My Schedule for Fall Quilt Market 2018 – Come See Me in Person or Virtually Online

If you are heading out to quilt market, the industry trade show in Houston, Texas, be sure to come find me and say hi! I’ll be hanging out in my booth #2134 in the Benartex Contempo area most of the time, and I’ll be sharing some fun presentations with goodies to give away!

Fall Quilt Market 2018

Click here to see all of the Abstract Garden fabrics.

If you plan to attend schoolhouse – educational seminars on Friday before the show, make plans to attend mine at 5:30 on November 2 room 342A. Everyone who comes will get a free sample pack of my new Abstract Garden collection plus one of my patterns.

My presentation is called “Kitting for Profitability” and it’s geared towards quilt shops who want to create kits from my patterns. I’ll be discussing the 4 P’s of profitability: Pattern, Product, Promotion, and Pricing.

Designer showcase

The show floor is open Saturday-Monday and Benartex will be presenting four designer showcases on Saturday and Sunday. The 7 designers in attendance will each present a trunk show of our latest and greatest and of course there will be goodies galore!

Quilt market is super fun now that I’m a fabric designer and Benartex really knows how to take care of their designers. They have a design team that gets there the day before, builds all of the booths and then decorates them for us once we arrive with our newly sewn samples. That makes one less thing for me to worry about so I can focus on being present and engaging for any quilt shops who want to stop by and see all the fun new things!

Christa Loves Fluevogs
Fluevogs are my favorite shoes of all time – and yes, they are super comfy!!

Speaking of fun things… I gathered up some of my favorite Abstract Garden prints along with my favorite coordinating shoes and whipped up 4 cute aprons to wear – one for each day of the show. To see the big reveal, be sure to follow me on Instagram @christaquilts where I’ll share pictures and videos all weekend long. It will be exhausting – but fun!

If you can’t attend, be sure to tell your favorite local quilt shop to stop by and see me, and if you want to catch all the fun from home, be sure to follow the hashtag #quiltmarket for the hundreds (thousands?) of pics that will be shared this week!

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson

I’ll be back with a wrap-up of the show when I return next week! Happy quilting until then!!

EQ Design Contest Winners

I have to tell you how blown away I was with all of the entries into the Fandangle EQ design contest last month. EQ limited it to one entry per person which was probably a good thing, or we never would have been able to make a decision, LOL! EQ picked their favorite, I picked my favorite, and together we picked a joint favorite. So without further ado, congratulations to the winners below:

Overall Winner – Betsy’s Pinball

Betsy EQ8 entry for Fandangle

This quilt really spoke to me with it’s asymmetrical modern style. It’s really eye catching and I love how she took a traditional block – the Drunkard’s Path and created such a unique, fresh design!

MY Honorable Mention: Mel Beach Slice & Insert

EQ8 Design by Mel Beach

Mel’s design absolutely blew me away! I love how she incorporated some of the design motifs from the fabric into her unique and original quilt design. Check out the blog post she wrote about her process and several other design ideas. Each improv-looking blocks is actually an abstract pieced “F” (for Fandangle). How cool is that??

EQ Honorable Mention: Janet Barker Cut the Deck

Janet Barker EQ8 design with Fandangle

Here’s what Janet had to say about her fabulous entry: “My Cut the Deck quilt design uses a range of dark and light fabrics in the same color family. The teals with lime green accents fit the bill perfectly. The quilt uses easy strip piecing with sub-cuts to make up the blocks.”

Other Favorites

I have to give a shout out to a couple of other designs that really made my heart sing. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved ALL of the entries and it was so so hard to choose! We have some amazing talent out there in the quilting world and I was impressed by all of the original designs. I hope that several of the entrants decide to turn their designs into quilt patterns because they are all so good!

Willow Olson – Oh My Stars

Willow Olson EQ8 fandangle Design

 

Diane – Lisbonesque-like

Diane EQ 8 Fandangle Design

 

Pat A – Untitled

Pat A EQ 8 Design

 

Terri Nice – All that Glitters

Terri Nice EQ8 design

 

Darlene Cunningham – All The Ins & Outs

Darlene Cunningham EQ 8 Fandangle Entry

See The Rest of the Amazing Entries!

There were a total of 96 entries and they were all so fabulous! The ones I just showcased above are just a drop in the bucket of all the incredible designs that were shared.Do you know how hard it was for us to choose the winners?? The rest of them are still up on the EQ site so you can enjoy an amazing virtual trunk show. Be sure to read the comments for more about each entry.

Click here to see all of the remaining entries and grab a couple of fun freebie from me – a PDF pattern download & the EQ file to make a simple jelly roll quilt from Fandangle (or any other fabrics in your stash.)

Then click here to grab your favorite Fandangle fabrics to and get started on your next quilt! Remember to use coupon code SAVE10 at checkout!)

EQ design challenge

Thanks for playing!!

EQ Design Challenge: Design a Quilt with Fandangle – Win the Fabric to Make It!

For all of my Electric Quilt loving friends out there, I’ve teamed up with Benartex and EQ to bring you a fun challenge this month! Use any of the fabrics from my latest collection Fandangle to design a quilt you’d like to make using EQ7, EQ8, EQ Stitch, or EQ Mini.

Click here for complete contest details and entry.

Fandangle Fabric by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo Studio

Fandangle collection by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo Studio

Three winners will each win the fabric they need to make the quilt! Complete details along with the link to download the Fandangle fabric swatches are over on the EQ blog today, so check it out! The contest will run through the end of the month.

Electric Quilt 8

I personally love using EQ8 to design all of my quilts because I usually have to design and write all of my quilt patterns for any new fabric collection months before I get the fabric. EQ makes it easy for me to see exactly how my finished quilt will look before I even make the first cut!

Fandangle by Christa Watson

If you are on instagram, be sure to also share your designs using the hashtags #fandanglefabric and #eq8. I can’t wait to see what you create!

EQ design challenge

Creative Spaces Blog Hop Week 3 – Organization!

This week on the Creative Spaces blog hop, we are discussing organization. This is one of those topics where I realize that sometimes my perfection stands in the way of me being as organized as I should. I can be an all-or-nothing type person: if I can’t organize every last bit, I’ll let everything fall into disarray, LOL!! You can see that here in my “before” pic about my sewing room cleanup!

Creative Spaces Blog Hop Week 3

For my stop this week, I thought it would be fun to share my wish list for the things I want to get to help me be more organized in my sewing room. The last time I did a major renovation of my creative space was back in 2013 and it’s high-time for another one!

They recently built an Ikea here in Las Vegas and the sad thing is I haven’t been yet. In fact I’ve NEVER even stepped foot in one, but I’m planning and scheming and making a shopping list of things I want to get to make my sewing room a little more organized.

Drawer Unit

First up is this set of drawers. I think it will fit nicely in the space underneath my sewing table.
In the older picture below (which was before I got my new fancy sewing machine), there’s a spot under the table to my left where I think these drawers would fit perfectly.

When I first got my sewing desk way back in 1999 or 2000 it came with an option to add a set of drawers there. The biggest regret I have is not making that purchase back then. I don’t even remember the brand of table it is and sadly, the shop I bought it from is long gone.

Sewing Table

This older image was from before my first sewing room redo in 2013.

Next up, I’ve been checking out Pinterest and Google for ideas on making a customized cutting table. The basic idea is to get 2-3 shelving units with wheels and put them together, then add a piece of wood on top. I need it to be mobile because it would go in the center of my space and I’d need to move it out of the way when we do photography.

ikea shelving unit

Here’s one possible shelving unit above that would work. This will definitely take more time and research, but just like any large project, that’s part of the fun, right?

Finally, the biggest purchase I’ll need to make is some larger shelving units that can fit end to end along one wall of my room. I’ve been getting recommendations that lots of folks really like the Billy Bookcases from Ikea, and this image from their site has piqued my interest:

Billy Bookcases from Ikea

Image from Ikea

So those are the 3 major things I want to purchase for my sewing room to make it more organized and usable. I’m in the very early stages of planning and I know it will take time and money to make this happen, but I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how it’s going!

Be sure to check out all of the other stops on the hop for additional ideas on how you can organize your own creative space!

Creative Spaces Blog Hop Participants

Mondays

Tuesdays

Wednesdays

Thursdays

Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

Creative Spaces Blog Hop

Get Your Free Tickets to The Quilt Show Live Taping in Denver Aug 26

Quick announcement! I just found out that you can get free tickets to be part of The Quilt Show studio audience with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. I’m going to be a guest on an upcoming show and I’ll be taping my segments on August 26th in Denver, Colorado.

Click here for information on how you can get free tickets to the taping.

Interview for the Quilt ShowClick here to watch the short interview I did with Alex back at QuiltCon in 2016.

The episode won’t appear until months later, but what a fun opportunity if you are in the area. And there may just be fun goodies and giveaways for audience members!

Don’t worry – if for some reason you can’t make it, keep an eye on The Quilt Show Daily Blog for announcements of future tapings. Now I’ve got to start making my demo samples and preparing for the show!

Creative Spaces Blog Hop Week 2 – My Favorite Tools

Are you enjoying the Creative Spaces blog hop so far? I know I am! Scroll to the end for a list of all the stops on the hop and get motivated to organized your creative space! This week, 16 of us are sharing our favorite tools. It’s fun to see the ones we all love as well as picking up ideas for new things to try!

Creative Spaces Blog Hop - Favorite Tools

For my post, I thought I’d do a roundup of some previous blog posts when I shared about some of my favorite notions and tools.  I did a series of “favorite tools” several years ago and it is surprising to see how many of them are still at the top of my list. Click the link below each image to read more about why it’s (still) my favorite:

My Favorite Tools for Quilting

batting scissors

Batting Shears

Tri Recs Tools

Tri Recs Tools

Lint Roll

Lint Roller

Painters Tape Quilting

Painter’s Tape

Christa Watson, BERNINA ambassador

My BERNINA – of course!!

(The link above is from 5 years ago when I got my first 7 series machine!! Little did I know then that it would lead to my national teaching career and becoming an ambassador. It’s a fun walk down memory lane….)

Cut 'n Press

Cut n Press Mat

Big Board

Starch and a Big Board

Shout Color Catchers

Color Catchers

Squiggles work in Progress

My Design Wall

Supreme Slider 2 Sizes

Other Machine Quilting Essentials (from a previous blog hop)

You can definitely go down a rabbit hole reading all the blog posts I’ve written about my favorite tools, and this barely scratches the surface! What are some of yours?

Blog Hop Stops

Remember to check out all of the stops on the hop each day  through August 19th!

Mondays

Tuesdays

Wednesdays

Thursdays

Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

Creative Spaces Blog Hop

Creative Spaces Blog Hop Week 1 – My Sewing Room

Welcome to Week 1 of the creative spaces blog hop! Scroll to the end for links to everyone who has posted about their spaces this week – I’m sure you’ll love it, be inspired, and hopefully, feel good about your own creative space!

Creative Spaces Week 1

This week, we are blogging about our sewing spaces, and sharing before and after pics.

I like to keep a tidy room, but whenever I travel, things can become a hot mess. I’m usually trying to finish up some deadline at the same time and my sewing space can often look like this:

I have a big space in our upstairs loft area. There’s a big table in the middle where I do most of my computer work, cutting and organizing of projects. It tends to attract all the mess when I’m in a hurry to leave on a big trip.

When my studio is tidy and clean and I’m able to efficiently use every space, it looks more like the image  below (taken a couple of years ago for a feature on someone else’s blog):

Christa's Sewing Room

I’ve got a quilt under the machine on the back wall with another quilt top on two tables in the middle of the room. My design wall on the right is big enough to hang a large quilt top. It now doubles as my basting area and my photography studio.

I can fit a full size ironing board with a big board on top, and there’s a desk where my daughter can also sew if she’s interested. You can barely see the couch peeking behind the railing where I like to drape a couple of quilts in progress.

Photographing Sparkling Stars Quilt

Jason does all of the flat photography for me since that’s definitely not my skill set.
Here he’s photographing Sparkling Stars, my newest quilt pattern featuring Fandangle.

Probably my favorite thing in my sewing room is the design wall because I use it all the time. Whenever I’m working on a new quilt, or even a new fabric line I’ll hang up whatever I’m looking at and step away, to see what it looks like at different angles.

It also servers as my photography studio to take flat shots for pattern covers. We (meaning Jason) build the design wall back in 2013 the last time I did a major studio renovation. You can read about our process here.

Clean Sewing Room

I’m lucky to have a large space with enough room to put everything away when I clean up.

My least favorite thing in my sewing space is the hand-me-down wooden entertainment center. It doesn’t match anything in the room, but it was free and fits the space well. It also holds a ton of stuff, including our big ugly office printers (one for black and white printing & labels – the other for color printing.)

One of my goals during this six week blog hop is to replace that ugly brown monstrosity with something nicer from Ikea. We recently got one in our town, and it’s sad that I haven’t even been there yet! But I’m hoping I can assemble a series of smaller units and bookcases (in white) that will make the space look a whole lot nicer! I’d also like to replace my plastic work table with a taller table on wheels that I can use for cutting.

Christa Quilts

I’m definitely in my happy place when I can quilt in a clean, organized room. My sewing machine is against a wall with a window so that I have lots of natural light steaming through while I quilt during the day. My favorite thing to do is listen to a podcast or audio book while I quilt. It relaxes me and I can get into a good flow while I work.

Other Stops on the Hop

Be sure and visit these other stops on the Creative Spaces Blog hop and see how my quilty friends deal with taming their creative spaces:

Mondays

Tuesdays

Wednesdays

Thursdays

Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

Creative Spaces Blog Hop

 

General QuiltCon Registration Opens Today – Check out the Lectures!!

Great news! QuiltCon 2018 registration opens today for the general public, meaning you do NOT have to be a member of The Modern Quilt Guild to attend. Although most of the hands on workshops have sold out (including mine), you can still get on the waiting list because cancellations DO happen. Every time I’ve taught at QuiltCon, at least one person has been able to get into my workshops last minute due to a cancellation. And the good news is, there’s still plenty of space available in the a la cart lectures – including mine.

QuiltCon Panel

Lecture/Panel Discussion from 2016 about managing your fabric stash with the lovely and talented Judy Gauthier, Rossie Hutchinson and Mary Fons.

Click here to see all of the offerings by instructor. There ARE a few workshops that still have space available – just check each person for details.

The last time I gave a lecture about Modern Machine Quilting was back in 2016 for an MQG webinar. Since then I’ve updated my talk with all new material. The new lecture is called “Infusing Modern into Machine Quilting” and I can’t wait to share it with those who attend!!

Modern Machine Quilting

Promo image for my talk back in 2016

Using lots of gorgeous examples from previous QuiltCons, I’ll be demonstrating how the modern aesthetic can apply to the machine quilting process. Learn how negative space, minimalism, graphic geometry, improvisation and other hallmarks of the modern aesthetic can be incorporated into your machine quilting work.

Attendees will gain a better understanding of why many modern quilters choose to employ an abundance of straight line and “industrial looking” designs rather than quilting overly ornate and perfectly symmetrical motifs. Suggestions on how to incorporate graphic and linear free-motion quilting as an alternative to straight-line quilting will also be explored.

Click here to register for my lecture.

QuiltCon 2019 CatalogI highly recommend registering for as many QuiltCon lectures as you can – they feature fabulous speakers and fascinating subjects. In fact, I guarantee you’ll learn new things about quilting, just by attending!

Even if you plan to attend QuiltCon and don’t even register for anything, you’ll still have a great time! The quilts are sure to be fabulous, the vendors are top-notch, and there will be meetups, “Sew-lebrity” sightings, and demos galore. I travel to a LOT of quilt shows and while I love them all, QuiltCon has a special place in my heart – after all, attending the first one in 2013 literally changed my quilting life. I hope to see you there!!

Creative Spaces Blog Hop Starts Next Week!

Want to get to know some fun, talented friends of mine? Then join us for the Creative Spaces blog hop which launches on Monday, July 9th, 2018!

Creative Spaces Blog Hop

Hosted by Tammy Silvers and Cherry Guidry, 16 of us are going to write a weekly post for 6 weeks about fun, creative topics in the quilting community. Think of it as getting to know some new friends and learning a few tips along the way!

Inspiring Content!

Here are the scheduled topics we’ll be covering:

  • Week 1: Studio Clean Up – before and after pics
  • Week 2: Favorite Tools
  • Week 3: Organizing Tips
  • Week 4: Dealing with Scraps and/or Fabric
  • Week 5: Dealing with Embellishments/Buttons/Thread
  • Week 6: Dealing with Tools/Rulers

Creative Spaces Blog Hop

Meet the Makers!

Here’s the list of participants and the days of the week they’ll be posting. Click the links to each of their blogs below and follow them, or bookmark their sites so you can check out what each has to say every week!

Mondays

Tuesdays

Wednesdays

Thursdays

Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

Creative Spaces Blog Hop

My Week at BERNINA University 2018

I just got home from a fabulous week in Chicago, attending the 125th Anniversary of BERNINA. What a legacy for this fantastic company!! Each year, BERNINA hosts an industry only event exclusively for BERNINA dealers, select quilting industry vendors, and BERNINA owned companies (Brewer Sewing, Benartex Fabrics and OESD embroidery.)

The Main Event

BERNINA 125th Anniversary

BERNINA University (BU for short) kicks off with an opening reception and announcement of new products.  A new 4 Series was introduced this year, aimed at making BERNINAs more affordable to the “casual” quilter with many of the same bells and whistles of the high-end machines.

BERNINA Sewing Machines at BERNINA University

Beautiful 125th Anniversary quilts on display made by Amanda Murphy

BERNINA dealers and their employees attend four days of classes aimed at getting them familiar with the new product line as well as supplemental classes taught by industry experts, ambassadors, and BERNINA educators. During the time between classes, they get an opportunity to shop the vendor mall, full of booths aimed at helping them bring fresh, new products to their stores. Think of it as a mini-version of quilt market that’s more focused and engaged.

Many well-known BERNINA experts and spokespersons were there, too, such as Amanda Murphy, Lisa H. Calle, Tiffany Pratt (a crafting TV personality from Canada) and Ricky Tims, just to name a few.

BERNINA spokesperson Lisa H. Calle

Lisa H. Calle is such a ham!! I met her at BU last year (in Las Vegas) and got to know her better over dinner this year. She’s as kind and generous as she is talented.

Ricky Tims at BERNINA

Ricky Tims entertained us with his beautiful musical talent at the closing gala.
(Spoiler alert!! I’m heading to Colorado later this summer to do a taping with him and Alex Andersen for The Quilt Show – can’t wait!!)

My Booth

Fandangle Fabric Booth

My Sparkling Stars Quilt got quite a good reception at the show.
Stay tuned for the Dot ‘n Dash Quilt Along coming up in August!

I was able to set up a booth at BU to show shop owners my brand new Fandangle Fabric collection with Benartex, along with new quilt patterns to help support the line. I was very pleased with the reception that I received. Although I had attended quilt market back in May, many of the quilt shops and dealers who attend BU don’t actually make it to market so most of them were seeing it for the first time.

Fandangle Fabric Surplus Strips Quilts

Everyone loved seeing the cool and warm colors of Fandangle in Surplus Strips.

As a designer, one of the best things about attending BU is getting to engage more with the shops and dealers one-on-one. Because it is a much smaller event than quilt market, there’s enough time to talk with them in-depth to explain how my new products will help their quilt shops be more successful (and of course sell more sewing machines!)

Pearl Pendants
Pearl Pendants quilt on display. I scattered squares of Modern Marks and Fandangle together on the table so that folks could see how well both collections work together.

It’s All About the Education!

Everyone attending at BU is either a serious buyer, seller, or educator. Although there’s certainly nothing wrong with the more casual, social environment of quilt market, BERNINA University is a different type of industry trade show. It’s much more focused and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I sold more books, fabrics, and patterns there than at quilt market.

Machine Quilting Workshop at BERNINA University

Workshop attendees got to practice free-motion quilting on either the Q20 sit-down longarm or the B770 QE (which is my personal machine of choice.)

I also taught a couple of workshops while I was there: two sessions of my 3 hour class, “ Conquer Your Fear of Free-Motion.” It was a little different than my regular classes that I teach for shops, guilds, and at quilt shows because I was basically teaching other teachers and shop owners how to teach my techniques from my books.

Free Motion Quilting on teh BERNINA Q20

Sharing my teaching methods with shop owners at BU had two main purposes:

  • It allows my methods to reach a larger audience. Since there’s no possible way I can travel to every quilt shop, the dealers can share my methods and get their own rock-star staff to share them with their customers instead.
  • It helps me sell more books. Although it’s exciting for me to meet enthusiastic students when I travel or interacting with them online, there are plenty of quilters out there excited to learn how to machine quilt that haven’t yet been introduced to my easier, stress free (and fun!) way of doing things.

Quilted Samples at BU

Student work quilted on the BERNINA 770 QE. My designs work well on any machine!

One of the best things about having a professional quilting career is getting to make new friends and solidfy relationships with people you only see at industry events. Once such person is Cherry Guidry from Cherry Blossoms Quilting Studio, a fellow Benartex Contempo designer.

Cherry Guidry of Cherry Blossoms Quilting Studio

Click here to see swatches of Cherry’s adorable fabric lines.

Cherry been a fabric designer with the company since about 2014 I think and her style is simply adorable. It’s much different than mine but many of our colors and fabrics are very compatible. We are both passionate about business and quilting and started hatching plans for ways that we can work together in the future so stay tuned for more on that front!!

The Big BERNINA

Big BERNINA at BU

And you thought YOUR BERNINA was big??

It wouldn’t be a BERNINA event without fun props! This larger than life BERNINA was on display in downtown Chicago as well as at the closing reception. Although I did not take any pics with it, you can check out the hashtag #BU2018 on Instagram for many hilarious and animated candids of folks with the machine!

Fandangle Fabric and Matching Shoes

I love wearing clothing made from my fabric and pairing it with fun matching shoes. Now it’s time to work on more fabulous fabric designs and quilt patterns to go along with them!
Since I know you’ll ask – the shoes are Fluevogs – my favorites!!

Next Year’s Show

I had a fabulous time teaching and sharing my work with fellow BERNINA enthusiasts at BU and am pleased to share that I’ve already been invited back to next year’s show. BERNINA University is an annual event that will take place again next June in Jacksonville, Florida. So stay tuned for more great things from BERNINA in the future!