Teaching Update – Summer and Fall 2017

I get a lot of comments and questions from so many of you wonderful readers, asking when I’ll be in your neck of the woods. So I thought I’d share a quick teaching update, letting you know where I’m headed in the next few months. If you are in the area, I’d love to see you in one of my classes or lectures!

Here’s Where I’ll Be:

June 7-10 Panguitch Quilt Walk Festival
I’m teaching 4 machine quilting classes – and while those are already sold out, I will be participating in “meet the teacher” on Wednesday evening at 5:30. I’ll also be giving a trunk show on Thursday at 12:15 PM which is free to all attendees.

June 20-25 Vermont Quilt Festival
I’m teaching 2 machine quilting classes, (Thursday or Friday) 2 piecing classes (Saturday or Sunday) and giving a lecture and trunk show on Friday afternoon. As of today, there is still plenty of room in all of them. Click here for class info.

July 28-29 Quilt Nebraska
I’m teaching machine quilting on Friday and piecing on Saturday. Hosted by the Nebraska State quilt guild, this is a retreat-style convention with different package options and a great lineup of teachers to choose from. Click here for the registration booklet – the cutoff is June 22 and non-guild members are welcome for an additional fee.

August 17-19 Coastal Prairie Quilt Guild of Texas and Houston MQG
I’m presenting a machine quilting workshop and lecture to each group for their members. You can check with each guild to join, or to see if they allow visitors.

Christa Watson Teaches

September 15-16 Sew Yeah Quilting in Las Vegas
I’ll be teaching machine quilting and giving a trunk show from my new book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts which publishes in August. Save the date as class signups will open later this summer!

September 22-23 Glendale Quilt Show in Pasadena, CA
This fun event boasts Luke Haynes as the featured artist which should be a real treat! Retreat packages are available as well as registration for individual workshops. I’ll be teaching a full day of machine quilting on Friday and two half day piecing workshops on Saturday.
Click here for show flyer with all the details.

September 27-30 MQX Quilt Show in Springfield, IL
I’m super excited about this one! I got my first national ribbon at this show back in 2013 and I’ve bee dying to attend the show ever since! Classes are filling up fast, but there are still a few spots left in my 4 different machine quilting workshops. Click here for details.

Click here for my complete teaching schedule. I have workshops scheduled nationwide through 2019 and I update it on a regular basis. Thanks to all past and future students – you are the reason I love what I do!

Christa Teaches







Join Me for a Workshop in Las Vegas in May!

If you are near Las Vegas, or want to plan a fun road trip, I invite you to join me for a lecture and two workshops May 4-6. On Thursday night I’ll be presenting a lecture and trunk show about my quilting journey. On Friday, May 5th I’ll be teaching improv piecing while students make their own version of Facets from my book Machine Quilting with Style. On Saturday, May 6th I’ll be teaching machine quilting: Walking Foot Wonders and Free Motion Fillers.

Facets Quilt

Facets won a 2nd place ribbon in Paducah last year. I was beyond thrilled.

Christa Quilts Machine Quilting Books

I’ll be sharing my favorite motifs from all 3 of my machine quilting books!

The event is hosted by my hometown guild, Desert Quilters of Nevada, and non-guild members pay just $10 more per workshop. The Thursday night lecture is free, and visitors are welcome.

Click here to register for one or both workshops. I hope to see you there!

Quilt Las Vegas 2017 – A Recap and a New Milestone

Quilt Las Vegas is the annual quilt show put on by my local traditional guild here in Las Vegas, Desert Quilters of Nevada. I’ve been a member of the guild for over 20 years, and I’ve been entering their show for nearly as long. It’s the show that gave me the confidence to start competing nationally. I’ve also learned a lot about what goes on in the judging room as a volunteer. As my quilting skills increased, it’s been reflected in the number of times I’ve gotten a ribbon. However, the show this weekend was a new milestone for me. It’s the first time that everything I entered received a ribbon.

Machine Quilting demo by Christa Watson

One of the show highlights for me was getting to share a machine quilting demo and book signing for one of the local quilt shops vending at the show, Sew Yeah Quilting.

Most of the quilts I make nowadays are usually for a book, magazine, or individual pattern, so I think it’s really helped me focus on doing the best quality work I can. Today, I thought I’d share pics of my quilts hanging in the show, include the judges’ comments, and let you know where the patterns can be found, if you are inspired to make on of your own. Plus there are a couple more that my friends made that I thought were super cool. Enjoy the mini-show!

My Quilts in the Show

Churn Dash Slide from I Love Churn Dashes

Churn Dash Slide, 1st Place, Pieced Large – Single Entrant Category

 I was actually surprised that this one got a ribbon, let alone first place because the quilting on it is really simple. It’s just an allover swirl design. But the the fabrics really make it and I had a fun time taking a traditional design and freshening it up a bit.

Machine Quilting Detail by Christa Watson

Machine Quilting Detail on Churn Dash Slide

Here’s what the judge had to say about Churn Dash Slide:

  • Excellent piecing technique
  • Well balanced tension in machine quilting
  • Appropriate overall quilting design
  • Binding is securely and neatly attached
  • A crisp, clean and fresh approach to a traditional quilt pattern

The pattern for Churn Dash Slide can be found in  I Love Churn Dashes, a compilation published by Martingale/That Patchwork Place (my awesome publisher). I enjoy submitting ideas for their books where they usually feature 14-16 different designers’ patterns all in one collection.

A block from my quilt made the cover of I Love Churn Dashes – so fun!!

Quatrefoil Applique by Christa Watson

Quatrefoil Applique, 1st Place Applique

I made Quatrefoil Applique as a machine quilting sampler to show what some of my favorite quilting motifs would look like stitched out. I’m actually teaching how to make this quilt for the guild’s workshop this May, so it was cool to get a ribbon on it so the students could see it in the show. 🙂

Here’s what the judge had to say about Quatrefoil Applique:

  • Piecing and applique are neatly and precisely executed
  • Excellent quilting technique and multiple patterns elevate simple piecing and applique to a higher level
  • Very good binding technique
  • Well balanced colors and values

The patterns and machine quilting instructions for Quatrefoil Applique, and Swirling Butterflies shown below, are both included in the book I wrote with Angela Walters, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting. I’m extra proud of that book now that some of the quilts are getting a bit more bling! (Last year another quilt from the book, Plumb Lines, got a ribbon at HMQS.)

The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Christa Watson and Angela Walters

Signed copies of this book are available from me, with both of our signatures.

Swirling Butterflies by Christa Watson

Swirling Butterflies, 2nd Place Open Category (Wholecloth, misc., etc.)

Swirling Butterflies is the only wholecloth quilt I’ve ever made, and it was pretty risky using such a high contrasting thread for the butterflies. But it also pushed me technically, and was super fun and meditative to quilt! The lighting at the show wasn’t super great, so you can see a better detailed closeup of the quilting below. I explored one of my favorite techniques – free motion improv – in the background areas of this quilt.

Detail free-motion_quilting

Free motion improv quilting detail.

Here’s what the judge had to say about Swirling Butterflies:

  • Very good binding technique
  • Excellent machine quilting with precise backtracking
  • An elegant presentation

Fractured Puzzle by Christa Watson

Fractured Puzzle, 2nd Place Modern

This is the second time Fractured Puzzle has been shown in a show and the second 2nd place ribbon! (It got a 2nd place in modern last year at MQX). I love how the red ribbon matches the quilt!

Here’s what the judge had to say about Fractured Puzzle:

  • Very good piecing technique
  • Well balanced machine tension but strive for consistently even stitch length
  • Quilting motifs fill the spaces evenly
  • Binding is securely and neatly applied
  • Strong visual impact

Fractured puzzle is my ultra modern take on the free Puzzle Box quilt pattern I offer for newsletter subscribers. I really pushed myself and went way out of the box by cutting it up and sewing it back together again. But it was a really fun exercise in “what if…??”

Puzzle Box Pattern

Remember – you can always take a pattern and make it your own!

Other Favorite Quilts from the Show

I was bummed that I had very little time to spend at the show, due to other obligations at the same time, but I was thrilled to see ribbons on many of my friends’ quilts. These two quilts really resonated with me:

Vicki Ruebel Machine Quilting

Argyle Gone Wild by Vicki Ruebel of Orchid Owl Quilts. She won 1st Place Pieced Small, AND Best Machine Quilting. I was so excited and proud of her! Click here to see more details of the quilting and making of this quilt. She does amazing work!

Viva Las Vegas by Melissa Curley

My friend Melissa Curley won 1st place Show Theme for her quilt “Lucky.” She names all of her quilts with first names which I think is pretty cool. Lucky was the name of Elvis’ character in the movie Viva Las Vegas. I love how she showed the iconic neon of Vegas, mixed with the more subtle side of “Sin City”

Machine quilting students

In addition to catching up with local quilting friends, it was a thrill to run into some former local students while I was demoing. Kathy and Ofelia shown above were some of my first students way back in 1999. It was fun to connect with them again at the show, and know that they are still prolific quilters! I told them thanks for being great students that allowed me to learn how to become an effective teacher. 🙂

Now it’s time to go make (and enter) more quilts!















BERNINA Ambassador Blog Hop – Meet Some New Friends!

I love being a brand ambassador for BERNINA and one of the perks about representing this fabulous company is getting to know other amazing ambassadors here in the US. A bunch of us got together recently and thought it would be fun to help our followers get to know more of us better.

BERNINA Ambassador

Scroll to the end of this post for the complete BERNINA blog hop schedule and click all of the links to learn more about each person. 🙂 If you are interested in booking someone for an upcoming guild event or quilt show, each link will go to that person’s website, and emails are included, too.

Christa Watson, BERNINA ambassador

My first project was sewn on a BERNINA back in 1994 and it was love at first stitch! Today, I piece and quilt on a BERNINA 770 QE.

About Christa

I’ve been quilting since the early 90’s but only found my “voice” in the quilting community when I saw a modern quilt in a magazine back in 2012 and attended the first QuiltCon in 2013. I came home from that event on fire with enthusiasm for modern quilting and the larger quilting community in general. Up until that time I had been teaching quilting classes locally, but was under the false impression that I had to wait until my kids were grown and out of the house to start pursuing teaching and publishing as a full time career.

Christa Watson Books

Click here to see all of the quilts from both of my books.

Coming home from QuiltCon was a game changer. I immediately began work on a book proposal which was accepted and then published as Machine Quilting with Style in 2015. That was followed by my second book co-authored with Angela Walters, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting in 2016. I also have a third book coming out later this year (more about that, soon!) My favorite technique to teach is quilting on a domestic machine, and I love seeing that spark of excitement when students realize that they can quilt amazing designs on a home sewing machine!

My family on a recent vacation – these guys are the pride and joy of my life!!

My husband Jason and I run an online store, The Precut Store where we sell precuts and Aurifil thread. He quit his job as a CPA about 10 years ago to join me in the business full-time and we’ve never looked back! Our kids have all worked for us in our business at one time or another and they’ve all decided they are NOT into quilting which is totally ok!!

In fact I have a funny story to tell about mothers and daughters quilting. Although my daughter made a quilt when she was about 8 years old, she has since decided to pursue other creative interests like writing and drawing. She was 12 when I was writing the book with Angela. When she learned that Angela had written a book with her daughter, she came up to me and said, “Mom – is it okay that I don’t want to write a book with you?” I answered, “Of course! Most quilting moms DON’T write actually write books with their daughters, so that’s perfectly fine!”

I have to be truthful and say that quilting consumes most of my day. Since it’s my full-time job I put in a lot of long hours, but since it’s also my hobby, it’s really easy to do! I hope you enjoy getting to know many of the other BERNINA ambassadors – they are quilting and sewing enthusiasts, just like you!

BERNINA ambassador 2015

Some of the BERNINA ambassadors at the 2015 Ambassador Reunion.

BERNINA Ambassador Blog Hop Schedule:

Monday March 20
Lynn Carson Harris harrislc@gmail.com
Kelly Ashton kelly@kellyquilter.com
Diane Doran info@dianedoran.com
Melody Crust melody@melodycrust.com

Tuesday March 21
Kathy Delaney kathy@kathydelaney.com
Christa Watson christa@christaquilts.com
Mandy Leins mandalei@gmail.com

Wednesday March 22
Sandy Fitzpatrick hissyfitz@earthlink.net
Beth Ferrier beth@applewd.com
Cheryl Sleboda cherylsleboda@gmail.com

Thursday March 23
Annie Smith annie@anniesmith.net
Lori Kennedy lckennedy@hotmail.com
Kari Carr kari@newleafstitches.com
Catherine Redford catherine@catherineredford.com

Friday March 24
Joanne Sharpe jzsharpe@yahoo.com
Cherry Guidry cherry@cherryblossomsquilting.com
Jenelle Montilone jenelle@trashn2tees.com










Registration is Open for Panguitch Quilt Walk Festival – And I’m Teaching!

The next big show/event I’ll be teaching at is the Panguitch Quilt Walk Festival in Utah, June 7-10, 2017. I really enjoy mixing it up when I teach: traveling to guilds, shops and larger events to meet as may of you as I can!

Panguitch Quilt Walk Festival

Last year was the first time I taught there and when they asked me to return, I couldn’t turn it down because it was so much fun!

Click here to register for my classes

This year, I will be teaching three classes and and giving a trunk show. Here’s my schedule:

Modern Lanterns: Wednesday, June 7th, 2-5 PM

Modern Lanterns Quilt

We will learn how to piece this fun, modern quilt top, made from one Jelly Roll of my Kona Solids palette plus one Jelly Roll of Gray solid. Of course it will look great in other fabrics, too! It’s from a collaboration book with my publisher that releases the week of class, so my students will be the first to get their hands on a copy!

Click here to register for Modern Lanterns class.

Trunk Show: Thursday June 8, 12:15-1:45 PM

There will be trunk shows each day – Thursday through Saturday at lunchtime and they are free to all registered attendees. I’m excited to share the latest quilts I’ve been making!

free-Motion Fillers, Thursday June 8, 2-5 PM (Sold OUt)
2nd Session Has Been Added from 6-9 PM

Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

I’ll be teaching free-motion quilting from mine and Angela’s book The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting. Students can purchased signed copies of the book from me ahead of time at ChristaQuilts.bigcartel.com, or during the class.

Click here to register for the second session of Free-Motion Fillers

Walking Foot Quilting, Fri. June 9, 8:30-11:30 AM (Sold Out)
2nd Session Added Sat. June 10 8:30-11:30

Machine Quilting With Style

I’ll be teaching walking-foot quilting from my book Machine Quilting with Style. Students can purchased signed copies of the book from me ahead of time at ChristaQuilts.bigcartel.com, or during the class.

Click here to register for the second session of Walking Foot Quilting

In addition to the workshops and trunk shows there are all sorts of other fun events like a silent auction and chocolate fest, pioneer home tours, a parade and races, plus dinner theatre which reenacts the story of the famous Panguitch Quilt Walk. It’s great fun for the whole family!

Workshop with Christa Watson

Students in my Charming Chevrons workshop last year.

Click here for the complete workshop schedule. Classes are so reasonably priced that you could fly in and stay at a hotel for the price of workshops at other venues. I hope to see you there!

Come See Me at QuiltCon 2017 – Updated Schedule

I’m pleased to announce that I have added another book signing/meet ‘n greet to my QuiltCon schedule. On Saturday, February 25th from 12:30-1:30 Angela Walters and I will be signing copies of our co-authored book The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting with Intown Quilters in booth #348.

Meet Angela Walters and Christa Watson at QuiltCon

I’ll also be doing a book signing on Friday, February 24th from 12-1 PM in the Electric Quilt Company booth #337. Four of my quilts from Machine Quilting with Style will be on display for you to see “in the cloth.”

Christa Watson at QuiltCon in 2017

Both of my books will be available for purchase at both events. I hope you can make it!




The Splendid Sampler – The Journey Continues and a Celebration Giveaway

Happy Valentine’s Day! Have you been following along with The Splendid Sampler? The 100th and final block was released earlier in the week and to mark this tremendous milestone, there’s a huge giveaway to celebrate!

Splendid Sampler - Scrappy Happy Heart

My block contribution to The Splendid Sampler – Scrappy Happy Heart

The New Book

But before I get to the giveaways, there’s some exciting to share. Although the first stage of the quilt along has wrapped up, the journey isn’t over! The Splendid Sampler book releases in April!

Splendid Sampler Book

Click here to pre-order your copy of The Splendid Sampler.

Then in May, authors Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson will embark on phase two – encouraging new Splendid sewists to create one block a week from the book. So it’s never to late to join in – or if you started the quilt along and then set it aside to work on other things, you can re-join the fun!

Pat Sloan Hearts Aflutter from the Splendid Sampler

Pat Sloan’s Splendid Sampler Block #1 – Hearts A Fluttter

The Giveaways

Whenever Pat and Jane do something, it’s a huge production and that includes the giveaway celebration! Head over to The Splendid Sampler website to enter Pat & Jane’s giveaway for 7 fabulous prizes! While you are there, click on each of the 25 designer links for your chance at 25 more!!

Christa Quilts Patterns

Click here to view all of my PDF patterns in my Craftsy shop.

For my stop, I’m giving away PDF copies of my latest pattern releases: Positive Direction and Stepping Stones.  (If you already own these, you can pick two others from my Craftsy pattern shop.)

To enter, leave a comment letting me know how many Splendid Sampler blocks you’ve made so far! (And yes, it’s okay to say “zero!”) Next Monday at the end of the day, I’ll randomly choose 2 lucky winners – one from the US and one International. I’ll email the winners and will update this blog post with their names on Tuesday.

Lots of Love Splendid Sampler Block by Melisa Corry

Melissa Corry’s Lots of Love Splendid Sampler Block

Please share your blocks in The Splendid Sampler Facebook group!

You can also share your progress in my group: Quilt with Christa.

Splendid Sampler Heart Blocks

Remember – heart blocks don’t always have to be red and pink!

Update with Winners!!!

Congrats to Leslie F. and Christine C. for winning the PDF patterns!!















A Gallery of Award Winning Quilts from 2013 to Present

I’ve been reorganizing my blog and decided to create a page showcasing my award-winning quilts since 2013. This was a turning point in my quilting career because it’s when I began entering modern quilts into national shows. Up until this time I had been making mostly traditional quilts and entering them into my local guild’s show. But after entering and attending QuiltCon back in 2013, I came home on fire, wanting to write books, travel to teach, and compete nationally. It’s been a fast-paced but fun 4 years!!

I created this page mostly as a means for me to keep track of which quilts have won awards since then. Please enjoy  this walk down memory lane with me:


From my book Machine Quilting with Style

Facets Quilt

  • 2nd Place, Modern – AQS Quiltweek, Paducak KY 2016
  • Teacher’s Choice ribbon, Lori East – MQX Quilt Festival Midwest 2016

Fractured Puzzle

A modern remake of my free Puzzle Box quilt pattern


Plumb Lines

From mine & Angela Walters’ book The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

HMQS quilt show

Modern Logs

Individual Pattern Available


Colorful Chevrons

Individual Pattern Available


  • 3rd place, Single Entrant Small – DQN Quilt Show, Las Vegas, NV 2015
  • Founder’s Award – MQX Quilt Festival Midwest, 2014
  • 3rd Place – Modern – AQS Quilt Show Paducah KY, 2014

String of Pearls

Individual Pattern Available


Now I can’t wait to make and enter more of my work. I enter a lot of quilts, and most of them never receive any kind of recognition. So why do I do it? In all honesty, it gives me a deadline to shoot for, or I’d never get anything done. When one of them actually does win a ribbon, that’s like icing on the cake!

It’s Quilt Market Time! My Schedule of Events for Fall 2016

This week kicks off the “busy season” for the quilting industry. International Quilt Market, the semi-annual quilting industry trade show, will be held in Houston, Texas this coming FridayMonday.


Jason meeting with our Moda sales rep at Spring Market. What he ordered then is in stock now!

Jason and I will be attending together although we will have very different responsibilities. My job will be to promote my books, network with other industry professionals, and be on the lookout for future collaborations. His job is to scout out new products for The Precut Store and place orders with vendors for the next 6 months.

angela_christa_bookAngela Walters and I will be promoting our book this fall with a Live Quilting Demo!

Angela Walters and I will be reprising our role as “dueling quilters” to help promote our book, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting. We’ll do two live quilting demos: on Saturday at 11 AM in the Handi Quilter booth and at 3 PM in the BERNINA booth. Angela is a spokesperson for Handi Quilter, and I’m a BERNINA ambassador, so it will be fun to each quilt on
the other company’s machines, as well as the ones we are used to!


I will also be presenting a take and teach class on Saturday morning to Shop owners, sharing with them hands on machine quilting demos that they can use when teaching from my first book, Machine Quilting with Style. The class is full (which makes me super happy!) but there are plenty of classes taught by others that you can sign up for if you plan to attend.



Angela and Christa at Schoolhouse, Spring 2016 Quilt Market

Quilt Market officially opens to buyers on Saturday, but the day before is spent in “Schoolhouse” – a series of 15-30 minute sessions where authors, makers and designers will be sharing their latest and greatest up close and personal.


Leah Day and I first met in person at Quilt Market in 2014. She’s super fun and knowledgeable!

On Friday at 4:55 in Room 362 D, Leah Day, Stephanie Palmer and I have teamed up to present a session on book publishing for those interested in learning more about the process. Sponsored by Leah’s fabric company Island Batik, we’ll be sharing our varied experiences with both self-publishing and traditional publishing. It should be very informative!


Stephanie will be sharing her experiences on self-publishing The Quilter’s Planner.

Throughout the rest of the show I’ll be walking the floor, networking with other industry professionals, and meeting with other companies in the industry to collaborate on future ideas. It will be quite a whirlwind of activity, but I know I’ll come home ready to start on the next big idea!! If you happen to be there, be sure to grab me to say hi – I’d love to see you and chat!

Meet my friend Annie Smith

Vegas friends! My good friend and fellow BERNINA ambassador Annie Smith is coming to town! She’s made up a flyer below with all the details, and my good friends at Sew Yeah Quilting have offered up a special discount! code. Use the code COLOR to get $20 off her two day class. Plus, her Thursday night lecture and trunk show is free. How cool is that?
Annie Smtih Ad-for-Color-Sense-class

If you’ve never met Annie before, she’s such a fun person! She hosts a long-running fun podcast called Annie’s Quilting Stash which is the first podcast ever for quilters. In fact I was a guest on her show back in February of this year. Click here to listen.

Annie also the author of The Ultimate Applique Guidebook which I think is such a definitive work on the subject!


Click here to learn more about Annie’s Free Trunk Show

Click here to register for Annie’s 2-day class

If you don’t get a chance to catch her live  in person, she has online videos, too. Click here to go to her blog and find out more about it. Happy quilting, friends!