My Feature in Quiltfolk Magazine: Nevada Issue 15

I love reading quilt magazines that are more than just a bunch of patterns. So when QuiltFolk debuted in 2016 it was a no-brainer for me to get a subscription and I’ve enjoyed every issue since then!

Imagine my pleasant surprise when editor in chief Mary Fons called me up earlier this year (before the world went a little haywire) and asked if she could feature me as one of the stories in their Nevada issue which published earlier this month.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, this amazing magazine tells stories about quilters all over the country, region by region. I was wondering when they would get to Nevada, and it was interesting read about the experience from Mary’s perspective on her Paper Girl blog here:

  1. Part 1 of Mary’s Crazy trip to Vegas
  2. Part 2 of Mary’s Crazy trip  to Vegas

The original Charming Chevrons making its second magazine appearance.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. I do actually know Mary quite well as she used to be editor-in-chief of the now defunct Quilty magazine, in which my first ever published pattern (the first iteration of Charming Chevrons) appeared on the cover back in 2013. I’ve kept in touch with her over the years and it was so wonderful to actually have her in my home before she came for a visit, back in March, literally, the day before everything here shut down (talk about timing!!)

Jason’s first (and probably last) magazine appearance!!

So the issue was extra special for me since they included a pic of me and Jason in what I lovingly now call “the fabric room.” (Anyone who knows him knows that he prefers to stay AWAY from the limelight as much as possible). We chatted about quilts and things, my new home, and a little bit of my regret that quilting has taken over soo much of my life that other hobbies (like running) have taken a back seat.

Jason took this action shot of me chatting with the QuiltFolk team in my studio!!!

But it was fun to be photographed as Mary and her team poured over my quilts and artfully took pics of them around my home. Mary even told me “thanks for having so many quilts here – that makes my job easy!!”

Of course there are some other amazing stories as well and it was fun to see that every other person or group they mentioned from Las Vegas is actually someone I know. I’m a member of the guilds that are mentioned in the magazine, and I’ve taught for both of the quilt shops featured in the issue as well. If you look closely, there’s also a closeup shot of my quilts included in the article about The Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild on page 130.

Closeups of my “Vegas” Themed Quilts

I specially loved reading the stories about Nevada quilters I didn’t know about in northern Nevada, since they like to cover the entire state as much as possible.

If you’d like to get your hands on this issue or any other, you can check them out here. Fortunately QuiltFolk sent me an extra copy for publicity so I’d like to share that with you. One lucky US winner can win a copy of the magazine (or should I say journal is it’s quite heft for a quilting magazine. It’s more like a book)!

One of the feature photos they took with the updated Charming Chevrons behind me.

Just leave a comment telling me which state you’d love to visit to learn more about their quilting history. I’ll select one winner at random a week from now so be sure to comment by the end of the day on Thursday, August 6, 2020. I’ll notify the winner via email, sign the copy where my article is, and ship it directly to you!!

Bling Quilt Along Part 2: Sewing the Quilt Top

How are your Bling quilt blocks coming along? Be sure to see the end of this post for links to the introductory post and QAL schedule if you are just getting started!

Bling Blocks

I love a stack of freshly pressed blocks!!

If you are following along and arranging the blocks as shown on the pattern cover, you’ll want to sew your sets of bling blocks into 4’s like my pics below.

Geo Pop Bling

Geo Pop Bling blocks with Op Squares white background

At this point, don’t worry where each fabric goes. I think it’s more fun to let the blocks be random than trying to overthink it too much.

Geo Pop BlingGeo Pop Bling blocks with Tiny Hex Black background

In the Bling quilt pattern, I’ve given 4 more layout ideas for you to explore if you wish. There are plenty more iterations you can try depending on how much you rotate each block!

Bling Alternate layouts

Sewing “Homework”

Your homework this week is to finish your blocks and sew them into larger groupings of 2’s or 4’s, then sew those into rows. If you get that far and are feeling gung ho – go ahead and finish up your “flimsy” (aka unquilted top).

Bling Quilt Top in Progress

In the versions above and below, I’ve sewn my blocks into random groups of four according to the orientation on the front pattern cover. I’m using my design wall to lay out the larger blocks into a pleasing arrangement.

Black Bling Blocks

Bonus Tips!

I try to speed things up as efficiently as I can. I’ll chain piece by sewing pairs of blocks together without clipping threads in between, and I give myself plenty of room to work. I’ll also take a pic of my final layout with my phone so I can refer to it as I sew each row.

Bling Blocks in progress

I’m enjoying see the progress of those who share on instagram (#blingquilt) and in my ChristaQuilts facebook group!

Helpful Links

New Quilt Patterns: Buy 2, Get 1 Free (Charming Chevrons and Modern Logs)

Today I’m thrilled to be reintroducing 2 of my most popular patterns ever – Modern Logs and Charming Chevrons. These were 2 of the first patterns I ever released and I always knew I’d remake them once I had my own fabric lines.

Charming Chevrons Modern Logs by Christa Watson

Both quilts use an equal number of light/dark fabrics, so when I designed Good Vibes with its saturated/low volume combo, they were very much top of mind! Both quilt patterns come in multiple sizes, and they are conveniently made from precuts so it’s easy to get the fun, scrappy look I like without breaking the bank.

Charming Chevrons – made from 5″ or 10″ squares

The biggest change with my Charming Chevrons remake is that you can now make them from charm packs OR layer cakes! There are a few different layouts to choose from, and 4 different sizes.

The lap size shown below is made from 4 Good Vibes charm packs (5×5 squares) plus 1/2 yard of the Gumballs print in coral for the binding.

Charming Chevrons

The twin size shown below is made from 2 Good Vibes layer cakes (10×10 squares) plus 3/4 yard of the Gumballs print in Turquoise for the binding.

Charming Chevrons

The pattern even includes machine quilting diagrams and detailed pics for BOTH layouts!! I dislike it when a pattern says “quilt as desired” so I will always include machine quilting suggestions in my patterns. After all, I want you to actually finish your quilt! 🙂

Modern Logs – made from Fat Quarters

I updated Modern Logs pattern so that it works perfectly with a 20 fat quarters where half are light and half are dark, and leftovers are used for the binding.

For the throw size below, I used 2 Good Vibes fat quarter bundles.My improv technique works best with actual fat quarters, rather than 1/2 yard cuts. This means you can go as scrappy as you like and it will look fabulous!!

Modern Logs Quilt

After teaching this pattern for many years, I updated the instructions and images so that you can make use of any leftover odd bits in your blocks. I call these blocks – “super” improv. Can you spot a few of them above?

I also include a simple stippling diagram and quilting details so you can get this quilt finished in a flash!

Here’s How to Buy 2 – Get 1 Free

I offer both of these patterns either as printed patterns that I can mail, or PDFs that you can download instantly. When you add both to your cart and select a third pattern, you’ll get that one for free!

To purchase the paper version from me:
Click here to add 3 or more patterns to your cart.
Use code PATTERN at checkout. Click + to apply the discount to your order.

To purchase the PDFs on Etsy:
Click this special link and add 3 patterns to your cart.
The discount is automatically applied.

Here are the full pattern covers below so you can start planning which prints you’d like to use. Click the images below to enlarge:

CharmingChevrons cover spreadModern Logs cover spread

Be sure and tag me on social media @christaquilts so I can see your progress. Use #charmingchevronsquilt and #modernlogsquilt.

I sure hope you enjoy making these quilts as much as I did!!

Bling Quilt Along Part 1: Cutting and Sewing the Blocks

It’s Bling quilt along time – whoo hoo!! This quilt is so fun and fast to make you’ll want to sew more than 1! We will move through this quilt along quickly – but just remember, these posts will stay up indefinitely, so you can refer back to them anytime.

Bling Quilts with Geo Pop

Bling on display in my Geo Pop quilt market booth a few seasons ago.

Whether you want to follow along and make this quilt IRL (in real life) or just virtually in your head, I’m excited to share tips and tricks over the next 5 weeks that will help you make better quilts, no matter which quilt pattern you are sewing. So let’s get started!!!

Bling Cutting Options

Geo Pop fabric for Bling quilt by Christa Watson of Christa Quilts

Above is all of the cut units for Bling made from Geo Pop with Tiny Hex black background.

Start by cutting your fat quarters into subunits as listed in the Bling quilt pattern on page 2. I’m making the twin size, but follow along by cutting the number of units as indicate for your size (lap, twin, queen).

Below is all of the cut units for Bling made from Geo Pop with Op Squares white background.

Geo Pop Fabric for Bling Quilt by Christa Watson

You can use all of the same background fabric as shown in my pictures above, or you can go scrappy if you wish (see other color ideas here). Just remember to cut out the correct number of total pieces as listed in the pattern for your size.

Bling in Good Vibes

For example, if you want a scrappy background version shown above, you can cut out each block background from a different low volume print. In my example, I used half yard bundles of Good Vibes in low volume and saturated prints to get this look, but you could use up lots of scraps this way, too.

Be sure to pair up the “legs” of your block units if you want them to match (but they certainly don’t have to). You can even mix up the backgrounds within each block to go “super” scrappy, too. Just remember – the choice is up to you because you are the boss of your quilt!

Thread Options

I prefer to sew with a shorter stitch length (2.0 instead of 2.5) and press ALL seams open so my blocks lie nice and flat. Sewing with a shorter stitch also prevents the seams from splitting open, and it makes it harder to see the thread in between the seams.

Aurifil Thread and Geo Pop fabric

I used up lots of leftover thread in making these quilts. I prefer to piece and quilt with Aurifil 50 weight cotton, and I used up lots of leftover bobbins since this was such a colorful quilt!

I used lighter colored piecing threads for the version with the white background, and darker threads for the version with the black background. Aurifil Thread and Geo Pop Fabric

Whenever I’m making a scrappy, colorful quilt, I’l try to use up as many spools as possible that just have a little bit of thread left on them.  Who says you have to use the same exact color of thread throughout? I love finishing up a spool of thread – don’t you??

Block Sewing Options

Follow the pattern instructions on pages 2-3 to create the basic Bling block below. I recommend sewing one block first, to make sure it turns out correctly, then chain piecing a whole bunch of units at once for speed and efficiency.

Bling Block

The fun part about making this block is mixing up the different fabric combinations. There’s no right or wrong way to pair them up. Just go for it and don’t over think it!!

Below is the back side of one of my blocks with those nice flat seams. This will make quilting sooooooo much easier, because the quilt top will be smooth and flat in the end.

Bling Block White

If you’d like to be a bit adventurous, here are a couple of bonus ideas on how you can sew your block units:

In the option below, I’ve rotated the position of the rectangle units.

Geo Pop Bling

Here’s what the blocks above will look like (in the white version) if you repeat this option throughout the entire quilt. The math and number of blocks is all the same, but what a huge variation one small change will create!!

Bling Alternate Blocks

Here’s another option to try: go super scrappy by using 3 prints in each block, rather than 2. Again, there’s not much thinking involved in this change.

Sew all of the rectangle units first (see the Bling pattern, page 2) and then decide if you want to make coordinating or super scrappy blocks. Or maybe a mix of both!

Geo Pop Bling

You can also try the other extreme: using all of the same print for the main part of the block!

Isn’t it fun to have choices????

Bling block same fabric

Whichever way you choose to sew your blocks – they will look fabulous!

Homework: Sew all of the Bling Blocks

Quilty “homework” is the best kind of homework!! Now that you have several options to try, work on sewing all of your Bling blocks this week. Don’t worry if you fall behind – just work on a few blocks a day, and you’ll have them done in no time!

Bling Blocks

Remember, I’m here to help and cheer you on – even after the quilt along is over. Check out the resources below to help enhance your quilt along experience:

Additional Resources

Bling Quilt Along Supply List and Schedule

It’s time for another quilt along – whoo hoo! Be sure to head over to my Quilt Along page for links to any of the quilt alongs you may have missed in the past! Who’s ready to make Bling with me???

Click here to get the optional Bling Quilt Kit while supplies last.

Bling Quilt - Geo Pop Fabric by Christa Watson

You can make this fun colorful quilt using 20 fat quarters + 4 yards of background fabric. Make it with a rich black background as shown above, or a crisp white as shown below. For other fun color combos – check out my Bling Color Inspiration post.

Bling Quilt with Geo Pop fabric by Christa Watson

All you need to join this quilt along is a copy of the quilt pattern and a can-do attitude! I will be showing how to make the Twin size in this quilt along, but you can make any of the sizes listed in the quilt pattern.

Bling Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson

Bling Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson

QUILT ALONG SCHEDULE

The links below will go live as each part is posted. Bookmark this page and refer back to the schedule anytime in the future to work on this quilt at your own pace. The first part – cutting will begin next week on Monday, July 20th, so gather your supplies and get ready to sew!

 

Quilt in Progress on Design Wall

Share Your Work

If you’d like to share your progress, and get extra help from me and other quilt along enthusiasts, be sure to join my ChristaQuilts Facebook Group. It’s a great way to stay motivated! In fact, once you gather your supplies, be sure to share pics of the fabrics you’ll be working with. The best part of any quilt along is seeing how varied all of the quilts turn out to be!

So who’s in??? All you have to do is follow right here on the blog each week as I post the next step. I’ve even got a few videos of the machine quilting when we get to that part – I can’t wait!

Bling Quilt Along Color Inspiration

I’m always excited when I can host a quilt along featuring easy to choose fabrics. For my Bling quilt, all you need is 20 fat quarters and 4 yards of contrasting background fabric. Today I’m excited to share with you lots of different color options in order to prepare for our next quilt along which begins on Monday, July 20!

Original Bling

Bling Quilt by Christa Watson

My first version of Bling made from Fandangle won a ribbon at a local quilt show! 

The key to a successful color combo seen in all the quilts I’m sharing today lies in the variation between the colorful prints in the blocks and the contrasting background fabrics. Be sure to take note of which colorings you like and choose similar fabrics, or grab a kit or fabric bundle to make any of the options shown here.

Geo Pop Bling

When my Geo Pop fabric line came out, I knew I wanted to offer Bling quilt kits to show how well these fabrics would pop wether you paired them up with bright white or dark black.

Bling Quilts with Geo Pop

Click here to get the Geo Pop Bling quilt kit with your choice of black or white background.

Whenever I release a new line of fabric, it’s always fun to recolor my patterns digitally to give lots more color options. Here are some other colorways I would love to make whenever I get the chance:

Abstract Garden Bling

The bright pastels of Abstract Garden pair nicely with Tiny Hex black print from Geo Pop or the Square Grid black print from Gridwork. I just love it when my fabrics can work well together!!

Bling Quilt Abstract Garden

Click here to get the Abstract Garden fat quarter bundle to make this version of Bling.

Good Vibes Bling with Gray

And of course I couldn’t wait to recolor bling in my newest fabric line, Good Vibes. This one was a fun challenge since the collection features an equal amount of lights and darks. But thank goodness for EQ8 so that changing colors only took a few clicks!!

Bling in Good Vibes

In the color option above, I’ve paired a Good Vibes fat quarter bundle with 4 yards of Hourglass Gray from Gridwork. In this example, the gray background works better than black or white because of the variation of light and dark prints in the Good Vibes collection. I also love it when I can use the leftovers to make a scrappy binding!

Good Vibes Scrappy Bling

I’m so thrilled that the math STILL works if you want to go super scrappy, too. For the version below, you can grab Good Vibes 1/2 yards Saturated for the blocks/binding, and Good Vibes 1/2 yards Low Volume for the background.Bling in Good Vibes

Click here to grab the Good Vibes Low Volume Bundle.
Click here to grab the Good Vibes Saturated Bundle.

You’ll have about a yard leftover if you choose the scrappy option, but you can always throw that on the back of your quilt, or save your scraps for another project.

Click here for the Bling Quilt Along.

Machine Quilting Tutorial: How to Quilt a Continuous Spiral (Optical Illusion Quilt Along Part 5)

I love it whenever we get to the machine quilting part of any quilt along! In case you missed it, click here to view all previous Optical Illusion Quilt Along posts. Today, I’m showing how to quilt the continuous spiral design.

Machine Quilting Continuous Spirals

Above is a sample I made for my in-person quilting classes. Notice that I used a blending thread so that you don’t see the imperfections.

Below is the sample I quilted for you on video this week so you can see how the process works. I quilted with black thread on white fabric which shows ALLL the imperfections, LOL!!

Machine Quilting Continuous Spirals

For my Optical Illusion quilt, I used a black/white thread from my Aurifil Variegated thread collection.  I love using 50 weight cotton thread for both piecing and quilting, because I’m able to use any leftover bobbins when piecing my next quilt!

Christa Quilts Variegated Thread

Click here to get my Aurifil Variegated Thread collection

Spiral Quilting Video Tutorial

Click the image below to watch my spiral quilting video tutorial on my YouTube channel. It’s just over 9 minutes long and will demo how to quilt the basic spiral.

If you’d like to learn how to quilt additional spirals, be sure to grab a copy of my machine quilting books.

In my first book, Machine Quilting with Style, I show how to do the basic spiral, plus a wonky spiral variation. Then I expand on that with overlapping spirals in The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting. Finally, I teach how to quilt a continuous square spiral in my third book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts.

Get My Books on Sale – Just $19.95 Each

Machine Quilting Books by Christa Watson

Click here to get my books on sale for just $19.95 each, while supplies last.

All 3 of my books are currently on sale for just now on sale for just $19.95 each until they sell out!
So grab 1 (or all 3) today! And who knows – you may find a completely different design you want to quilt on your version of Optical Illusion.

Optical Illusion Detail

Optical Illusion Quilt Detail

Optical Illusion Quilt

Remember to share your version of Optical Illusion in my ChristaQuilts Group on facebook. I love seeing everyone’s progress and the variations with all the different fabric colors are amazing!!

FOR MORE ABOUT THIS QUILT ALONG

Preorder Good Vibes Paper Quilt Patterns: Buy 2, Get 1 Free

I am so excited about my two newest patterns, Charming Chevrons and Modern Logs. I’ll be doing quilt alongs for both later this year, and I can’t wait!!

Charming Chevrons by Christa Watson

Lap-size Charming Chevrons in Good Vibes fabric by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo Studio

The lap and throw sizes of Charming Chevrons are made from 5″ charm packs. (The thinking is done—so you just relax and sew!) This design has a lot of movement for great visual interest.

Charming Chevrons by Christa Watson

Twin-size Charming Chevrons in Good Vibes fabric by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo Studio

The larger sizes of Charming Chevrons (twin and king) are made from 10″ precut squares, also called Layer Cakes or Ten by Tens.

Watch for Good Vibes 5×5 and 10×10 packs coming in July!

Right now, I’m taking pre-orders for the paper patterns of Charming Chevrons and Modern Logs, and I have a special offer for you. Please read on!

Charming Chevrons by Christa Watson

The cover quilts were made with my new Good Vibes line for Benartex Contempo Studio. I’m really pleased by the interplay of the modern low-volumes and the saturated bright prints. It’s just the look I was after! More thoughts on Good Vibes coming soon.

Click here to browse Good Vibes modern prints. 

All of my patterns include step-by-step instructions and machine quilting suggestions so you’re never stumped when it’s time to finish. We have it covered!

Choose from four handy sizes in Charming Chevrons: Lap, Throw, Twin or King! See the pattern’s back cover below for the dimensions.

Charming Chevrons by Christa Watson

Maybe you have some charm packs around just waiting for the right project. Or have you been looking for the perfect quilt to use a special layer cake? Look no further than Charming Chevrons!

Maybe Modern Logs will suit your fancy! It’s made from 1, 2 or 3 fat quarter bundles, depending on the size you want to make. The pattern gives instructions for making crib, throw and queen sizes, but the improvisational technique means you can adjust the size of your quilt by making more or fewer blocks. That’s a great design bonus!

Click here to get Good Vibes fat quarter bundles.

Modern Logs by Christa Watson

Maybe you’d want to get some Good Vibes and then supplement from your stash for a unique project that’s totally you! You can go with a coordinated look or be super scrappy. I think you’ll really have fun with the improv nature of these blocks!

Modern Logs Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson

I’m putting the finishing touches on both of these quilts now and I can’t wait to share them with you!

Seeing your excitement when you like my fabric or fall in love with a quilt design is a real boost for me. And I always meet some wonderful people during a quilt along, so I’m really looking forward to that, too!

Modern Logs by Christa Watson

Remember…

  • Patterns include multiple sizes
  • Step-by-step easy to follow instructions
  • Machine quilting suggestions
  • A great deal when you preorder!
  • I’ll host Quilt Alongs for both designs later this year.

I’m offering a special preorder bargain through the end of June for paper patterns of Charming Chevrons and Modern Logs. Buy two, get one free! Here’s how it works:

.   

Use code PATTERN to get a free paper pattern of your choice when you preorder both Modern Logs and Charming Chevrons paper patterns. Add three patterns to your cart, enter the code in the coupon box and then remember to hit the + to make sure the discount is applied. Offer expires end of day June 30, 2020. 

Thanks so much for being here!

How to Prepare Your Quilt Backing, Batting and Basting – Optical Illusion Quilt Along Part 4

Welcome to Part 4 of the Optical Illusion Quilt Along! You’ve made it through the piecing, so congratulations! Now we come to what may not be your favorite part of the process: prepping the backing and batting, and basting the layers together in preparation for quilting.

Above is one of the alternate colorways for Optical Illusion. You can make something similar with red, light blue, and white fabric from my online shop.

But if you’ll let me guide you through the next steps, I’ll share some tips to make it less painful and move you along to the quilting that much sooner.

Prep the Batting

The most important step in basting a quilt is to ensure that the batting and backing are several inches larger than the quilt top all the way around.

If you look at the back of the pattern, you’ll see that for the batting size, I have added 6″ to the length and width of the quilt top. For example, the lap-size top is 45″ x 66″. The batting needed is 51″ (45″ + 6″) x 72″ (66″ + 6″).

Example of measuring batting from a previous Quilt Along:

The batting should be several inches larger than the quilt top all the way around.

Click here for the Block Chain Quilt Along shown above.

For me, the easiest way to measure the batting is to buy a roll of it, then unroll it across the width of the quilt top and roughly trim off the amount I will need. In the photo above, I’m using Hobbs Tuscany cotton/wool batting which is one of my favorites.

It’s 90″ wide and folded double on the bolt. So after I trim off a chunk from the bolt, I’ll lay the quilt top out and trim off several inches from the top of the batting. I save those chunks to make practice quilt sandwiches later.

Prep the Backing

I used Geo Pop Tiny Hex in black for the backing. Get Geo Pop Tiny Hex for your backing. 

Geo Pop Tiny Hex in black by Christa Quilts for Benartex/Contempo

Piece your backing so that it is a few inches larger than the batting size given on the back of the pattern.

For example, for the lap size, I would cut my three yard piece of backing fabric in half crosswise. This gives me two pieces about 40″ x 54″. I need backing a bit larger than 51″ x 72″.

Backing, pieced horizontally.

I’ll sew the two pieces together for a backing that’s roughly 54″ x 80″. The seam will be horizontal across the quilt.

Now you are ready to baste!

Basting the Layers: Quick Overview

I baste using my design wall and 505 basting spray. I make sure my batting and batting are bigger than my quilt top and I trim away some of excess after it’s been basted. I spray the top and backing outside separately, then assemble all the layers on my design wall, taking care to smooth each layer as I go.

Once everything looks nice and flat, I’ll roughly trim the edges so that only and inch or two remain around all 4 sides. I cut off as much extra as I can to prevent it from tucking under the back and quilting the quilt to itself!!

The final basting step is to iron the quilt on both sides to set the glue and smooth everything out one final time.

I didn’t have a chance to take pictures of this process while making Optical Illusion, but here are links and tips from previous quilt alongs.

I spray outdoors but assemble the layers indoors.

Click here for a step-by-step photo tutorial of how I spray baste my quilts.

If you’d prefer a video, watch my video quilt basting tutorial instead. The video below was made as part of my Infrastructure Quilt Along.

See the same process on my Color Weave quilt. I love sharing a  few different photos and tips, which sometimes helps!

And if you have any more specific questions, you can alway post pics and ask questions in my Christa Quilts Facebook Group!

Next week I’ll include a video showing spiral walking foot quilting practice to get you ready for the most fun part of making this quilt!! I can’t wait!!

Optical Illusion Detail

Spiral Quilting on Optical Illusion can be done with a Walking Foot or Dual Feed system.

For More about this quilt along

How to Sew Optical Illusion Quilt Top – Quilt Along Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of the Optical Illusion Quilt Along! I hope you are enjoying your fabric choices and feel confident in your cutting and sewing skills. Now I’m excited for you to start sewing the quilt top. It’s easy and fun!

Do you need a kit? The black, white and gray version is still available!
(Pattern is included with the kit.)
Do you need the pattern?
Get the paper pattern. 
Get the pattern instantly as a pdf.

If you haven’t already, please go through your pattern and highlight or circle the number of units to make for your size on pages 3 and 4. You’ll be so glad you did. 

Begin with Step 1 on page 3 of your Optical Illusion pattern. Remember to sew with the gray on top for each sashed square. If you do, you’ll automatically alternate the direction in which you’re sewing, which helps prevent your strips from warping.

I press all of the seams open on this quilt. Whether you press seams open, to the side or toward a specific fabric is up to you. The seams don’t have to match up with anything, which is one of my favorite things about this design.

Continue with each Step as given in the pattern, referring carefully to the diagrams in the pattern for each unit. I use sticky notes to label each little pile of units as I finish them.

Optical Illusion Quilt Detail

Get the quilt kit for Optical Illusion. while supplies last!

When you’ve completed all the Steps, move on to Sewing the Rows on page 5.

Sewing the Rows

As I am making the rows, I keep them oriented horizontally so they match the diagrams. Be sure and notice that there are different diagrams for the Lap Size than for the Twin and Queen size. It will help to circle the diagram for your size!

Label the rows with their letters to help you stay organized. 

When your rows are finished, give yourself a high five!! Great job!

Quilt Top Assembly

Moving on to Quilt Top Assembly: In last week’s post, I mentioned alternating your sewing direction by keeping the long skinny strips on top. This will be helpful as you assemble the top.

The layout diagram below is included in the pattern. Refer to pages 6 and 7 of the pattern for more info as you assemble, including a method for trimming. Use your design wall to stay organized, or snap a quick picture on your phone for a helpful reference point as you progress.

Optical Illusion LayoutI pin generously during this process. I match and pin at each end, at the middle and at several points between. Remember to sew with the skinny strip on top each time so that your sewing direction will automatically alternate.

TIP: If you have a row or a sashing strip that is longer than its neighbors, sew with the longer strip on the bottom, next to the feed dogs. This helps to ease in the fullness.

Press the quilt top gently to wrap up the piecing.

SEW A VICTORY LAP!

When the quilt top is complete, you’ll want to “stay-stitch” the edges by sewing across the top and bottom of the quilt. Do this about 1/8″ away from the edge on the top and the bottom so it will be hidden when you add the binding. Just a note: When you make a quilt with borders, you can skip this step since the borders will stabilize the edges instead.

Congratulations! Your Piecing is complete.

Next week we’ll cover how to prepare your backing and batting, and how I baste a quilt. Here is the back of the pattern with info that you’ll need. Click the image for an enlarged view.

Optical Illusion Pattern Cover spread

You know how much I enjoy machine quilting. Just a few more weeks and we will quilt walking foot spirals—I can’t wait!! Being able to finish your quilt on your own sewing machine because you’ve built the skills to do it is a great feeling. You’re going to love it!

Optical Illusion Detail

WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFO ABOUT THIS QAL?