Finished Quilt: Modern Starstruck + Quilting Details

Meet “Modern Starstruck” – a remake of my “Starstruck” quilt pattern included in my book Piece and Quilt with Precuts. The original quilt from the book was made in black and white, but as soon as I released my new fabric line, I knew I had to remake this design to showcase the bold bright colors of Modern Marks.

Modern Starstuck by Christa Watson

Modern Starstruck, designed, pieced and quilted by Christa Watson

Starstruck is a fun fat-quarter quilt made from 24 different fabrics, one for each star in the quilt. Each fabric is used in the quilt twice – once for the star and once for the background. However, since there are 26 prints in Modern Marks, I wanted to showcase them all, so two of the fabrics are only included once.

Modern Starstruck

Click here to grab a fat quarter bundle of Modern Marks (while supplies last.)
Click here to get your signed copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts.

I had a LOT of fun quilting this one!! I quilted a different free-motion design in each of the stars and backgrounds. There are a total of 24 blocks which means I quilted 48 unique designs in this quilt. I think of it as a “machine quilting sampler” of sorts.

Machine Quilting Detail

You can really see the quilting when the light hits it just right. I tried lots of different swirl combinations in some of the blocks, and echoed each star a couple of times to separate it from the background quilting.

Modern Starstruck closeup

Modern Starstruck drapes really well due to the cotton batting I used, and the dense quilting gives it plenty of yummy texture.

In each block I quilted a combination of geometric and curvy lines to play around with different ideas. To minimize my starts and stops, I free motion echo quilted around each star shape, then traveled over a previous stitching line to get to the star. I filled in each star with a different design and then traveled back out of the top of the star to continue quilting the additional echo and background areas.

Machine quilting in progress

Here are a couple of closeups of the block quilting:

quilting detail

I quilted a geometric meander in the star above, with curvy woodgrain in the background. Many of the designs came from my books, while others were brand new experiments which may show up as stand-alone motifs in future quilts!

free motion quilting

In this star I quilted a dense echoed diamond design with curvy flowers in the background. I used a light yellow thread for the entire quilt. It blended in to most of the fabrics so I didn’t have to switch thread colors.

Pattern on pattern

In some of the blocks, I quilted a dense pattern on pattern design to add extra depth and dimension to the quilt.

Modern Starstruck detail

It was fun to choose fabric combinations for each block. Because this was a busy quilt with no unifying background fabric, it was important that each pairing allowed the stars to pop!

Modern Starstruck Stats:

Modern Starstuck by Christa Watson

Modern Marks Inspiration and a Free Quilt Pattern!

To celebrate the release of my new fabric line, I have a free pattern for you, plus loads of inspiration on what you can make with my fabric! Take a look at Rainbow Taffy, a bright colorful quilt made from 5″ squares of Modern Marks, + white background:

Click here for the Rainbow Taffy pattern download.
Click here to get Modern Marks precuts.

Click here to get the free quilt pattern.

I knew I wanted to create a bright colorful quilt which would show off every fabric in this collection. In fact, when it came time to create the precut bundles for this line, it was fun to decide which fabrics would have duplicates (since there’s 31 in the line but 42 squares in the 5×5 pack). I designed Rainbow Taffy so that it would show case these cheerful fabrics in rainbow order, but of course the pattern would look great in other fabrics, too!

Boxes Quilting on Rainbow Taffy

Boxes quilting design on Rainbow Taffy

The pattern includes a detailed chart with color placement, plus machine quilting suggestions. I quilted it with one of my favorite geometric designs, “boxes” which is also the name of one of the designs in the collection!

Modern Marks Fabric by Christa Watson

Click here to grab a bundle of 26 Modern Marks fat quarters.

Be sure to ask for Modern Marks by name at your favorite local quilt shop! If there’s not one near you, I have a limited number of fat quarter bundles and kits availalbe at shop.christaquilts.com.

More Modern Marks Inspiration

Modern Marks

Be sure to check out the stops on the blog hop below for even more ideas of what you can make from Modern Marks!

Monday
HollyAnne @String & Story
 
Tuesday
 
Wednesday
Hilary @Aurifil
 
Thursday
 
Friday
I hope you are inspired to create something fun with Modern Marks!
Rainbow Taffy Quilt

Catching My Breath, a Few Updates – and a Fun Fabric Giveaway!

So right before quilt market my computer crashed. As in Dead. As. A. Doornail. Fortunately, my tech savvy hubby backed everything up so that nothing was lost. As you can imagine, the timing wasn’t great, but is it ever good timing for a hiccup like that?

Christa at Quilt Market 2017

One of my many demo’s at quiltmarket. My mom and I made the shirt I’m wearing from my fabric.

Now that at I’m back from quilt market and Jason has set me up on a new laptop, I can stop and breathe (for about 5 minutes) before it’s time to start working on the next fun quilty thing! (More fabric, more classes, more patterns, oh my!!)

So this post is a quick catch-up of what’s happening in real time along with a thank you giveaway for sticking with me and reading to the end!!

Quick Quilt Market Recap

Quilt Market was a blast! This is the industry trade show that takes place each fall in Houston, Texas, the week before Quilt Festival which is the consumer show. Many industry folks stay for both but that would be way too exhausting for me! Maybe once the kids are out of the house we’ll consider doing both…

Quilts from Modern Marks

One of the many quilts made from Modern Marks. Free & paid patterns coming soon!

I was in my booth most of the time at market showing my fabric line Modern Marks to quilt shops in the hopes that they decide to carry it in their shops. The response was really great as so many folks are attracted to the fun bright prints. I promised the shop owners a couple of free patterns coming soon, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t also share them with you. So be on the lookout as I’ll be sharing those as soon as my graphic designer has made them look pretty!

Machine Quilting Demo in the Aurifil Booth

Demoing machine quilting + wearing another top made from my fabric.

I also introduced new customers to my book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts, and my awesome publisher set up several book signings and machine quilting demos while I was there.

My good friend Annie Unrein from By Annie made several bags and accessories for my booth and my mom help me sew up several shirts from my fabric to wear during the show.

Annie Unrein and Christa Watson at Fall Quilt Market 2017

The quilt on the left is a free pattern coming soon; the one one the right was remade from my book Piece and Quilt with Precuts using my fabric! Notice the cute bag by Annie and my matching shoes!

Be on the lookout for more about the individual Modern Marks quilts and projects a bit later after I’ve had a chance to recover! Then save the date: Starting November 27th, Benartex will be hosting a blog hop to share even more ideas of what you can make from Modern Marks!

Quilt Kits for Sale

Squiggles recolored in Modern Marks

Get the Squiggles Quilt Kit

I’m continuing to sell quilt kits for the upcoming Quilt Along I’ll be hosting here on the blog in January. Click here for the QAL schedule. Most folks voted for us to make Squiggles from my new book for the QAL, but I know several of you really wanted to make Gridwork as well.

Gridwork recolored in EQ using modern marks

Get the Gridwork Quilt Kit

I’m now offering kits for each quilt, along with optional backing kits. You’ll need a copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts for the patterns, but hey – if you want to make BOTH quilts, you just need ONE copy of the book. I really like it when you can get more bang for your buck!

And of course either of these quilts would look fabulous in other fabrics, too!!

Click here to purchase Modern Marks quilt kits and bundles.

Upcoming Teaching

I head to St. George, Utah this weekend to do a trunk show on Friday and machine quilting class on Saturday for Dave’s BERNINA. Then on December 1-2, for my last gig of the year, I’ll be flying out to visit my friend Stephanie who runs Quilt Addicts Anonymous in Illinois. I’ll be sharing a lecture and full day free-motion class at her shop, so if you are in the area, be sure and join us!

I’ll be super busy in January, and it’s the last time I’ll be in driving distance of Las Vegas for awhile. On January 3-5 I’ll be teaching one day of machine quilting and 2 days of improv piecing at Quilting at the Lake. Click here for registration info.

Then, January 15-18, I’ll be teaching four different machine quilting classes at Road to California. At last check, two of my classes at Road had sold out with waiting lists, but there are still spots open in my Monday and Tuesday classes. Click here for class schedule info.

How Do I Quilt it MQG

If you aren’t near where I’m teaching, you can catch my live webinar for the Modern Quilt Guild next week! On Wednesday, November 8th at 6 PM Pacific Time, I’ll be sharing tips and tricks for quilting on a home machine, answering the most asked question, “How Do I Quilt It?”

Click here to register for the webinar/or join the MQG.

If you aren’t yet an MQG member, be sure and join now so you don’t miss the fun! Members have access to all of the MQG webinars, so you can also catch it later.

The GiveawayS – Win my Fabric!

I have 3 fabric giveaways for you today, as a thanks for your continued support! First, I’m giving away a box full of fabric scraps which is mostly Modern Marks plus a few misc. pieces. These are leftovers, large and small of all the projects I’ve been making from Modern Marks over the last few months. It also includes some nice chunks of funky shapes that were the cutaways from the shirts I made, plus tons of small to medium scraps that frankly I’m just too lazy to sort through! But I know one of you will love them!

Modern Marks Scraps

Win my Modern Marks scraps!

The second and third giveaways are Modern Marks precuts. At Quilt Market, there’s a night of shopping frenzy called Sample Spree where attendees can purchase bundles before they are available in shops. I wasn’t there, but apparently all of my precuts sold out except for one 2 1/2″ strip bundle (Benartex calls them Pinwheels) and one charm pack (aptly named 5×5’s) that were held back for promotion, so I snagged those puppies to give to you all!

Modern Marks Precuts

Modern Marks precuts coming soon! Ask your local quilt shop to stock them.

I’ll make this easy – just leave any comment to enter. I’ll give the scrap box and the Pinwheel to two separate US winners, and send the charm pack to an international friend. So be sure to mention in your comments which prize you’d like to win and where you are from!

I’ll pick the winners first thing Monday morning and notify them via email.

Whew! I think that’s all for now!! Now it’s time to unpack and sew!

Piece and Quilt Hop Along Week 2 with Vicki, HollyAnne and Kristin

Vicki, HollyAnne and Kristin are back for week 2 of their blog hop from my new book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts. Each of these talented gals is making a different quilt from the book and sharing tips and videos about their progress over a 5 week period.

Piece and Quilt with Precuts

So let’s check out what they’ve been up to this week!

Vicki Holloway from My Creative Corner 3

Gridwork blocks

Vicki is making progress on her version of Gridwork using my Modern Marks fabric. For the finished quilt she’s going to make it completely out of my fabric. However, in her blog post, she’s made a few bonus blocks incorporating some solids to show how that can change up the look.

Modern Marks Frequency blockVicki took some of her leftover scraps and pieced a Frequency block (also from the book). Her plan is to make one block from each of the quilts in the book to make a sampler quilt. I think that’s such a clever idea and can’t wait to see it!

Click here to read more about Vicki’s progress this week.

HollyAnne Knight from String and Story

For her version of Spools, HollyAnne is doing something I recommend in all of my books and classes – make a quilting plan to audition possible design ideas. I love how she’s combined different quilting designs from all three of my books for the spool blocks:

Quilting Design Ideas for Spools

Here’s her finished quilt top, also made from my Modern Marks fabric.  Don’t you just love how she reversed the color placement? Now they look like empty spools!

Spools from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Compare it to the original version that’s in the book, to see how different a quilt can look when you switch the color placement. I really love it when quilters take my ideas and make them their own!!

Spools by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Spools quilt, made by Christa Watson, from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Click here to read more about HollyAnn’s progress this week.

Kristin Esser From Kristin Esser.Com

Kristin whipped up her Squiggles quilt top in record time. It’s easy when you start with most of the cutting already done for you!

Squiggles from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

She quilted the wavy lines as shown in the book, using my “divide and conquer” process. In a nutshell, you quilt wavy lines “near” the ditch (rather than in the ditch) and then you subdivide each section, adding more lines until you are happy with the spacing. It’s organic, liberating, and adds lots of yummy texture to the quilt!

Squiggles quilting

Kristin also quilted several of the free-motion quilting motifs on practice blocks.
Click here to see her progress this week, plus bonus free-motion inspiration.

Remember – if you are working on any of the quilts from my books and patterns, please share them in my Facebook group: Quilt with Christa. I’d love to see!

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Get Modern Marks Fabric Bundles For a Limited Time!

Awesome news! I just found out my shipment of Modern Marks yardage will be arriving much earlier than anticipated! This is my debut fabric collection with Benartex and I can’t wait to share it with the world!! My fabric delivery is scheduled to come while I’m teaching at MQX Quilt Festival next weekend, but you can pre-order custom bundles now in these four sizes: Fat Eights, Fat Quarters, Half Yards, and Yard bundles.

Click here to purchase Modern Marks fabric bundles. They’ll ship Oct 3rd.

Modern Marks Fabric by Christa Watson

Modern Marks by Christa Watson for Benartex – 26 Bright Graphic Prints

The cutoff for pre-orders will be on Saturday, September 30th, or until they sell out, whichever comes first, and once they’re gone, that’s it. So don’t delay – put in your pre-order now so you’ll be among the first to get your hands on my fabric!

Now here’s the catch – I’m not selling any of the fabric by the yard, because honestly that would be too much for me to manage. But you can ask your favorite quilt shop to stock it if you are wanting yardage of a particular print.

Modern Marks Bundles

Modern Marks bundles include all 26 fabrics shown above in these sizes:
Fat Eights – 9″ x 21″ pieces (3 1/4 yards total) – $34.95
Fat Quarters – 18″ x 21″ pieces (6 1/2 yards total) – $69.95 (Less than $3 per FQ!!)
Half Yards – 18″ x 42″ pieces (13 yards total) – $139.90
Full Yards – 36″ x 42″ pieces (26 yards total) – $249.95 (Best value – under $10 bucks per yard!!)
SPECIAL PRE-ORDER PRICING IS VALID THROUGH 9/30!!

Click here to purchase your Modern Marks bundle.

Modern Marks FQ Bundle

Modern Marks photos by HollyAnne Knight from String and Story

I’m happy to ship anywhere in the world (just know that overseas shipping is super spendy and sadly there’s not much I can do about it). If you get a bundle and start working with it, be sure and use the hashtag #modernmarksfabric on social media. I’d love to see what you are creating!

Modern Marks Strips

I hope you love Modern Marks as much as I do!

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Piece and Quilt with Precuts Quilt 11 – Spools

Can you believe it? Today I’m sharing the last quilt from my book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts. Be sure and stick around for tomorrow’s blog hop wrap-up as I announce an epic giveaway (hint – it’s a QUILT!!!) and something fun to look forward to in the future!

Meet Spools, which is possibly my favorite quilt in the book. (I know – just like children you can’t really have a favorite, right???)

Spools by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Spools Photography courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Brent Kane

Piece It

My favorite thing about this quilt is that it expands on a concept that I introduced in my first book. (Remember Facets from Machine Quilting with Style? Similar piecing concept, totally different design!!)

Spools uses many leftovers from other quilts in the book as well as scraps from my scrap bin. It was so fun to combine any sized pieces to create my own “made” fabric, and then cut them up into recognizable shapes – a process I call “structured improv.”

Original spools design in EQ7

Original EQ7 design concept  for Spools. I made each spool a different color instead.

When I originally designed this quilt I had thought of mixing up a bunch of different scraps to make each of the spool blocks along with a scrappy border. The image above was my original EQ7 design for the quilt. But as I was getting ready to make the quilt I had a last minute stroke of inspiration to make them color blocked instead. And instead of a scrappy border, I made a scrappy binding around the edges that matches the color of the spool blocks!

I much prefer the quilt I ended up making, where each spool is a different color of “thread” – don’t you?? Now after making this quilt, I feel like any scrap can work its way into a future improv-pieced quilt!

Quilt It

Machine Quilting on Spools

I used a combination of two quilting designs. In each of the spool blocks I quilted wavy textured lines using a matching Aurifil thread. Then in the background I combined another fun free-motion technique I teach called “free-motion improv.”

You basically combine several of your favorite free-motion motifs and mash them all up together in the same quilt, changing designs every 2-3 motifs. It’s a fun way to quilt that adds tons of interest and texture to the design.

Free Motion Improv on Spools

Machine quilting details on Spools.

One of the reasons I quilt my quilts so densely is to hide my mistakes. After all, when you quilt one line of imperfect stitches it really stands out like a sore thumb. However, if you surround it with more imperfect quilting, all you notice is the beautiful texture rather than the individual stitches!

More Arrows inspiration

Check out the bloggers below for their takes on Spools, and be on the lookout for giveaways! I hope you’ve enjoyed traveling to all of the stops on the hop for more ideas on how to make any of the quilts in my book!

Sandra Starley: Textile Time Travels

Sandra Starley Halloween Quilt -Spools

Who says you have to make rainbow colored blocks? Sandra decided to make mini-sized Halloween themed spools, complete with spooky background prints. Now this makes me want to make one for all the holidays! I mean, how cool would it look in reds and greens for Christmas, or red, white and blue for a patriotic quilt? This opens up a world of ideas for you to explore!!

Be sure and keep an eye on Sandra’s blog in the future to see how she quilts it!

Jen Shaffer: Patterns by Jen

Spools made by Jen

I love how Jen made her quilt similar to the original, but she totally changed up the quilting. She used a combination of “modern zig-zags” in the sashing which I introduce earlier in the book. Plus she combined it with “triangle texture”, a motif I teach in my first book.

Visit Jen’s blog to see some really great process pics showing how she approached the improv piecing. I’m proud of her for going outside her comfort zone! While there, you’ll even see the coordinating pillow she made with another machine quilting design from the book!

Today’s Gift: Win Scraps of My new fabric

Since we’ve been talking about how to use up your scraps, I thought it would be fun to offer a unique giveaway today. Many of you know I’ve been sharing sneak peeks of my new fabric line, Modern Marks, which releases this November from Benartex. Well, I’ve been working behind the scenes, making a bunch of quilts from the new fabric to show it off a bit later. That means that I’ve accumulated a ton of scraps, so I’ve decided to give them away to one of you!

Modern Marks fabric scraps

This bundle of scraps could be yours! It’s Modern Marks by Christa Watson for Benartex.

This means that one lucky winner will be the first (other than me) to get their hands on my fabric, before anyone can even buy it!!! Now that you know what you can do with scraps, the sky’s the limit when it comes to using them.

To enter, leave me a comment letting me know which quilt from the book is your favorite. If you haven’t had a chance to see them all, click here for the blog hop schedule, with links to each of the quilts. I’ll choose a winner’s name at random on Monday morning and notify them via email. I’m happy to ship your box of scraps anywhere, with the understanding that an international winner will pay shipping (less the cost of shipping it to the US).

Piece and Quilt with Precuts Blog Hop

And finally, if you’ve enjoyed the blog hop, be sure to pick up a signed copy of my book. It’s been a joy to write, and even more satisfying to share all of the quilts with you. Be sure and stop by tomorrow to see what’s coming up next!

Update: Winner Selected and Comments Closed

Congrats to Brandy F.  who has been contacted via email.

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Piece and Quilt with Precuts Quilt 10: Arrows

I’ve been having such a fabulous time sharing all the quilts from my new book Piece and Quilt with Precuts. In fact, once the blog hop ends, I’m going to be at a loss for what to do next! (But not for long I hope!) Take a look at Arrows, one of my favorite designs from the book, which just so happens to be on the cover!!

Arrows from Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

Arrows Photography courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Brent Kane

Piece It

I had two goals when designing this quilt: I wanted to make it with a scrappy background, and I wanted to create a design that would use a fat eighth bundle for the focus design. While designing the quilt in EQ7, I also wanted to see what the quilt would look like if you decided to use just one fabric for the background, rather than going scrappy.

Check it out using a black background – doesn’t it make the colors pop?

Arrows Alternate Colorway designed in eq

Here’s what it would look like with a white print background and bright colors:

Arrows alternate colorway designed in eq7

As you can see, it’s such a versatile design! Whenever I make a quilt, I usually want to remake it using other fabrics because it ends up looking so different!

Quilt It

I actually designed Arrows just so that I’d have lots of negative space to quilt a dense free-motion design I named Arrowheads. I first taught this motif during a class at QuiltCon, and knew I had to use it in a real quilt!

Detail quilting of Arrows Quilt - design is called Arrowheads from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

I quilted a contrasting design called “Cursive L’s” in the arrows blocks. It’s easy to create contrast in the quilting when one of the motifs is a curved design and the other is linear or geometric. Cursive L’s is one of my “go-to” designs because it’s easy to stretch or shrink to fill any space!

More Arrows inspiration

Take a look at two more ideas for how you can change up the fabrics. I’m sure this will get your creative juices flowing to make your own version! And don’t forget to visit each blog looking for more fun giveaways!!

Lynn Kline: Monkey Needle

Arrows made by Lynn

For her version, Lynn used the same Arrowheads and Cursive L’s quilting as taught in the book. I also include a suggestion to echo quilt around the blocks to make the blocks pop even more, and I love how it looks on Lynn’s quilt!

Arrows made by Lynne Kline

Doesn’t Lynn’s version look great with the scrappy white background? Be sure and visit her blog to read more her progress and to find out which fabrics she chose. Plus she’s hosting 2 giveaways!!

Arrows quilting detail by Lynn

Look at all of that scrumptious quilting texture!! In her post, Lynn even mentions how long it took her to quilt – along with more gorgeous pics where you can really see the quilting. I know that if Lynn can do it – so can you!

Click here to read more about Lynn’s version of Arrows and enter her giveaways.

Kathy Bruckman: Kathy’s Kwilts and More

Kathy’s name should seem familiar since she was one of the first stops on the hop when she made Squiggles. After I shared the first quilt, Kathy made a coordinating Squiggles pillow from her leftovers of the first quilt!

Squiggles Pillow made by Kathy

Click here to read more about Kathy’s bonus pillow project.

She had so much fun making that first quilt that she wanted to make another one from the book. So pop on over to her blog to see her version of Arrows in progress.

Arrows in progress by Kathy

Don’t you love the crinkly goodness of a fresh batch of bright batik fabrics?
These will look so good once they are quilted up!

Today’s Gift: A Free PDF Pattern for all, plus Win The Set!

Christa Quilts Patterns

Just a few of the patterns I currently have available through Craftsy.

Although I currently have 6 patterns available in print, I offer a total of 10 PDF patterns in my Craftsy store, including one that’s totally free!! So pop on over there to get the freebie and check out the other 9. I’ll choose two winners at the end of the hop on Aug 31. Because these are delivered electronically, this giveaway is open to everyone around the world!

Click here to get the free Craftsy pattern and see the whole collection.

To enter, leave me a comment about your favorite way to quilt. Do you prefer walking foot, free-motion, or both? Or maybe you like to hand quilt, or even quilt “by check!” I’d love to know. 🙂

Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

Click here to get your signed copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts.

Click here to see all of the stops on the hop.

Update: Winner Selected and Comments Closed

Congrats to Pat T. and Lynn T. who have been contacted via email.

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My Craftsy Class is Now Live and You can get 50% off the Regular Price!

Today’s the day!! It’s launch day for my brand new Craftsy class: Startup Library – Quilting. But first things first. Congratulations to Annie B. and Ursula (from Germany) who each won a copy of the class. I’ve emailed them their winning link!

I am so thrilled about this class. It’s very long and in-depth covering all the basics of how to make a quilt from start to finish. The total run time is 5 hours, 43 minutes which is nearly 3 times as long as one of their regular length classes. What can I say – I have a lot to teach!

Now before you get a bit of sticker shock for the price of the class (since it’s so much longer), I have a special 50% off instructor discount you can get by clicking this link below:

Click here to get 50% off Startup Library: Quilting (Through October 8, 2017.)

Christa Teaches on Craftsy

Fun Fact: I made this quilt twice!! A finished one to display and then the one I show step-by step in class. I was able to follow my own instructions while making it so everything is accurate.

You are welcome to share the discount link with your friends – the more the merrier!! It works a little differently than their normal discount, though. First you click the link and the coupon is automatically added to your cart, but the class sales page will still state the regular ammount. However, once you click “buy now” the price reflected in you shopping cart will be at the discounted rate. Clear as mud??

Friendship Stars Quilt

Fun fact: Craftsy photographed me “fluffing” the quilt top about 20 times to get some great “action” stills. It was a great exercise for my arms, LOL!!!

Just like any class, I’m here to help you every step of the way. You’ll have 24/7 access to the class platform and can post your progress. I usually answer any questions within 24 hours or less. In fact,  one of the first things I do each day is check in and see if anyone has questions. It’s become such a fun part of my morning routine!

Cuting Fabric for Friendship Stars Quilt

Fun fact: I cut out several duplicate fabric pieces just in case – it was a big job to keep them all organized and in order; but also tons of fun!!

I was so thrilled that I was able to include instruction on my methods for spray basting and binding in this class. It was fun to work out the logistics of how to film that and I’m pleased with how it turned out!

basting a quilt

Fun fact: during the basting lesson, my Craftsy content editor makes an appearance as my helper. I think I’ve now converted her to basting using my method!!

The class materials include the complete pattern and supplies to make the Friendship Stars quilt, a beginner’s glossary of common quilting terms (that was fun to write!), a startup checklist, and quilting diagrams for you to follow.

Christa Quilts on a BERNINA

Fun fact: I purposefully made the entire quilt on a smaller sewing machine so that students could see how I manage a quilt of this size under the machine.

For your convenience, Craftsy has put together a quilt kit using the exact same fabrics as shown in the sample. Of course, you can use any fabrics you like, but these were so fun to work with! The basic kit includes all the fabric needed for quilt top and binding. There’s also an option to get the kit with the backing included.

Friendship Stars Kit

Click here to get the Friendship Stars Strawberry Fizz kit on sale.

I sure hope you’ll join me in class. I can’t wait to see how you interpret the quilt and make it your own!! After all, the whole reason I wanted to present this class is so that you can walk away with a beautiful finished quilt and you can proudly say, “I made it myself!”

Start to finish quilting

Click here to enroll in Startup Library: Quilting.

 

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Three Pinwheel Quilts: From EQ7 Sketch to Finished Quilt

For my Craftsy class that launched last month, I made the same Pinwheel quilt three different ways, with different fabrics and quilting designs. Now I’m back to share a little more up close and personal about each quilt.

Walking foot quilting from The Quilter's Path Craftsy ClassDetail of Walking Foot Quilting on Pinwheels Quilt #1.

As an EQ ambassador and artist, I pretty much do all of my quilt designing in EQ7. So I thought it would be fun to show you each of the quilts along with their original sketches that I drew.

EQ7 Drawing of Pinwheels QuiltThis is my sketch of the first pinwheels quilt shown in my online class, using 1930’s repro prints. I didn’t worry about the prints being an exact match. This sketch just gave me an idea of how busy prints would look against a dark blue background.

Pinwheels quilt, machine quiltied with a wavy grid design using a walking foot/dual feed

When it came to making the first quilt with a navy background, I actually had enough fabric to make two quilts (using a jelly roll of Boundless 1930’s Delights along with a jelly roll of Boundless Solids Navy.) The version above was the finished sample shown in class. I made a second one shown below to stitch on during filming as I demonstrated one of the walking foot quilting techniques. Rather than making two of the exact same quilt, I divided the prints into two colorschemes – patriotic and pastel.

Contrasting thread on pinwheels quilt. Quilted with BERNINA dual feed during Craftsy filming.

You’ll notice I quilted both quilts with a different colored thread. The patriotic one was quilted with a medium blue thread while the pastel one was quilted with a light yellow, both from my Aurifil Piece and Quilt Collection of 50 weight cotton threads.

I wanted to show the difference of what “blending” thread looks like verses “contrasting” thread. I think they both look great, and it’s a personal preference of whether you want your thread to show, or be more subtle. In either case, the quilting adds great texture to the quilt, don’t you think?

Pink Pinwheels quilt designed in EQ7

For the second quilt shown in class, I chose a pretty pink and white color scheme, using the default solids in the EQ7 palette. Many times I’ll design my quilt in solids and then add prints later. But more often than not, I really like the solid version, too! Again, I didn’t worry about the colors being an exact match – using a variety of pinks gave me the scrappy look I was going for.

You’ll notice I left my lines in the sketch this time so you can see how the blocks fit together. One of the options I love in EQ is being able to turn the seam lines off and on, depending on whether or not I want to view the quilt design that way.

Pink quilt with allover loopy machine quilting. From The Quilter's Path Craftsy class by Christa Watson.

Here’s the finished quilt using Boundless Solids in Tickled Pink and Bright White. For this quilt, I demonstrate how to quilt an allover free-motion design using the blocks as a guide to travel around the quilt. I used some of the leftover precut strips for the binding to add a touch of whimsy!

EQ7 sketch of teal/gray pinwheel quilt by Christa Watson

Finally, for the teal/gray version it was easy to swap out the colors from the original design. I will usually draw one design in one colorway and then try out lots of options until I find something I’m happy with. Sometimes I will start with a specific color scheme or fabric collection in mind and design around it. Other times, I’ll come up with my design and colors and then find fabrics to match.

Either way, my all-time favorite function in EQ7 is being able to import colors and fabric swatches if needed, so I know what the quilt will look like before I start! I prefer to do all of my thinking and planning ahead of time so that all I have to do is enjoy stitching once it’s time to actually make the quilt!

Finished Teal Pinwheels quilt

As you can see, the final quilt is more teal and less green than the sketch but it was close enough for what I wanted! I used a precut strip roll of Bounders Blenders Aura Coastal Escape for the blocks with Boundless Solids in Nickel for the background and binding.

For this third version, I combined both walking foot quilting with free motion to create combined custom quilting. The trick is planning how to make your way around the quilt, also known as “finding your path!” In between each of the “real” quilts, I demonstrate many more quilting motifs on quilt blocks so you can see how to quilt around the seams.

When it came time to creating the Pinwheels pattern (included as a bonus freebie in the class materials), using EQ7 made it easy for me to isolate parts of the design to create the quilt pattern.

Free Pattern included in The Quilter's Path Craftsy Class by Christa Watson

Above is a sneak peek of one of the pattern pages using my EQ drawings as stepouts. I’d be lost without it! Machine quilting is definitely my favorite part of making a quilt, so I’m glad I have good tools that help me design faster so there’s more time for sewing!

Christa Watson's Craftsy Class: The Quilter's Path

Learn how to quilt these quilts and more in The Quilter’s Path: Plan It, Stitch It, Quilt It.

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My Rainbow Zigzags Quilt Pattern – Free from All People Quilt

I’m excited to reveal a quick and easy quilt I made as part of the Scrap Lab challenge in each issue of Quilts and More Magazine, a sister publication of American Patchwork and Quilting.Free Rainbow Zig Zags Quilt pattern by Christa Watson of Christa Quilts

It’s called Rainbow Zigzags and was created from a bundle of Moda Grunge fat eighths.

Moda Grunge Fat Eighths from The Precut StoreModa Grunge Bundle of F8’s is available from The Precut Store.

In each issue, three designers create three different projects using the exact same fabrics. You can see one of the other projects on the cover – a set of patchwork pillows made by Sheri McConnell. Jeni Baker made the third project, a cute patchwork bag.

Quilts and More Spring 2017 cover

Click here to see other projects from the issue. Photo courtesy of Meredith Corp.

I quilted my quilt using one of my new favorite quilting motifs, what I call “jagged stipple.” I think it’s a fun modern alternative to regular stippling and is easier, too!

jagged stipple free-motion quilted by Christa Watson on Rainbow Zigzags

I quilted each row of zig-zags using a matching thread color from my Piece and Quilt collection of Aurifil thread. It was super easy to do: I stitched in the ditch to anchor quilt each diagonal row, then free-motion quilted one row at a time starting and ending off the quilt so I didn’t have to tie off a single thread!

Piece and Quilt Aurifil thread by Christa Watson

Click here to get my Aurifil thread collection from The Precut Store.

Here’s a pretty image of all three scrap lab projects as seen in the Spring 2017 issue of Quilts and more. As a bonus, All People Quilt is offering my pattern for free when you register for their newsletter. I think that’s a pretty great deal, don’t you??

Scrap Lab projects featured in Quilts and More by Christa Watson, Jeni Baker and Sherri McConnell

Get the Rainbow Zig Zags pattern free. Image Courtesy of Meredith Corp.

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