Block Chain QAL Week 2 – Sewing the Blocks

What a week it has been since we began! I know that many of you are home sewing and I hope this Block Chain quilt along is just what you need to make something beautiful when the world is in a bit of chaos! This week we will be sewing our chain blocks using the 5″ charm squares + black accent fabric.

Blockchain quilt blocks

My blocks above are made from Gridwork charm squares + square grid fabric in black

Follow the Block Chain pattern instructions on page 2 to trim down your black strips, and sew the center units shown above.

For the next step, I used the hourglass fabric in gray for my contrasting background because I love the texture, but I think it would look super cool with the black/white print also.

Click here to get the Gridwork hourglass prints by the yard in black/white or gray.

Continue with the pattern instructions on pages 3-5 to sew as many blocks as you need for your size. The contrast around the center squares really makes them pop!

Block chain blocks

Tip: when sewing all of the complete blocks above, I like to chain piece as much as possible. That means sewing all of the same unit to all of the blocks, one right after the other without clipping threads in between. I prefer to sew with a shorter stitch length (2.5 instead of 3.0) and press my seams open for nice, flat blocks.

Click here to get my Aurifil Neutrals Thread Box for just $99 while supplies last! 

Sewing with a shorter stitch length also hides the piecing thread so it doesn’t poke through in between the seams. I used my neutrals thread collection for piecing this quilt because they blend into all of the different colored fabrics.

LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK:

Next week we will start sewing our blocks into the quilt top. Just remember, you can work at your own pace, faster or slower as you wish. I’m here to cheer you on each step of the way!

WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFO ABOUT THIS QAL?

Block Chain QAL Week 1 – Cutting the Fabric

Welcome to the Block Chain quilt along! This week we will be cutting all the fabric needed to make this quilt. It will be super easy because the center of each block features precut squares which are already cut for you (one of the reasons I love working with precuts)!

Gridwork Charmpack

My version uses 36 out of the 42 squares included in the Gridwork Charm Pack.

Sorting the Charm Squares

You will need one charm square for each block in your quilt. Because the throw size consists of 36 blocks and my  Gridwork charm pack includes 42 squares, I pulled out 6 squares of the black and gray prints. I like the random coloring below with just two of the black/white squares included for interest. Refer to the Block Chain pattern for the number of squares you’ll need for the smaller or larger sizes.

The important thing to remember is that as long as there is contrast between the squares and the surrounding frames (black in my quilt), it will still look good. Here’s another tip: if one of your squares is the same color as your background, it will look like there’s a hole in your block, so avoid that if possible.

Block Chain by Christa WatsonClick here to get the Block Chain quilt kit wile supplies last.

Cutting the Black and gray Fabrics

Refer to the Gridwork quilt pattern on page 3 to cut out your accent, background, and binding strips. Here are closeup images of the fabrics that I used:

The black is called Square Grid. I included this one in the Gridwork line specifically for this quilt!!

Square Grid Black

There are several great grays in Gridwork but I really like the look of the gray Hourglass print for the background. It gives the quilt just the right amount of interest and texture!

gridwork Hourglass gray

I especially love using fun geometric bindings for my quilts, so I picked the black Circle Grid print to finish off the edges of the quilt.

Here’s a tip to save for the end: if you want a super narrow binding thats finishes exactly 1/4″ evenly on front and back, cut your strips 2″ and sew the binding on with 1/4″ seam allowance.

Circle Grid Black

Click here to stock up on yardage and bundles of your favorite Gridwork prints.

Looking ahead to next Week:

Next week we will start sewing all of our cut units into blocks. Just remember, you can work at your own pace, faster or slower as you wish. I’m here to cheer you on each step of the way!

Blockchain quilt blocks

Where Can I Find MORE Info about this qal?

Block Chain Quilt Along Supply List and Weekly Links

I’m excited to help you make my Block Chain quilt from start to finish over the next six weeks. All you need is a copy of the quilt pattern; cheerleading and moral support are free!!

Block Chain designed and made by Christa Watson

FINISHED SIZE SHOWN IS 69″ X 69″

Block Chain by Christa Watson

This colorful modern quilt is a remake of an earlier design I created before precuts became so popular (and before I was a fabric designer). Over the years, I’ve had numerous requests to reconfigure the design so that it can be made from charm packs:  5″ x 5″ squares of a favorite fabric line.

My quilt shown above was made from one Gridwork charm pack, plus contrasting black and gray Gridwork prints. As long as you have good contrast between your charm squares, accent fabric (black) and background (gray), it will look great no matter which colors you choose!

Block Chain quilt pattern

Supplies Needed For Throw Size as shown

Refer to the back of the pattern cover above for additional sizes. Click image above to enlarge. Feel free to substitute fabrics as desired to achieve the same colorful look.

Click here to purchase the optional Block Chain Kit, while supplies last!

Gridwork Charmpack

I loved designing all of the prints featured above in my Gridwork Charm Packs.

The throw size quilt calls for 36 charm squares. A standard size charm pack includes 40-42 squares, so that gives you some wiggle room to decide which squares you want to include in the quilt. Save the extra squares to make a matching pillow, sew them into the quilt backing, or use them to make a label when you’re finished with the quilt!

Quilt Along Schedule

Click each Hot Link below to See that step

Share and Interact with Other Makers!

So now it’s time to gather your supplies and share pics of which fabrics you’ll use. If you’re an instagram junkie (like me!), please tag me at @christaquilts and use the hashtag #blockchainquilt so I can see what you are doing and cheer you on!

If you’d like to ask questions or need additional help, please participate in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group. It’s a great place to encourage your fellow makers, and get additional ideas for fabric choices, and quilting ideas.

Block Chain Quilt

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Pieced Primrose Quilt Along Week 8-Binding to Finish

I sure have enjoyed making my Pieced Primrose quilts and I hope you have, too. Now it’s time to put the finishing touches on the quilt with binding- either by hand or machine. Just remember, if you are still working on your quilt, I’m here to cheer you on – no matter how long it takes!

Pieced Primrose Warm Colorway

Because I wanted to include all 10 prints of warm or cool from my Abstract Garden line, I used 9 fabrics for the blocks and then the focal print “Raised Beds” for the backing and binding of both Pieced Primrose quilts.

Pieced Primrose in the Cool Colorway

When I first started quilting, I used to cut my binding strips 2 1/4″ wide, but recently I’ve started cutting them 2″ wide which makes for a nice, narrow finish that’s 1/4″ wide on both sides of the quilt. To figure out how many strips to cut, take the perimeter of the quilt (length of each side of the quilt) and add 10″. Then divide that number by your width of fabric and that tells you how many strips to cut.

For example, the Pieced Primrose wall size is 35″ on each side, so (35″ x 4) + 10 = 150″ of binding needed. I divide that by the usable fabric width of 40″ to which I round up to 4 strips to cut. (150/40 = 3.75). This simple quilt math works for any size quilt you need to make!

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson Raised Beds

Click here to get the Abstract garden “Raised Beds” fabric by the yard.

I was in a hurry to make my quilts on a deadline for quilt market when this fabric line was first released,  so I don’t have any step by step pics of my binding.  However, I click the links below to for several binding tutorials from previous quits:

LINKS AT A GLANCE

Click the links below for supplies needed to make Pieced Primrose

Pieced Primrose Quilt Throw Size

Pieced Primrose quilts show in the the throw size above.

Pieced Primrose Quilt Along Week 6 – Basting

And now we come to everyone’s least favorite part of making a quilt – basting!! But really, if you just set aside the time to do it’s not that bad! Here’s what both versions of Pieced Primose look like up on my design wall that also doubles as my basting area. Read on for helfpul ways to tackle this part of the quilt-making process. It’s easier than you think!

Pieced Primrose Quilts Basted

Get the Pieced Primose kits here – in cool or warm, large or small.

Because I wanted to include all 10 warm or cool fabrics from Abstract Garden in both colorways of Pieced Primrose, I used 9 fabrics for the blocks, and then the multicolor print “Raised Beds” for the backing and binding. The wall size kit includes the backing; for the larger size you’d need 6 yards of either color.

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson Raised Beds

Click here to get yardage of the Raised Beds print from Abstract Garden

I’ve basted my quilts many different ways over the last few years, and I try to share as much about the process as I can. So take a look at the different tutorials below from prior quilts I’ve made. I’m sure one of them will make your quilting life easier!!

Spray bastinG Video Tutorial

Click here (or the image below) for my spray basting video tutorial.

This is the first full-fledged basting tutorial I’ve created for my YouTube channel. I filmed and edited it while making my Infrastructure quilt. In reality it takes about an hour to do, but with the magic of edting, you can watch on super speed which only takes about 7 minutes. Too bad I can’t baste that quickly in real life, right??

Spray basting photo tutorial

Here’s the step by step process shared in my video above, but will still photos on my Modern Puzzle quilt made from Jelly Rolls.

Click here for my spray basting tutorial using a design wall.

Wall Basting Quilt Tutorial for Modern Puzzle Free Quilt Pattern

Table basting photo tutorial

If you don’t have a dedicated design wall, no problem! You can still do my spray basting method using a table. It’s the method I used when making my Improv Squares quilt:

Click here for my table basting tutorial.

Spray Baste

Safety Pin Basting Tutorial

Finally, here’s the way I USED to baste my quilts until about 5-6 years ago – using safety pins! It’s still a good method if basting spray isn’t your thing.

Click here for my safety pin basting tutorial.

Basted

If you have another method you prefer, feel free to share you tips or links in the comments for others to see. Until next week – happy piecing and basting!!

LINKS AT A GLANCE

Click the links below for supplies needed to make this quilt:

Next Week – Machine Quilting Ideas for Pieced Primrose

Swirls quilting

Pieced Primrose Quilt Along Week 5 – Quilt Top Assembly

How are your Pieced Primrose blocks coming along? Did you check out some of the optional layouts from last week’s post? This week will be pretty straightforward as we sew the blocks and add borders to complete the quilt top.

Pieced Primrose Quilt Pattern

Quilt Top Assembly

For my cool and warm versions of the quilt, I’m doing the standard layout as shown on the cover of the Pieced Primrose Quilt pattern above. It’s the same basic layout whether you are making the smaller wall size, or the larger throw size.

First I sewed all of the foundation pieced blocks into larger 4 block units. The trick is to rotate the blocks so they look like the image below and sew 2 rows of 2 blocks each . Because of the bias edges on the blocks, you want to hand them carefully and use pins to ensure the edges match correctly.

Although the block seams are pressed to the side during block assembly (due to the foundation paper piecing process), I press the larger block seams open so they will lie flat.

Large Primrose Block – Warm Colorway

Pieced Primrose Blocks Warm

Large Primrose Block – Cool Colorway

Primrose Block Cool Large

For the wall size quilt you will be making 4 of these larger blocks. For the throw size, you will be making 20 of them. Just remember that you can always change up the size of your quilt by adjusting the number of blocks that you sew.

Click here to get the Pieced Primrose kit in warm or cool, wall or throw size.

Pieced Primrose Throw Size Layout

Pieced Primrose Quilt

Adding the Borders

Although the pattern gives you the correct measurements to cut for the borders, I always recommend measuring your quilt top first. It can shrink or grow depending on how accurate your seam allowances are.

The best advice is to measure both sides and through the middle, then cut your side border strips to this length. After the side borders are sewn, measure again with the borders attached and cut the top and bottom borders to match.

Wall Size Finished Top – Warm
Pieced Primrose Warm
Wall Size Finished Top – Cool

Pieced Primrose Cool

Next week we will baste our quilts and get them ready for machine quilting. So if you are still sewing your blocks together, don’t worry – you still have plenty of time! Remember to share your progress on instagram #piecedprimrose quilt or in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group.

LINKS AT A GLANCE

Click the links below for supplies needed to make this quilt:

Pieced Primrose QAL Week 4 – Block Finishing, Choosing Layouts

I know that last week’s foundation paper pieced tutorial was quite intense, so this week I wanted to give you some extra time to finish sewing your blocks. Last week I shared the steps using the cool colorway of my Abstract Garden fabric. Now here are more pics of the warm colorway:

Pieced Primrose Quilt Blocks

Remember to piece as many blocks as you need for the size you are making. The primrose block is constructed from 3 units per block: the A & B foundation sections (full sized paper template to photocopy is included in the quilt pattern), and the corner triangle unit:

Paper Pieced Primrose Blocks

Once all 3 pieces are sewn, then you can trim up the block to the proper size, including the seam allowances. When you tear off the paper is up to you. Some people like to tear off the paper once each block is sewn; others like to wait until the entire quilt top is sewn before removing the paper. But if you use a shorter stitch length while sewing, that will perforate the paper, making it easier to remove.

Pieced Primrose Warm Block

Design Layout

Due to space constraints, the Pieced Primrose quilt pattern includes one basic layout, made by sewing 4 blocks together into one larger Primrose block. If you choose to make this layout, be sure to rotate 4 blocks so that they look like this, then make the number of larger blocks listed in the pattern:

Warm Primrose Blocks

Here’s the same layout for the cool colorway blocks:

Pieced Primrose blocks cool colorway

Alternate Layouts

I had fun rotating the blocks in EQ8 software and coming up with these different layouts. They are all based on the smaller throw size, but can be adapted to the larger size, too:

Pieced Primrose Alternate Layout

Pieced Primrose Alternate Layout

Pieced Primrose Alternate Layout

Pieced Primrose Alternate Layout

To make any of the layouts above, simple rotate each individual block to create the new design. This is just a small sampling of what you can do, and some designs read busier than others. But once you blocks are finished, spend time playin around with different rotations of the blocks and take pictures with your phone when you find one or two that you like!

This Week’s Homework:

Finish sewing all of your blocks and then assemble them into larger 4 block units if you get that far. Next week will sew all the blocks together and add borders to complete the quilt top. Just remember, work at your own pace and come back to any of the blog posts you need for a refresher as you make your quilt.

Pieced Primrose Blocks

Larger Primrose Blocks in the Warm and Cool Colorways of Abstract Garden
Kits are available in both colorways.

LINKS AT A GLANCE

Click the links below for supplies needed to make this quilt:

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!