Two Fun New Books To Share – I Have Quilts in Both

Like many of you I love making quilts! But what you may not know is that one of the reasons I love writing patterns and books is that the deadlines for completion motivate me to finish things! I’m excited to be part of two brand new books coming out in June, published by my favorite publisher, Martingale/That Patchwork Place.

I Love House Blocks from Martingale/That Patchwork Place

The first is called I Love House Blocks, and it’s part of Martingale’s “Block Buster Quilts” series where a ton of different designers each make their own interpretation of a quilt based on a traditional block. (Click here to see the last one I was a part of – I Love Churn Dashes.”)

I’m thrilled to have my house quilt shown on the cover! It’s the one on the left and it’s called “My Hometown.” I used bright and cheery by Moda fabric from Pat Sloan in my version, but think it would be just as cute your favorite fabric collection!

Click here to preorder I Love House Blocks.

Rock Solid book using Kona Solids

The second book I am thrilled about is called Rock Solid and it’s a collaboration between Martingale and Robert Kaufman. All 13 quilts in the book are made from Kona Cotton solids. I haven’t even seen the rest of them yet, but I can already tell I’m gonna love this book!

I’m excited to be a cover girl on this one, too. My quilt “Lanterns” is shown on the left, using my exclusive Christa Watson designer palette in 28 vivid shades of red, orange, yellow and green. My quilt is made from just two jelly rolls – My designer palette and Kona Coal.

Click here to preorder Rock Solid.






New Pattern Release – Positive Direction

I’m excited to announce after a long hiatus that I am releasing individual patterns once again! The first one of the new batch is called Positive Direction, and it’s now available as a downloadable PDF through my Craftsy pattern shop.

Positive Direction quilt pattern by Christa Quilts

Positive Direction was originally featured in Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine and available in one size only. But whenever I re-release a pattern on my own, I offer it in four sizes which gives you a lot more options to customize it.

Positive Direction Pattern Cover by Christa Quilts

Positive Direction includes patterns for four sizes: Crib, Lap, Throw, and Full.

Positive Direction Quilt Pattern Requirements

Use up strips or scraps to make this fun, modern quilt!

Because I think machine quilting suggestions are just as important as piecing instructions, in the pattern, I’ve included a quilting plan along with directions on how I quilted it. I’ve also included several detailed photographs to inspire you on your quilting journey. In my patterns, I never include the words “quilt as desired.” I want you to have just as much confidence quilting it as you do piecing it, so I try to make it clear and easy to understand, if you want to re-create what I did.

Machine Quilting Straight Lines and Pebbles

I combined straight lines and pebble quilting to highlight the pieced design. I used Moda Scraps in shades of red, aqua and navy to create a modern Americana themed color scheme that looks great year-round. I quilted it using a light gray thread from my Aurifil Piece and Quilt Neutrals collection.

Positive Direction Quilt Pattern by Christa Quilts

Choose your favorite colors and prints to make this quilt uniquely your own! The key to effective contrast in this design is choosing a light background such as white, a medium neutral such as gray, and then three of your favorite colors in strong solids or prints.

Click here to purchase a PDF of Positive Direction.

Positive Direction Quilt Pattern by Christa Quilts

All photography taken by my talented husband Jason in the desert behind our home.

If you have any questions or want to share your progress while making this quilt, please share them in my Facebook Group: Quilt with Christa. I’d love to see!


















My Quilting Stencils in Love Patchwork and Quilting

Today I have fun news to share! I worked with the lovely folks oversees to include a fun freebie in the latest issue (#44) of Love Patchwork and Quilting!

Love Patchwork and Quilting Cover Issue 44

Love Patchwork and Quilting likes to include a special gift to go along with each issue. They contacted me about 6 months ago, asking if we could collaborate to create some quilting stencils based on quilting motifs from my books, Machine Quilting with Style and The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting.

Christa Watson Stencil

I’ve never had my own stencils before, so this was a fun opportunity!

Christa Watson Books

Click here to get signed copies of my books.

That was an easy “yes” for me to say! I chose 5 of the most versatile designs from both books: Swirls and Pearls (shown below), Boxes, Double Loops, Continuous Spiral and Square Spiral.

Stencils Deisgned by Christa Watson

Although you don’t need stencils to quilt the designs in my books, they are a fun way to see if you like quilting on marked lines. The issue also includes a short profile of me and my books along with some bonus quilting tips.

Love Patchwork and Quilting is produced overseas, but is available locally at Joann, Barnes & Noble, or your local quilt shop. It’s also available by subscription. Click here for more information on where to buy.








My Books on Sale – Just in Time for Holiday Gift Giving

I’m a numbers gal so it’s always fun for me to check and see how well my books are selling and what their ranking is online. Today when I checked, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the price of both of my books have been reduced on Amazon, just in time for holiday shopping! Now, don’t worry, the price that is charged has nothing to do with the royalties I receive once they are sold. In fact, it’s a win for me because they more that are sold, the happier I am!


So if you’ve been eyeing either of my books, head over to Amazon now to pick them up. And if you already own one or both, grab a copy for a friend and give them the gift of machine quilting!

Click here to purchase Machine Quilting with Style or The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

***Disclaimer*** This screen shot was taken this morning and prices may fluctuate due to demand. But they are still going for less than retail. Also, by purchasing from the links in this post, I’ll receive a small commission for each one sold.. As always, thanks for your support!!

Quilt As Desired Article 5: Quilting Negative Space

The following article was originally written as part of my Quilt As Desired column for the National Quilting Association’s Quilting Quarterly magazine. The association was disbanded after nearly 46 years, so this article was never published. Scroll to the end for links to all of my previously written articles.

Quilting Negative Space by Christa Watson

Negative space, also known as “the background” or “white space,” can include any color of fabric and is not relegated to solids only. Negative space creates contrast in your quilt, allowing the main design to shine. In many modern quilts, there can often be more negative space than design or “positive space,” leading to a conundrum of how to quilt it.
Here are four suggestions on how to quilt negative space:photo1 Photo 1 – Abacus Quilt by Christa Watson

(1) Quilt an allover linear design such as the continuous wavy lines in Abacus (see photo 1). This type of quilting works well regardless of block layout. It can help emphasize the textural quality of the quilt, rather than the absence of design. Continuous wavy lines can be quilted easily with a walking foot and a straight stitch by turning the quilt from side to side, or using a decorative machine stitch. Confident free-motion quilters can comfortably quilt continuous wavy lines back and forth across the entire surface of the quilt.

Photo 2 – Me and My Shadow by Vicki Ruebel of Orchid Owl Quilts

(2) Create a secondary composition in the negative space. Vicki Ruebel quilted a near-mirror image of her whimsical bird in her award winning quilt, Me and My Shadow (see photo 2). She sketched the outline of the bird and feathers, and used the same drawing to create both the quilted and appliqued birds. She used two layers of batting to create definition, filling in the areas around both birds with free-motion swirls on her long-arm machine.

Photo 3 – Wholecloth by Ida Ewing of Ida Rather Be Quilting

(3) Divide and conquer if the negative space is too much to tackle at once. Ida Ewing created her negative space design by marking an “E” and echoing around the letter. She then subdivided each section of the quilt and filled it in with a different free-motion motif (see photo 3). This filler technique looks stunning on any size quilt from a small wholecloth piece to a bed-size quilt with vast amounts of negative space.


Photo 4 – Ida shows what a difference the quilting can make!

(4) Repeat elements from the block into the negative space. For Ida’s Little Guppy quilt (see photo 4), she created a diamond in a square motif with her quilting, emphasizing the square block design. The pebble quilting relates to the circles in the print, unifying the piece.
The next time you are stumped on how to quilt negative space, grab a piece of paper and a pen or pencil and just start doodling. You never know when inspiration will strike!

Further Reading

Click the links below to read all the articles I wrote for NQA:

QuiltCon 2015 (co-authored with Jacquie Gering)
Modern Machine Quilting
Embrace the Line
Filler Designs Add Texture
Handwork Makes a Comeback

Quilt As Desired Article 3: Filler Designs Add Texture

Today I’m continuing to share the series of machine quilting articles that I originally wrote for the National Quilting association as part of my Quilt as Desired column. This article first appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of the Quilting Quarterly.

Click here to read the other machine quilting articles I’ve written.

Happy reading!


The Quilter’s Planner 2017 – Now Available for Pre-order

Let me tell you how I met my friend Stephanie Palmer, creator of The Quilter’s Planner. We both had been invited to tape a series of machine quilting demonstrations for QNNtv’s Quilt It – The Longarm show back in the summer of 2015.

We were picked up from the airport at the same time and immediately connected. By the end of our 30 minute car ride we had swapped life stories and become instant friends! She told me all about the creation of The Quilter’s Planner, and it was such fun to listen to her describe her project with such passion and enthusiasm.


Stephanie shows me one of her projects in the large “green room” while we take turns being filmed.
Several quilts from my books  are laid out flat on the table beside her.

When Stephanie invited me to participate as one of the designers for the 2017 Quilter’s Planner, of course I jumped at the chance to participate. Not only is the Quilter’s Planner perfect for keeping track of day-to-day things like a regular planner, it has specialty planning pages just for quilters.


The 2017 Quilter’s Planner features this awesome cover, which will also be included as a pattern!

And to top it off, The Quilter’s Planner comes with a pattern pack of 14 downloadable PDFs. I was thrilled to make Feathered Chevrons as my contribution. It’s a remake of my older Charming Chevrons design, updated with a new layout using my Kona Solids palette.

feathered_chevronsPhotography taken in scenic Maine by Kitty Wilkin of Night Quilter.

I was even more thrilled with the photography, beautifully taken by our talented friend Kitty Wilkin (who can photograph your quilts, too if you are interested.)

feathered_chevrons_styledPhotography taken in scenic Maine by Kitty Wilkin of Night Quilter.

I especially love how Kitty got some great closeups of the quilting on this quilt. I used two of my favorite machine quilting designs, “Switchbacks” and a variation of “Swirls ‘n Pearls.” As I do with all of my quilts, I love to include machine quilting suggestions with my patterns.


Photography taken in scenic Maine by Kitty Wilkin of Night Quilter.


To learn more about each of the featured designers, click each name below to go to their blog and follow them!! Many have already included pictures of their quilts that will be included.

Amy Friend of During Quiet TimeAmy Sinibaldi of Nana and Co., AnneMarie Chany of GenXQuiltersCheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs, Karen Lewis of Karen Lewis TextilesKari Vojtechovsky of Craft-HappyKatie Blakesley of Swim Bike QuiltLee Monroe of May ChappellLindsey Rhodes of LR StitchedRita Hodge of Red Pepper QuiltsStephanie Palmer of Late Night Quilter, Yvonne Fuchs of Quilting Jetgirl


Order your copy of the quilter’s planner today!


We’re Celebrating a Birthday This Week! (But It’s not What you Think)

It’s time for a birthday celebration, even though it’s not technically my birthday. Although my daughter did make me this lovely cake when it was my birthday last month.


My favorite cake – German Chocolate with Coconut icing. The strawberries were a nice touch.

Happy Book-Birthday!

What I’m excited to celebrate is that it’s my first book’s first birthday, this Thursday, September 8th! (The fact that I published another one less than 9 months later makes them almost like twins right??)

But anyway… I can’t believe it was just a year ago that I released Machine Quilting with Style, with the help of my friends at Martingale/That Patchwork Place. Now, some might call this an “anniversary” celebration, but writing a book really did take as much time and effort as having a child, so I think “birthday” is an appropriate word. 🙂 And what a fabulous year it has been!

MachineQuiltingwithStyle_coverClick the image above to see each of the quilts in the book, plus an alternate version.

I have to thank so many loyal friends and followers for helping this book be so successful! It really does mean a lot to me when you guys cheer me on. 🙂 In the last year, I’ve met so many fabulous people, while Machine Quilting with Style has reached some milestones, too.

It’s consistently stayed in the top 100 for patchwork books on Amazon, and it’s been one of my publisher’s Top 20 bestsellers. Seven of the quilts have been in local and national quilt shows, and three have won ribbons. All of this furthers my goal of reaching a wider audience and helping people understand that it’s okay to make “perfectly imperfect” quilts!

Quilts ON Display from Machine Quilting with Style:


In order above: Facets won 2nd at AQS Paducah, Candy Pop and String of Pearls won ribbons at my local show, Rain and Focal point hung at QuiltCon, Lightning and Square in a Square were juried into Road to California. The rest are: Little Man’s Fancy, Static, Ripples, Color Crystals, and Broken V.

If you haven’t yet seen the book, take a look at this awesome video review from the folks at Chatterbox Quilts. Honestly, it made me tear up a little. I mean, you love what you create, but when other people do, too, it can be quite a humbling experience!

Let’s Celebrate!

To celebrate this huge milestone, I thought it would be fun to re-color each of the quilts in EQ7 (the software I originally used to design the quilts), and then showcase them side by side along with the original quilt so you can compare the two. I’ll share one new colorway each week, starting this Thursday. After all, sometimes a quilt can look completely different just by changing up the fabrics.

And of course, no birthday celebration would be complete without gifts! So along with helping you imagine what the designs would look like in different fabrics, I’ll be hosting 12 weeks of giveaways, one for each quilt. Won’t that be fun??


I love all of the detailed photography in the book, shot by the talented Brent Kane for Martingale.

Sharing is Caring

As I re-share the quilts each week, I hope you’ll also share your versions of them in my Facebook Group: Quilt with Christa. This will provide loads of inspiration for those just starting out on their quilt-making journey. Many times, I end up liking my friends’ versions even better than the originals!

facebookgroupClick the image above to join my facebook group and share your quilts, finished or not!

Where to Buy

So I’ll meet you back here on Thursday to get this party started!! In the meantime, you can purchase Machine Quilting with Style from your favorite local quilt shop, or these locations:

Signed Copy from Me
Amazon (lowest price)
Martingale/That Patchwork Place (free e-copy with purchase)


The very first copy I received is the most special because it was signed by all those who helped produce this book. It really does take a village to write a book!

Machine Quilting Tips in Modern Patchwork Magazine

I love that more and more people are jumping on the modern quilting bandwagon! I’m a huge fan of quilting magazines and I love that more and more of them are devoted to the modern aesthetic. I’ve been pleased to work with several of them (in between other sewing deadlines) so I’ll be sure and share updates with you whenever I’ve published something new.


My quilting tips are found on page 38 in this issue of Modern Patchwork!

I was recently able to share some of my favorite domestic machine quilting tips in the summer issue of Modern Patchwork Magazine. I’ll share a little bit about how this came about, for those of you who are interested in what goes on “behind the scenes.”

The Modern Quilt Guild put out a call for submissions for QuiltCon magazine last year (for this year’s 2016 issue), so I submitted the idea originally for that magazine. When I heard back, they said they had already selected content for QuiltCon magazine, but would I be willing to write it up for Modern Patchwork, since they are owned by the same company? That was a quick and easy yes.

Then, quite by chance, the editor happened to be in one of my QuiltCon classes earlier this year. I love when stuff like this happens. It makes me feel like we are all friends and associates in this industry, connecting us together in more ways than one.

Christa Watson Books

My books – all about quilting on a domestic machine!!

I wrote up my top 10 tips for domestic machine quilting, then got permission from my publisher to share a few images from my books to go along with the article. That way, the photography would be of the highest quality, and help cross promote the books. Because I’m the type of person who likes to make sure I dot my i’s and cross my t’s (and because I want to make sure I never step on any toes) I always try to keep everyone in the loop of what I’m doing and make sure I never share the same the exact same content word for word.


Credit goes to Angela Walters, my co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting for her version of Swirling Butterflies, the white quilt shown in the title of the article.

Although I write and teach about the art of machine quilting on a regular basis, I always try to present my material in a somewhat different way between books, patterns, and workshops. Besides, it really helps to hear/read the same information in different ways to really let it sink in.

In addition to my article, the current issue of Modern Patchwork has loads of other interesting articles to read as well as a plethora of fabulous machine quilting designs. It’s a little on the pricey side for one issue, but it’s worth it because it has as much content as a book!

Click here to get your hands on a copy of Modern Patchwork, and be sure to let me know what other quilting magazines you enjoy, modern or not!

Check out 180 Doodle Quilting Designs – Free Motion Ideas for Blocks, Borders, and Beyond

I’m so excited to tell you about a brand new machine quilting book that I am privileged to be a part of. It’s called 180 Doodle Quilting Designs and it features a plethora of free motion quilting ideas for blocks, setting triangles, and borders. The book has been published by my friends at Martingale/That Patchwork Place (who published both of my machine quilting books.)


This book is different from most machine quilting books out there, in that it is more of a reference book rather than a how-to book with patterns. This clever idea was the brainchild of acquisitions editor Karen Burns, and it features 60 different motifs from 9 talented designers. Each motif is shown how it would work 3 different ways, for a total of 180 possible designs. Check out fun free-motion quilting ideas from:

  • Yours truly – I’m so inspired by seeing my fellow contributors’ designs!
  • Vicki Ruebel – One of my super talented BQF’s (best quilting friends).
  • Karen Burns – Be on the lookout for more collaborations you are sure to love!
  • Melissa Corry – This girl can finish more quilts in a week than most can do in a month!
  • Lori Kennedy – Shh, don’t tell – I have a quilter’s crush on her!!
  • Maddie Kertay – Irreverent and awesome founder of the BAQS (you’ll need to google it… :-))
  • April Rosenthal – I want to be her when I grow up.
  • Sheila Sinclair Snyder – Amazing award winning quilter.
  • Angela Walters – Need I say anything more??

Here’s an example of how the information is laid out for each design:


Plus there’s some handy-dandy info at the front of the book with tips on how to use it, such as tracing over the motifs to get a feel for how each design will flow. I love adding books like this to my reference library. They are great to look through whenever I’m stumped for a machine quilting idea!

As of this writing, 180 Doodle Quilting Designs was ranked #1 new release on Amazon in quilting. To help it stay there, click here to purchase your copy and then be sure to leave an Amazon review. You’ll be glad you did. 🙂 Now I’m off to a do a little more doodle quilting of my own…..

Update – Video Tutorial

Check out this clever video that my friends at Martingale made, showing how to use the book. Simply trace, doodle and quilt! You’ll gain confidence in no time! (Press the play icon to view. )