Modern Logs Quilt Along Fabric Prep and Color Options

Modern Logs Quilt Along officially kicks off next week on September 2nd, but today I want to take a minute and discuss fabric selection so you’ll be ready to roll when we begin. In a nutshell, you want to use fat quarters that have good contrast between lights and darks. I’m using Good Vibes fat quarters shown below, but nearly anything you can think of will work!

Click here to get Good Vibes fat quarters while supplies last.

Remember you can use the front or back of your fabric if you need more contrast! I do this all the time. You can turn darker fabrics over to the “wrong” side for a more muted look, and you can use the back side of your low volume prints to make them a shade or two lighter. Take a look at a couple of these in-progress Modern Logs blocks below:

Notice how I’ve used BOTH the front and back of the low-volume prints in the block above. Every other fabric is light/dark but look at that light green. That’s actually the back of that print. The other low volume prints in this block are showing the front side of the fabric. Like I said, you can use either side, but this gives the block a little more variety and sparkle.

The low volume orange print on the outside of the block above is also used in the partial block below, but now I’m using the “wrong” side instead of the “right side.” All of these fabrics will look great together, no matter which side of the fabric you use!

Not only do these examples show good contrast, this gives more depth and interest to the quilt. So instead of 10 light fabrics, I actually have 20 in this quilt! After all, you paid for both sides of the fabric, so you might as well use it, right??

Other Fabric Examples

Check out this gorgeous version of Modern Logs that Laina Lindsey made and shared in my Facebook group. She pulled together fat quarters from my Fandangle and Geo Pop fabric lines. Although these two are brighter and bolder than Good Vibes, with fewer “light” prints, it still totally works because of the CONTRAST.

Laina Lindsey's Modern Logs Quilt Top

So you really can pull together any fabrics you like! It’s all in how you combine them. Try lights versus darks, solids versus prints, or any other combos where you can get great contrast and you’ll have a fabulous looking quilt. And remember, color value is relative. One fabric might be a light, medium, or dark depending on the fabrics that are next to it.

Modern Logs Black White Yellow Red

Check out this fabulous version that my mom made for my aunt, shown above. She wanted a more subdued color scheme so she went with black/white prints with pops of red and yellow. Don’t you just love it?? Again, it’s all about the contrast.

But you don’t have to overthink it. When you gather your fabrics, just put them into piles of lights and darks and you’ll be good to go. If there’s some crossover with the two piles, that’s totally ok!!

Fabric Prep

I recommend working with fat quarters to make Modern Logs because it’s much easier to cut wonky strips from them. However, you can use yardage or scraps, or even precut strips. Just cut them into fat quarter length pieces (approximately 18″ – 22″ long.) We will do a deeper dive into that when we start cutting up the fabric next week.

Good Vibes Fat Quarters

I also like to prewash and starch my fabrics ahead of time, because these blocks will definitely have some  bias edges. (Another reason to work with fat quarters – they are super easy to starch!)

I recommend washing smaller cuts of fabric using a small garment mesh bag to keep them from getting tangled. The fat quarters might shrink up a little after washing, but as long as you have at least 16″ x 19″ of usable fabric per fat quarter, you’ll still be ok.

Here’s a video tutorial I created showing how I starch my fat quarters. I spray one side of the fabric and let it rest for a few seconds, then flip it over and iron from the opposite side. Then I repeat so that I’ve starched both sides and ironed both sides:

I hope you are inspired to gather your supplies and join me for the quilt along next week. I can’t wait!!

Other Helpful Links

Modern Logs by Christa Watson

 

 

Machine Quilting Tutorial: How to Quilt Wavy Lines on Puzzle Box, My Free Quilt Pattern

Have you downloaded my free quilt pattern yet? If not, click here to grab your copy of Puzzle Box, made from 2 strip rolls of my Good Vibes Fabric.

Free Quilt Pattern

When making this quilt, I used the back side of the low volume strips to create more contrast between the blocks. But you can use either side, depending on what you prefer. After all, you paid for both sides of the fabric, so you might as well use it!

Good Vibes Fabric

Click here to get the Good Vibes strip rolls.

And now I have even more more fun, free content to share with you. I took videos while quilting this quilt and I’ve put them together into this 8 minute long YouTube video tutorial. Just click the image below to view:

Press play above to see how I quilted “walking foot” wavy lines on Puzzle Box.

I love quilting wavy lines and It’s one of my go-to designs when I’m in a hurry. You can quilt the lines all in one direction like I did on Puzzle Box above; or you can quilt them in both directions to quilt a wavy line grid like I did for my Bling Quilt shown below:

I love seeing how many different ways I can quilt a wavy line! Here’s a closeup of the wavy lines quilting in one direction on Puzzle Box.

I used the yellow thread from my Piece and Quilt Collection – Colors to Quilt this quilt.

Piece and Quilt Aurifil thread by Christa Watson

Click here to get my Aurifil Thread collection.

Puzzle Box Quilt Made from Good Vibes

Puzzle Box by Christa Watson, 64″ x 80″
Finished July, 2020

My Aurifil Thread Collections Back in Stock and On Sale

Good news for those wanting to purchase my Aurifil Thread collections: They are back in stock at shop.ChristaQuilts.com for just $99 plus shipping. This includes my new Variegated Collection as well as my Piece and Quilt Collections in Colors and Neutrals. Here’s what’s included in each:

The Variegated Collection

Variegated collection by Christa Watson

Variegated collection by Christa Watson

PIECE AND QUILT Varieagated INCLUDE:

3660 Bubblegum
3770 Stone Washed Denim
3817 Marrakesh
3840 French Lilac
3852 Liberty
3910 Lemon Ice
4150 Crème Brule
4250 Flamingo
4650 Leaves
4652 Licorice Twist
4654 Turquoise Foam
4667 Nutty Nougat

Piece and Quilt Collection Colors

PIECE AND QUILT COLORS INCLUDE:

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

Piece and Quilt Collection Neutrals

PIECE AND QUILT NEUTRALS INCLUDE:

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

Each collection includes 12 spools of 100% cotton, 50 weight, 2 ply threads with 1422 yards each They work perfectly for everything I do: piecing, quilting, machine, applique and binding.

Click here to purchase any of my thread collections while supplies last.

Bling Quilt Along Color Inspiration

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

Original Bling

Bling Quilt by Christa Watson

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

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

Geo Pop Bling

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

Bling Quilts with Geo Pop

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

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

Abstract Garden Bling

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

Bling Quilt Abstract Garden

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

Good Vibes Bling with Gray

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

Bling in Good Vibes

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

Good Vibes Scrappy Bling

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

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

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

Click here for the Bling Quilt Along.

Free Motion Quilting Webinar on 4/15, Sponsored by The Modern Quilt Guild

If you are member of The Modern Quilt Guild, I hope you’ll join me live on Wednesday, April 15 at 11 AM PST (1 PM CDT) for an hour-long machine quilting webinar and demo.

Christa Quilts

I’ll be sharing quilting tips and tricks and answering your questions live. This is part of The MQG’s Keep Calm and Sew on series of content for their members. If you aren’t yet a member, you can join now and then watch the webinars any time you like, after they’ve been recorded.

Here are the rest of this week’s free resources:MQG Keep Calm and Sew On

All MQG members should have received an email with a registration link. If you missed it, you can log into The MQg website to sign up.

This is the 4th week that The MQG has been sharing 2 webinars per week as well as a downloadable PDF. Hopefully this content will inspire you and help uplift you during this crazy time.

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!

Finished Quilt: Color Weave, QuiltCon Entry + Quilting Tips

Today I have another quilt finish to share! Now that I’m not inundated with too many projects and too little time (yay for balance!), I can actually blog more about quilts I’ve recently finished, and I love sharing my virtual show and tell with you!

Color Weave by Christa Watson

Color Weave was published in issue 21 of Modern Quilts Unlimited. Photo Credit MQU.

Modern Quilts Unlimited is one of my all-time favorite magazines and it’s such a thrill when my work appears in their pages. Fun fact: the editor, Laurie Baker and I met backin 2014 when she helped edit my first book, Machine Quilting with Style, and we’ve been friends ever since!

Color Weave Backstory

I originally made Color Weave to be included in my most recent book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts, since it’s completely sewn from 2 1/2″ strips. While the book was in the layout and editing stage, the editors realized it was going to be too long (what? Me wordy???) and we had to make the agonizing decision to cut this project.

Quilting Detail on Color Weave

I love quilts with simple color schemes. Pick any 3 colors to make this quilt!

This happens with craft books more often than you realize, because book publishers would rather have too much content to choose from than not enough. For budgeting purposes, they have to stick to a strict page limit that’s agreed ahead of time in the book contract, and there’s only so many ways you can lay things out with a limited number of pages.

Precut Pieces for Color Weave

I love it when all of the pieces of a quilt are cut and ready to sew!

So after I held my 5 minute pity party, I contacted MQU and asked if they’d be interested in publishing this pattern in their magazine and they said yes! FYI – if you are interested in getting into magazines, editors are always on the lookout for great content and the fact that my quilt was ready to go meant they could schedule it for any issue where they needed to fill pages.

Machine Quilting Details

Needless to say I was thrilled that Modern Quilts Unlimited was excited to publish the pattern for Color Weave, and I was even more pleased that they included the instructions on how to quilt it as a free “web extra” on their blog. (See below image for link.)

Color Weave Web ExtraPhoto Credit – Modern Quilts Unlimited Magazine

Click here to get my machine quilting instructions for Color Weave, courtesy of MQU magazine.

Random crosshatch is actually one of my favorite ways to quilt a quilt with your walking foot (or dual feed) and it is so easy to do! Rather than painstakingly trying to mark and create a perfectly symmetrical grid, I use the piecing seams as a guideline for my lines.

Machine Quilting Random Crosshatch

I started off by quilting in the ditch between all the seams to stabilize and anchor the quilt. Then I filled in between the grid with straight lines at random intervals. I used the edge of my walking foot as a guideline for spacing, moving the needle position to create narrower or wider lines.

QuiltCon Acceptance

I knew right away when I received this quilt back from the magazine that I wanted to enter it into QuiltCon for their 2018 show. I haven’t really seen a design like this before, so I thought it had a good shot of getting into the innovative “Piecing” category.  I’m pleased that others will be able to see it at next years’ show because one of the reasons I enter shows is to share my work with a wider audience who might not have discovered me yet.

Quilting Detail on Color Weave

Quilting detail from Color Weave. Just remember: the best way to hide an imperfectly straight line is to surround it with more imperfectly straight lines!!

It took me awhile to figure out how to create the woven effect in the piecing. It’s like an optical illusion, and I’m sure the quilt would look totally different using scrappy prints, but I was pleased with how it turned out.

When trying to quilt parallel lines, just remember that “straight-ish” lines are perfectly ok! When you are two inches away from the quilt, you’ll notice all the imperfections. But once you back away from the quilt, all of a sudden your eye sees the overall texture rather than the individual stitches.

Random Crosshatch Grid by Christa Watson

Quilting Tip:  If you want your quilting to show, use a solid back. If you want to hide your quilting, using a busy back. I always use the same color thread in top and bobbin because I’d rather see the quilting show up on the back, than little dots of bobbin color on the top!

color Weave Stats:

Color Weave by Christa Watson

Photo Credit: Jason Watson

Modern quilts are my favorite. Now I just need to make more of them!!

Modern Puzzle Quilt – Get the Free Pattern!

Modern Puzzle is a quilt I designed and made to show off my debut fabric line from Benartex, called “Modern Marks.”

Click here to get the free Modern Puzzle pattern.

Modern Puzzle by Christa Watson

It’s full of brightly colored geometric prints that are perfect for quilts in any size and style!

Modern Puzzle Using Modern Marks

I used Modern Marks from Benartex/Contempo for this quilt – it’s bright and cheerful!

Modern Puzzle is a remake of the design I originally created called “Puzzle Box” that showed off some solid fabrics, but I never actually made the quilt. Now that my fabric is out there in the world, I was excited to see how well this design looks using prints!

Modern Marks Fabric

Modern Marks prints and Colorweave coordinates

Modern Puzzle is super fast and easy to make from 2 sets of precut strips – one bundle of colorful prints, and another set for the background. Benartex calls their precut strips “Pinwheels” but they are also known as Jelly Rolls, Pixie Strips, Rollie Polies, Roll Ups, etc. depending on the manufacturer. Each precut bundle includes 40 strips, 2 1/2″ x 42″.

Modern Marks Pinwheel from Benartex

For my quilt I used one Pinwheel of Modern Marks plus one neutral background bundle in gray/white that I asked Benartex to offer along with my fabric. I love how the neutrals really allow the brighter prints to pop!

Click here to get the Modern Marks Precuts.

Neutral Pinwheel from Benartex

Because the fabric images are finalized months before the fabric was ready, I was able to play around in Electric Quilt software to come up with lots of fun designs using my fabric. When I show the “real” quilt you’ll be amazed at how much it looks like the original drawing!

Modern Puzzle Free Pattern from Christa Watson

Modern Puzzle Designed Using EQ

Don’t you just love a snuggly, colorful quilt?? Full reveal coming soon!

Modern Puzzle by Christa Watson

Quilt Las Vegas – A Nice Showing of Modern Quilts

I had such a great weekend, attending Desert Quilters of Nevada‘s annual quilt show! This is an event I have participated in nearly every year since I joined the guild. This year I entered 4 quilts and was stunned to learn that every single one got a ribbon. It’s the first time that has ever happened! My most validating moment was getting a 1st place ribbon for Pearl Gray, one of the cover quilts from Machine Quilting with Style.

pearl_gray_cover

Pearl Gray, 1st Place Single Entrant Category

Judge’s comments: strong representation for modern quilting; good control of value and contrast; machine quilting pattern adds great texture and is simple and effective; very good binding technique.

One of the fun things my traditional guild does is hand out buttons corresponding to the ribbons you win. It’s so cool to walk around the show and bump into other ribbon-winners and congratulate them on a job well done. Everyone can use a little quilt bling, right?

On a whim, I decided to enter Candy Pop, another book quilt into the applique category. I didn’t expect an award for such a simple design, but it really is one of my favorite quilts. In fact, my daughter has already claimed it as hers, once it “retires” from the public circuit.

candy_pop

Candy Pop, from Machine Quilting with Style, 3rd Place – Applique

Judge’s comments: dots and circles create a really dynamic piece; outside pieced binding creates a lovely frame, all techniques are well handled; back art is noted and appreciated.

I love how the judge commented on the back of the quilt, too. I love making pieced backs, especially when I can use up leftover blocks. You can really see the quilting, too:

candypop_backing

For the last 3 years there has been a modern category in the show and I think this year’s showing of modern quilts was the best yet! In fact, there were so many entries that the category was split into two – large and small. I had entered two quilts in the modern category and lucked out that each went into a different subcategory!

illusions
Illusions – Honorable Mention for Modern, Large

Judge’s comments: piecing is skillfully done; thread color changes are appreciated, causing no distraction from this graphic quilt; machine quilting is well done.

You will be hearing more about Illusions, shortly. It’s been patterned in one of my favorite magazines, and the editor was so kind to ship it back to me quickly, just in time to put it in the show. I’m so glad she did!! Don’t worry – I’ll let you know when and where as soon as it’s published!!

woven_ribbonsWoven Ribbons – 3rd Place Modern, Small

Judge’s comments: masterful use of color; beautiful glow from your use of deep color and contrast; use of variegated thread gives an organic feel to the stripes.

I was especially thrilled to get a ribbon for Woven Ribbons, which I made for Issue 9 of Make Modern Magazine. Most of my quilts are made for publication these days, but I try to do the best job I can while constructing them. The fact that I get to share them at quilt shows is just icing on the cake!

In addition to entering my quilts in the show, I was invited to present a trunk show and lecture on modern quilts. I shared several quilts from both of my books, plus a variety of modern quilts from members of the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild and DQN. It was so fun to see the audiences’ faces light up when they finally realized how amazing modern quilts can be!

bed_turning_2

I love spreading the word about modern quilting in my little corner of the world! Many of the larger quilts were piled on a full-sized bed and helpers held them up while I spoke.

Here are some of other other fabulous modern quilts from the show:

modern_strip_quilt
Modern “strip” quilt by the Las Vegas MQG: 2nd place, group quilt and show chair’s choice.
I contributed 2 blocks and helped with the binding. Quilting by Vicki Ruebel.

vickie's_quilts

My BQF (best quilting friend) Vicki from Orchid Owl Quilts swept the Modern, Small category with 1st and 2nd place! Above left is her version of Color Crystals, from Machine Quilting with Style, and right is Bullseye, an original design that was also hung at QuiltCon this year.

modern_logs_suzanne

Modern Logs by Suzanne Shull Mayfield, 1st Place Modern Large, quilted by Linda Natale

My friend Suzanne got a blue ribbon with her fabulous rendition of my Modern Logs pattern. She took my class at the quilting retreat last year and I love that she made the largest size! In all the excitement of picture taking, I forgot to get a closeup view of the pink ribbon, but it a special award which means someone behind the scenes really liked it, too!

This is one of my favorite pictures, LVMQG member Melissa standing in between her award winning quilt and a beautiful diamond quilt made by LVMQG member Mandy. I love all that pink!

pink_quilts

Glitz Sparkle Punch was Melissa’s QuiltCon reject, but it just goes to show that perseverance and entering quilts in different shows pays off in the end! Now I want to make a pink quilt!

I absolutely loved this design by Jeanne – a longtime traditional quilter who has recently dabbled in making modern quilts. She knocked it out of the park with this one! I love the juxtaposition of the image below – Jeanne’s modern quilt on one row with a very beautiful and very traditional quilt behind it on the next row!

seventy

Serenity by Jeanne Spala – 3rd place Modern, Large

reflections

Resonate pieced by Margaret Illions and quilted by Cory Allender – 2nd place Modern, Large

Margaret and Cory’s quilt above was a definite crowd pleaser. In my talk I mentioned negative space and asymmetry quite a bit. This effective design incorporates both!

I’ll end with this duo of gorgeous gray quilts made by longtime DQN members Ann P. (left) and Kathy M. (right). One of the best things about being part of a quilt guild community is knowing the makers behind the quilts and being able to celebrate their success!

grey_quilts_ann_kathy

There were several more fabulous quilts that I didn’t get pictures of, both in the modern category and others. There were a total of over 250 quilts, dolls, and clothing items which made for a very well-rounded show. Although I gravitate towards the modern quilts in any show, I am so thankful for the volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to pull it off. Now I can’t wait for next year’s show!

My Quilt Show Entries and List of Quilt Show Venues

Should you enter you quilt into a quilt show? Yes!! I’ve written a few times before about entering quilts shows. You can read those here and here.

2015-12-16 21.43.16

These 5 quilts above will be seen at 3 different national quilt shows over the next few months (Square in a Square and Lightning – Road to California; Facets – AQS Phoenix; Rain and Focal Point – QuiltCon.) These are all from my book Machine Quilting With Style.

Many people have requested a list of some national quilt shows that have modern categories, so here you go. Be sure to click the link for each venue to find out more about their entry deadlines:

Also, don’t forget your local shows, put on by local quilt guilds, county fairs etc. If you have other suggestions, please leave them in the comments so we can all share more information!

Don’t be scared – take the plunge and enter your quilts (modern or not) into quilt shows. It’s a fun experience and a great way to share your beautiful work!