I’m at Craftsy This Week – New Class Coming Soon!

The last 2 weeks have been such a crazy busy time which is why I’ve been a little more quiet on the blog. I barely got back from QuiltCon just in time to prep for a few days and head off to Craftsy this week. So that’s why you haven’t seen a QuiltCon post or the last Squiggles QAL post on binding. But I promise those are coming, as soon as I get back!

Machine Quilting Elongated Swirls

Machine Quilting Detail on Craftsy Class Sample – More Info Coming Soon!

Above is a sneak peek of the quilt I’ve been working on, in between all of my other fun deadlines. It’s a new quilt I designed for my third Craftsy class that I’m filming this week. Without giving too much away yet, the new class I’m filming is a followup to Startup Library: Quilting and the focus will be on accurate cutting and piecing to help you improve your skills

Because you all know how much I love machine quilting, the class will even include a lesson on how to quilt one of my favorite motifs – elongated swirls (seen above). My #1 tip when learning  how to free-motion quilt is to pick one design and quilt it allover the entire quilt. By the time you are done, you’ll be an expert at that design!!

Startup Library Craftsy Class by Christa Watson

Startup Library: Quilting is the comprehensive start-to-finish 6 hour class that was released last summer. It was my 2nd class with them filmed over 5 days.

And if you didn’t hear the news yet – Craftsy is offering a special this week to try out their new subscription service. From March 5-7, 2018 (Monday-Wed THIS week), you can try Craftsy Unlimited for just $1 for 2 weeks.

So click here to take advantage of this special offer and while you’re there, be sure check out my other two classes!

FYI – When you purchase a class “a la cart” under their traditional system, you own it forever. The subscription model allows you access to the entire class catalog as long as you stay subscribed. I think the subscription is a great way to sample classes on a regular basis, and then you can purchase those which you know you’ll want to refer back to time and time again.

The Quilter's Path by Christa Watson

The Quilter’s Path was my first Craftsy class which released just over a year ago. In this class I offer lots of machine quilting instruction and a free pattern to practice on. It’s also where I streamlined my idea of creating a quilting plan for every quilt.

Be sure and catch me on instagram this week @christaquilts where I’ll share daily updates on how Craftsy filming is going. I’m not sure of the release date yet, but it’s usually within a couple of months of filming, so the turnaround time is pretty quick. I’ll keep you posted!!

Quick Craftsy Links

Click here to try out the subscription service for 2 weeks for $1 (Expires 3/7/18)
Click here to preview or purchase Startup Library: Quilting
Click here to preview or purchase The Quilter’s Path

Update: Free Patterns, Basting Tutorial, EQ8 Fabric Swatches, and Modern Marks Inspiration

Whew! It’s been a busy week! While I’ve been having a blast teaching machine quilting this week at Road to California, my fabric has getting out in the quilting world in a big way. I have a roundup of educational tips and tutorials, patterns to share, and loads of inspiration!

Spray Basting Tutorial

While I was teaching, I shared my tips and tricks for preparing your quilt to ensure machine quilting success. One of the most important steps is basting your quilt, so today I’ve shared my method on how to do that over on Amy Smart’s blog at Diary of a Quilter:

Wall Basting Quil Tutorial

Click here to read my spray basting tutorial.

Free Modern Quilt Patterns

Modern by the Yard is Benartex’ free online magazine featuring loads of inspiring patterns with a modern flair. In the current issue you’ll find a fabulous pattern called Confetti designed and made by Sarah Goer featuring Modern Marks. Don’t you love how she used the Jade Crossmarks print as a neutral?

Confetti Quilt Pattern featuring Modern Marks fabric by Christa Watson

Click here to get the current issue of Modern by the Yard. It’s free!

Along with 4 free patterns in the current issue, you can read up on more of the inspiration behind this collection and how it came to be.

Modern Marks Digital images for EQ8 – Free!

Speaking of Modern Marks, I recently collaborated with the folks over at Electric Quilt software to offer downloads of my fabric swatches for you to use in EQ8.

Modern Marks Fabric swatches

Click here to get digital swatches of all 31 Modern Marks fabrics free from EQ8!

You must have Electric Quilt software in order for it to work, but now you can design any quilt you like using my fabric!! And it should work for earlier versions of the program, too.

Guest on Hello My Quilting Friends

I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by Leah Day on the latest episode of her Podcast, “Hello My Quilting Friends”. Leah and I have become great friends over the last few years and her weekly podcasts are so fun to listen to while I sew!

Leah Day Quilting Podcast

Click here to listen to the interview or watch on YouTube.

I share a few behind the scenes stories of my design process and we chat a bit about my latest book. Leah and I recently collaborated on a mini quilt, inspired by one of the patterns from Piece and Quilt with Precuts. Be sure and click here to check it out.

New Fabric Collections from Fall Quilt Market 2017

Finally, here’s a fun video that my friend Debby Brown put together for Annie’s Creative Studio. She interviewed several fabric designers at last year’s fall quilt market, including yours truly. It gives you a peek into the excitement of quilt market along with loads of fabric eye-candy!

Annie's Creative StudioClick here to view the video.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what’s been happening in my world this week. I’ll be back to more quilting next week and I can’t wait!

Christa’s Soap Box – Simplifying Social Media

Social media overwhelms me and I’ve decided it’s time to simplify. Don’t worry – the blog is NOT going anywhere!! But I’ve been contemplating over the last few months about how I spend my time and WHERE to spend my time.

Until yesterday, I’ve been running a bit ragged, trying to keep up with 3 Facebook pages, 2 Instagram accounts, 2 email lists, this blog, and a very weak attempt at Pinterest. Not to mention several business networking groups. I’ve been blogging since 2010 and joined Instagram in 2013, then began adding ever more social media outlets to the lineup to keep up with “the next best thing.”

The result? I’m honestly getting a little burned out. I spend way more time on screens that could be better spent at the sewing machine!

HST Remix Quilt

Because a blog post is more fun to read with pretty pictures, I’ve sprinkled in a few pics of my latest finish – HST Remix . I often have deep thoughts while quilting – it’s very therapeutic!!

What I’m Saying “Yes” to:

So here’s what I’m keeping: the blog, Instagram, and my Facebook group.

What I’m Saying “No” to:

What I’m ditching: my Facebook biz page, personal Facebook updates, two email lists, my business Instagram, and Pinterest (Gasp! Sorry folks, I’m just not a pinner!!)

What I’m NOT going to feel guilty about NOT doing: Twitter, YouTube, Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, Periscope, Snapchat, etc. What I AM going to enjoy: making and sharing what I want, when I want, where I want.

If I make it – and others want it – they will find it.

HST Remix Quilt

Dense machine quilting makes me happy. I’d rather spend more time creating, and less time managing social media.

Since making that decision to simplify only yesterday, I woke up feeling much lighter today. I’ve realized I don’t need to post ALL THE THINGS to ALL THE PLACES, or worry about whether I cross promoted or over-promoted, or forgot to mention the latest and greatest: here, there and everywhere.

I can simplify. I can make. I can share. And I can focus on quality over quantity which better aligns with my minimalist leanings.

You Can Still Follow Me Here

By the way, if you DO want to follow what I’m doing, and keep up with the blog, you can easily subscribe to it. Here’s how:

If you are on a computer, there are two options in the right-hand side bar. (1) You can enter your email underneath where it says “follow my blog!” and you’ll get an email each time a post is published. Or (2) scroll down a bit further and click the button that says “follow me on bloglovin.”

HST Remix

This is HST Remix, one of my QuiltCon entries. Whether it gets accepted to the show or not, I enjoyed every stitch of this huge 90″ x 90″ quilt! It was made entirely on my home sewing machine.

If you are reading this from your mobile device, it’s a bit trickier to find the signup box. You’ll have to scroll way, way, down, like past a million blog posts until you get to all the “stuff” at the bottom of the screen. Then you’ll see the box to enter your email, or the Bloglovin button. But they are there if you persevere!

Whew – that felt so good to get it off my chest!! I’ll post again when there’s something more to say or show. Now it’s time to start on the next quilt….

Meet Me at Market! (2017 International Quilt Market Schedule)

I’ll be a busy bee at quilt market next week (which takes place each fall in Houston, Texas, and various locations in the spring). Scroll down for my schedule of events including demos and book signings. I’ll be there primarily to promote my new book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts along with my new fabric, Modern Marks.

Christa at Quilt Market 2015

I have great memories of quilt market. My first time attending as an author was in 2015 when I introduced my first book, Machine Quilting with Style. I’ve come a long way since then!

If you plan to attend, I’d love to meet up and chat! If your favorite quilt shop is going – be sure to share this info with them and send them my way!


Friday, October 27 Schoolhouse

  • Martingale Room 381B 1:55 – 2:25pm – Quilts from My New Book
  • Benartex Room 352F 3:45-4:15 – Quilts Made from Modern Marks

Saturday, October 28

  • All Day – Benartex/Contempo booth
  • 1:30 PM – Aurifil Booth – Machine Quilting Demo
  • 2:30 PM – BERNINA, booth 628 – Quilt Demo/Book Signing

Sunday, October 29

  • All Day – Benartex/Contempo booth
  • 3 PM – Hobbs Batting, booth 200 – Book Signing

Monday, October 30

  • All Day – Benartex/Contempo booth
  • 10-10:30 AM – Brewer booth 734 – Book Signing
  • 12-12:30 PM – Demo Alley – Make a Quilting Plan
  • 1-2:30 PM – Demo Alley – Hand Binding Made Easy

Angela Walters and I introduced our book The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting at Spring Quilt Market in 2016. At the time this was my 2nd book, and her 7th!!

International Quilt Market is just open to the trade which means quilt shop owners, designers, and anyone in business in the quilting industry is allowed to attend with the proper credentials (usually an invoice, legitimate business card and web site or store presence.)

Schoolhouse at Market

Another great market memory – Stephanie Palmer, Leah Day and I shared a informal teaching session at quilt market in the fall of 2016. We talked about getting your work published. Leah recorded it for the launch of her very first podcast which you can listen to here.

Thank goodness for the internet and instagram, you can catch the fun virtually even if you can’t attend. Follow the hashtags #quiltmarket #fallquiltmarket, #quiltmarket2017 to stay in the loop! I’m on instagram @christaquilts so be sure to follow me there so you don’t miss a thing!

Leave a comment below if you will be attending. I’d love to see you there!

Christa Watson Quilt Market









I’m Now on Pinterest!

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been slowly adding more social media channels to my network. Some I’ve enjoyed immensely, others not so much. I started off with my blog way back in 2010, tried Flickr for awhile before everyone abandoned it for Instagram. I got serious about my email newsletter in 2013, then joined the Instagram bandwagon in 2014. I added Facebook in 2015 and then did a short-lived stint on Periscope in 2016. Now in 2017 my goal is to tackle Pinterest.

Christa Quilts on Pinterest

Since I’m new to the game, I don’t have a ton of followers yet, but If you’d like to follow me on Pinterest, click here. I’d love to have you!

Although I enjoy social media, each time I add something new, it’s a huge learning curve for me. But, since LEARN is my word for 2017, I’m embracing the process! if you are a regular Pinterest user, please leave me a comment letting me know how you use it, or any tips you’d like to share.




My Word for 2017 – Learn

My 2016 word of the year was ‘Relax.’ I’m not really sure how well I accomplished it, since I’m a self-professed workaholic. But, because my work and my hobby is one and the same, I could kind of fudge it since quilting really is a relaxing thing for me to do! For 2017 I have a lot of big goals on the horizon I want to accomplish. And they all revolve around one big word:


I need to learn how to design on the computer using adobe illustrator. There are some big projects I want to tackle next year that will require this skill. I’ve enrolled in a couple of online courses (Intro to Surface Pattern Design by Bonnie Christine on Skillshare and one from Alma Loveland on Atly.) Plus I just found out my library supports a free Lynda.com subscription so I’ll definitely put that to good use!


The first thing I learned to draw in Illustrator was these raindrops, which was pretty fun. I have a LONG way to go, but I’m tackling it one day at a time. Follow me on instagram @christaquilts to watch my progress unfold as I practice for about 15-30 min. each day.

I also want to learn how to better manage my time. (I’ve already starting putting one thing into practice regarding time management, saying  more “no” and less “yes!”) I’ve also begun using Toodledo – a computer and phone app that is basically a glorified to do list. I’m getting in the habit of writing everything down I need to do and breaking it into smaller steps. It’s sort of the same process that David Allen advocates in his best selling book Getting Things Done.


Jason wants to learn how to shoot and edit YouTube videos so we can start offering short video tutorials to help enhance my books, patterns and classes. He’s added a few  technical books to his library, including the one he’s studying right now, The DSLR Filmmaker’s Handbook.

Learning a new skill requires practice and patience and lots of extra time. It will require us to be efficient so we can squeeze our study time into our otherwise busy schedules. (It reminds me of when we were young newlyweds in college, but that’s another story for another day!) Rest assured, if and when our independent studies turn into something tangible, you’ll be the first to know! 🙂

If you have a word for the year, or a big goal you’d like to accomplish, please leave me a comment. I’d love to know what it is. Here’s to a fantastic 2017!


Book Publishing Q & A

Recently at Fall Quilt Market, I participated in a presentation with Leah Day and Stephanie Palmer about getting our work published. Several of you who could not attend were interesting in getting access to the information we shared. Guess what? Leah recorded our presentation and turned it into a podcast over on her website at LeahDay.com.


Stephanie, Leah and Christa having too much fun at Quilt Market Schoolhouse

To listen, just click the play button at the top of her page. She’s also included a written transcript if you want to follow along. The sound quality isn’t super great because of the room we were in, and I talk VERY fast. But it’s full of great info if you are interested in learning more.

And the best part is, Leah is planning on podcasting on a regular basis. I can’t wait to listen to the next one!


Click here to listen to Hello My Quilting Friends, Leah’s New Podcast.


My Aurifil Thread Collections are Now Available

One of the biggest reasons for going to quilt market this year was to launch my Piece and Quilt Thread Collection for Aurifil. This has been a dream of mine a couple of yeas in the making and it feels so great to finally share them with the world!

Christa and Aurifil CBDO Alex Veronelli at Fall Quilt Market 2016

I first began using Aurifil 50 weight cotton back in 2013 after trying out numerous brands, thread weights, and fiber contents. After making dozens of quilts for publication and for family and friends, I can definitely say these threads are prefect for everything I do: piecing, machine quilting, machine applique, and binding.

My favorite thing about sticking with the 50 weight cotton for everything, is that I always have the right color on hand. Plus, any leftover bobbins from machine quilting can get used up when I piece my next scrappy quilt!

The Piece and Quilt Collection comes in both Colors and Neutrals and I really took my time choosing them. I wanted to make sure I offered enough variety that you could literally piece and quilt any quilt with just these two collections:

Piece and Quilt Colors Include:

2425 Bright Pink
2250 Red
4020 Fuchsia
2520 Violet
2130 Medium Butter
1133 Bright Orange
2920 Light Brass
2884 Green Yellow
2886 Light Avocado
1148 Light Jade
2725 Light Wedgewood
2783 Medium Delft Blue



Piece and Quilt Neutrals Include:

2311 Muslin
5021 Bamboo
1246 Dark Grey
5007 Light Grey Blue
2326 Sand
2372 Dark Antique Gold (Brown)
2315 Pale Flesh
2405 Oyster
2024 White
2615 Aluminium
2605 Grey
4241 Very Dark Grey

Color selection tips:

  1. When you don’t have an exact match, go a shade or two lighter with your thread. A lighter thread on a darker fabric will blend in better than a darker thread on a lighter fabric.
  2. Use very dark grey instead of black on black fabrics so you can see the texture of the thread rather than having it disappear.
  3. Use the darker neutrals when piecing dark or very highly saturated fabrics.
  4. Try out the lighter neutrals like oyster and bamboo (in addition to white and muslin) when piecing lighter to medium colored fabrics.


Ask for my Piece and Quilt Collection at your favorite quilt shop, or get them directly from me at ThePrecutStore.com. I look forward to seeing what you make with them!

Modern Sewciety Podcast Interview and Podcast List

Be sure to catch my interview with Stephanie from the Modern Sewciety Podcast episode 92. Stephanie and I have gotten to be great friends ever since I began listening to her podcast (and proclaimed myself her #1 fan!) This is actually the 3rd time I’ve been on her show (click here for the 1st interview on episode 37 and click here for the second on episode 77).

I think it was our most fun chat yet. Of course we talked about the new book and business type stuff, but we also had a fun discussion about Quilt Market and QuiltCon, too. And you know – mom stuff and not always being in the season of life where we can do what we want!!


Stephanie threw in a fun little segment at the end, asking about some of my favorite podcasts since she knows I’m an avid podcast listener. I only mentioned about 5-6 of them in the interview so I thought I’d share links to all of the podcasts I’m currently listening to.

Quilting, Sewing and Creative Podcasts

In no particular order, these are the creative podcasts I’m currently listening to. Click each link to be taken to the podcast home page or host’s blog. These are all currently running with consistently released episodes.

Business Podcasts

Some podcasts overlap as they talk both about creativity and business, but I really like these ones below for business tips and advice. Click the links to learn more.

Additional Podcast Lists

My podcast list changes depending on my mood and whether or not a podcast is still current or not. For more recommendations, click this link for last summer’s podcast list.

Also check out Nonnie’s Quilting Dreams extensive podcast list for more fun listening!


This is me on any given day in my studio: sewing and listening to podcasts!

If you know of any other fun podcasts I’ve missed, please let me and my readers know about them in the comments below!

My Spring 2016 Quilt Market Schedule

I’m so excited to attend Quilt Market in Salt Lake City, Utah this weekend. This is the twice-yearly trade show for the quilting industry. Even though it’s not open to the public, you can still feel like you are part of the action by following along via social media.

Quilt Market 2016

I will be attending to help promote my new book, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting with co-author Angela Walters. Our publisher, Martingale/That Patchwork Place has scheduled 3 fun events for us. If you happen to go, please come by and say hi!

On Thursday, Angela and I will present a schoolhouse session for our new book at 4:40 PM in room 255A. We will be going on just before the Moda All-stars book debut so I’m kinda hoping we’ll capture some of the audience who wants to come in early for a great seat! 😉

Quilt Marke 2016

On Friday, May 20th at 11 AM in Martingale’s booth 422, Angela and I will be doing a fun Q&A session. We will answer your most pressing machine quilting sessions and may even show you how we sketch out our designs on paper ahead of time.

Machine Quilting



Finally, on Saturday, May 21 we’ll cap off the weekend with two live machine quilting events. At 10 AM we’ll be at the Handi Quilter booth and at 1 PM we’ll be at the BERNINA booth, showing how we actually machine quilt in person! We will also have a booksigning at each event, for the first 50 people in line – so be sure to arrive early!!

The rest of the time, I’ll be hanging out with Jason, purchasing new products for The Precut Store. It’s always exciting to see what’s new!

The Precut Store

If you can’t attend, be sure to follow me on Instagram at @christaquilts and @theprecutstore!