilts I shared this week, click the links below to check them out:
Click here for Pieced Primrose (Monday blog post)
Click here for Geese in the Garden (Tuesday blog post)
Click here for Blooming Wallflowers (Wednesday blog post)

LatticeWork Pattern Details

LatticeWork comes in 3 sizes and is made from Charm Packs (5″) or 10″ squares. You can also make it from a bundle of fat quarters with coordinating light and dark fabric. For the Throw Size, I’ve used 4 charm packs of Abstract Garden, but it would look fabulous in Modern Marks charms or Fandangle charms, too. Or you could mix and match them for even more variety!

Lattice Work Quilt Pattern
Click image above to enlarge.
Click here to purchase the PDF pattern.
Click here to purchase the print pattern.

As with all of my patterns, I’ve included machine quilting suggestions so you can get ‘er done!! For LatticeWork, I quilted one of my favorite walking-foot designs: an allover wavy grid that requires absolutely NO marking of the quilt!

You basically divide and conquer the quilt into a grid: quilt lines in the center of each lattice strip in both directions. Then fill in with more and more lines until you are happy with the line spacing.

Latticework quilting detail

Wavy Grid quilting detail – it’s so easy to do!

If you look closely at the orange “Trellis” print above (the one near the purple, blue and orange spirals) you will see that it roughly mimics the irregular plaid design of the quilting. I love it when I can incorporate my fave quilting motifs into my fabrics!

I chose a tone-on-tone black for the lattice and paired up the bright colorful prints with the light gray Confetti Crosshatch print from my Fandangle collection. The best news is that I just got in more yardage of both of the Fandangle Grays so click here to grab some before it sells out out again!

LatticeWork Detail

I love bold, bright color – don’t you?

LatticeWork Quilt Stats

  • Size: 74″ x 82″ (Throw)
  • Completed: October, 2018
  • Machine used: BERNINA 770QE
  • Fabric used: Abstract Garden and Fandangle by Christa Watson
    with Colorweave from Benartex Contempo Studio
  • Batting used: Hobbs Tuscany Cotton/Wool
  • Thread used: Aurifil 50 weight cotton Variegated collection by Christa Watson
  • Quilting Motifs: irregular wavy plaid, walking foot (dual feed) quilting

Quick Links

If you missed any of the previous releases

LatticeWork Quilt

New Quilt Pattern – Blooming Wallflowers

Are you enjoying seeing all of the new quilts I made from my Abstract Garden collection? I sure had fun making them! Today I’m excited to introduce you to Blooming Wallflowers, an optical illusion type quilt that looks much more complicated than it actually is.

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

Blooming Wallflowers – Throw Size

I paired up the colorful prints from Abstract Garden along with the Navy Herringbone print from Modern Marks, which is still available! I love brightly colored quilts with a rainbow of fabrics and it’s been fun to experiment and use “neutrals” other than black white or gray for this quilt.

Blooming Wallflowers detail

I love the movement in the Navy Herringbone print. I’ve designed all of my fabrics to work with each other so that you can mix and match between the collections.

The Blooming Wallflowers quilt pattern comes with instructions in 3 sizes and the cool thing about this design is that it stays the same for each size. The individual triangles are cut larger or smaller depending on which size you make.

Blooming Wallflowers Pattern CoverClick image above to enlarge.

I recommend using specialty rulers to cut the triangles, but I’ve also included full size templates so that you can get started making this quilt with the tools and supplies you have on hand!

I also include machine quilting suggestions in all of my patterns so that you can actually have success finishing them! Nothing disappoints me more than to see “quilt as desired” at the end of a quilt pattern.

Blooming Wallflowers quilt detail

Quilting detail – all of my patterns include machine quilting suggestions.

Quilt Along Coming in January

It’s important for me to make all of my own quilts not only to pattern test my designs, but to also go through the entire process so I can better understand any trouble spots that you may run into as you make the quilts. After all, my main goal in designing patterns and fabric and teaching my machine quilting methods is to help you make beautiful quilts and have a fun, stress-free time doing it!

So I’m excited to announce that I’ll be hosting a quilt along in January to make this quilt! Be sure to grab a copy of the pattern and stay tuned for details – I can’t wait!!

Blooming Wallflowers made with Abstract Garden and Modern Marks

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Stats

  • Size: 59″ x 76″ (Throw)
  • Completed: October, 2018
  • Machine used: BERNINA 770QE
  • Fabric used: Abstract Garden and Modern Marks
    by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo Studio
  • Batting used: Hobbs Tuscany Cotton/Wool
  • Thread used: Aurifil 50 weight cotton from Pieced and Quilt Collections:
    Colors and Neutrals by Christa Watson
  • Quilting Motifs: straight-line chevrons in the colorful blocks, pebbles in the accent blocks, free-motion chevrons in the background

Quick Links