Dot ‘n Dash Quilt Along Wrap Up and Inspiration Photos

Although my Dot ‘n Dash quilt along wrapped up about a month ago, I wanted to revisit it one final time to share all the links to all the posts for anyone just wanting to get started. I also want to share some gorgeous photos from several in my Facebook Group that made their versions.

Dot n Dash quilt by Christa Watson

Click here to purchase the Dot ‘n Dash quilt kit, while supplies last.

As a reminder, the pattern for Dot’n’Dash can be found in my book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts and it’s easy enough to gather your supplies: just one Jelly Roll of prints and 3 yards of background fabric are all you need to make this fun quilt.

Dot ‘n’ Dash Inspiration

Here are some beautiful finishes and works in progress from others who are making their own versions. Some of them have finished while others are still working at their own pace, so it’s never too late to jump in and start!

Dot n Dash by Lucy Given

Don’t you love this one above in teal by Lucy Given? She did a fabulous job making it super scrappy by mixing up beautiful blue hues for both the blocks and the background. She’s finished the quilt top so far and I can’t wait to see how she quilts it!

Patti Baymiller's Dot n Dash

Here’s another beauty above, pieced and quilted by Patti Baymiller. Didn’t she do a fantastic job on the quilting? The texture is so fantastic! I love it when others show how easy and fun domestic machine quilting can be.

Heather Lofstrom Halloween Dot n Dash

How about this one done in Halloween novelty prints by Heather Lofstrom? She quilted it with a diagonal grid and she shares more of her inspiring quilty life over on her instagram account @aquiltingcowgirl so be sure to check out her feed for more fun!

Lucy's Dot n Dash quilt top in Modern Marks

Of course I might be biased, but I really think Lucy Blum’s quilt top done in Modern Marks looks just as fabulous!! She used up leftovers from other projects, and although the Modern Marks precut strips are sold out, you can still grab a fat quarter bundle and cut your own strips if you are so inclined.

Lisa's Dot n Dash in Yellow

Lisa Tucker created her stunning quilt with a yellow background which really pops! Who says you have to use a neutral background, right??

Abbie Bill Machine Quilting

Here’s another quilt in process, being quilted by Abbie Bill. She’s opting for the original quilting plan as given in the book and she’s making fabulous progress!!

And these are just the tip of the iceberg of the fabulous work being created and shared over in my Christa Quilts Facebook group. Be sure to add pics of your progress there and you can do a quick search of “Dot ‘n Dash” in the group for even more amazing inspiration. 🙂

Quilt Along Posts

Here’s a roundup of links to all of the Dot ‘n’ Dash Quilt Along Posts that were shared. Keep in touch and let me know if you have any questions as you make YOUR version – I’d love to cheer you on!

Week 1 – Quilt Along Complete Supply List
Week 2 – Cutting the Fabric
Week 3 – Sewing the Blocks
Week 4 – Completing the Quilt Top
Week 5 – Backing and Basting
Week 6 – Quilting Part 1 – Stitching in the Ditch
Week 7 – Quilting Part 2 – Quilting Double Zig-Zags
Week 8 – Quilting Part 3 – Free Motion Quilting Double L’s
Week 9 – Binding to finish

Free Motion quilting on Dot n Dash by Christa WatsonQuilting Detail from Dot’n’Dash made from my Fandangle Strip-pie.

Ten Things I Learned from Quilt Market (Fall 2018)

I’m back home  and recovered from Quilt Market – the semi-annual trade show for the quilting industry. It was my third time having a booth to showcase my new patterns and fabric and I thought it would be fun to share my list of top 10 things I learned this time:

1. Wear Cute Things Made from my Fabric (with fun Shoes!)

Aprons made from Abstract Garden by Christa WatsonCheck out The Easy Modern Apron on Craftsy to quickly make one of your own!

I had “sew” much fun making 4 fabric aprons to wear for each day of the show. I watched Betz White’s easy Modern Apron class on Craftsy for the pattern and instructions, and I have to say – for this girl who doesn’t sew “3-D” items, they came together very quickly!

Or course I had to pair them with my favorite Fluevog shoes which were as much of a hit as the fabric was! I had people stopping me on the show floor to take pics and I was happy to oblige as that’s part of the game in this industry – get as much social media sharing as possible so that the there’s more eyeballs on my fabric!

2. Pass Out Handouts and Promotional Giveaways

(Click the image to enlarge and select “full screen”)

In this YouTube Video (my first post!) I’ve captured a quick one minute silent tour of my booth so that you can see everything that was made from Abstract Garden. On the top shelf on the far left of the booth, I created a rack full of glossy double sided fliers that included images of each of the fabrics from the line. along with a quick listing of all of my products (patterns, books and thread). I handed these out to everyone who stopped by the booth so they had at-a-glance info on where and how to buy.

While supplies lasted, I also passed out sample fabric swatches of Abstract Garden as well as copies of my current pattern line to shop owners who seemed interested in carrying my fabric and patterns in their shops. These were a huge hit and also gave them something to take home while they wait for all of the goodies to arrive!

3. Get Extra Help

Although I pride myself on making all of my own quilts from start to finish, it was nice to have industry friends make accessories for me out of my fabric to fill out the booth. I have to give a quick shoutout to the following folks who made things for my booth in the video seen above. I’ve linked to each of their sites for more info about them and wonderful designs.

  • Colourwerx for the adorable Mod Cat Wallhanging  and super dupe cute Mod Dog pillows.  Aren’t they great??
  • Easy Peazy Quilts for TWO versions of her adorable Una-Corn activity case: one made from Fandangle and the other from Abstract Garden
  • Powered by Quilting – for the colorful jelly roll rug. You know you want to make one!!
  • May Chappell – for adodrable clutches that were a perfect hiding spot for my treats!
  • By Annie – for the perfect containers and accessories that added the perfect touch to the booth and kept me organized at the same time!
  • Quilt District for the awesome Mod Garden pillow!

4. Share My Fabric in Multiple Booths

A Star is Born by The Stitch TV Show featuring Abstract Garden

A Star is Born quilt pattern by The STitch TV Show is made from 10″ squares plus 1 coordinate.

Quilt Market is HUGE and it’s hard for everyone who attends to see all of the booths. That’s why it’s so valuable to get my name and products into as many different booths as possible. I was pleased as punch that Pam and Lynn from The Stitch TV Show were happy to feature Abstract Garden in their latest pattern release in their booth at Market. It’s called A Star is Born and is available for purchase on their website at Shop.TheStitchTVShow.com.

I also had quilts hanging in the Hobbs Batting booth (both at Quilt Market and Quilt Festival) and in the American Patchwork and Quilting booth. (“Out of the Box”  quilt made from Fandangle is patterned in the current issue is on the ladder in the upper right below.)

Out of the Box Quilt made from Fandangle
Click here to see a full shot of Out of the Box, made from Fandangle Fat Quarters + Background

5. Get Plenty of Rest – Before and After the Show!

This goes without saying, but being on your feet talking to folks for 4 days straight can be exhausting. Not to mention that early morning breakfast meetings or after hours networking dinners means I’m “on” from morning until night. Quilt market is probably the most important event I do for my business so it’s important to get my rest ahead of time as much as possible before the show. And that’s why you didn’t hear anything from me last week when I got home. It took several days to recover, unpack, and start making for plans for the next one in 6 months!

6. Don’t Over Schedule

Related to number 5, It’s tempting to want to do EVERYTHING but really, less is more when it comes to market. Although I wanted to say yes to all the things and events, I limited my time to booth prep, business networking, and allowing plenty of time to chat with shops about my fabric. I know that some folks stay on through quilt festival which was the following week, but at this point in time, that’s just too much for me. Maybe in a few years when all of the kiddos are out of the house and I can sleep for a solid week both before AND after the show, LOL!!

7. Stay in my Booth!!

Christa with Blue Bar Quilts

Getting to meet shop onwers in person, such as the gals from Blue Bar Quilts was such a treat! I’m thrilled that they ordered both fabric lines being promoted at the show (Fandangle which is in shops now and Abstract Garden which starts shipping in December).
If you are in the Wisconsin area, be sure to stop by their store and give them some love!

Probably the best lesson I learned from last quilt market was to stay in my booth so that I didn’t miss anyone who wanted to come talk to me. At Spring Market I had scheduled several demos and meetings away from my booth that took me away for a few hours each day. It’s also fun to get out and walk the show floor. However several people contacted me after last spring market saying were sorry they had missed me. Missed opportunities meant missed sales so this time around I stayed put!

If anyone wanted to meet me or chat, I invited them over to my booth so we could conduct business there. Just being present if I didn’t talk to everyone gave the impression I was serious about my products, but also approachable if someone had a question. It made for long days, but the added bonus was that my booth was hopping with people to talk to the entire time!

8. Take Notes on Business Cards

Quilt market is a flurry of activity – chatting with shopwoners and seeing how we can work together for me to provide product support for them through samples, teaching events or other collaborations. I’ve found that the easiest way to follow up after the fact is to collect their business card and add a quick note on the back such as “email them about my trunk show schedule” or “send teaching contract when I return home”.

One word of advice for anyone who passes out their card – please don’t print on black because then it’s hard to see what I wrote, LOL!!

9. Get to Know the Sales Reps

Abstract Garden at Fall Quilt Market

Meet Cindy, one of the amazing Benartex sales reps who scored one of my aprons after the trade show was over. After all, I’m happy to support the reps because they support me!!

This one is HUGELY important! Although social media and the internet make it super easy for quilt shops and customers to easily find me and connect with me directly, quilting is still built on relationships. The relationship I have with my fabric company, and the relationships that the sales reps have with their customers can make or break the success of a fabric line. Benartex is so smart to recongize these relationships and they encourage us getting to know each other by giving the designers an opportunity to present our lines to the sale reps in our own words, the day before the show opens.

Then on the first night of the show at closing, they host a small private company dinner where we can get to know them a bit better on a personal scale. Now that I’ve been doing this for 3 quilt markets in a row, I feel like I’m building a great relationship with both the shops and the sales reps. In other words, they realize as a designer, I’m here to stay rather than being just a flash in the pan, or a one hit wonder.

10. Support my Fellow Benartex Designers

Bill Kerr of Modern Quilt Studio

Bill Kerr along with his wife Weeks Ringle make up the dynamic duo of Modern Quilt Studio

One of the highlights of attending quilt market with fellow Benartex/Kanvas/Contempo designers is getting to know them and their work on a more personal level. Jason and I sat at dinner with Bill Kerr while he shared fun stories of his worldwide travel and design inspirations.

We also got to celebrate Eleanor Burns‘ 40th anniversary of Quilt in a Day, see the beautiful quilts of Ann Lauer, Cherry Guidry, Amanda Murphy (among others), and congratulate pioneers such as Paula Nadelstern and Nancy Halvorsen on their decades-long success in the industry.

Although I didn’t get a chance to snap many photos of the other designers’ booth, Benartex created a virtual tour of all of their booths over on their blog – check out the links below:

Christa Watson and Cherry Guidry at Fall Quilt Market for Benartex Contempo

Cherry Guidry was my booth-mate at the show and though our styles are completely different, we are both passionate about our love for fabric and fun projects to make from them!

Where to Buy Abstract Garden + Patterns

Once the fabric has shipped (starting in December) I’ll update my Where to Buy page with a list of shops who carry my fabric!

Beaded Lanterns QAL Week 7 – Binding

I can’t believe we’ve finally come to the end of the Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along! If you’ve missed any part of it or want to make one later on, be sure and check out the rest of the links at the end of this post.

Beaded Lanterns Finished Quilt

Over on the BERNINA blog at We All Sew, I’m sharing my method for binding my quilts. If you’ve followed any of my quilt alongs before it will look familiar because it’s the same technique I use for all my quilts large or small. One thing I will say is that the more you do it, the faster and better you’ll get!

Click here for the Beaded Lanterns Binding Tutorial

Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along - Trim and Bind

Beaded Lanterns QAL Links

Click here to purchase the Beaded Lanterns Quilt Kit
Click here to get the free Beaded Lanterns Quilt Pattern

Week 1: Supply List
Week 2: Making the Blocks
Week 3: Sewing the Quilt Top
Week 4: Spray Basting Tutorial
Week 5: Walking Foot Quilting & Quilting Plan
Week 6: Free-Motion Quilting
Week 7: Binding to Finish

Beaded Lanterns Week 6 – Free Motion Quilting

I’ve been super busy prepping for fall quilt market which begins November 1 and I can’t wait to share more inspiring quilts next month. But in the meantime, you can check out the latest installment of my Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along hosted over on the BERNINA blog.

beaded lanterns

For week 6, I’m breaking down how I free-motion quilted this fun colorful quilt, made from a kit of my Fandangle fabric. There’s even a short video in the post showing how I quilt the loopy cursive L’s seen in the lantern blocks below.

And don’t worry, if you are just now hearing about the quilt along, you can jump in any time and work at your own pace! Check out the links at the bottom of this page to get started!

Free Motion Quilting Beaded Lanterns made with Fandangle

Beaded Lanterns QAL Links

Click here to purchase the Beaded Lanterns Quilt Kit
Click here to get the free Beaded Lanterns Quilt Pattern

Week 1: Supply List
Week 2: Making the Blocks
Week 3: Sewing the Quilt Top
Week 4: Spray Basting Tutorial
Week 5: Walking Foot Quilting & Quilting Plan
Week 6: Free-Motion Quilting

Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along Week 5 – Make a Quilting Plan

I love seeing all of the Beaded Lanterns quilts in progress! Remember, you can share your work in my ChristaQuilts facebook group, or on instagram #beadedlanternsqal. For my latest post hosted over on the BERNINA blog, We All Sew, I’m chatting about the quilting plan I created and how I broke the steps down into walking foot quilting and free-motion techniques.

Stitching in the ditch walking foot quilting

One of the easiest ways to quilt a quilt is to stitch in the ditch and then echo it to highlight certain areas of the quilt. For more tips and to check out the rest of the quilt along, be sure to click any of links below.

Beaded Lanterns QAL Links

Click here to purchase the Beaded Lanterns Quilt Kit
Click here to get the free Beaded Lanterns Quilt Pattern

Week 1: Supply List
Week 2: Making the Blocks
Week 3: Sewing the Quilt Top
Week 4: Spray Basting Tutorial

Dot ‘n’ Dash Quilt Along Week 9 – Binding

Have you enjoyed quilting along with me? Or are you just now finding this quilt along? Either way, I want to remind you that Dot ‘n’ Dash quilt along will stay up on my blog indefinitely so you can make this quilt any time you wish, on your own time, and at your own schedule. Dot ‘n’ Dash Kits are still available and you can pick up a signed copy of my book to get the pattern.

Dot n Dash Quilt Along

Click here for the supply list and links to all of the previous posts for Dot’n’Dash QAL.

This week it’s time to bind the quilt! Follow the steps below for my favorite method, or adapt it to your own process as desired. This method uses straight of grain strips that are double folded and attached with smooth seams ensuring no lumps and bumps. I use it for all of my quilts!

Step 1 – Trim the Quilt

I like to trim off the excess batting and backing flush with the edge of the quilt so that I can sew the binding on nice, straight, and even. I use a large square acrylic ruler to trim off all four corners first. This ensures that the corners of the quilt will stay nice and square. I use the lines on the ruler to nudge the quilt into shape if needed.

Quilt Trimming - Corners

Once the corners are trimmed, I use a long acrylic ruler to trim up the sides the same way. I line up the already cut corner with the edge of the straight ruler so that I can continue to get a straight, clean cut around all four sides of the quilt.

Quilt Trimming - Sides

Step 2 – Sew the Binding Strips

To figure out how much binding I need, I take the perimeter of the quilt, add 10″ to the total, and divide by 40″ (the width of fabric) to figure out how many binding strips I need. See pages 52-55 of the book for this particular pattern.

Binding from leftover jelly roll strips

Because I wanted to use the fabric efficiently, I used leftover precut strips from the Strip-pie bundle (aka jellyroll) to make a scrappy binding. Because you don’t use the entire strip when you cut and sew the blocks, there’s enough leftover for the binding. You can trim them narrower if desired, but I went ahead and left them at 2 1/2″ since I was in a hurry to finish!

Sewing the binding

Join the binding strips with a mitered seam by placing them wrong sides together at a 90 degree angle. Sew from one corner to the other to join the seams. I can usually eyeball it (see image above), but feel free to mark the sewing line if you need to stay straight.

Sewing binding strips

To chain piece (assembly line sew), I add each next strip as I go, flipping over the top strip so that I join them right sides together each time.

Because the strips are very colorful, I joined them with a neutral colored Aurifil 50 weight thread and sewed with a shorter stitch length (2.0 instead of 2.5). This prevents the thread from poking through the seam and makes a nice tight stitch that won’t split when I press the seams open.

Trim binding corners

Once all of the seams are sewn, I trim off the excess with 1/4″ seam and press all seams open.
I’ll designate one of the binding ends as the starting “tail” and trim it off at a 45 degree angle. That will come in handy later when it’s time to join the ends together seamlessly.

Continuous Binding

Finally, I’ll press the entire binding in half wrong sides together lengthwise, and it’s ready to sew to the quilt!

Step 3 – Attach Binding to Quilt

I line up the open ends of the binding to the raw edge of the quilt. I leave about 10″-12″ of a starting “tail” so that I have room to join it up later. I’ll put a pin in place to indicate where I’ll start sewing. Sew with 1/4″ seam for skinnier binding strips, or slightly wider if using wider strips.

Attach binding to quilt

If you want the pieced seams to avoid ending up in the corners, quickly measure the binding around the perimeter of the quilt before you start sewing. If any of the seams ends up in the corners, adjust your starting tail by an inch or two in either direction.

When you get to the end of one side, stop sewing about 1/4″ away from the edge (or the width of your seam allowance), and sew off the corner at a diagonal. this will enable to you create a pretty miter on the front of the quilt.

Sew the binding to the quilt

Next, remove the quilt from the machine, rotate it and fold up the next unsewn binding side.
Make sure the edge of the binding matches up to the edge of the quilt as shown in the photo below. This will ensure that everything lines up perfectly.

Notice that a nice diagonal crease will form across the corner.

quilt binding

Fold the binding back down upon itself at the corner. (See photo below.) You want the top of the fold to line up exactly with the top of the sewn quilt. This will ensure a nice crisp corner.

Binding in progress

Continue sewing at the corner. You might need to grasp the starting threads because this will be a thick seam to start. In my image below, I’m using the BERNINA integrated dual feed with the open toe embroidery foot (20D) so that I can see what I’m doing. I recommend using a walking foot if you don’t have the dual feed, so your fabric doesn’t slip or pucker.

Sewing the binding

Continue sewing all four sides and corners the same way. Leave an ending tail of about 5″-6″ that will join up with the starting tail. Trim off the excess binding if needed.

Step 4 – Secure the Binding Ends

To join up the ends, I’ll use some photos from another quilt because I was in such a hurry to finish this one, that I forgot to snap photos, LOL!!

Place the cut angled end (the beginning tail) inside of the ending tail and mark the 45 degree angle where they meet exactly.

Binding Ends

Add 1/2″ to this line for seam allowances and trim off the ending tail at a 45 degree angle, using a small square acrylic ruler with a 45 degree line.

Add the binding

Match up the beginning and ending tails and sew them together with a 1/4″ seam. You’ll notice the triangle tips sticking off at each end. Press the seam open and trim off those tips, also known as “dog ears.”

Join binding edges.

Finish sewing the binding to the back of the quilt. If desired, flip the binding to the front and press away from the quilt to make it easier to fold over to the back.

I secure the entire binding with Clover Wonder Clips so that nothing shifts while I hand sew the binding down on the back.

Secure the binding

Step 5 – Hand Sewing to Finish

I prefer to finish my binding by hand because it gives a nice, clean finish to the quilt. However if you prefer to finish by machine, I suggest using a decorative stitch on your machine so that the binding becomes a decorative element of your quilt.

I like to use a blending thread color to secure my binding. I normally use whatever is leftover in the bobbin after I’ve attached the binding to the quilt. Thread a hand sewing needle with about 16″ of thread and knot one end.

Hand Binding

Notice that I hold the quilt away from me and stitch from right to left. I make each stitch by catching a little bit of the backing and the folded edge of the binding each time. Some people call this a “ladder stitch.”

Hand Stitch the binding

Whenever I run out of thread, I knot the end and hide it underneath the binding, then start with a new length of thread. When I get to the corners, I fold them over in the opposite order of how they are folded on the front to reduce bulk.

Hand stitched binding

I also sew the corner miters closed for a nice finish. It usually takes me about one hour per side when hand stitching a throw sized quilt. That’s a couple of evenings of movies with the family which is a fun way to finish!

Machine Quilting on Dot n Dash

I enjoyed finishing this quilt just before we took a beach vacation earlier this summer, so I have fond memories of working on this quilt!

Share your Finishes!

Be sure to share your progress on instagram #dotndashqal and also in my Christa Quilts Facebook group. Even if you are just starting, I’d love to cheer you on!

Click here for the supply list and start of the quilt along.
Click here to purchase the Dot ‘n’ Dash Quilt Kit or my fabric bundles.

Pre-order My New Fall Patterns

I release quilt patters twice a year now, in conjunction with my new fabric lines. (More about the fabric later…) So today I’m happy to introduce 4 new patterns which will be released on November 16, but you can get them at a discount when you preorder now!

Christa Quilts Patterns

All four of my new patterns are available as print or PDF. Print versions will be shipped to you approximately November 16th. When you order the PDF version through my Craftsy shop, you’ll be able to download the cover now, and then the pattern itself will be emailed as an update on November 16th.

Use coupon code SAVE10 to get 10% off the price of the print version. The PDF version is automatically on sale through November 16th. (The code and sale applies to all current patterns in stock, too!) Here’s what’s new:

Pieced Primrose

Click here to purchase the PDF version instant download.
Click here to order the print version which will be shipped.

Pieced Primrose Quilt Pattern

Click the image above to enlarge the detailed materials list.

Geese in the Garden

Click here to purchase the PDF version instant download.
Click here to order the print version which will be shipped.

Geese in the Garden Quilt Pattern

Click the image above to enlarge the detailed materials list.

Blooming Wallflowers

Click here to purchase the PDF version instant download.
Click here to order the print version which will be shipped.

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Pattern

Click the image above to enlarge the detailed materials list.

LatticeWork

Click here to purchase the PDF version instant download.
Click here to order the print version which will be shipped.

LatticeWork Quilt Pattern

Click the image above to enlarge the detailed materials list.

Wholesale Inquiries

These patterns will be available from most major distributors. Or email me christa@christaquilts.com for order info.

I hope you’ll enjoy making these quilts as much as I did!

Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along Week 4 – Spray Basting Tutorial

Have you always wondered how I spray baste my quilts? Over on the BERNINA blog at WE All Sew, I’m sharing my spray basting method using my design wall. It’s part of the Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along I’m hosting over there on the blog, so be sure to check it out!

Whether or not you are making the Beaded Lanterns quilt, you can apply this technique to any quilt.

Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along Links

Week 1 – Supply List and Schedule
Week 2 – Sewing the Blocks
Week 3 – Quilt Top Assembly
Week 4 – Backing and Basting

Click here to purchase Fandangle fabric, kits and bundles.

Dot ‘n’ Dash Quilt Along Week 8 – Machine Quilting Part 3: Double L’s

Good news! I’ve restocked the Dot ‘n Dash Kit in the light gray colorway.
Click here to order or visit shop.christaquilts.com.

I’m so glad we spent a little extra time machine quilting this quilt. Making a quilt from start to finish isn’t hard – it just takes a little time to break down the steps into doable chunks of time. This week we are going to finish up the quilting with a fun free-motion variation inspired by one of the quilting designs from my third book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts.

Free Motion quilting on Dot n Dash by Christa Watson

I’m all about perfectly imperfect texture in my quilts!

I like to quilt my quilts densely to add amazing texture and the more they are loved, used and washed, the softer they’ll get!

After quilting the double zig-zags last week, it’s time to tackle the “Double L’s” motif this week. These are based based on the “Cursive L’s” motif as shown in the Arrows quilt on pages 78-85 of the book, and also on the cover.

Free Motion quilting

Arrows is the cover quilt from Piece and Quilt with Precuts.

Sketch it. Then quilt it.

I’ve also used this design in a slightly different way on Twinkling Diamonds found on pages 56-63. So take a look at the quilting plans for those quilts to give you a better understanding of how to form the design.

The first thing I do when figuring out any design is sketch it first on paper. You can see in my rough drawing below, I tried a couple of different versions of the cursive L’s.

Sketch it. Then Quilt it.

Sketch it – then quilt it!

 At first I thought I would quilt the L’s and then echo them, but when I tried that on a practice sample, it didn’t look so good. I also thought of doing a more linear geometric version (in the upper left of my sketch) but that wasn’t right either. So I opted for two rows of cursive L’s, overlapping each other just like I overlapped the modern zig-zags in the gray areas of the quilt.

I tried quilting the L’s both horizontally and vertically and found it much easier to rotate the quilt so that I was quilting them vertically, from top to bottom in each row across the quilt.

Free Motion Quilting on Dot n Dash Quilt

I’ve rotated the quilt so I can quilt each row from top to bottom.

First Pass Across the Quilt

First, I did one pass of Cursive L’s across the quilt, starting on the upper right of the quilt, quilting one row at a time from top to bottom, and working my way toward the center. Once the quilt got too bulky in the middle, I rotated it and started from where I left off (center, top) to the other side of the quilt.

I’m using the same Aurifil gray thread (top and bobbin) that I’ve used for the whole quilt, and it blended in nicely on all the different Fandangle fabrics.

Cursive L's Free-motion quilting

Cursive L’s quilting – 1st pass across the quilt. Notice the gaps between the loops.

I recommend practicing a couple of times on scrap fabric and batting to get the hang of how you’ll form the design.

I’m not at all worried about the spacing of each motif or whether or not all of the loops are perfectly smooth. I’m aiming for texture over perfection. To get from one strip unit to the next, I’ll aim for the corner, or I’ll backtrack in the seam as needed to get to the next section to quilt. Notice that I’m treating the pieced units and the small gray background square as one area to quilt.

Cursive L's Free-Motion quilting

Head for the corners, or backtrack in the seams to get to each new section to quilt.

After the first row of Cursive L’s, I repeated the process, adding another row of L’s on top of the first row, intersecting the lines and quilting the design in opposite directions.

I squeezed in the second set of loops in the gaps between the previous loops. This added more texture and also made the imperfections less noticeable.

Second Pass Across the Quilt

Cursive L's detail quilting

Squeeze the second round of quilting in between the gaps of the first.

The more quilting you add to the quilt, the more thread you’ll use of course. So I would check your bobbin level at the end of a row of quilting and change it out as soon as it looks low (or pay attention to your bobbin indicator light if you have one on your machine).

Don’t play bobbin chicken!! I’d rather have a little leftover bobbin than run out in the middle of the quilt. If you are using cotton thread in your bobbin, you can always use the leftovers when piecing your next quilt.

Cursive L's Dense Quilting

I love using soft 100% cotton thread and natural fiber batting for my quilts.
This allows me to quilt densely while still ensuring a cuddly quilt!

Quilting Homework

Finish quilting the quilt! Feel free to mix and match quilting motifs from my books, or use some of your favorite designs. However you decided to quilt it, please share your quilt in progress in my Facebook group and on instragram #dotndashqal. I love seeing everyone’s work!

Next week, we’ll trim up the quilt and bind it to finish. I can’t wait!

Quilting at the Beach

I love how these surfboards at the beach match the coloring of my quilt!

Click here for the quilt along schedule, supply list, and links to all the tutorials.
Click here to purchase Fandangle precuts and coordinating yardage.

Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along Week 3 – Quilt Top Assembly

Great news for those of you following the BERNINA quilt along to make Beaded Lanterns. More of the kits are back in stock at shop.christaquilts.com.

beaded lanterns

Last Thursday, the lastest installment was shared over at We All Sew. The next step in the process  is to sew the blocks to make the quilt top. Click the links below to catch up on the Quilt Along and feel free to jump in at any time!

Beaded Lanterns

BERNINA Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along Links

Week 1 – Supply List and Schedule
Week 2 – Sewing the Blocks
Week 3 – Quilt Top Assembly

Click here to get the optional Beaded Lanterns quilt kit, while supplies last.