Featured Designer: Heather Black of Quiltachusetts

Today I’m happy to have a guest post from my friend Heather Black of Quiltachusetts. Heather is a talented designer of modern quilts and when you visit her blog, you’ll recognize some of the designs on her published page.

Heather Black

Her most recent adventure is fabric design, and I know you’ll enjoy hearing about that. Take it away, Heather!


I’m so honored that Christa asked me to be a guest on her blog. Christa was one of the first quilters I met online and she’s been a mentor as well as a friend through the years. 

She encouraged me to follow my own sensibilities when it came to designing quilts and gave me the courage to branch out into fabric design when Paintbrush Studio came calling.

Fat quarters of Sketchbook by Heather Black for Paintbrush Studio

Earlier this year my first fabric line, Sketchbook for Paintbrush Studio, was released. I don’t know what I would have done without Christa’s support and guidance. The fabric line was inspired by a quilt I designed called Swatches.

Swatches by Heather Black

When I designed this quilt, I wanted the pink swatches to look like paint cakes, but the quilting is where I really found inspiration for the fabric line. 

I liked the black outline quilting around the paint cakes. It reminded me of doodling or sketching, and from there I began playing with shapes and textures that had the same feel and look.

Detail, Swatches by Heather Black

I also designed three different quilts to go along with the fabric line. They’re Sketchbook Sampler, Office Daydreams and Topsy-Turvy. Two of the designs are fat quarter friendly, and they use Painter’s Palette Solids as the background.

All of the prints from the line and the patterns are now available in my shop, quiltachusetts.com.

I’m so thankful to Paintbrush Studio for taking the risk and giving me a chance to design fabric. I really love the process and the creativity of it all.  My second fabric line, Road Trip, will be out before the end of the year. It’s all very exciting.

Again, this fabric line was inspired by a quilt I designed, and that quilt was inspired by all the road trips my family took and still takes. We’ve driven all over the USA and parts of Canada. 

I really appreciate the memories and time spent with my parents and siblings. The Road Trip fabric line is a combination of bright cheery colors and geometric shapes.

Road Trip by Heather Black

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a bit about the inspiration behind my quilts and fabric. I love the design process and making quilts and I encourage all quilters to add their own personality to every quilt they create.

Detail, Road Trip by Heather Black

Isn’t it great to see that Heather has found her creative voice? She has a unique style all her own. It was fun to hear how her modern quilt designs inspired fabric designs! Be sure to visit Heather’s website and her blog, and follow her on Instagram: @quiltachusetts.

EQ Design Challenge Call for Entry: You Could Win Good Vibes Fabric

Design challenge alert!! I’ve partnered with Electric Quilt and Benartex, LLC. to bring you a fun design contest. Download swatches of my Good Vibes fabric, design an original quilt using EQ, and enter to win a bundle of my fabric. This is a great way to stretch your creativity and you don’t even have to make the quilt.GoodVibes-Challenge

You DO have to use Electric Quilt to enter this contest, but you DO NOT have to make the quilt! 2 lucky winners will each win a Bundle of my Good Vibes fabric.

The exciting part about this design challenge is that I get to pick one of the winners! My friends over at Benartex will pick the other. I’ve done this contest for most of my fabric lines so far and I just LOVE seeing what you all create!!

Good Vibes fat quarters

To enter

Design your own, original quilt in EQ using the Good Vibes fabrics then submit an image of it to EQ by 11:59pm ET on October 31, 2020. Download the free Good Vibes fabrics for EQ here.

For other rules and to submit, click here to visit the Electric Quilt Blog.

I can’t wait to see your entries!!

 

Modern Logs Inspiration

The Modern Logs Quilt Along is in full swing, and that means everyone has started to post their blocks, tops and finishes. This is one of my favorite parts! And I want you to explore your own creativity so I’m thrilled when you add stash fabrics or play around with the setting or otherwise add your own special touch.

Today I’m sharing a variety of other people’s Modern Logs in different stages so you can appreciate the versatility of this design. I hope you enjoy them! Be sure to check out my facebook group and #modernlogsquilt on instagram for more great examples!!

Modern Logs by Barbara F

Barbara F. used one fat quarter bundle of Good Vibes as she grouped similar colors together in each block. She also chose a straight set instead of the offset design shown in the pattern. Those random bits are fabulous, and I love it when you all make this design your own!

Modern Logs by Laina L

Laina L. used a variety of colors from all my fabric lines.  Isn’t her finish beautiful?


Modern Logs by Michele H

Michele H went for an earthy look with rich batiks that  feel like a gentle autumn morning. Well done!
 
Modern Logs by April S

I often say that prints from my collections over the years work great together, and April S took me at my word. I see Abstract Garden, Gridwork, Modern Marks, Fandangle and Good Vibes for sure. What a lovely mashup!

Click here to shop all of my fabrics!

Modern Logs by Judi H

I love the patriotic look chosen by Judi H for her Modern Logs. Classic red, white and blue with a touch of gold, maybe for a yellow ribbon?! She wondered if they were too wonky, but I think not. The beauty of improv is that everyone’s quilt comes out differently!

Modern Logs by Sharon C

Sharon’s working on her version of Modern Logs made from the Modern Logs quilt kit. You can can choose to orient the rows horizontally or vertically – the choice is up to you!

Although Sharon has used the exact same fabrics as my version below – notice how different they look. That’s the versatility of this design and I can’t wait to see more!

My version of Modern Logs

Shop my Good Vibes fabric collection!

Modern Logs by Jo O

Jo O’s version of Modern Logs really makes me smile. Notice the cats? I can almost see their tails swishing. I love the pops of dusty pink. And the deep gold is heavenly! So much to love right here.

Modern Logs 1 by Ellen A

Ellen went for a graphic quality with bright blues and yellows. It’s a winning combination! And she didn’t stop there.

Modern Logs 2 by Ellen A

She used just four blocks and some ingenuity to create another improvisational design. Both quilts are headed to a NICU. That’s pretty heartwarming!

As you have seen, this quilt can take on any personality. Your stash can make it totally unique, or it looks terrific in my fabrics, too.

My thanks to all the makers above for joining me for the QAL and sharing their work. It inspires me and I hope it does the same for you!

Modern Logs Quilt Pattern

If you still need the pattern:

And remember that the Quilt Along steps will remain up, so you can jump in and sew at your convenience any time.

Modern Logs by Christa Watson

Introducing Nancy Messuri Designs and Her Hypnotica Quilt Pattern!

You all know I love to see what you create using the fabrics I’ve designed for Benartex. Well every now and then a quilt comes along that really makes my heart sing! So today I wanted to share more about this fabulous quilt called Hypnotica by my talented friend Nancy Messuri who is a relatively new quilt pattern designer.Hypnotica Quilt by Nancy MessuriClick here to get Nancy’s Hypnotica Quilt Pattern PDF

I’ve invited Nancy to come on the blog to tell you more about this fabulous quilt in her own words…..

From Nancy Messuri:

I am honored Christa gave me the opportunity to guest blog as I am a huge fan all her fabric lines, books, and easygoing teaching style, so I was very excited when she asked me to guest  post, as there is lots to share about this quilt!

Hypnotica Black and White

Hypnotica started off as a study in black and white and I had no intention of making it into a quilt. It was simply a personal design challenge in Electric Quilt 8 (EQ8). After playing with some initial coloring though, I found the design quite interesting. I saw it had potential to be very striking. My geometric quilt designs often mesh with Christa’s sense of line and color, so I placed a few of her fabrics into my design. And wow, did it ever come to life!

Hypnotica in progress

I started thinking about possibly piecing Hypnotica, but the fact that all 34 wedges meet at the center point was daunting. However, I continued playing with fabric placements in EQ8 using Christa’s fabrics. When I found a grouping that really stood out I decided I had to give this quilt a try.

Fabrics in the quilt are a mix of Geo Pop, Gridwork, Abstract Garden and Fandangle

Construction of the quilt center was actually easier than I expected it to be. The entire circle is made up of only two different wedges which alternate around the quilt. I printed patterns for the foundation paper pieced wedges from EQ8, then did a few test runs of sewing patches into wedges and sewing wedges together.

After I felt confident with the tests, I was ready to use Christa’s beautiful fabrics and pieced together the two semi-circles. I quickly learned not to sew too fast over multiple layers of fabric as wedges were added; especially when nearing the center of the quilt. Hypnotica is definitely a “slow and steady wins the race” kind of quilt!

The two background pieces are sewn to each semi-circle before sewing the two halves of the circle together. If you are new to curved piecing, this is an easy curve to start with as the seam is sewn in a long, gentle curve. A few test runs of curved piecing with scrap fabric can give lots of confidence!

Hypnotica Quilt Center
The moment of truth arrived; matching up all the points of the two halves while dealing with all the layers meeting up at the center point. I listened to my own advice and sewed very slowly and I am happy to say I nailed it on the first try! (There may have been a happy dance or two after that.) At that point, I knew a pattern had to be created for Hypnotica.Hypnotica Quilt patternClick the image above to enlarge.
Click here to order Hypnotica Quilt Pattern.

I quilted Hypnotica with a continuous spiral that turned out wonderfully. It was quick, easy, and looks fantastic! If you have not tried this before, Christa has a great YouTube video tutorial, “How to Machine Quilt Continuous Spirals.”

Spiral Quilting on Hypnotica

Click here to view Christa’s spiral quilting tutorial.

Spiral Quilting Close Up

I would love to see your interpretations of Hypnotica on my Facebook page, Nancy Messuri Designs! The pattern is available on my website, NancyMessuriDesigns.com. There are new patterns in the works, so I hope you pop in from time to time. Or better yet, sign up for updates so you won’t miss a thing!

Hypnotica Quilt by Nancy Messuri

Thanks so much Nancy for sharing your beautiful quilt!!  Now I can’t wait to see what she creates next. 🙂

Good Vibes Quilts in the Wild – Quilts Made from by My Friends

It’s been exciting to see Good Vibes turning up in other people’s projects! One of the best parts of fabric design is discovering what others make with my prints from Benartex. I’m happy to feature several of those projects today.

Propeller by Sherry Shish of Powered by Quilting

Sherry Shish of Powered by Quilting  used the Slippin’ Slide print in all four colors for her propellers, nicely accented by the Gumballs prints in the corners. I like the secondary design formed by the Gumballs at the center—it’s another propeller!

Sherry took full advantage of the low-volume prints in Good Vibes and I could not love her background fabrics more. What a great soft look she achieved by using Circuit Board, Good Vibrations and Interconnected.

Click here to get Sherry’s Propeller pattern.

Groovy Chutes by Charisma Horton

Charisma Horton took full advantage of the Gumballs’ medium scale and graphic quality when she made her 80″ x 90″ Groovy Chutes quilt. This modern design shows off the saturated colors of Good Vibes beautifully! And didn’t she find the perfect spot for photography?

Click here to get Charisma’s Groovy Chutes pattern.

Dropping In by Sarah Vanderburgh of Sew Joy Creations

Dropping In by Sew Joy Creations

Sarah Vandenburgh of Sew Joy Creations designed this delightful quilt called Dropping In and ask if I’d offer kits for it. Of course I said yes and she’s also currently offering a quilt along for it.

Quilt Along in Progress!

Below is Sarah’s dropping in quilt in progress. Click here to join the quilt along fun!!

These are just a few of the fun projects I’ve seen online but I’m always on the lookout for more! If you make something with my fabrics, please let me know! You can use #goodvibesfabric on social media, or post pics in my ChristaQuilts Group on Facebook. I love to see them all!

Click here to shop my Good Vibes fabrics, bundles, precuts and kits.

Good Vibes by Christa Watson for Benartex

Quilts Made by You!! Gotta Love the Inspiration :-)

Nothing makes my day more than seeing what you all are making with my fabrics! And I love seeing when you’ve used one of my patterns for your latest project. With so many options, it’s an honor to see these beautiful quilts and works in progress “in the wild!” 🙂

Christa Quilts Patterns

So today I thought it would be fun to do a little roundup of what you all have been making with my designer products. It makes my day to see these pop up on social media 🙂

This gorgeous photo shows Kathleen Hetzler Riordan with quilts on her beautiful white fence. She says, “My street had a pop-up quilt show today and four of us who are quilters put our quilts out on our picket fence, and neighbors walked, drove and golf carted by to see them! It was very impromptu but lots of fun! Christa’s Puzzle Box is on the far left!” 

Click here to get the free Puzzle Box quilt pattern.
Kathleen Hetzler Riordan on Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

I love this outdoor image—it shouts “Summertime!” Kathleen lives in Virginia and the quilt show took place on May 24, 2020. I’m sure it was a source of joy for many people during the pandemic. 

Sally J. is currently working on a baby quilt with my Color Weave pattern and Abstract Garden prints. This design is great for 2.5 strips—maybe you have a favorite sitting around just waiting to be used?! Or maybe you’d like to treat yourself to one of my colorful modern strip sets!

 

Megan G. used purple for her Optical Illusion quilt and I love it! This design works in so many great combinations. Pay attention to the instructions for the values of each fabric so that your illusion shows up nicely.

Here are links to all of the steps in the Optical Illusion Quilt Along that we recently wrapped up! My QAL blog posts stay up indefinitely so you can sew on your own timeline.

Optical Illusion QAL steps:

Here’s another one in progress from Kate S. I love that red and aqua combo!

 

Debora L shared her success in quilting continuous spirals on her black, white and gray version shown below:

 Kate S. is gets bonus points for combining fat quarters from ALL of my fabric lines to make this colorful project below:

I can’t wait to see more!!

And I see Good Vibes fabrics in her stacks of Flying Geese. I wonder where this is going? I’m sure it will look amazing when finished!

How about this scrappy house quilt? Judy A. posted it in my Christa Quilts Facebook group and had this to say about it:

This is my “Village” (Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co). Mostly Christa’s fabrics plus some Patrick Lose, Allison Glass, and my stash. I can honestly say that working on this made me SO happy. 

I sure love it when I see my fabrics playing so nicely with others!!

Sandi S. in Australia is making this bright and happy number with Geo Pop fat quarters and half-square triangles. That’s some gorgeous eye candy, isn’t it?!

Nancy Mahoney Modern Fans

Last but not least for today, I just love this beauty above made by Nancy Mahoney. She combined a bunch of my fat quarter color bundles along with Op Squares in white from Geo Pop for the background. You can actually find the pattern for it in the July/August issue of Love of Quilting Magazine.

I so appreciate all of you! Thank you for making this the best job under the sun!

Love Your Creative Space Blog Tour with Lilo Bowman

Today I’m excited to tell you about a fabulous new book, from my friend Lilo Bowman.

Lilo Bowman

Lilo Bowman

Love Your Creative Space: A Visual Guide to Creating an Inspiring & Organized Studio Without Breaking the Bank is Lilo’s new title from C&T Publishing. It’s full of ideas, solutions, and creative ways to set aside and love your personal space for making.

Love Your Creative Space book

Click here to buy Love Your Creative Space on Amazon. 

So backing up a little, I first met Lilo when I was a guest on The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. She’s used to working behind the scenes as a producer for the show but now I’m excited for her to be the star of the show with her new book and blog tour.

The Quilt Show Set

Click here to see the trailer for my Quilt Show episode.
Lilo helped keep me organized and ready to roll on filming day!

Love Your Creative Space is divided into My Stuff (we all have it!), My Space (tiny or large) and My System. It addresses the common needs of needlecrafters, but also covers many less common topics.
Love Your Creative Space
For example, how do you stay organized when you head out for a class or a retreat? How can or should your space be altered when life itself changes because of a move, an illness or just getting older? There are many ideas and suggestions, along with questions to help you analyze your own stuff, space and system.
 
I especially enjoyed the gallery of artist studios. One space has been adapted for its owner’s special needs after a stroke left her with partial paralysis. One space is especially compact. A third artist requires both dry and wet work spaces!
 
If you work in more than one medium, you’ll find ideas to organize, separate and combine your supplies. The book’s photography might even inspire you to try something new!
 
Love Your Creative Space
 
This book recognizes that budgets for creative spaces come in all sizes, and Lilo gives helpful advice for saving, economizing and reimagining or repurposing. It’s clear that she wants makers to love and enjoy their spaces regardless of the size or financial constraints. That’s a win!

It’s a Giveaway!

This week’s blog tour includes a giveaway of the ebook Love Your Creative Space: A Visual Guide to Creating an Inspiring & Organized Studio Without Breaking the Bank. For your chance to win, leave a comment here by Tuesday, June 30. Tell me what kind of space you’d like to plan, or how you’d improve your current space.

There are other great stops on the blog tour. I hope you’ll follow these folks and check out their posts for more insight into Love Your Creative Space by Lilo Bowman.
 
LoveYourCreativeSpaceBookLaunchBlogTour

The Love Your Creative Space Blog Tour:

Friday, June 26:
Christa Watson/Blog –christaquilts.com
C&T Publishing/Blog-https://www.ctpub.com/blog/

Saturday, June 27:

Bonnie K. Hunter/Blog-quiltville.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 28:

Heidi Proffetty-heidifproffetty.com/blog
 
Monday, June 29:
 
Tuesday, June 30:
 

Be sure to follow the entire tour for much more inspiration around creative spaces large and small!

You’re Inspiring Me! See More Quilts Made from my Fabrics and Patterns

One of the best things about designing fabric is seeing how people use it. It’s absolutely inspiring for me when I notice your work using my fabric out in the world. It makes my day! Here are some recent examples.

Geo Pop Beaded Lanterns

Beaded Lanterns by Leesa Burr-Bates; pattern by Christa Watson.

Leesa Burr-Bates shared her Beaded Lanterns quilt top in the Christa Quilts Group on Facebook. If you’re not yet a member of the Group, you’re invited to join us!

Leesa used my Geo Pop fabrics from Benartex. I think she did a great job, and I can’t wait to see this one quilted up!

Click here to get Beaded Lanterns on my free quilt pattern page.
Click here to get the Geo Pop strip roll to make this quilt.

Made from Gridwork Strips

Sheila @mysteryquilter in New Zealand made this top from 2.5″ Gridwork strips.

Over on Instagram, Sheila from New Zealand made a snazzy top from a roll-up of Gridwork strips. This one keeps your eyes moving, doesn’t it?

Check out my Instagram feed.
Find a Gridwork bundle to treat yourself!

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt!

Bonnie Eicher’s Blooming Wallflowers piecing progress.

Bonnie Eicher pieced Blooming Wallflowers from a kit, and it turned out really well! Then she used a simple drawing app on her tablet to try out ideas for quilting.

Bonnie’s auditions for quilting.

Can’t wait to see her finish!

Find the Blooming Wallflowers quilt kit (throw size, 59″ x 76″).
Get the Blooming Wallflowers pattern instantly as a downloadable pdf.
Get the Blooming Wallflowers paper pattern.

Colourful Mod Cats

If you’re a friend of felines, check out these Mod Cats made from a variety of my fabrics. Mod Cat was designed by Linda and Carl Sullivan of Colourwerx in Palm Desert, CA. If you’d like to make one-color cats, my brand new bundles would make it easy: 

Try green or red! 

There are bundles of Turquoise/Teal, Yellow and Orange, too. 😊

And how about this beauty? 

New York Lattice in Geo Pop

New York Lattice by @sewjess, from a kit in Geo Pop from @timefliesquiltandsew

Jess @sewjess posted her New York Lattice quilt top recently.

The fabrics are from my Geo Pop line. Jess made the shop sample for @timefliesquiltandsew. I appreciate it when a shop puts my fabrics into a kit, thank you very much! 

Get a kit from Time Flies Quilt & Sew.

Geo Pop Zip Cases

Quick Zip Cases in Geo Pop fabrics, pattern byAnnie.com

These Quick Zip Cases are so handy for storing all kinds of items. And aren’t they cute in Geo Pop fabrics? The contrasting zippers are a nice added pop. The pattern for Quick Zip Cases is from byAnnie.com, and it’s just five dollars!

When you use my fabrics from any collection, please post it to your social media with the @christaquilts tag and #christaquilts, or send photos my way using christa@christaquilts.com. I’d love to see what you’re making!