Another Colourwerx Quilt Along – Featuring Gridwork

I’m excited to tell you about the PaintBox quilt along being hosted by my talented friend Linda Sullivan from Colourwerx, starting on January 28th. The version below is made from my new Gridwork fabric collection and I’ve even put together some quilt kits to make it.

PaintBox by Colourwerx

Click here to get the PaintBox quilt kit featuring Gridwork.

Linda is such a talented designer and her patterns are top notch! I love that she makes each of her patterns in several different fabric lines so you can see how they look in various colors.

Click here to get the PaintBox quilt pattern from Colourwerx – PDF Version
Click here to get the Paintbox quilt pattern from Colourwerx – Paper Version

You can sign up for Linda’s newsletter to get QAL updates (they are free), or you can join her facebook group where she’ll be sharing and encouraging you to make this amazing quilt! Here’s the complete schedule below:

Don’t you just want to make this gorgeous quilt? All it takes is one jelly roll plus two 1 yard cuts of background fabric. That’s enough the make the 48″ x 48″ size quilt top plus binding.

Paint Box Quilt Gridwork Fabric

Click here to get the PaintBox quilt kit made from Gridwork. 
Click here to get the PaintBox quilt pattern from Colourwerx.

I’m going to follow along and I can’t wait to see all the gorgeous quilts!

Paper Pieced Primrose Quilt Along Starts Next Week!!

Are you planning on learning to foundation paper piece in the new year? With my Pieced Primrose pattern, learning this skill is much easier than you’d think!! Be sure to let me know in the comments if you’ve done paper piecing before, or if this will be your first experience with it.

Pieced Primrose Quilt Pattern

The fun begins on Monday, January 6th with weekly posts to keep you on track for finishing by the end February. But you can still work at your own pace, and I’m here to cheer you on, no matter how long it takes!

Next week’s introductory post will talk a little bit more about the tools and supplies and general foundation  paper piecing tips. Then we’ll dive into cutting the following week, so you still have plenty of time to gather your fabrics and supplies.

Click here for the complete quilt along schedule and supply list.

Paper Piecing Notions

Click here to get my favorite notions for successful foundation paper piecing.

We’ll take extra time to piece the blocks and will finish up with basting, machine quilting and binding. After all, if you’ve done a quilt along with me before, you know how much I detest these three little words, “quilt as desired!”

Pieced Primose Quilt Abstract Garden Cool

Pieced Primrose shown in the Cool colorway of Abstract Garden above.
Pieed Primrose shown in the warm colorway of Abstract Garden below.

Pieced Primrose Abstract Garden Warm

My Pieced Primrose quilt pattern is super versatile and you can sew up as many blocks as you like with several different layouts. And it looks fabulous in ANY fabrics you choose to use. So I hope you’ll join the fun and consider me your cheerleader for “Start to Finish” quilting!!

“Best of” Quilt Alongs – Make a Quilt from Start to Finish

Just in case you missed it, here are some of my most popular quilt alongs from prior years. I still have kits available for many of them! Click this link and use code KIT at checkout to save 10%!

Color Weave – Made from Precut Strips or FQ’s

Color Weave Quilt from Abstract Garden

Click here for the Color Weave quilt along.
Click here to get the original Color Weave quilt kit.

The original version of this was made using one strip roll of my Abstract Garden fabric plus background grays from my Fandangle line.

The Color Weave quilt pattern was so popular that I recently reprinted it and added bonus cutting instructions using fat quarters. Now I want to remake it using Geo Pop fat quarters:

Can you sense a theme here? I really do love working with precuts because it get to use lots of colorful prints in my quilts!

Squiggles – Made from Charm Packs & Background

Squiggles by Christa Watson

Click here for the Squiggles quilt along.
Click here to get the Squiggles quilt kit.

This pattern is from my book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts. I had written and published the book before I started designing fabric. But once my first line, Modern Marks came out, I wanted to remake many of my earlier designs in my own fabric! Many of these fabrics are now out of print but I stocked up on the charm packs because I knew they’d be a hot commodity!!

Blooming Wallflowers

Click here for the Blooming Wallflowers quilt along.
Click here to get the Blooming Wallflowers quilt kit.

Blooming Wallflowers by Christa Watson QuiltCon 2019

This is another quilt I loved so much that I had to make it twice! I was thrilled that I got to showcase the Abstract Garden version of the quilt at QuiltCon 2019 and of course it’s always a great pic when I can match my outfit to my quilt!!

I made the first version from Modern Marks and as you can see the colors are very similar. I actually used the same blue background fabric for both (Modern Marks Herringbone Navy) but due to the lighting it can look very different! Blooming Wallflowers Modern Marks

Dot N Dash Quilt – From Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Click here for the Dot N Dash quilt along.
Click here to get the Dot N Dash quilt kit.

Dot 'n Dash quilt by Christa Watson

This is another quilt that I remade from my Piece and Quilt with Precuts book and and it is so fun and fast to make! It uses one jelly roll + background and of I used one Fandangle Strip-pie to make this one + the gray background again.

Facets  from Machine Quilting with Style – Improv Piecing

Click here for the Facets Quilt Along
Click here to get my book Machine Quilting with Style
Click here to get the Curated Solids Strip roll used in this quilt.

Facets Quilt

Facets was my first exploration of improv piecing and such a game changing quilt for me. It was the first time I placed in a national quilt show, and the very first pattern I designed for my very first book. It was also the first time I curated a collection of fabrics to achieve a certain look. I had collaborated with another fabric company at the time, not realizing that my penchant for bright colors and bold shapes would lead me to where I am today.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing just a few of the quilt alongs I’ve hosted. Click here for my entire quilt along archive.  Leave me a comment if there’s a particular design from one of my patterns or books that’s you’d like to make. I’m always planning for future QAL’s and would love to help you along the way!

Let’s Learn to Foundation Paper Piece with My Paper Pieced Primrose QAL

I just love hosting quilt alongs, and better yet, I love it when you all quilt along with me! Here’s all the info you need to get started on my Paper Pieced Primrose Quilt Along:

Paper Pieced Primrose

Paper Pieced Primrose Kits Available

The image above shows the 35″ x 35″ wall size in two colorways, made from 16 paper pieced blocks. The images below show the 68″ x 84″ throw size in both colors, made from 80 paper pieced blocks.

For your convenience, I’m offering kits in both colorways, and both sizes – so you can pick and choose what works best for you! All four versions are made from my Abstract Garden fabric for Benartex. And for one week only, you can save 10% off the kit when you enter code KIT at checkout!

Click here to get the Paper Pieced Primrose Kit in Warm or Cool, Wall or Throw.

Paper Pieced Primrose Throw Size  – Warm ColorwayPaper Pieced Primrose Abstract Garden
Paper Pieced Primrose Throw Size  – Cool Colorway

Paper Pieced Primrose in Abstract Garden

Of course you can make this quilt using any fabrics you like! Part of the fun will be seeing all of the different variations! Click the quilt pattern image below to enlarge the materials list:

Paper Pieced Primrose

Supplies Needed to Make this Quilt

Paper Piecing Notions

Click here to get the recommended notions shown above. 

Quilt Along Schedule:

If you want to follow along, we’ll make this entire quilt from start to finish in just 8 weeks!!
Click the links below for each step of the quilt along:

So don’t worry if you’ve never tried foundation paper piecing before. I’m going to walk you through every step of the process with detailed photos and explanations. The pattern includes the master foundation paper pieced template that you can photo copy as many times as you’d like. It will be a fun new adventure for a new year!

Abstract Garden Fabric

If you can cut the shapes above, you’ll have no problem foundation paper piecing – I promise!! Abstract Garden fabric shown is for BOTH colorways of Pieced Primrose.

So who’s with me? All you have to do is follow my blog each week! You can subscribe to my blog by entering your email in the box in the sidebar (either on the right if you are viewing on a laptop, or scroll all the way down to the bottom on your phone). You can also use the hashtag #piecedprimrosequilt on instagram so I can see what you are making!

More Infrastructure Inspiration

Earlier this week, I shared my Infrastructure quilt finish, along with links to all of the quilt along tutorials. Today I’m back with more inspiring versions of this quilt made by others. I love to see the same design made up in different fabric, don’t you??

Infrastructure Quilt with Geo Pop fabric by Christa Watson

My version of Infrastructure quilt made with Geo Pop fabric.

Heather Black’s Version Made from Solids

Heather Black originally designed this quilt for me to show off my Geo Pop fabric line. But then she made her own version using Benartex Superior Solids. The color placement is basically the same, but the solids really allow her amazing machine quilting to shine!

Infrastructure Made from Superior Solids

Click here to read more about Heather’s fabulous machine quilting on Infrastructure.

Here’s a view of the Heather’s quilt hanging in the Benartex booth at quilt market earlier this fall:

Infrastructure Solids by Heather Black

Click here to get the solids color chart that Heather used for her quilt.

Other Gorgeous Finishes!

Whenever I do a quilt along, I always emphasize that I want everyone to work at their own pace. But it was really fun to follow two of the participants on Instagram as they kept up each and every week. Check out their beautiful versions of Infrastructure  below:

Infrastructure Quilt

This lovely quilt top was made and shared by Margaret Fleisher on Instagram. I love her color choices and clever use of fabric. Now I’m excited to see how she quilts it!

Infrastructure Quilt

This one was made by Crystal, aka The Cozy Little Goblin on Instagram. Not only did her quilt top turn out beautifully, her photography is pretty amazing, too!

Want More Quilt Alongs?

If these have inspired you to make more quilts in the new year, be sure to check out my quilt along web page. It’s a roundup of all of the quilt alongs I’ve done so far. You may just find the perfect quilt you’ve been looking for!

Click here for all of my previous quilt alongs!
Click here to get the Infrastructure Quilt Pattern – Paper Version
Click here to get the Infrastructure Quilt Pattern – PDF Version

Infrastructure Quilt Finish – Ta Da!!

I had the most amazing time making my Infrastructure quilt and sharing each step of the process with you. I’m excited to share more pics of the finished quilt along with links to all of the previous quilt along tutorials and videos. I hope it inspires you to make your own version!

Infrastructure made from Geo Pop Fabric

Infrastructure Finished Stats:

Infrastructure Detail Pics:

You can really see how the bright geometric fabric and adds to the movement of the design.

Infrastructure Quilt Detail Geo Pop Fabric

Infrastructure Quilt Detail Geo Pop Fabric

Links to Quilt Along Tips & Tutorials

Infrastructure YouTube Videos

I’ve created a “play list” of the entire making of Infrastructure on YouTube. There are a total of 12 video clips, running a total of 48 minutes. I made this videos concurrently with the quilt along so you can see how they improved as we moved along each week!

Click here to subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

Stay Tuned for More!!

I want to continue to be a cheerleader for “Start to Finish” quilting. Although I know that everyone has their favorite part of the quilt making process, I’m happy to guide you through the entire journey.

Click here to be notified about future quilt alongs.

Infrastructure quilt, designed by Heather Black, made by Christa Watson

Infrastructure Week 12 – Binding by Machine

Have you enjoyed following along with Infrastructure? Remember, even if you haven’t even started your quilt, you can make it anytime and I’m here to help cheer you on! We’ve come to the very last step of making the quilt and I’m “sew” excited to share my tutorial for binding by machine.

Infrastructure Quilt

Click here to get the Infrastructure quilt kit while supplies last.

Step 1 Trim the Quilt

Infrastructure Quilt in Progress

I like to use a large square ruler at the corners and along straight ruler for the sides. I trim the extra batting and backing flush with the edges of the quilt so that I can get a nice, tight binding. I’ll sew with an accurate 1/4″ seam and try not to cut off any points along the edges.

Step 2 – Cut the Strips and Sew Continuously

Geo Pop fabric for binding

The length to cut your strips is a personal preference. For this quilt I experimented and cut them out at 2 1/2″ wide so it would give me enough room to finish by machine. But I usually like to cut them narrower at 2″ so I get a nice tight binding that’s even on both sides. Here’s an easy way to calculate the # of strips you’ll need. Take the perimeter of the quilt and add 10″. Then divide that number by 40″ and that will tell you how many strips to cut.

Tiny Hex Fabric Binding

Sew the strips together end to end, mitering each of the corners so you get a long continuous strip. Cut one end at a 45 degree angle so the end and beginning are hidden. Then press the entire binding in half, wrong sides together.

Step 3 – Bind by Machine

Sew the binding to the BACK of the quilt and then secure it to the FRONT of the quilt with a decorative stitch so that it becomes part of the design!

Infrastructure Quilt using Geo Pop

Watch me sew the Binding & Follow Me on YouTube!

I’ve put together a short 6 minute video showing how I sew the strips and attach the binding by machine.

The difference between hand binding and machine binding is which side of the quilt I sew it on. I sew it to the back and finish by front by machine. Or I sew it to the front and finish on the back by hand. But whichever technique you choose is completely up to you!

Click here for my hand binding tutorial.

THIS WEEK’S GIVEAWAY & HEATHER’S VERSION

Click here to check out Heather Black’s tips for binding by hand on her blog at Quiltachusetts.

While you are there be sure to enter the giveaway on Heather’s blog. Aurifil is giving away two large cones of their 40 weight, 3 ply thread in fave colors of dove and light beige.

Aurifil Thread Cones

QUICK LINKS

I sure love seeing everyone’s progress pics. You can also share on instagram by tagging  us @christaquilts  and @quiltachusetts and use the search hashtag #infrastructurequilt in your post so others can see, too!

Infrastructure Quilt Along Week 11 – Machine Quilting

And now we get to my favorite part of making a quilt – machine quilting!!! There are so many different ways to quilt this quilt. Heather Black did an amazing job custom quilting hers, and I took the opposite approach with one of the simplest designs you can do – decorative machine stitching.

Decorative Stitch Machine Quilting

Infrastructure Machine Quilting Detail Using a Decorative Stitch

Thoughts on Thread

Christa Watson Aurifil Thread

Click here to get my Aurifil Thread Kits in Colors, Neutrals, or my newest Variegated box.

So the first thing to do is choose the thread you’d like to quilt with. I piece AND quilt all of my quilts using Aurifil, 50 weight, 100% cotton thread from my 3 thread collections. It’s thin, yet strong and blends into my quilts so all you see is the yummy texture. I use leftover bobbins for piecing my next quilt and I never have to worry about which bobbin matches which spool since they are all the same weight!

I like to use the same color thread in top and bobbin so that I don’t get “pokies” on my quilt – those little dots of thread that appear when your tension is the tiniest bit off and you are using highly contrasting thread.

Aurifil Thread

The light gray/blue #5007 can be found in my Piece and Quilt Neutrals collection.

I used Aurifil #5007 light gray/blue from my Neutrals thread box. It’s one of my favorite go-to neutrals because it blends with nearly every color. When I’m doing an allover edge-to-edge quilting design, I don’t want to have to stop and switch thread colors while I’m quilting.

Because the spools hold so much thread on them, it took me less than one spool to quilt the entire quilt, including the front and back.

Make a Quilting Plan

I love figuring out HOW I’m going to quilt ahead of time, so I don’t have to think too much. I will usually print out a copy of the quilt top from the pattern (you can photocopy the pattern cover for personal use, OR you can take a picture of your finished quilt top). Then I draw all over it until I come up with something I like. I include quilting suggestions in ALL of my quilt patterns to help you out with each quilt you make.

Infrastructure Quilting Plan

Above is the illustration that’s included in my Infrastructure Quilt Pattern. Here’s the basic idea: choose a decorative stitch on your sewing machine and quilt a series of lines across the quilt from one side to the other.

Make them as light or dense as you like and use my “divide and conquer” method: quilt one set of lines “near” the ditch instead of IN the ditch for each row. Then go back and quilt additional passes across the quilt, shrinking up the open spaces until the entire area is filled.

You can use ANY decorative stitch on you sewing machine. Play around with length and width settings until you find something you like, and stitch on a practice sample before you quilt on the real thing. Here’s a picture of the settings I chose on my machine, a BERINA 770 QE:

BERNINA 770 QE

I’m using decorative stitch #16 which is known as a running stitch or a broken zig-zag. It creates several stitches each time it zigs and zags, so you can make it bigger than the default settings and it still looks great! I adjusted my width to 6.0 and my length to 3.0 because I like the way it looks. Don’t forget to use a zig-zag needle plate so you don’t break a needle when it moves back and forth!!

The Quilting

Here are some beauty shots of the decorative stitch quilting in process. I made sure to NOT try to line up the quilting lines perfectly because I love a more organic look. The more quilting I did, the more beautiful texture it added to the quilt and the more the thread blended in. After all, the best way to hide imperfect stitches is to surround them with MORE imperfect stitches!!

Infrastructure Machine Quilting

Here’s what it looks like when I’m stitching “near” the ditch in each row. You can see all the imperfections up close, but fortunately they get hidden when more quilting is added.

Infrastructure Machine Quilting

I’m filling in the spaces between the first pass with randomly spaced lines. I’m using the 20D foot on my BERNINA with the integrated dual feed. It works just like a walking foot and I don’t have to mark anything. I’m using the edge of the foot as a guide for some of the lines.

Infrastructure Machine Quilting

What this section looks like when it’s completely filled in.
None of the lines match up and some are a bit irregular – I love this look!!

Infrastructure Machine Quilting

Another section complete. Look how well the stitching blends in to the quilt!

Infrastructure Machine Quilting

This is one of my favorite designs because it adds great texture to ANY quilt! 

See it In Action

Here’s my latest YouTube video, showing me quilting this decorative stitch on my quilt. It did take a few hours to accomplish, but I just worked on it a few minutes at a time over several days. It’s my joy and my zen when I get to do mindless quilting like this, and once you let go of perfection, it’s really quite fun!

Next week we’ll finish up with machine binding, including another video tutorial – so stay tuned!!

This Week’s Giveaway & Heather’s Version

Heather did some amazing custom quilting on her computerized long arm machine. Pop over to her blog at Quiltachussetts for more about how she chose her designs.

While you are there be sure to enter the giveaway on Heather’s blog. One lucky winner will receive one box of my Variegated thread collection, courtesy of Aurifl!! How cool is that???

Variegated collection by Christa Watson

Quick Links

Infrastructure Quilt

Finished Infrastructure quilt on my design wall!! You’re almost there!!!

Infrastructure QAL Week 10 – Quilt Top Assembly and Spray Basting Tutorial

How is your Infrastructure quilt coming along? Just remember, you can work at your own pace and if you are new, you can start this quilt any time! This week is quilt top assembly plus a complete basting video on YouTube. Keep reading for more….

Infrastructure Rows

Tips for Quilt Top Assembly

Once all 9 rows of Infrastructure have been sewn, it’s time to sew them together. They may look a little wavy, but if you sew each section in opposite directions, that will help eliminate some of the waviness.

If your rows are not all the same size, you can add coping strips, trim off some of the excess, or use lots of pins to ease in any fullness. Always sew with a “baggy bottom” which means sew with the longer strip on bottom and the feed dogs will help compensate. If needed, you can always go back and increase or decrease the seam allowance of some of the rows to get them all the same size.

Once the quilt top is sewn together, you want to take a “victory lap!” Sew about 1/8″ from the perimeter on both sides of the quilt to secure the edge seams from splitting open. This isn’t necessary for the top and bottom of the quilt since those are long strips of fabric without seams. When your top is finished, give it a final pressing and you are ready to baste!

Infrastucture

Basting the Quilt – Quick Overview

I baste using my design wall and 505 basting spray. I make sure my batting and batting are bigger than my quilt top and I trim away some of excess after it’s been basted. I spray the top and backing outside separately, then assemble all the layers on my design wall, taking care to smooth each layer as I go.

Once everything looks nice and flat, I’ll roughly trim the edges so that only and inch or two remain around all 4 sides. I cut off as much extra as I can to prevent it from tucking under the back and quilting the quilt to itself!!

The final basting step is to iron the quilt on both sides to set the glue and smooth everything out one final time.

Infrastructure Basting Ironing

Full length Basting Tutorial on YouTube

Here’s the complete step-by-step basting process. The total video is just under 7 minutes because I’ve sped it up in several parts so that you don’t have to watch it in real time. In reality it still didn’t take very long – only about 45 minutes from start to finish to baste my quilt.

GIVEAWAY & HEATHER’S SOLIDS VERSION

Pop over to Heather Black’s blog at Quiltachusetts to see her week 10 post, made from Benartex Superior Solids. While you are there, be sure to enter the giveaway. One lucky winner will receive some Hobbs batting – which is the same batting I used to make my quilt. My favorites are the cotton/wool blend or the 80/20 cotton poly. It’s easy to work with and makes the quilt soft and cuddly!!

Infrastructure with Hobbs Batting

Helpful Links

Sharing is Caring

Both Heather and I would love to see how you are progressing, even if you make this quilt long after the quilt along is over! Here are all the ways you can share with us:

Infrastructure Quilt using Geo Pop

Infrastructure Quilt Along Row 9

This week we are making the last row of Infrastructure quilt – can you believe it??? Row 9 features simple pieced strips and it’s another great chance to fussy cut the Geo Pop fabric if desired.

Infrastructure Row 9 Geo Pop

First I’ll walk you through the process to piece this row, then you can take a look at the bonus YouTube video I created while making this row.

Cut the Strips

You want to cut nice straight strips according to the pattern instructions on page 6. If you are fussy cutting, you’ll want multiple strips of the same fabric to be cut at the same point so that you can match up the patterns.

For my strips below, I fussy cut the Mosaic Dots print and the Diamond Pop print. The Tiny Hex print was small enough that if the pattern doesn’t match up, it will still look ok.

Infrastructure Row 9 Geo Pop fabric

Optional Pattern Matching

To match patterns, I found the same spot on the fabric and pinned it in place so that I could sew right where the design repeats. In the image below, that darker shadow in the photo is where I’ve folded over the fabric so that the pattern will be continuous.

Once I sew the seam from the backside, it won’t be noticeable on the actual quilt. The seam allowance will be larger on the back when I sew it; I’ll trim it down to 1/4″ after it’s sewn.

Infrastructure Row 9 Pattern Matching

Sew in Opposite Directions

When sewing long skinny seams, they can bow or warp out of shape. So I make sure that I switch the sewing direction to compensate. Here’s how I do it. There are 6 rows here, so I sew two pairs at a time. The first pair will have the Grey Tiny Hex fabric on top. The next two pairs of strips will be sewn with the Black Tiny Hex fabric on top.

When I join the sewn rows, I’ll continue to sew with the black fabric on top, and that will automatically switch the sewing direction each time.

Infrastructure Row 9 Geo Pop fabric

Don’t forget to sew with a shorter stitch length and press those seams open! I press each time I sew a seam so that task stays easily under control.

Row 9 Infrastructure

Bonus YouTube Video

I’ve prepared a 4 minute-long YouTube video walking you through the above steps, plus a couple of fussy cutting tips thrown in. Hopefully this will help you cut and sew long strips with ease. In this video, I’m narrating the entire time so you can follow along with what I’m doing. Be sure to subscribe to my channel. If there’s continued interest, I’ll make more videos in the future!

Click the “Play” button below to watch the video on YouTube.

 

Row 9 Finished

Row 9 is finished and now the entire quilt top is ready to assemble next week. As you prepare to join the pieced rows, check their length. You can use lots of pins to ease in any rows that aren’t exactly the same.

Infrastructure Row 9 with Geo Pop Fabric by Christa Watson for Benartex

If some of your heavily pieced rows have ended up longer than they should be, go back and stitch wider seam allowances to shrink them up. You don’t have to rip out the original seam allowance to do this. You want all of the rows to be the same size before you sew them together.

GIVEAWAY & HEATHER’S Solids VERSION

Pop over to Heather Black’s blog at Quiltachusetts to see her version of Row 9 made from Benartex Superior Solids. While you are there, be sure to enter the giveaway. One lucky winner will receive some Hobbs batting – just in time to baste your quilt!

I use Hobbs batting in all of my quilts and I’m using Hobbs 80/20 Heirloom cotton/poly for this quilt. It will give me just the right amount of loft I need it doesn’t bunch up when you quilt it.

Infrastructure with Hobbs Batting

QUICK LINKS:

Be  sure to show us your progress, too! Share on instagram #infrastructurequilt and tag us @christaquilts  and @quiltachusetts.