Save the Date: Infrastructure Quilt Along Begins September 9

I’m thrilled with the reception that my Color Weave quit along received this spring/summer, and now it’s time to get ready for the next one! If you want to learn how to make an entire quilt from start to finish, click here to join the fun, and I’ll send you a reminder once the next QAL begins.

Infrastructure QAL

Infrastructure is a Modern Row Quilt designed by my friend Heather Black of Quiltachusetts. I wrote the pattern based on her design and now I’m excited to make it using my brand new Geo Pop fabric which has just started arriving in quilt shops!!

Heather is going to make her version using using Benartex Superior Solids which will look just as fabulous! I’ll be quilting mine on a domestic sewing machine while Heather will quilt hers on a longarm so you’ll learn lots of tips and tricks for doing both.

Infrastructure Quilt

Heather originally designed this pattern in Adobe Photoshop. I was able to redraw in EQ8 software enabling me to break down the design and the write a comprehensive pattern.

Infrastructure Quilt Along Overview

The quilt along will run for a total of 12 weeks: we’ll spend 9 weeks cutting and piecing the rows and assembling the quilt top. Then we will spend 3 weeks basting, quilting and binding. You’ll have plenty of time to follow along will and you’ll actually have a finished quilt by the time we are done! Along the way, you’ll learn how we approach making the quilt and I’m even going to throw in some video tutorials, too. I can’t wait!!

The quilt along itself is completely free; all you need to purchase is a copy of the quilt pattern using one of my links below:

I’m also offering Geo Pop quilt kits while supplies last. Click here to grab yours.

If you’d like to choose your own fabrics, see the materials requirements from the back of the quilt pattern below. Just pick fabrics in similar colors to get the same look as mine. You can click the image to enlarge:

Infrastructure Supply List

There Will Be Prizes!!

Heather will be coordinating weekly giveaways during the quilt along, from a wonderful group of sponsors shown below. Think of it as a great incentive to keep on going throughout the entire event!

Infrastructure Quilt Along Sponsors

I’ve gathered my fabrics and the first thing I’ll do is prewash, starch and press them. Prewashing is a matter of personal preference, but I do it to wash out any chemicals, preshrink the fabric, and get out any excess dye with fabric color catchers. I’ll meet you back here with an update at the end of the month. In the meantime, let me know if you plan to join, and click here to sign up for my quilt along newsletter!

Geo Pop Bundle

Click here to get Geo Pop fabric, bundles and kits.

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 8 – Binding by Machine

We’ve finally come to the end of our quilt along and I sure have enjoyed seeing everyone’s progress so far! This week we will finish the quilt with machine binding. Now usually, I prefer the clean look of binding by hand. However, I was in a hurry to make this quilt so I decided to make the machine stitched binding an overall part of the design.

Color Weave Quilt by Christa Watson

This tutorial is pretty heavy on the videos because I thought it would be much easier to SHOW you my process for binding and explain what I’m doing each step of the way. The videos don’t have any sound because I’m still getting comfortable with the process, but I’m learning so much along the way (just like quilting right?)! They are pretty short, just about a minute or two each, and very easy to follow along what I’m doing.

Binding Step 1: Square up the quilt

Trim off all sides evenly with a long acrylic corner. I like to use square rulers at the corners to keep things nice and square. I trim the backing and batting even with the quilt top so I can wrap the binding snugly around the edges.

Binding Step 2 – Make Continuous Binding Strips

The pattern gives the number of strips to cut and how wide. I actually like to cut mine a little narrower, at 2″ wide so that they finish an even 1/4″ on both sides of the quilt. To join them end to end, place the strips right sides together and sew from corner to corner. I’m pretty good at eyeballing the middle; if you need more help, you can mark the sewing line ahead of time.

When you open up the strip, you want the top and bottom of the strip to be nice and even. Trim off the excess fabric and press seams open. Trim off one tail of the binding at a 45 degree angle. This will be your starting end. Finally, press the binding in half wrong sides together with a hot, dry iron.

Binding Step 3 – Sew the Binding to the Quilt

Usually, I attach the binding to the FRONT of the quilt and then wrap it around the back to finish by hand. However, when binding by machine, I sew the binding to the BACK of the quilt and wrap to the front, then finish with a decorative stitch.

Attach the binding with 1/4″ seam starting on any side and leaving about 10″ of starting tail loose from the quilt. When you get to the corner, stop 1/4″ away from the edge and sew off the quilt. Fold the binding up so the edges are even, then fold back down on itself to form the corner miter. (Watch this part several times if needed to get the hang of it!)

Continuing sewing the next side in the same manner. When you reach the end of your quilt, leave a gap between the ending and beginning binding tails. Open up the ending tail (with the flat end) and place the beginning tail (with the angle) gently on top. Mark the angled edge on the ending tail and add 1/2″ for seam allowances on both ends. Carefully pin the ends together and sew. Finger press the seam open and clip off the excess fabric. Smooth it back down on the quilt and stitch by machine to close the gap.

Binding Step 4 – Secure the Binding with Decorative Stitches

When machine binding it’s nearly impossible to hide the stitches evenly in the ditch. So I make them a decorative part of the quilt! Fold over the binding to hide your stitching and secure with clips. The corners will form a natural miter when you fold them down. Fold them in opposite directions from the back of the quilt to reduce bulk.

I used the same variegated thread for the binding as I used for the machine quilting so it looked like part of the quilting design. First I stitched one line of stitching all the way around the quilt, right along the edge of the binding to secure it to the quilt. This is similar to topstitching near the seam of a garment. Then I went back and added another line of stitching about 1/4″ away to complete the pattern. I used a straight stitch but you could also try using a decorative stitch for a different look!

Ta Da! This is what it looks like when it’s all done. The quilt is secure and ready to use!

Machine Stitched Binding

I used the same Aurifil variegated thread for machine quilting and binding.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Click here for links to all of the quilt along posts.
Click here to share your progress in my Facebook group.

How You can Support ChristaQuilts

If you’ve enjoyed this quilt along, please consider supporting my efforts by purchasing any of my products using the links below. I sure love what I do and I thank you for your patronage!

Click here to purchase my fabrics by the yard.
Click here to purchase my precuts, bundles and kits.
Click here to purchase my print patterns.
Click here to purchase PDF patterns from my Etsy shop.
Click here to purchase a signed copy of my machine quilting books.
Click here to purchase my Aurifil thread kits.

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 7 – Machine Quilting Random Crosshatch

How is your quilt coming along? Remember, you can work at your own pace, so please don’t every feel like you have to “catch up!” Last week I discussed making a quilting plan and stitching in the ditch to anchor your quilt. This week we will complete the Random Crosshatch quilting.

Random Crosshatch Quilting

Here’s what it looks like after I’ve stitched in the ditch in both directions and am filling in randomly spaced lines vertically. My Aurifil variegated thread adds lots of texture and I’m not stressing out too much about whether the stitches are perfectly straight or all the same length. It’s more about enjoying the process!

Machine Quilting Random CrosshatchClick here to purchase yardage of the pink “Tracks” fabric from Abstract Garden.
I used the selvage as my label for this quilt!!

Because I quilted so densely, I started with 2 full spools of thread from my Auifil Variegated thread collection – one for the front and one for the backing in variegated colors that blend in with the quilt. Although I used up most of the spool, there’s still enough left that I can use for piecing my next quilt.

Machine Quilting Random crosshatch

I like to avoid marking my quilt as much as possible, so I’m using my  “divide and conquer” process which means I don’t quilt ALL of the lines in one area. Instead, I make several passes across the quilt in both directions, adding more and more lines until I’m happy with the way it looks.

Below are several videos I took of the random crosshatch quilting in progress where I’m adding additional lines of quilting. During an earlier pass across the quilt, I stitched about 1/4″ away from the ditch on both sides of the yellow fabric below. Now I’m using the previously stitched lines as a guide for no-mark quilting. I randomly changed my needle position so that the lines end up various distances apart as I go.

Doing this type of “irregular” quilting is much easier to do and gives a more interesting texture to the quilt. Next, this is what it looks like after I’ve added more passes across the quilt in both directions:

The pieced  texture is emphasized with the random spacing, and the variegated thread makes the whole quilt more exciting! It’s a really fun and forgiving machine quilting design to do. I recommend doing it over several days rather than trying to cram it all into quilting session. Here’s more eye candy quilting in progress:

And finally, here are some more detail shots of the finished quilting:

Quilting Random crosshatch

I love how the variegated thread adds a pop of color and dimension to the quilt!

Quilting Random Crosshatch

If you are ever unsure about your design – just add more quilting!!

Machine Quilting Random Crosshatch

Can you believe this quilt is nearly finished?! Next week, we’ll complete the quilt with fast and easy machine quilting – I can’t wait!

IMPORTANT LINKS

Click here to purchase the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – paper version
Click here to purchase the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – digital download
Click here to purchase the Abstract Garden strip roll
Click here to get my Aurifil thread collections
Click here for links to the previous quilt along posts
Click here to share your progress in my Facebook group

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 6 – Stitching in the Ditch

Now we’ve reached my favorite part of the quilt-making process – machine quilting!! Quitling will be broken up into 2 parts so that it won’t feel so overwhelming. The quilting design I’ve chosen – random crosshatch, is actually very easy to do, but it can be a bit time-consuming if you like your quilting to be as dense as mine.

Random Crosshatch quilt plan

My favorite designs to quilt are those than can go all the way across the quilt without starting and stopping. That way I don’t have to worry about tying off and burying my threads. The random crosshatch above is basically a series of straight lines quilted across the quilt in both directions with a walking foot. You start and end each line of quilting in the batting, and that will get all trimmed up later once you add the binding.

Thread Choices

I also don’t want to stress too much over thread color. I prefer to use 1-2 colors for the whole quilt, if possible. My thread of choice is Aurifil 50 weight cotton because it comes in any color I need. It’s thin but strong and blends into the quilts I make rather than being the star of the show.

Because this quilt has so much color in it, I chose to use threads from my new Variegated Thread Collection. I used #4650 Leaves for the top of the quilt. Although it will show up on the gray sections, by the time I add lots of texture, it won’t be that noticeable.

Aurifil variegated thread

I like to “audition” my thread choices before I begin quilting.

For the bobbin, I used #3852 Liberty since it reads more pink. For 95% of my quilts, I use the same thread in top and bottom. But every now and then I’ll use two different colors when it makes sense.

The thread will still be visible on both sides, but with so many different colors (in the fabric and thread), these were the best choice. I made a practice piece with leftover scrap fabrics and tested both threads to make sure I’d be happy with the results before I started quilting my quilt.

Aurifil Variegated Thread

 #3852 Liberty and 4650 Leaves can both be found in my Variegated Thread Collection from Aurifil.

Machine Quilting – Stitch in the Ditch

To break the quilting into easier, doable steps, this week we’ll focus on just stitching in the ditch in both directions. This will secure the quilt for further quilting later, and will also evenly distribute the bulk of the quilting across the quilt. You can also decide at any point how lightly or densely you’d like to quilt the rest of the lines.

Here’s a short video clip showing how I deal with the quilt as I stitch in the ditch. I’m using my BERNINA dual feed foot which works the same way as a regular walking foot. I have an open toe so I can see what I’m doing and I reposition the quilt a lot so that my quilting lines are smooth the entire time. Also, pressing my seams open makes it sooo much easier to stay in the ditch!!

Notice in the video below that when I quilt an area without seams, I just eyeball the straight-line I’m stitching. Because it’s never more than 2″ that I have to eyeball, it works pretty well.

First, I started quilting from the right side of the quilt towards the middle. I quilted in the ditch every 2″ since that’s the finished size of my strips. I quilted all of the vertical seams first, then rotated the quilt and quilted all of the horizontal seems to create a quilted grid.

It’s easier to work from the side of the quilt towards the middle, because that’s less bulk to deal with at the beginning. By the time it gets too bulky, you’ll be halfway across the quilt and you can rotate the quilt, continuing from the center to the other side.

Here’s another video of me quilting from a wider angle. I really just scrunch and smoosh the quilt however I can, re-shifting whenever necessary.

Once I “anchor” or stabilize the quilt with ditching in both directions, I go back in and quilt randomly spaced lines, using the edge of my foot as a guideline for spacing. That will be our goal for next week, so I’ll see ya then!

IMPORTANT LINKS

Click here to purchase the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – paper version
Click here to purchase the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – digital download
Click here to purchase the Abstract Garden strip roll
Click here to get my Aurifil thread collections
Click here for links to the previous quilt along posts
Click here to share your progress in my Facebook group

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 5 – Backing and Basting

One of the secrets to successful machine quilting is basting your quilts properly. So today I will share with you my favorite way to baste a quilt using 505 basting spray and my design wall. You can definitely modify this technique and baste your quilts on a table, but I prefer the design wall because I can get up close to the quilt and make sure it’s nice and flat.

Christa Watson Quilt Studio

Click here for my bonus tutorial – how to build a design wall.
Click here to get the Color Weave pattern shown on the wall.

Pieced Quilt Backing

Before we get to the basting tutorial, let me share how I pieced the backing, from leftover Abstract Garden strips, and 5 yards of Abstract Garden Tracks in pink. (The quilt pattern calls for 5 1/2 yards of backing if it’s all one fabric.)

Abstract Garden Pieced backing

First I put up the finished quilt top on the design wall so I can see how much area to cover. I cut my 5 yards into 2 pieces that are NOT equal because I knew the strips would take up some of the room. One piece was about 94″ and the other piece was about 80″. Then I cut the shorter piece in half to create to rectangles, roughly 40″ x 40″ each. I placed the strips in the center gap between the two pink squares and sewed them together to create a strip set, then joined the two pink pieces on either side.

Abstract Garden Pieced backing

Once the left half of the backing was sewn, I attached it to the long piece, parallel to the selvage to create the finished backing. The important thing is to ensure that the backing is a few inches larger on all four sides for basting.

Abstract Garden Selvage

Because my name was on the selvage, I allowed the selvage to show instead of cutting it off first. And I wrote more info on the white part of the selvage to create a built-in label for the quilt.

WALL BASTING TUTORIAL

Ensure that all 3 layers of your quilt (top, batting, and backing) are nice and flat. The batting and backing should be a few inches larger than the quilt top on all sides.

Give the top and backing a final press and clip any stray threads. Relax the wrinkles in your batting by throwing it in a dryer with a wet towel for a few minutes, unrolling it from the package to “rest” for a few days, or pressing the batting with a hot dry iron. (For delicate batting, use a piece of fabric to cover it while you press.)

Hobbs Batting Cotton/Wool

I’m using Hobbs Cotton/Wool batting and I have a roll of it, so to measure how much I need, I keep the quilt top on the design wall and unroll enough of it so there’s extra around all 4 sides. I cut it with specialty batting shears.

STEP 1 – APPLY ADHESIVE TO BACKING AND QUILT TOP SEPARATELY

Lay a sheet on the ground or a table to protect your quilt and catch any over-spray. Outdoors is best so that the fumes can dissipate, but you can do it inside in a well ventilated room while wearing a dust mask. Be sure to shake the can and spray a few squirts on the sheet to ensure the nozzle is clean and the spray comes out evenly before you start.

Lay out the quilt backing wrong side up and apply a thin coat of 505 spray adhesive evenly across the surface of the quilt. Walk around the quilt backing as needed to reach all areas.

Basting Spray

Repeat the process for the quilt top, using the design of the quilt to help you keep track of which areas you’ve already covered. Don’t worry if the quilt top and backing have some give or are a bit wrinkly from movement. You will smooth it all out later.

Once the backing and quilt top are sprayed, fold them up and bring indoors to assemble the layers on a design wall. It doesn’t matter if you fold them right sides in or out. They will be sticky, but not stuck and you can easily unfold and the layers and peel them apart. You don’t need to baste right away, but I wouldn’t wait more than a few days to prevent the spray from drying out.

STEP 2 – ASSEMBLE THE LAYERS INDOORS

Pin the quilt backing wrong side up to the top of the design wall (mine is made from foam insulation board covered with a white flannel sheet). Let gravity pull the weight of the fabric down.

Wall Basting

Gently un-stick any of the fabric sticking to itself and spend some time smoothing it all out with your hands or a long acrylic ruler. Your hands will get a bit sticky, but the residue easily washes off with soap and water. Spend as much time as you need to straighten the backing so that it’s nice and smooth and flat on the design wall.

Basting Smooth Back

Repeat the process above with the batting. It can take awhile to smooth out all of the lumps and bumps so give yourself time and don’t rush the process.

Quilt Batting for Basting

Notice that I didn’t cut my batting perfectly straight on one edge and that’s okay. As long as the batting is larger than the quilt top, it’s easy to trim off any excess.

Wall basting - batting

Add the quilt top right side up in the same manner as the backing and batting. Pin generously and let gravity pull on the weight of the quilt top to get it to hang straight. This is why it’s so important for the batting and backing to be larger than the quilt top. Then you don’t have to make sure it’s lined up perfectly in the middle – you’ll have a bit of “wiggle room” to maneuver.

Adding the quilt top for basting

Spend a lot of time smoothing out the top layer once it’s on the wall. Use the acrylic ruler to help you work out any bubbles and ensure that the seam lines are nice and straight. Once your basted quilt is flat, smooth and straight, machine quilting it will be a breeze!

Adding the quilt top for basting

After the layers are nice and smooth, I trim off much of the excess batting and batting, leaving only about an inch all the way around. I don’t want a ton of excess around the edges that could flip and get caught under the machine as I quilt. I use the leftover fabric/batting pieces when I’m practicing my machine quilting.

Trim Batting

STEP 3 – IRON THE BASTED QUILT

Here’s where the magic happens! Once the quilt is basted, I take it to the ironing board and press both sides of the quilt. This does two things: (1) it’s a final chance to press out any wrinkles and work out any fullness in the quilt. (2) It sets the glue and ensures that all 3 layers will stay together without shifting, eliminating the need to add any pins. You can still pull apart the layers if needed, but this process will ensure that every inch of the quilt is sticking to every other inch of the quilt.

Iron the basted quilt to set the glue

I use a “big board” which sits on top of my regular ironing board and gives me more room!

If you prefer to use a table, check out my table basting tutorial here, using similar steps.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Click here to get the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – paper version
Click here to get the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – PDF version
Click here to purchase the Abstract Garden Strip Roll
Click here for links to the previous quilt along posts
Click here to share your progress in my Facebook group

Pre-order Geo Pop Fat Quarters and Kits

I’m super excited about my next fabric line which is coming  soon! Geo Pop is a bold, bright, collection of 25 geometric prints in gorgeous rainbow color.

Geo Pop by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here to preorder Geo Pop Fat Quarters

I’m really excited to add black, white, and gray to my mix of modern prints and hope you’ll enjoy working with them as much as I had fun creating them. Best of all, they mix and match with all 3 of my previous collections: Modern MarksFandangle, and Abstract Garden.

I’m also excited to offer several kits shown below:

Bling Quilt Kit: Fat Quarters + Background

This quick and easy quilt calls for one fat quarter bundle + 4 yards of white or black. You can even use the leftovers to make a scrappy binding! Choose your fave background: Op Squares in White or Tiny Hex in Black.

Bling Quilts with Geo Pop

Once the fabric arrives, I’ll share more about the making of both quilts shown above. Think of it as a “mini” quilt along!

Optical Illusion KIT: Made From Only 3 Fabrics

This “trippy” quilt kit creates the optical illusion using only 3 fabrics. The bold geometric prints in Geo Pop add such movement to this design. Scroll the image up and down to see it wiggle!

Optical Illusion Quilt

I’ll share more of my step-by-step process for making Optical Illusion soon, so stay tuned!

Infrastructure Quilt Kit – QAL Coming Soon!

I’m really excited to make this one, and it will be my next full length quilt along coming this fall. Pick up a quilt kit now, and stay tuned for more details!

Infrastructure Quilt

Infrastructure was designed by Heather Black and we are both going to be making two different versions of this quilt – one in prints and one in solids. I can’t wait!

Click here to preorder the Infrastructure quilt kit
Click here to get the Infrastructure quilt pattern – paper version
Click here to get the Infrastructure quilt pattern – PDF version

Geo Pop Fat Quarters – Preorder Now

Geo Pop Fabric

To ensure that you get in on the first printing of this collection, claim your fat quarter bundle now. Based on the reaction I’ve received so far, I think this will be my best-selling collection yet!

Click here to preorder Geo Pop Fat Quarters

I can’t wait until Geo Pop arrives, and I especially can’t wait to see what you all make with it!

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 4 – Quilt Top Assembly

How are your Color Weave quilt blocks coming along? Now it’s time to sew them together to complete the quilt top. You’ll want to refer to the quilt top assembly diagram in the quilt pattern often to ensure proper block placement based on color.

Rainbow Weave Blocks

The easiest way to sew this quilt top together if you are doing the Rainbow version is to first sew all of the same colored blocks into long columns (aka vertical rows), and then join the columns together to complete the quilt top. If you are doing a single color for the weave, then you can sew them together into horizontal rows.

Rainbow Weave Block Rows

Notice that there is one of each colored block that has a dark gray strip across the top. This is for the top block of each column so that it appears that the design is “floating” on the dark gray background.

Rainbow Weave Blocks

When joining two blocks together, don’t worry if the print doesn’t like up exactly like in the pair of purple blocks below. Because these are busy prints, you’ll still get the woven effect as long as your seams line up well.

Rainbow Weave Blocks

In the turquoise pair, the join is not as obvious because of the print.

Rainbow Weave Turquoise Blocks

Not all of the prints will have obvious joins, so let the seams fall where they may and the overall design will still look great.

Rainbow Weave Blocks

The easiest way to sew the rows together is to sew them into pairs, then sew the pairs into larger units: 1 set of 3 blocks and 2 sets of 4 blocks. Then sew the sets into each row by color.

Rainbow Weave Blocks

Be sure to use lots of pins to keep your rows straight and organized. In the photo below, the pin at the top is to keep that edge together while I pin the long row along the side. I like to pin perpendicular to the edges, and line up the seams. You can see that I use a lot of pins and this really helps with accuracy.

Pinning rows

I also continue to press EVERY seam. I press all of the long seams open in addition to the individual block seams. The trick is to open the seam ahead of your iron with your fingers and don’t use steam so you won’t get burned.

Here’s a short video showing how I press the seams open:

Because you are sewing long strips together, they have a tendency to bow or warp out of shape. To prevent this from happening, switch sewing directions each time you add a new row.

When you are finished sewing the quilt top, there will be a lot of seams left on the outside of the quilt that have a tendency to split apart due to handling. To prevent this, do what I call a “Victory Lap” around your quilt: stitch the edges with a 1/8″ wide seam all the way around the perimeter of the quilt. This is also known as “top-stitching” or “stay-stitching.”

Color Weave Quilt Top – Abstract Garden

Rainbow Weave Quilt Top by Christa Watson

My finished quilt top made with Abstract Garden strips and Fandangle background.
Click here to get the Abstract Garden Strip-pie.

Color Weave Recolored With Fandangle in EQ8

Color Weave Fandangle

Click here to get a Fandangle Strip-pie.

Just for fun, I recolored the design using Electric Quilt 8 software and my Fandangle fabric line. (plus the black from Geo Pop) I wan’t sure if it would work, but I absolutely love how it turned out! The key was figuring out the order of the colors so I’d still get the rainbow effect. There are 20 prints in both lines (Fandangle and Abstract Garden) and you need 17 to make the quilt (2 strips of each), so that gives a little wiggle room to decide which strips to leave out.

I can’t wait to see how your quilts are turning out, especially if you chose different fabrics. Be sure to click the link below and add your progress to my Facebook group.

In the next step, we’ll do everyone’s LEAST favorite part of the process: basting! But not to worry, with my method, it’s not as hard as you think!

IMPORTANT LINKS

Click here for links to the previous quilt along posts
Click ere to share your progress in my Facebook group
Click here to purchase Abstract Garden precuts and backing yardage
Click here to get the Color Weave quilt pattern – paper version
Click here to get the Color Weave quilt pattern – digital download

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 1 – Cutting

Welcome to the Color Weave quilt along! Cutting and color placement is the key to the success of this design. There is definitely a lot of cutting involved, but just take it step-by-step and give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the process!

Rainbow Weave Quilt

Click here to purchase the Color Weave Kit

This Week’s Homework – Subcutting the Strips

Although my Abstract Garden Strip Roll includes 20 different fabrics (2 of each), you will only need 17 of them (34 strips total) to get the glowing rainbow effect. Set aside the gray strips and the pastel “tracks” prints for another project, or use them on the back of the quilt.

In my Color Weave pattern, the strips are listed and cut in rainbow order, making it easier to keep track. Cut the strips into the subunits listed in the pattern cutting chart. Keep all of the same piles together and remember to measure twice, cut once!

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here to purchase additional Abstract Garden fabric.

If you are using a different set of rainbow colored strips, you will need 2 of each fabric to get the rainbow effect. You could also make it super scrappy, or coordinated scrappy (same color, different fabrics for each rainbow strip).

The background grays will be quicker to cut since it’s only two additional fabrics. These can either be cut from yardage or from a strip roll of each. Because I cut mine from yardage, I starched them before cutting, so they curled up a little in the corners. But they have a little more body to them now which will make lining up the pieces for sewing much easier.

Starching tip

I prefer to only starch yardage (not precuts or finished blocks). I use inexpensive starch from the grocery store (my favorite is Faultess Premium). The trick to avoid flaking is to starch on one side of the fabric and let it rest for about 30 seconds, then flip the fabric over and iron from the other side. If you want crisper, stiffer fabric, repeat the process for both sides of the fabric.

Fandangle Gray Confetti Crosshatch by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here to purchase yardage of  the Confetti Crosshatch grays from my Fandangle collection.

Bonus Tips

If you are comfortable cutting through multiple layers accurately, you can cut through two folded strips (4 layers of fabric) at a time. Just keep track of how many units you need to cut per fabric and the number of units you need to cut from each strip. There’s not much room for error, so remember to measure twice, cut once!

If you do make a boo-boo when cutting, you can get additional Abstract Garden fabric at shop.ChristaQuilts.com. Or substitute a similar color in your stash for a scrappier, custom look!

Next week we’ll start sewing the pieces into blocks, but remember – you can work at your own pace so feel free to jump ahead if you are an eager beaver, or slow down and enjoy the process.

Remember to share your progress on social media using the hashtag #colorweavequilt. Not only will others cheer you on, but you can see lots of other ways to make this quilt and change things up to make it uniquely your own!

Rainbow Weave Quilt blocks

IMPORTANT LINKS: Supply List & Schedule, Where to buy

Blooming Wallflowers Week 10 – Binding to Finish

Can you believe we’ve come to the end of the Blooming Wallflowers quilt along? I’m so excited to see all of your finishes and encourage you to continue working at your own pace, even if you finish weeks (or months) later.

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

I was literally finishing the hand binding of this quilt on the way to quilt market last fall, so I didn’t get any pics of my binding in progress. However, I’ve written several other binding tutorials, and my process is exactly the same, no matter which quilt I’m making. So choose your favorite method – hand or machine, and enjoy this last step of the process!

Modern Marks binding strips

I cut matching binding strips from my Modern Marks Navy Herringbone print.

Here’s a bonus tip for binding: I like to cut my strips out at 2″ wide and attach them with an exact 1/4″ seam using my BERNINA dual feed (which acts like a walking foot but I can use skinnier feet on it). This gives me a precise finished binding of 1/4″ and it’s even on both the front and back. Many times, I like to use the same background fabric as the binding so that it looks like the design is floating on the surface, rather than being interrupted by a contrasting fabric.

Here’s Blooming Wallflowers hanging in my booth at quilt market last November, along with the other quilt patterns I made to showcase my Abstract Garden fabric.

Christa Watson Abstract Garden

My booth with Benartex at fall quilt market in Houston, November 2018
Other quilts shown are LatticeWork and Geese in the Garden.

And just for fun, below the is the original Blooming Wallflowers quilt I made a couple of years earlier for a quilt magazine to promote my first line, Modern Marks. As you can see, this quilt is fun to make no matter which fabrics you choose!

Blooming Wallflowers in Modern Marks

Blooming Wallflowers Modern Marks

The Modern Marks Navy Herringbone print is one of my all-time faves!

I hope you’ve enjoyed making this quilt with me. And if you are worried about having quilt-along withdrawal, stay tuned for the next quilt along, coming soon!! It features a brand new quilt that I haven’t shared on the blog yet, and I’m sure you’ll love it just as much!

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Blooming Wallflowers Week 8 – Machine Quilting Part 2

How is your Blooming Wallflowers quilt coming along? Some of you have completely finished while others are just getting started and that’s perfectly fine. I love to encourage everyone to participate at their own pace. In cased you missed it, click here for quilting part 1 including 4 short You-Tube videos showing exactly how I quilted the blocks.

Blooming Wallflowers made with Abstract Garden and Modern Marks

Today I’ll go over how I quilted the background using one of my favorite filler motifs – jagged stipple. In the quilting plan below, I quilted jagged stipple in the background areas after all of the blocks were quilted. I love filling in a quilt this way: as long as you can trace an unbroken line around your quilt, you can quilt the design continuously without any starts and stops.

Blooming Wallflowers Block Quilting Plan

Quilting all of the blocks first is what I call “anchor quilting” which means that the quilt is secure and won’t shift as I scrunch and smoosh it under the machine to finish up the rest.

I recommend practicing drawing out the design freehand on a blank sheet of paper, and even quilting a practice block to get a flow for the design. The jagged stipple is very forgiving and is basically a series of abrupt jaggedy lines going in every direction.

Machine Quilting Jagged Stipple

I quilted Jagged Stipple on a larger scale for my Improv Squares Quilt Pattern.

There’s really no wrong way to do it! In fact, I love the jagged stipple design so much, that it inspired one of the prints from my previous fabric line – the “Paper Cuts” print from Fandangle.

Fandangle Fabric Paper Cuts

Click here to get yardage of the paper cuts print from Fandangle.

Here’s another short video showing how I move back and forth and all around to quilt this design. I especially love the look of texture on texture when I quilted the jagged lines on top of the navy blue Herringbone print from Modern Marks.

Because I’m using a matching blue Aurifil thread (from my Piece and Quilt Collection – Colors), it’s hard to see the actual stitching, which is usually a good thing so you won’t see all of the wobbles and bobbles as I quilt.

Here’s a detail shot where you can just barely see the quilting. I like quilting textural designs on busy quilts because I want my quilting to enhance the quilt rather than being the star of the show!

Blooming Wallflowers quilting detail

So give this fun design a try – whether you quilt it on this quilt or another WIP (work in progress).

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