Your Chance to Win the Kit from my Craftsy Class – Startup Library: Quilting!

It’s just been a month since the launch of my new Craftsy class, Startup Library: Quilting, and already I’ve taught hundreds of students how to make a complete quilt from start to finish!! I love how the Craftsy platform allows me to interact with my students and see their progress, even though we might be thousands of miles apart! For those of you who are new to the blog, or Craftsy, let me tell you a little more about this class. Then see the end of this post for a giveaway to get you started!!

Christa Watson Startup Library Quilting

Click here to get 50% off Startup Library: Quilting (valid thru 10/8/17)

In class, you’ll explore a range of key tools and techniques as you learn to make a quilt from start to finish. I’ll guide you step-by-step through preparing your fabric, cutting out the pieces and sewing them into blocks, as well as basting, machine quilting, and binding to help you finish your quilt with ease. Plus, when you learn with Craftsy you can work at your own pace and ask me questions as you go. By the end of my class, you’ll be quilting with confidence in no time!

WHAT YOU NEED

Lesson 1: Fabrics & Tools (28 min)
It’s every quilter’s favorite part of project prep: shopping! In this first lesson, I’ll explain the fundamentals of quilting and what to keep in mind when shopping for supplies.

Startup Library Quilting

Lesson 2: Know Your Machine (24 min)
Understand what type of sewing machine best suits your needs, including the features worth splurging on (or not!). Then, get familiar with your machine as you learn to thread it, wind a bobbin and keep an accurate seam allowance.

SETUP

Lesson 3: Working with Patterns (9 min)
Follow along as I go over the information included in your quilting patterns. Find out how to work with patterns as you piece your tops, plus get tips for successfully choosing projects.

MAKE IT

Lesson 4: Cutting the Pieces (38 min)
Before you begin sewing, you’ll need to cut the pieces for your blocks. Learn to work with a rotary cutter and mat as you cut yardage, fat quarters and more.

Christa Watson Craftsy Class

Lesson 5: Chain Blocks (24 min)
Get right into action by sewing up your first quilt block, the Chain! Find out how to keep track of all nine pieces as you sew and press the first block, then make quick work of the piecing by sewing several blocks together at once.

Lesson 6: Star Blocks (32 min)
Ready to throw some half-square triangle units into the mix? Here, you’ll sew the second block of your quilt. Find out how to tame stretchy edges and ensure all of your star points face the right direction.

Christa Watson Craftsy Class

Lesson 7: Assembling the Quilt Top (27 min)
Now, it’s time to have some fun! Arrange and organize your quilt blocks before you sew them together. Then, sew blocks into rows and rows into the inner top – you’ll love my method for keeping blocks in order as you sew!

Lesson 8: Borders (27 min)
Your quilt top is almost done! All you need to do is add the solid and scrappy borders to set off the design. Learn how to piece and add each border, and fix it if it’s slightly too long for your quilt.

Lesson 9: Backing & Batting (11 min)
In this lesson, you’ll prepare the remaining layers for your quilt. Learn how to choose and prepare batting — the center layer of the quilt — and piece the backing fabric.

Christa Watson Craftsy Class

Lesson 10: Basting (8 min)
The secret to quality quilting? Basting, which holds all of the layers together securely. I’ll teach you how to spray-baste the layers and assemble your quilt, explaining why pressing helps you ensure solid results.

Lesson 11: Find Your Quilting Path (38 min)
Quilting — the stitching that holds layers together — can really accentuate your piecing work. Discover different ways to accomplish this, from working with a long-arm quilter to using your domestic machine. And, see how to stitch-in-the-ditch and apply decorative wavy lines using your walking foot.

Lesson 12: Free-Motion Quilting (23 min)
Ready to dip your toes into free-motion quilting? This method allows you to move your needle in any direction. If you’d like, stitch a stipple and continuous curve design on your quilt, or practice for your next quilt project.

Christa Watson Machine Quilting Craftsy Class

Lesson 13: Binding (13 min)
Finish the edges of your quilt by applying a binding. I’ll show you how to prepare for this step. Learn to cut and piece the strips to create the binding, calculate the length you need for any quilt, and square up — or trim — your quilt.

Lesson 14: Binding the Quilt (37 min)
You’re almost there! In this final lesson, find out how to sew the binding to the quilt and finish it by hand. Easily turn with the corners and join the tails with my expert instruction, then get ready to enjoy your quilt!

Christa Watson Craftsy Class

For a limited time, you can get 50% off the regular price of my class when you use this link. The regular price will show on the home screen, but once you click “add to cart” you’ll see the discount. Just for comparison, this class is approximately 2-3 times longer than a “regular” Craftsy class, so it’s a tremendous value, especially when you get it on sale!

GIVEAWAY TIME!
Here’s a behind the scenes secret to share: as I was making the quilt, Craftsy sent me extra fabrics just in case. I ended up with enough fabric for an extra kit. Since I’ve already made the quilt twice (once ahead of time to test it, and a second time on video) – I don’t need to make a third, so I’d rather pass the extra fabric along to you! The kit includes one fat quarter bundle + background to make the quilt top and binding as shown in the class.

Lily and Loom Fabric

This giveaway is open to all (int’l winner just pays shipping). To enter, leave me a comment letting me know how many UFO’s (Unfinished Fabric Objects) you currently have! Once you take my class, you’ll be armed with the skills to finish them up! The giveaway will remain open through Sunday night, Aug 13, 2017 and I’ll choose a winner first thing Monday morning.

Click here to learn more and watch a preview video for Startup Library: Quilting

Pre-Order Piece and Quilt with Precuts – My Next Book!

You guys! I wrote another book!! Piece and Quilt with Precuts will be published this August and I’m now taking pre-orders for signed copies through my site at shop.christaquilts.com.

Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa WatsonYou can see lots of sneak peeks here on the cover!! But wait, there’s more…

Now first things first. I’m totally happy for you to purchase the book where you like. However, when you purchase it directly from me, I earn more on each book since I’m the one selling them. Also, when you order from me, you’ll be guaranteed to get them as soon as they ship! The estimated shipping date is August 17, which just happens to be my birthday so that’s super exciting!! I’ll have a grand time, eating cake and signing your books! But don’t worry, I’ll be careful not to spill any, LOL!!

Sneak Peek of Piece and Quilt with PrecutsSneak Peek #1 from Piece and Quilt with Precuts – are you excited?

So FYI, another reason I’m pushing preorders this time around is based on the demand of my last two books. When people preordered them on Amazon, there was a delay in customers getting them because Amazon had to first get them from the publisher, and then fulfill the orders.

Although the publisher knows how many to ship to Amazon, it always takes Amazon several days to process and they get a little bogged down. So when you pre-order your signed copy from me, it’s a win-win for us both and you don’t have to wait!! (Ahem.. plus my preorder price is actually lower than the current price on Amazon as of this writing…)

Sneak Peek of Piece and Quilt with PrecutsSneak Peek #2  from Piece and Quilt with Precuts – one of my favorite motifs to quilt!!

And just to sweeten the deal, with every pre-order of Piece and Quilt with Precuts placed directly through me  before June 30th, I’m going to throw in a bonus pattern from my pattern shop for free!! When you check out, you can let me know which pattern you prefer in the comments. Or just leave it blank and I’ll surprise you. (For anyone who has already pre-ordered, you’ll get a free pattern too – but it will be a surprise!! I don’t want you to feel left out!!)

And did I mention the books will be personally signed by me??? (Wink wink!)

Sneak Peek #1 from Piece and Quilt with Precut

Sneak Peek #3 from Piece and Quilt with Precuts – Alison Glass fabric is so good, it’s in here twice!

Writing this book was such a joy but there’s a crazy story to go along with it. Just after I had turned in my manuscript for my first book, Machine Quilting with Style, I immediately came up with the idea for Piece and Quilt with Precuts – easy to piece patterns made from precuts along with step-by-step machine quilting instructions for each quilt.

So I set to work designing the patterns, fleshing out the details, and submitting a detailed proposal to the publisher. No sooner had I begun work on the book when the folks at Martingale contacted me and said “we love this book and want you to write it. However, can you wait just a bit? We have another idea we’d like you to do instead.” And then I proceeded to write my second book, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting with Angela Walters.  So needless to say once that book was finished, it was time to get back to this one! So in essence, I wrote three books in 3 years, one right after another. Crazy huh??

Sneak Peek #1 from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Sneak Peek #4 from Piece and Quilt with Precuts – Improv piecing AND quilting in the same quilt!!

Martingale was sooo awesome and supportive during this crazy time. They even offered to help me piece or bind the quilts if needed. But being the control freak that I am, I politely declined. I have this crazy obsession that when it comes to quilting, I must do all my own “stunts”, LOL!! For me, there’s something personally satisfying in taking ownership of every stitch. 🙂

So later on this summer once the book publishes, I’ll share details of all 11 quilts and 18 machine quilting motifs that are included in the book. I’ll also do a blog hop with some friends who will be trying out their own versions of some of the designs.

Sneak Peek #3 from Piece and Quilt with Precuts - Alison Glass fabric is so good, it's in here twice!

Sneak Peek #5 from Piece and Quilt with Precuts – Why quilt straight lines when you can go wavy?

One other thing I wanted to tell you that’s special about Piece and Quilt with Precuts is that the name is all mine. For those that don’t know, whenever you publish a book or magazine pattern, the editor reserves the right to re-name it, or work with you to come up with a name they think they will sell. The first 2 book names came straight from Martingale, and I think they did a fantastic job, since I was totally clueless as to what to choose LOL!! However, when writing this book, the name was all me, baby and I’m so proud that they chose to keep it!!

And now, I know what you are wondering…. have I already started on book #4?? No, not quite yet. I decided I needed a little breather before jumping into my next book idea or 3. And some other big opportunites have come my way that I’ll get to tell you about just after this book launches. So stay tuned, it’s never a dull moment around here!

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

As always, thanks for your support that allows me to do this crazy quilting thing full time!!

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The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting – 1 Year Anniversary!

Today is a very special day. It marks the one year anniversary of the book that changed my life!
Writing The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting with Angela Walters was not only an amazing experience, but it has led to so many more life changing events! Since the book came out, I’ve taught at QuiltCon, released my first Craftsy class, won awards on 3 quilts from the book, traveled around the country meeting so many of you, and I’ll be sharing a couple new huge things, later on this year.

If you’ll indulge me, I thought it would be fun to share a little yearbook recap of mine and Angela’s encounters since we first met at QuiltCon in 2013.

Christa Watson and Angela Walters

First time we met, in her class at QuiltCon in 2013. We bonded over machine quilting!

Angela Walters and Christa Watson, Spring 2015

Meeting up at Spring Quilt Market 2015 to finalize the details of our book. We had to be stealthy so no one would know what was going on!!

Christa Watson, Jennifer Keltner, Angela Walters

Jennifer Keltner, CVO of Martingale/That Patchwork Place met us at QuiltCon 2016 to give us the first copies of our book before it published that spring. We were so thrilled!!

Angela and Christa at Schoolhouse

Presenting our book to shop owners at Quilt Market in Spring 2016. It was a packed room!

We also collaborated with Patchwork Threads to produce T-Shirts to go along with the book!
Click here to get Angela’s shirt.
Click here to get my shirt.

To help promote the book, our publisher hosted meet and greets and quilting demos at both spring and fall market in 2016. Everyone we met was sooo kind!!

At fall market 2016. We planned out more book publicity and joked about how she had written 6 books by the time I had written 2. I don’t think I can keep up LOL!!

Angela Walters and Christa Watson

Angela paid a visit to my hometown guild in Jan 2017 which happened just after I had injured my arm. Although busy with teaching and lecturing, she made sure I was well taken care of!!

Angela Walters, Christa Watson, Tula Pink at QuiltCon 2017

Most fun photo bomb ever: during our QuiltCon 2017 booksigning, Tula Pink joined in the fun! After all, the “I wrote a  book with Angela” club is pretty small so far!

It’s been an amazing ride and neither one of us is ready to slow down yet! We’ve been very pleased with the reception that The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting has been getting. We each made the same 10 quilts from start to finish, showing different fabrics and quilting designs. So it’s really like 2 books in one. Whether you like to piece, or quilt, or both – we’ve got you covered!!

Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

Click here to view all of the quilts from The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

Upcoming Machine Quilting Blog Hop Starts May 1

A fun group of bloggers recently hatched together an idea to do a 10 week-long blog hop, working their way through the book one chapter at a time.

The group consists of HollyAnne, Vicki, Kristin, and Jen. Starting May 1, you can follow them on their blogs (click each of their names) and follow the instagram hashtag #machinequiltingbloghop as they share their real world experiences while improving their machine quilting skills. The best part is, they’ve invited you to join their journey.

Christa HollyAnne Angela

HollyAnne telling us all about their plans for the Machine Quilting Blog Hop at QuiltCon 2017

So grab a signed copy of the book (if you don’t have it already) and join the fun. I I can’t wait to see everyone’s progress! You can check out HollyAnne’s blog here for more complete info.

One more thing, if you’ve made a quilt from the book, or if you’ve tried some of the quilting motifs on your own quilts, please share pics with me in my Facebook Group: Quilt with Christa. I’d love to see how you are doing!

Now it’s time to go put the finishing touches on my next book. Watch for pre-order details about that later this week!!

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Quilt Las Vegas 2017 is this weekend: come watch me quilt!

If you will be in or near the Las Vegas area March 30-April 1, be sure and check out Quilt Las Vegas, put on by the Desert Quilters of Nevada, my local quilt guild.

Quilt Las Vegas 2017

Quilt Las Vegas

I will be at the show on Saturday, April 1 from 10-1 in the Sew Yeah Quilting booth, signing books and machine quilting live and “in the cloth!” Be sure to stop by for a chat and watch me demo some free-motion quilting on a beautiful new BERNINA!

Christa Quilts Show Entries

I will also have 4 quilts hanging in the show. Clockwise from top: Fractured Puzzle, Churn Dash Slide, Quatrefoil Applique and Swirling Butterflies. (Click on each of the names for more detail about each quilt.)

It’s always exciting to see if any of them will pick up a ribbon. But even if they don’t, this show gives some of the best feedback which always helps me improv my quilts for next time. 🙂

Christa Quilts Machine Quilting Demo

If you don’t already have my books, you can grab a copy of either at the show and I’ll be glad to personalize it for you. If you plan on attending, please let me know – I’d love to see you there!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

amazon-sale

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.

photo2
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.

photo3
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.

photo4

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!

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