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

Squiggles Quilt Along Schedule, Supply List + Get Your Kit!

I’ve been a busy bee planning for our quilt along next year. It will kick off January 8, 2017 and we will be making the Squiggles quilt from Piece and Quilt with Precuts (book required). See below for the QAL schedule:

Squiggles by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Original Squiggles Quilt from the Book – 50″ x 63″

2018 Quilt Along Schedule

  • Week 1 – January 15: Gathering Fabrics and Cutting
  • Week 2 – January 22: Making the Blocks
  • Week 3 – January 29: Assembling the Quilt Top
  • Week 4 – February 5: Backing and Basting
  • Week 5 – February 12: Machine Quilting
  • Week 6 – February 19: Binding

Supply List

  • Two – 5″ charm packs of background solid or tonal fabric (or a total of 77 squares)
  • Four – 5″ charm packs of print fabric (or a total of 154 squares)
    • (Note – you can also substitute one 10″ square pack if needed, and cut to size)
  • 1/2 yard of fabric for binding
  • 3 1/4 yards of fabric for backing
  • 56″ x 70″ piece of batting (I recommend Hobbs batting)
  • Approx. 1200 yards (or one large spool) of fabric for quilting (I recommend Aurifil)
  • Sewing Machine with new needle and basic sewing supplies
  • Rotary cutting equipment (6″ acrylic ruler, mat, standard cutter with new blade)

Piece and Quilt Collection Aurifil Thread by Christa Watson

I’ll be using my Aurifil thread collection to piece and quilt my version of Squiggles!

Pre-Order Your Squiggles Quilt Kit With Black or White

The kit includes everything you need for the quilt top including fabrics + binding. By popular request, I’m offering it in two choices of backgrounds: either black or white. I’m making mine in black just to change things up, but I think it looks great in either choice!

Click here to preorder your squiggles quilt kit. On the item description, you’ll be given the option to select which background you’d prefer. These will ship Approximately Nov 3rd (after I return home from quilt market.)

Squiggles recolored in Modern Marks

I’m remaking my version using my Modern Marks collection with Black.

Squiggles from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

 

I’m also offering a kit with a white background.

Modern Marks Collection

Take a look at all the prints included in the Modern Marks precuts that are coming soon! It includes the 26 Modern Marks Prints, plus 5 Color Weave coordinates. (Shout-out to my hubby Jason for taking the digital images and arranging them into a pretty grid!!)

Modern Marks Fabric

26 Modern Marks and 5 Color Weave coordinates are included in the precuts that are coming soon!

Optional Backing Kits Available for a Limited Time

For a limited time, I’m also offering a kit of coordinating backing fabric to go with the quilt top. It will include a total of 3 1/4 yards of quirky triangles in Navy/blue.

Click here to preorder the Squiggles backing kit.

Note: This fabric is sold out, but you can click the link above for a couple of other choices, sold as 2 yard pieces (while supplies last.)

Modern Marks Quirky Triangles Navy Blue

Sharing is Caring

Be sure to join my Facebook group:  Christa Quilts. It’s a great community of fun folks like you who would love to see your progress during the quilt along and cheer you on! You’ll be able to share pics of your progress during the quilt along as well as anything else you are working on.

I can’t wait for the quilt along – it’s going to be fun!!

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Piece and Quilt Hop Along Week 3 and 4

My friends Kristin, Vicki, and HollyAnne are doing such an amazing job remaking quilts from my book Piece and Quilt with Precuts. Let’s check out what’s been happening with them the last couple of weeks:

Kristin Esser

Squiggles by Kristin Esser, from Christa Watson's book Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Kristin created a fabulous finish with her version of Squiggles from the book. Her walking foot quilting looks fantastic and she also shares a bit of free-motion quilting practice she did as she gets ready to create a second quilt from the book! You’ll need to hop over to her blog to see which one she’s going to make next!!

Click here to see Kristin’s Week 3 Progress
Click here to see Kristin’s Week 4 Progress

Vicki from My Creative Corner 3

Vicki Quilting Gridwork

Vicki finished up her Gridwork quilt top last week and has started quilting it this week. I just love the texture that quilting adds to a quilt!! She also shares more practice blocks she’s creating to make her own sampler from the book.

Click here to see Vicki’s Week 3 Progress
Click here to see Vicki’s Week 4 Progress

HollyAnne from STring and Story

Improv quilting

HollyAnne is adding some fabulous “free-motion improv” to her Spools quilt. She’s utilizing a technique that I first introduced in the book I wrote with Angela Walters which I call “improvisational” machine quilting. I revisited the idea with Spools because I thought that some improv piecing deserved a bit of improv quilting to go right along with it!!

Click here to see HollyAnne’s Week 3 Progress
Click here to see HollyAnne’s Week 4 Progress

If you are enjoying watching their progress, be sure and check out the earlier blog hop they did from The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting. These gals are proof positive that “Practice Makes Progress!!”

Click here for the Machine Quilting Blog Hop

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

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

Piece and Quilt with Precuts

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

Vicki Holloway from My Creative Corner 3

Gridwork blocks

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

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

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

HollyAnne Knight from String and Story

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

Quilting Design Ideas for Spools

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

Spools from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

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

Spools by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

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

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

Kristin Esser From Kristin Esser.Com

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

Squiggles from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

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

Squiggles quilting

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

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

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Bonus Blog Hop for Piece and Quilt With Precuts!

Remember the gals who did the Machine Quilting Blog Hop for my book with Angela Walters, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting? Well, they are at it again, blog hopping their way through Piece and Quilt with Precuts over the next 5 weeks!

Piece and Quilt with Precuts

My fabric will make an appearance in several of the quilts my friends are re-making!

Be sure to hop on over to Kristin, Vicki, and HollyAnne’s blogs below for their first posts! Then join them each weeks as they continue their progress. I’m sure you’ll be inspired and learn a few things along the way!

Kristin Esser From Kristin Esser.Com

Squiggles WIP by Kristin

Check out Kristin’s post this week as she works on her version of Squiggles. I love the fabrics she chose and her in-process photography is pretty inspiring, too! When I wrote the book, I wanted the piecing designs to look good with any fabrics you choose, and seeing alternate colorways makes me want to remake ALL the quilts!!

Kristin's quilting practice

Click here to see more of Kristin’s progress with Squiggles.

Kristin is taking my advice about practice to heart. She’s trying out a few possible quilting motifs on scraps of fabric and batting before she decides how she wants to quilt it. The two designs shown above are actually quilted on different quilts in the book, but I wanted the quilting designs to be interchangeable, no matter which quilt you are working on!

Vicki Holloway from My Creative Corner 3

Vicki Gridwork in progress

Vicki is creating her favorite quilt from the book, Gridwork, using my Modern Marks fabric collection. Yes, I have to admit she was a bit special to get some of it before it’s available in stores. Benartex so generously printed up a bit of fabric early to share with a few quiltmakers so that they could play with it and share about it online before it hits the stores in November!

I’m really excited to see her remake this quilt because so many of you voted for it as your choice for my quilt along coming up in January. So even though it came in second place in the voting, you can still virtually quilt along with Vicki as she makes the quilt! (And don’t worry, soon I’ll offer kits so you can make one of your own from my fabric!)

Vicki Gridwork in progress

I love how Vicki is arranging the fabrics so that each block has enough contrast between the two fabrics. This is super important when working from one line of fabric without adding any extra background.

Click here to follow along with Vicki’s progress on Gridwork from start to finish!

HollyAnne Knight from String and Story

HollyAnne Spools Sketch

Click here to see more of HollyAnne’s WIP (work-in-progress.)

I absolutely love HollyAnne’s creative take on Spools. She’s planning on reversing the color placement of the blocks, placing color in the background rather than the spool blocks themselves. I love it!

HollyAnne Spools in Progress

HollyAnne is also using my Modern Marks fabric. Don’t you think her first block is looking great so far? Click on over to her blog to see more blocks in progress, and follow her journey. I know it’s going to be epic!

Watching these gals quilt along and encourage each other in their progress is so gratifying! If you are currently working on your own version of any of the quilts from my book, please share pics of your progress, too! Head over to my Facebook group, Quilt with Christa to share! I’d love to see and get excited all over again!!

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Quilt Along Announcement – See the Winning Quilt Design!

Thanks so much to all of you who voted for which quilt along you wanted to make from my new book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts. And without further ado, the design with this most votes is:

Squiggles Starting in January!!

Squiggles recolored in Modern Marks

EQ7 design of Squiggles, recolored in my Modern Marks Fabric

Gridwork was the second most popular, followed by Dot ‘n Dash and then Arrows. I really wish I had time to make them all!!

Coming up soon, I’ll announce the blog hop schedule (starting in January) but here’s what you can expect. It will run for several weeks, giving you plenty of time to complete your quilt while I’m cheering you on. I’ll be remaking the quilt, too, so I’ll include some extra hints and tips along the way.

I’ll do a blog post for every step of the quilt-making process, including basting, machine quilting and binding. So even though you need to purchase the book to quilt along with me, you’ll get even more valuable bonus content, just by following along!

Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

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

Kits coming soon!

And now for the most exciting news (at least for me anyway), is that for the first time in my history of quilt alongs, I’m going to offer kits, made from my Modern Marks fabric! The beautiful thing about a kit is that although the fabric is the same in each kit, no two quilts will be alike because of your choice of color placement for the blocks. I love designs that work that way.

The fabric won’t arrive in stores until November, but once I get an idea of the pricing and delivery dates, I’ll offer Squiggles kits for pre-order.  Watch the blog for that announcement soon!

Modern Marks Kit Options from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Other kit possibilities – Gridwork, Dot’n’Dash, Arrows (Navy or Aqua)

That brings me to my next idea. Please let me know if you are interested in kits for any of the other 3 quilts: Gridwork, Dot’n’Dash and Arrows (Navy or Aqua). There’s no obligation of course, but if I can get a rough idea of the interest, I may be able to offer kits for those, too. Just leave me a comment letting me know which kit you might be interested in, or you can always shoot me a private email at christa@christaquilts.com.

And just to reiterate, you can still quilt along with any fabrics you want to use! The kits are just a convenience for those who are interested. I’ll be selling them through my store at shop.christaquilts.com and I’ll be able to ship them internationally, too. I’ll make another announcement once they are available for preorder.

Summary Thoughts

So just to recap, I’ll be posting the Squiggles quilt along schedule later this month and will offer kits for 4 different quilts if there’s interest. And remember – there’s nothing that says you can’t make one of the others while we are making Squiggles. I love seeing your progress on any quilt you make!

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Piece and Quilt with Precuts: Grand Finale Giveaway and Upcoming Quilt Along

Did you enjoy the blog hop for Piece and Quilt with Precuts? I sure enjoyed sharing all 11 quilts from the book plus 30 more variations made by my friends. To wrap up the blog hop, I have a few reminders, a peak of what’s coming next, and an epic giveaway! So be sure and read through to the end of this post so you don’t miss a thing! Thanks to your support, Piece and Quilt with Precuts is on pace to outsell my other two books, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

Click here to get your signed copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts, along with my other books.

Giveaway Winners and Free Bonus Pattern

Today I’ll be notifying all of the winners via email for the giveaways I hosted on my blog. Each of the blog participants will also be notifying their winners over the next few days, or at the conclusion of their giveaway. But not to worry, if you didn’t receive an email notice, you can still click here to get the free Baby Geese Quilt Pattern. Think of it as Quilt #12 from the book!

Baby Geese Bonus Quilt Pattern

Click here to get the free Baby Geese PDF Pattern – Bonus Quilt #12

Baby Geese is made from leftover scraps and “bonus triangles” – those leftovers when you trim off corner triangles. Because we couldn’t fit it in the book, my friends at Martingale have included it on their website as a bonus for anyone following the hop, or purchasing the book (the link to get the PDF is also included in the book.)

Win My Baby Geese Quilt!

And now for the most epic giveaway, one lucky reader (from the US) will actually win this quilt! It measures 43″ x 54″, perfect for a baby gift or lap quilt. Although I love all my quilts and am a little sad whenever I give any of them away, I’d be even happier knowing it went to a good home!

Baby Geese Quilt by Christa Watson

The giveaway is tied in with my next big announcement below, so keep reading!!

Baby Geese Quilt by Christa Watson

I love it when quilts get used – for a picnic on the grass, or for cuddling up!!

Help Me Choose a Quilt for My Next Quilt Along!

And now, for the most fun news, let’s make a quilt together! It’s been awhile since my last quilt-along where I guided you through the complete quilt from start to finish. So don’t you think it’s time for another one?

I want to remake one of the quilts from my book, using my new Modern Marks fabric which will be available in November. You’ll need to purchase a copy of the book to quilt along, but of course you can choose your own fabrics, and change it up however you like.

Modern Marks by Christa WatsonI’ll be working with my new Modern Marks collection from Benartex. I’ll offer bundles & quilt-along kits for pre-order soon, just in case you want to use the same fabrics as me.

Now here’s where I need your help. Please answer these questions in the comments below and I’ll choose one of the answers at random to win the Baby Geese quilt mentioned above! Of course, there’s never any obligation to quit along, and you are welcome to follow along and not even make the quilt! (Or you can pretend to make it virtually in your head!!) But this will help me get started planning the quilt along.

  1. Which of the four quilts below would you like to make along with me? I’m showing them mocked up in Modern Marks, but you can make it in any fabrics you like, of course!
  2. Would you rather start the quilt along in November (when the fabric hits the stores), or in January so we don’t have to worry about running into the holidays? I’m thinking it would be more practical to do it in January, but wanted to give you all the option to choose.

Whichever quilt and time frame gets the most votes (by commenting on THIS post) is the one I’ll choose for the QAL. I’ll leave the giveaway open for a full week (through next Thursday, Sept 7th) so you have enough time to choose. And feel free to share this blog post with your friends, so they can get in on the fun, too!

Which of the 4 Quilts Below Should We Make?

(1) Squiggles

Squiggles Quilt from Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

This is the version from the book, made from 5″ or 10″ squares.

Squiggles recolored in Modern Marks

This is the version recolored in EQ7 using swatches of Modern Marks

(2) Gridwork

Gridwork from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Gridwork is made from one Layer Cake (10″ squares) and one Charm Pack (5″ squares)

Gridwork recolored in EQ using modern marks

Gridwork recolored in Modern Marks

(3) Dot’N’Dash

Dot 'n' Dash by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Dot n Dash from the book (above) – calls for 2 jelly rolls: 1 print, 1 background

Dot n Dash recolored in EQ7

Dot-n-Dash recolored with Modern Marks and Scrappy low volume backgrounds

(4) Arrows

Arrows from Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

Arrows from the book with a scrappy background – it require a specialty ruler so keep that in mind when you choose which one you’d like to vote for the QAL.

Arrows in 4 colors

Arrows with all one background. Which do you like better: red, navy, cream, or aqua?

Whew! I know that’s a lot of information for one post but I wanted to end this party with a fun celebration, just like it began. Thanks so much for following along, and be sure to keep in touch when you are making any of the quilts from the book. I’d love to cheer you on!

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Aurifil Designer Block of the Month 2016 – A Finished Quilt!

I’m pleased to share this beautiful quilt finish by Pat Sloan, an all around amazing person and coordinator of the Aurifil Designer of the Month Series.

Aurifil Designer of the Month 2016 Quilt

If you are just now finding out about this, you can get each of the free block patterns here including those for 2017!

Pat has also created instructions to make the layout here.

My block is the improv star shown on the first row on the right.
Improv Star block for Aurifil

Click here to get the free download to make this block pattern.

I am a huge fan of Aurifil thread. In fact, I use 50 weight cotton thread for everything I do – piecing, quilting and binding. I released my first thread collection with Aurifil at the end of last year. It’s appropriately named the Piece and Quilt Collection.

Piece and Quilt Aurifil thread by Christa Watson

I’m super excited to be working with Aurifil on an exciting adventure coming up next year. I hate to be a tease, but I’ll let you know more about it soon, so stay tuned!!!

Click here to get my Piece and Quilt Collection in Colors or Neutrals.

Piece and Quilt Neutrals Aurifil Thread from Christa Quilts

When you make the Aurifil Designer of the Month quilt, click here to share it on Pat’s site!

finsihed-aurifil-quilt-2016-with-pat-sloan

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The Splendid Sampler Block – Scrappy Happy Heart

Welcome to my stop on the Splendid Sampler 100 blocks tour! Today is a very special day. Not only because I get to share my special block with you, but it is also my anniversary! 23 years ago I married my best friend and he’s supported my quilting habits ever since! Sharing my heart block with you now has extra special meaning and today I’m dedicating this block to Jason – the love of my life!

scrappy_heart_finished

Scrappy Happy Heart – for Jason –  the love of my life who’s also my #1 fan!

I love the “structured improv” look so I chose to paper piece this block, to contain the crazy pieced chaos. I took some step by step pictures while making this block that can help you with your paper piecing efforts.

Click here for Splendid tutorials on paper piecing.

I was very lucky to get to work with the Little Miss Sunshine collection by Vanessa Goertzen of  Lella Boutique for many of the fabrics. Click here to get the precuts to make a similar block. 🙂

Step 1

Comb through your stash for pretty scraps that work well together.

scrappyheart_1

Thanks to Moda Fabrics for supplying me with such a sweet palette to work from!

Step 2

Cut the pieces according to the cutting chart given in the Splendid Sampler block pattern.

Step 3

Sew the first section of pieces starting with the white background square; press and trim after each piece. It will look somewhat like the hot mess below!

scrappyheart_2

 Step 4

Add the corner triangle to the first section. Remember, all this time you are sewing onto paper following the printed lines on the front of the paper.

scrappyheart_3

Step 5

Repeat the piecing, pressing and trimming process for the second section of the block.

scrappyheart_4

This is what the front looks like – I fold each line I am going to sew next and use an add a quarter ruler to trim off the excess smoothly and neatly.

scrappyheart_5

Step 6

Add the last section of heart in the same manner. It will look so good once it’s all trimmed!

scrappyheart_6

Step 7

Add the last two background corner triangles to complete the heart shape and trim to size. Now the best part – gently remove all the paper!

scrappyheart_7

Step 8

Stop and admire your beautiful handiwork. Now is a great time to start thinking about the threads you will use to machine quilt your beautiful blocks. My favorite thread for both piecing and machine quilting  is Aurifil – 50 weight cotton.

scrappy_heart_styled

All of that mess miraculously turns into a beautifully finished block!

Click here to go to the Splendid Sampler Block Page

Here’s my block in other colorways, made by some of the other Splendid Sampler designers. 🙂

Splendid Sampler Heart Blocks

Made by Pat Sloan, Julie Karasek, Jane Davidson, Lynette Anderson, Joan Ford, Melissa Corry

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Simple Strips Quilt Along – The Finish

It’s time to put the finishing touches on Simple Strips with my quick and easy machine binding tutorial that can be found on the BERNINA blog at We All Sew.

Machine Binding

My machine binding method is very similar to my hand binding method all the way until the final finishing step. The nice thing about this method is that you can wait to decide how to finish until the end.

Super Simple Strips Quilt Along

Simple strips was made from Valley precuts from Moda.

I hope you have enjoyed quilting along! Be sure to share your progress in my Facebook group at Quilt with Christa and also on the BERNINA community site.

If you are new around here, click here for the Simple Strips Quilt Along tutorials.