MQX 2020 Quilt Registration Opens Friday, November 1

Are you planning to attend MQX quilt festival? It takes place April 14-18, 2020 in Manchester, New Hampshire. This will be my second time returning to the show and I can’t wait!

MQX Quilt Show

What I’m teaching

I’ll be teaching my most popular machine quilting workshops and lecture!
Here’s my complete schedule:

148-20 Free Motion Favorites
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
228-20 How do I Quilt it?
Tips for Machine Quilting Success
Thursday, April 16, 2020
9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
244-20 Walking Foot Wonders
Thursday, April 16, 2020
1:00 PM to 6:00 PM Eastern Time

free-motion-quilting

Registration Opens at 9AM Pacific/Noon Eastern Time

Many of the classes sell out quickly, so be sure to bookmark the MQX website, create an account, and head there first thing on Friday to sign up. I’d love to see you there!

Click here for my complete list of classes, descriptions, and supply lists.

Walking Foot Quilting

Teaching Update: New York Next Month, New Hampshire Next Year

I like to update you all occasionally on where I’ll be heading to teach because I often get asked if I’ll be in a certain area of the country. So the interesting thing is that I’ve never been to New York state in my life and now I’m going there twice in a row! Tomorrow I’m headed out to a visit the Snow Country quilt guild  in Remsen and I can’t wait.

If You Can Quilt It Here – You Can Quilt It Anywhere!

Then next month I’ll be doing a super fun event for the Aurora Sewing Center near Buffalo, NY October 2-5.

Aurora Sewing Center

I’m doing a new kind of event for them which I’m really excited about. I’ll be one of their “sewlebrities” for their monthly sewing club in October. I will be giving a 3 hour presentation on machine quilting along with a meet n greet, demo, and a chance for club members to ask all their burning machine quilting questions.

This presentation will be offered multiple times at both locations of their shop so that all club  members will be able to attend. Then I’ll follow that up with a full-day machine quilting workshop.

If you’ll be in the area during this time, I’d love to see you!

Returning to MQX

I’m thrilled to be returning to MQX quilt show April 15-18, 2020 in Manchester, New Hampshire. MQX has a special place in my heart because it was where I earned  my first national quilt show ribbon back in 2013. Registration opens later this year, so save the date and I’ll be sure to make an announcement once registration goes live!

MQX Quilt Show

Click here to keep up with my current schedule of events. I’d love to see you in person!!

Blooming Wallflowers Week 5 – Basting

Welcome to everyone’s LEAST favorite part of making a quilt – basting! But hopefully with my methods and tips, it will be less painful of a chore for you. My #1 tip is to take your time with basting and don’t rush the process. If you have a nice and flat quilt while basting, it will make machine quilting sooo much easier!!

Spray Basting - smoothing the quilt

The key to successful basting is ensuring smooth, flat layers.

I use 505 Basting Spray to baste my quilts. It allows me to avoid pins while quilting and it ensures that every single inch of the quilt is sticking to every other inch. I have already created complete photo tutorials of my step by step process using either a design wall or a table. See the links below the image check them out:

Spray Baste

Below is a short 25 second video of me smoothing out the layers on the design wall, using a long acrylic ruler. Once I do this over the whole quilt, I take it to the ironing board and iron it, first from the back side and then from the front. The iron sets the glue and it’s ready to quilt!

If you would like to see the entire basting process on video (using a table), be sure to check out my Craftsy/Bluprint Class – Startup Library: Quilting. It walks you through the entire process of making a quilt from start to finish – over 6 hours of video content!!

Startup Library Craftsy Class by Christa WatsonClick here to enroll in my Startup Library Quilting Class

Hopefully between my videos and written tutorials, the entire basting process won’t seem so scary!

Next week will be another catch up break as I head to QuiltCon, so remember to share pics of your progress on Instagram #bloomingwallflowersquilt or in my ChristaQuilts Facebook Group. If I share your pic on my next blog post, you’ll win a free PDF pattern of your choice as my way of saying thanks for quilting along!

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

IMPORTANT LINKS

Moving Sale Week 3: Save on Fabric by the Yard

Today’s the day!! We close on the house and get the keys – whoo hoo!! Although we are giving ourselves some extra time to decorate before the big move, I want it to be done like NOW. But last week was very productive. I ordered a new set of couches for the living room – leather in a very pretty seafoam green that will match the blacksplash in our kitchen.

Sofa Shopping

Jason is testing out the sofa while I rearranged the furniture in the store. Fortunately the sales person was very accommodating of our request to move things around, LOL. I grabbed the red pillows from another couch and paired it with a dark leather ottoman from another display, just to see what it would look like. I haven’t settled on the final accessories yet, but we ended up purchasing two of the longer couches to fill up more of our living room space. They are super comfy!!

Save $1 Per Yard: Use Code MOVE3 at Checkout

Click here to purchase yardage from all 3 of my fabric lines.

Christa's Fabric

Right now I currently have bolts of fabric from all 3 of my collections stashed in various places in my sewing room. In the new house, we plan to build shelving to display it and add a pop of color to the room. However, the amount of storage will be limited, so please help me clear out a few of the extra bolts before we move!

Use code MOVE3 at checkout to save $1 per yard. You can order the fabric in 2 yard increments and I’ll cut it into one continuous piece.

Click here to get yardage from Modern Marks, Fandangle, and Abstract Garden.

QuiltCon Registration Opens June 26 for MQG Members

Just a friendly reminder that QuiltCon 2019 registration opens for MQG members Tuesday, June 26 at 7:00 AM Pacific Time (10 AM Eastern). Here’s a recap of what I’m offering:

My QuiltCon 2019 Teaching Schedule

DSMQ200 Walking Foot Wonders, Thursday Feb. 21, 9-5

Learn to stitch beyond the ditch and unleash the power of your walking foot to quilt modern or traditional designs. Walking foot motifs to be taught include: wavy lines, decorative stitches, irregular grids, several different spirals, straight‐line designs, and more. You’ll leave class armed with the confidence that yes, you can quilt your own quilts! This is a hands-on machine class with machines provided for each student.

Walking foot Quilting Workshop


QDR010 Plan Your Quilting (A), Saturday Feb. 23, 2-5 PM Or
QDR011 PLan Your Quilting (B), Saturday Feb. 23, 6-9 PM

How do you get from “quilt as desired” to a cohesive quilting strategy? Students
will practice sketching quilting motifs on paper, then learn strategies to apply those designs to an actual quilt top. Students will each have a chance to create several different quilting plans using images of their own quilts printed on paper, as well as learning how to create quilting plans for a wide variety of quilt designs. This is hands‐on drawing workshop.

Plan Your Machine Quilting


lec22 Infusing Modern into Machine Quilting, Sunday Feb. 24, 10:15 AM

This informative lecture is full of examples from previous QuiltCons, 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.

View from the stage at QuiltCon

View from my lecture last time I spoke at QuiltCon 2017


Non-member registration opens July 10 and I’m excited to be teaching for the third time with a new slate of workshops. If the prior years are any indication, things will sell out fast so set your alarm, make a list of first and second choices and be ready to roll when registration opens!

HST Remix by Christa Watson

My quilt, HST Remix hanging at QuiltCon 2018

If you plan to attend but aren’t sure if workshops are your thing – don’t worry – there’s still plenty to do. There will be social meetups every night, gorgeous quilts to be inspired by, and of course lots of food, shopping and fun! So make plans to attend QuiltCon in Nashville, Tennessee Feb 21-24, 2019. If you are unable to make it, click here to view my current teaching schedule.

A Plethora of Stepping Stones Quilts: Student Work from my Latest Workshop

Last week I taught a week-long class at John C. Campbell Folkschool on how to make a complete quilt from start to finish. Everyone made the same quilt from my Stepping Stones quilt pattern – but as you can see in the group pic below, they all look so different – and so fabulous!

Students' Stepping Stones Quilts

A Colorful Plethora of Stepping Stones Quilts

Last Saturday, I flew to Atlanta, Georgia along with my mom, Jason and two of my kids. My mom and the kids stayed with my aunt and uncle for the week while Jason and I drove over to the Folkschool. He took a photography class while I taught quilting, and we both had a fabulous time!

Fabric Cutting for Stepping Stones Quilt

Cutting in Progress. Each student chose their own fabrics and they were all fabulous!

My students got to work right away, cutting their fabrics to make their quilts. I love how most of them chose bright colors, but I’ve seen this design worked up in a wide variety of fabrics and it always turns out great!

Stepping Stones Quilt Blocks in Progress

Quilt blocks in progress – some students sewed theirs together randomly while others took time to carefully arrange each piece and either way works great!

It was fun to see the blocks going up on the design walls in the studio space. There was plenty of room to spread out and most students had their quilt tops pieced by the second day.

stepping stones quilt in progress

Quilts in progress decorated the walls beautifully all week!

They were excited to try out my spray basting technique and we had a gorgeous spot to baste, just outside the studio door in the lush green hills of Brasstown, NC.

spray basting

Can you imagine a more beautiful place to baste a quilt??

Once the quilt top and back are sprayed outside, we brought them in doors to assemble on a couple of work tables.

Basting: smooth the batting

The trick to good basting is to smooth out each layer of the quilt! A long acrylic ruler helps.

Although there were lots of quilts to baste, we made a party of it, helping everyone get theirs done so the process went very quickly!

Quilt Basting - pressing the quilt

Another trick is to iron the quilt once it’s basted to set the glue and smooth out wrinkles.

During class, I did a mini-lesson on both walking foot quilting and free motion quilting. and the students picked which techniques and designs they wanted to try, based on their skill level and ambition.

Machine Quilting in progress

Students learned how to “scrunch and smoosh” a real quilt underneath their machines.
Walking-foot quilting detail of the quilt above is shown below:

walking foot quilting detail on stepping stones

I was so proud of them for going outside their comfort zones and trying out different techniques. Those that wanted to do custom quilting practiced on a sample block like I suggested so they could see how the design would work with the thread and fabrics they chose.

custom quilting on stepping stones

One student’s custom quilting design. Although it’s taking her much longer to quilt this intricate design in each block, the results will be well worth it at the end!

Once the quilts were quilted, it was time to bind. I taught them how to apply an even 1/4″ binding by starting with 2″ strips. They were even willing to finish it by hand and most of them added the final stitches on the last morning before the closing ceremony.

Hand binding stepping stones

You can get a LOT of binding done while chatting hanging out!!!

Although class time went for 6 hours a day Monday-Thursday and 1/2 day class on Friday, most of the students took advantage of bonus sewing time in the evenings. I also worked on an upcoming project during that time (which I’ll reveal shortly) and we all had a grand time! It really was like an intimate quilting retreat. None of the students knew each other before class but were BQF’s (best quilting friends) at the end of the week!

It really felt like quilt camp for adults and I have to say I had just as much fun as they did!!

Finished Stepping Stones Quilt

First quilt!! It’s never too late to learn!!

It’s rare that I get to teach an intense in-person class like this but it’s such a joy to see them all do such a fabulous job. We even had one sweet quilter that had never made a quilt before and hadn’t even touched a sewing machine in over 30 years. But with help and encouragement of the class, she had a fabulous finish and was so proud of it!!

Fiber Arts Studio at John C. Campbell Folkschool

The Fiber Arts Studio wouldn’t be complete with out a Barn Quilt Block!!

We were very lucky to call the Fiber Arts Studio at the Folkschool our home away from home for a week. This is the third time I’ve been able to teach here, and it just gets better and better! (See my previous two classes here and here.)

Students' Stepping Stones Quilts

Folkschool Quilt Class, June 2018

Just remember – if you decide to have fun making your own version of Stepping Stones quilt – I’m here to cheer you on!!

QuiltCon 2019 Catalog Just Released – Here’s What I’m Teaching

I’m excited to be teaching at QuiltCon once again February 21-24 in Nashville, Tennessee. I’ve been to every QuiltCon since it began and this will be my third time as a member of the faculty. I’m most excited about the fact that although I’ll be plenty busy teaching 3 workshops and a lecture, I’ll still have plenty of time for all of the social events, too.

QuiltCon 2019 CatalogClick here to get the complete QuiltCon 2019 catalog.
Member registration opens June 26 and general registration begins July 10.

My QuiltCon 2019 Teaching Schedule

DSMQ200 Walking Foot Wonders, Thursday Feb. 21, 9-5

Learn to stitch beyond the ditch and unleash the power of your walking foot to quilt modern or traditional designs. Walking foot motifs to be taught include: wavy lines, decorative stitches, irregular grids, several different spirals, straight‐line designs, and more. You’ll leave class armed with the confidence that yes, you can quilt your own quilts! This is a hands-on machine class with machines provided for each student.

Walking foot Quilting Workshop


QDR010 Plan Your Quilting (A), Saturday Feb. 23, 2-5 PM Or
QDR011 PLan Your Quilting (B), Saturday Feb. 23, 6-9 PM

How do you get from “quilt as desired” to a cohesive quilting strategy? Students
will practice sketching quilting motifs on paper, then learn strategies to apply those designs to an actual quilt top. Students will each have a chance to create several different quilting plans using images of their own quilts printed on paper, as well as learning how to create quilting plans for a wide variety of quilt designs. This is hands‐on drawing workshop.

Plan Your Machine Quilting


lec22 Infusing Modern into Machine Quilting, Sunday Feb. 24, 10:15 AM

This informative lecture is full of examples from previous QuiltCons, 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.

The last time I taught at QuiltCon I was part of a panel lecture/discussion about managing your fabric stash with the lovely and talented Judy Gauthier, Rossie Hutchinson and Mary Fons.

This QuiltCon is shaping up to be one of the best, yet! There are loads of meetups and mixers and the class catalog offers the widest variety of lectures and workshops they’ve ever offered. I’ve got my eye on a design workshop I want to take, and there are plenty of lectures I’m interested in, too!

I hope you’ll make plans to attend, whether or not you take any workshops. QuiltCon is unlike any other quilt show I’ve attended – there’s definitely a party atmosphere there and half of the fun is the socializing! Leave a comment if you plan to attend and let’s get this party started early!!

Join Craftsy Unlimited for All You Can Watch Classes (Including Mine!)

You guys – I’m so excited! It’s almost time for the launch of my brand new Craftsy class!! But before it goes “live” I invite you to join Craftsy’s new subscription service “Craftsy Unlimited.”

craftsy unlimited

Click here to start a free trial of Craftsy Unlimited and watch all my classes for free!!

How is this different from regular Craftsy – you say?? Rather than paying a one time fee to own the class, Craftsy Unlimited is a monthly streaming service, similar to Netflix, Hulu, etc. but on your computer. With Craftsy Unlimited, you don’t own the class, but you have access to the entire library and class materials of thousands of classes 24/7 as long as you are a member.

The coolest thing is that you can actually combine both services if you want to – join Craftsy Unlimited to check out classes you may be interested in, but aren’t quite ready to commit to a purchase. Later, you can permanently purchase any classes you know you’ll want to keep forever.

Starry Path Quilt Blocks

Sneak peek of my brand new class, coming really soon!!

For instructors, we get compensated slightly differently for either model, but Craftsy Unlimited is a great way to support your favorite teachers. The more you watch our classes on Craftsy Unlimited, the more we get paid!! So even if you own my other classes already, you can view them in Craftsy Unlimited and it’s sort of like giving me a little bonus each time you watch. 🙂

Speaking of which, if you decide to join Craftsy Unlimited, be sure to check out my current classes:

The Quilter's Path by Christa Watson

The Quilter’s Path is like taking one of my in-person workshops. I teach you how to make a quilting plan and give you tons of ideas for both walking foot quilting and free-motion designs. Plus, you get to see how I actually “scrunch and smoosh” a real quilt under the machine. But the best part is you can pause, rewind, and watch your favorite parts over and over again!

Startup Library Craftsy Class by Christa Watson

Startup Library Quilting is great for beginners who want to learn to make a quilt from start to finish. I cover all the basics – choosing fabrics, reading a quilt pattern, rotary cutting, piecing, basting, machine quilting – walking foot & free-motion –  AND binding! It’s the whole shebang right from the comfort of your home!!

Craftsy Quilting Class taught by Christa Watson

Screen shot from my newest class, coming soon!!

Click here to start a free trial of Craftsy Unlimited and watch all my classes for free!!

In the new class, I focus a lot on accurate cutting and piecing, plus there’s a bit of machine quilting at the end. So watch for the new reveal soon!

I’m Teaching in Las Vegas at the New Quilt Show this October!

I’m excited that the quilting scene in Las Vegas is now big enough to support two quilt shows a year! I’ll be sharing my entry results from Quilt Las Vegas soon (a show I’ve been participating in for over 20 years). But now I’m excited to be involved with the newest show, “Points West” hosted by the Las Vegas Quilters.

Las Vegas Quilt Show

Click here for my lecture and teaching schedule at the show.

Points West Quilt Show will take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center October 18-20, 2018. It’s the only time I’ll be teaching in my home town of Las Vegas this year. So I invite you to take one of my workshops, or attend one of my lectures.

Here’s what I’ll be teaching at the show:

Walking Foot Wonders

Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 9am-4pm
Class Length: Full day – Machines provided
Skill Level: All levels

Class Fee: $80
Click here to register for this class.

Walking foot Quilting Workshop

Quilt shown is “Little Man’s Fancy” from my book Machine Quilting with Style

Class Description: Learn to stitch beyond the ditch and unleash the power of your walking foot to quilt modern or traditional designs. Walking foot motifs to be taught include: wavy lines, decorative stitches, irregular grids, large continuous spirals, several straight line variations, and more! You’ll leave class armed with the confidence that yes, you can quilt your own quilts!

Class will also include a discussion on basting, favorite tools and supplies that make the job easier, plus tips for putting it all together on a real quilt.  Students should be comfortable with their sewing machines, and will practice on their own pre-basted fabric and batting samples.

Free Motion Favorites

Friday, October 19, 2018, 9am-4pm
Class Length: Full day – Machines provided
Skill Level: All levels

Class Fee: $80
Click here to register for this class.

Free-motion quilting

Quilt shown is “Quatrefoil Applique” from The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

Class Description: Embrace perfectly imperfect quilting! That means little to no marking, and a whole lot of gorgeous texture. Ease into free-motion quilting with asymmetrical wavy lines, then move onto loops, traditional and modern stippling, plus curvy fillers like wishbones and cursive l’s that can expand to fit any space. Finish it off with several swirl variations, and you’ve got a toolbox of motifs to try on your next quilt!

Class will also include a discussion of basic free-motion quilting tips and tools, plus figuring out how to combine motifs together in the same quilt. Students should be comfortable with their sewing machines, and will practice on their own pre-basted fabric and batting samples.

Lecture & Trunk Show

Lecture: How Do I Quilt It?

Thursday, October 18, 2018, 1pm

Lecture Fee: $25
60 minute presentation Includes slide show, Q&A and book signing.

Click here to register for this lecture

The secret to successful quilting is in the planning and preparation. I’ll guide you through the steps I take to make each quilting experience fun and stress free Once you see my methods, you’ll feel empowered to quilt your own quilts! Learn how I baste my quilts, make a quilting plan, choose thread colors, divide and conquer each task, and apply rich texture with little to no marking of the quilt.

I love to share my quilts along with tips and tricks for better machine quilting!

Modern Quilting Trunk Show

Thursday, October 18, 2018, 6pm

Lecture Fee: $25
60 minute presentation Includes physical quilts, Q&A and book signing.

Click here to register for this trunk show.

I enjoy making complete quilts from start to finish, and am excited to show you the latest quilts from my books and patterns. This is your opportunity to get up close and personal with my quilts as I share my creative journey along with explanations of what makes them “modern”. Exact quilts shown will vary.

Points West Quilt Calendar

Quilt Las Vegas will also feature a full slate of regional and national instructors including Frieda Anderson, Mel Beach, Carmen Geddes, Nancy Mahoney and more!!

Click here to see the full list of instructors and the classes they’ll be offering.

There will also be a quilt competition, vendor mall, plus plenty of other fun events, and award winning quilter Marilyn Badger will be the judge and featured artist at the show. If you are near the Las Vegas area, or want to make a vacation out of it, I invite you to join me at the show. This event is brand new to Las Vegas and I can’t wait for it to get here!

Registration Now Open for the Australian Machine Quilting Festival (AMQF) 2018

This is mainly for my Australian friends, or for anyone who wants to take a trip with me down under this September! Registration is now open for the Australian Machine Quilting Festival in Adelaide, Australia. Yep, I’m going and taking the family, too!!

Australian Machine Quilting Festival

I’m thrilled to be joining some amazing instructors including Ricky Tims, Cindy Needham, Angela Huffman, Kathleen Riggins and many more. I’m just sad that I’ll be so busy teaching that I won’t have a chance to take any of their classes!! Though maybe I’ll have to sneak in a lecture or two…

Here’s my complete schedule of classes and events:

Click on any of the links below to register for that event, plus detailed information.
Please note, there is a one time registration fee that also includes admission to the show. The registration fee is required before you can enroll in any workshops.

Click here to register for AMQF

Thursday, Sept 20

Quilting Large Spirals

I can’t wait to share my machine quilting methods and best tips for quilting on a regular home sewing machine. All of the ideas I teach can be found in my three machine quilting books.

Friday, Sept 21

Modern Logs Quilt Pattern

I love teaching improv piecing using my Modern Logs quilt as the class sample. Even if you can’t attend, you can still get the print pattern here and the PDF version here.

Saturday, Sept 22

Christa Watson Quilts

Click here to download the complete class catalogue.

It’s going to be such an amazing event! Since I’ve never been to Australia I’m going bring the family with me so that we can turn this into a really fun working family vacation. They’ll get a chance to tour the country while I’m teaching, and then we’ll add on a few days so that I can see the sites, too. Be sure and leave me a comment letting me know what to add to our “must-see” list!