My Week at Craftsy – May 2017

It’s been a little bit quieter around here the last few weeks, because I’ve been hard at work getting ready to bring you some new exciting things coming this year! The first sneak peek I can share is that I just wrapped up filming on my next Craftsy class that will debut later this summer.

Christa on Set at Craftsy

This was my last day of filming and I got to cuddle up with the quilt I made on set once we finished. I’ll tell you more about this quilt when the class  is ready – it was so fun and fast to make!!

My new class is part of Craftsy’s debut “Startup Library” which consists of longer, in-depth courses across all of their major craft topics. They are aimed at beginners or those who may be involved in one craft, but want to try their hand at something new. I was so pleased to represent quilting!

Startup Library: Quilting with Christa Watson

I was there filming for a total of 5 days, and prior to that I worked with their great editorial team for months, honing in on the content that I’ll be presenting. In a nutshell, I got to focus on my favorite topic: teaching new students how to make a complete quilt from start to finish!

Christa with the Craftsy Crew

Christa and the Craftsy crew – we made a great team! And yes, there were smoothies….

On Set at Craftsy

My fabulous  content editor, Linda Permann helped me baste on camera. I wanted to make sure I included this important step, and I love that she got to cameo as my “helper!”

Returning to Craftsy for a second time was much less stressful because I knew a little bit more about what to expect this time around, such as getting my hair and makeup professionally done each day, and knowing that we would put in long hours of work which would get edited down to just a few minutes. I love the magic of television!!

Christa Watson and Angela Walters at Craftsy

Angela Walters and I took turns in the hot seat getting professionally made up each day by the lovely and talented Danica. This is was my favorite way to start each day!

While I was there, I got to mingle with a couple of others on set who were also filming their next projects. Angela Walters happened to be there at the beginning of the week, filming the next season of The Midnight Quilt Show.

Joshusa John Russell: Man About Cake

And Joshua John Russell from Make About Cake was there at the end of the week, gearing up for the next series of episodes for his popular YouTube show. Behind the scenes fact: I asked him how much cake he ate in each episode and he told me he never touches the stuff. True story!!

Now that I’ve written three books and filmed two classes, I can really appreciate the similarities and differences between both types of delivery. A book is a longer, slower sort of project, while a video class has a much quicker turnaround, but is also more intense. I’ve realized that I love creating both types of products, and I’m so grateful work with people who have a knack for editing and polishing my content so that I can look my best!

Stay tuned for more, and in the meantime, if you haven’t purchased my first class yet, you can click here to get 50% off of The Quilter’s Path. (Be sure to add the class to your cart to see the discount.)

The Quilter's Path by Christa Watson








Three Pinwheel Quilts: From EQ7 Sketch to Finished Quilt

For my Craftsy class that launched last month, I made the same Pinwheel quilt three different ways, with different fabrics and quilting designs. Now I’m back to share a little more up close and personal about each quilt.

Walking foot quilting from The Quilter's Path Craftsy ClassDetail of Walking Foot Quilting on Pinwheels Quilt #1.

As an EQ ambassador and artist, I pretty much do all of my quilt designing in EQ7. So I thought it would be fun to show you each of the quilts along with their original sketches that I drew.

EQ7 Drawing of Pinwheels QuiltThis is my sketch of the first pinwheels quilt shown in my online class, using 1930’s repro prints. I didn’t worry about the prints being an exact match. This sketch just gave me an idea of how busy prints would look against a dark blue background.

Pinwheels quilt, machine quiltied with a wavy grid design using a walking foot/dual feed

When it came to making the first quilt with a navy background, I actually had enough fabric to make two quilts (using a jelly roll of Boundless 1930’s Delights along with a jelly roll of Boundless Solids Navy.) The version above was the finished sample shown in class. I made a second one shown below to stitch on during filming as I demonstrated one of the walking foot quilting techniques. Rather than making two of the exact same quilt, I divided the prints into two colorschemes – patriotic and pastel.

Contrasting thread on pinwheels quilt. Quilted with BERNINA dual feed during Craftsy filming.

You’ll notice I quilted both quilts with a different colored thread. The patriotic one was quilted with a medium blue thread while the pastel one was quilted with a light yellow, both from my Aurifil Piece and Quilt Collection of 50 weight cotton threads.

I wanted to show the difference of what “blending” thread looks like verses “contrasting” thread. I think they both look great, and it’s a personal preference of whether you want your thread to show, or be more subtle. In either case, the quilting adds great texture to the quilt, don’t you think?

Pink Pinwheels quilt designed in EQ7

For the second quilt shown in class, I chose a pretty pink and white color scheme, using the default solids in the EQ7 palette. Many times I’ll design my quilt in solids and then add prints later. But more often than not, I really like the solid version, too! Again, I didn’t worry about the colors being an exact match – using a variety of pinks gave me the scrappy look I was going for.

You’ll notice I left my lines in the sketch this time so you can see how the blocks fit together. One of the options I love in EQ is being able to turn the seam lines off and on, depending on whether or not I want to view the quilt design that way.

Pink quilt with allover loopy machine quilting. From The Quilter's Path Craftsy class by Christa Watson.

Here’s the finished quilt using Boundless Solids in Tickled Pink and Bright White. For this quilt, I demonstrate how to quilt an allover free-motion design using the blocks as a guide to travel around the quilt. I used some of the leftover precut strips for the binding to add a touch of whimsy!

EQ7 sketch of teal/gray pinwheel quilt by Christa Watson

Finally, for the teal/gray version it was easy to swap out the colors from the original design. I will usually draw one design in one colorway and then try out lots of options until I find something I’m happy with. Sometimes I will start with a specific color scheme or fabric collection in mind and design around it. Other times, I’ll come up with my design and colors and then find fabrics to match.

Either way, my all-time favorite function in EQ7 is being able to import colors and fabric swatches if needed, so I know what the quilt will look like before I start! I prefer to do all of my thinking and planning ahead of time so that all I have to do is enjoy stitching once it’s time to actually make the quilt!

Finished Teal Pinwheels quilt

As you can see, the final quilt is more teal and less green than the sketch but it was close enough for what I wanted! I used a precut strip roll of Bounders Blenders Aura Coastal Escape for the blocks with Boundless Solids in Nickel for the background and binding.

For this third version, I combined both walking foot quilting with free motion to create combined custom quilting. The trick is planning how to make your way around the quilt, also known as “finding your path!” In between each of the “real” quilts, I demonstrate many more quilting motifs on quilt blocks so you can see how to quilt around the seams.

When it came time to creating the Pinwheels pattern (included as a bonus freebie in the class materials), using EQ7 made it easy for me to isolate parts of the design to create the quilt pattern.

Free Pattern included in The Quilter's Path Craftsy Class by Christa Watson

Above is a sneak peek of one of the pattern pages using my EQ drawings as stepouts. I’d be lost without it! Machine quilting is definitely my favorite part of making a quilt, so I’m glad I have good tools that help me design faster so there’s more time for sewing!

Christa Watson's Craftsy Class: The Quilter's Path

Learn how to quilt these quilts and more in The Quilter’s Path: Plan It, Stitch It, Quilt It.

















Answers to Your Machine Quilting Challenges – part 3

As we continue on with this series of trouble shooting your machine quilting challenges, be sure to read part 1 and part 2 for more helpful advice. And now, onto more suggestions:

Christa Watson of Christa Quilts

My goal is to help you love machine quilting as much as I do!

Problem: keeping size consistent on large scale designs
My suggestion: I have found that when it comes to domestic machine quilting, it’s much easier to quilt smaller scale designs because you have less room to work on the bed of the machine, compared to a long arm. If you want to quilt a larger scale design, I suggest marking it. Or if you are quilting a large scale textural filler, keep something nearby that is roughly the same size (such as a drawing of the motif, or a 3D item) so you can constantly refer to it for scale.

Problem: maintaining good speed control
My suggestion: free-motion quilting requires you to balance the speed of two things at the same time: the rate at which you push the quilt through the machine, and how fast your machine stitches. It’s like driving a car with a manual transmission for the first time – it takes some getting used to. Work on starting with a slower speed and aim for smooth stitches. Be sure and take a few “test drives” on practice scraps before you head out on the highway (quilting the real quilt)! Once you are comfortable with the process, then try to increase your speed.

Problem: I can’t get smooth curves
My suggestion: try a more modern, geometric design such as square boxes, triangle texture, or a more jagged stipple. Some people seem to have a natural inclination to quilt either curving or geometric shapes. If you struggle with either, practice quilting one design on a large section of the quilt with blending thread and don’t criticize yourself too harshly. It will get better with practice. Also, spend time sketching out your design on paper so that you can practice drawing the smooth, fluid shapes.

Triangle Texture and Pebble Quilting by Christa Watson

Try quilting both curves and angles to see which you like best. This is detailed quilting of “Broken V” from my book Machine Quilting with Style.

Problem: skipping stitches, nesting issues, thread breakage
My suggestion: these problems are usually caused by one or more of these factors – wrong needle size for the thread you are using; bent, nicked, or dull needle; incorrectly threaded upper thread; tension too tight; bobbin inserted incorrectly; machine not oiled or delinted often enough. Be sure to always thread with the presser foot up and then trouble shoot each of these issues one by one. A tiny silicone disc called a Magic Genie bobbin washer can also help on machines that don’t have built in bobbin sensors.  If all else fails, it may be time to take your machine in for service.

Problem: I don’t like free motion quilting
My suggestion: that’s perfectly fine, you can quilt tons of designs using just a walking foot! In my Craftsy class and in my books, I show how you can quilt several differnt quilts completely using walking foot techniques. Also, Jacquie Gering just wrote a fantastic new book called Walk that goes deeper into this subject.

Walk by Jacquie GeringClick here to preview Walk by Jacquie Gering.

Problem: I don’t know how to quilt a quilt that has a lot of blocks, like a sampler.
My suggestion: I’d go either super custom or super simple. An allover design either quilted with a walking foot or free motion is the easiest and would be quilted regardless of the piecing or block designs. This type of quilting adds a layer of tecture to the piece, and if done with a blending thread, becomes secondary to the overall design of the quilt. However, if you want to draw attention to the individual blocks, then custom quilting each one and treating it as a separate element is the way to go.

Free Motion Quilting a Sampler

I’d suggest taking a look at Leah Day’s Craftsy class, Free-motion Quilting a Sampler as a great place to start!

Problem: getting stuck in corner, missing areas in allover designs, getting boxed in 
My suggestion: Contrary to what the quilt police might think, it’s reall okay to stitch over previous lines of quilting, or cross over your lines if needed. I usually like to sketch out a quilting plan on top of a picture of my quilt top. That allows me to plan out the direction I’ll take to quilt each section of the quilt.

I hope you are enjoying these machine quilting tips. I love being a cheerleader for “do it yourself” quilting and I try to make the process as approachable as possible. I’ll be back again next week with more suggestions!














Craftsy Holiday Sale and a Sneak Peek of my Upcoming Class

While I excitedly await the release of my Craftsy class in January, I’m paying much more attention to all of the great deals the company is offering. For example, I just saw that ALL classes are on sale for under $20, now through the day after Christmas (12/26 at 11:59 PM MT).


So now that you are done with your gift shopping, why not reward yourself with a gift of learning? Click here to view all quilting classes on sale.

Speaking of learning, here’s a behind-the-scenes shot of me quilting for my upcoming Craftsy class, The Quilter’s Path: Plan It, Stitch It, Quilt It.


The best part of filming was getting to quilt on a BERNINA. I felt right at home!

See those pinwheel quilts? The main focus of the class is showing how to quilt the same quilt in different ways depending on the look you are going for and what your skill level is. My students have been asking me to show them how I physically move an actual quilt under the machine; so most of the class is spent quilting real blocks and real quilts, using both walking foot and free-motion techniques. I also wanted to give as much value as I could, so the Pinwheels design is included as a free pattern in the class. 🙂


Tip from class: If your machine has built in dual feed – you DON’T need a walking foot!

I’ll be telling you much more about my class as it gets closer to launch day in early January. In the meantime, be sure and grab the other quilting classes you’ve had your eye on, now while they are on sale. I highly recommend taking as many different classes as you can, from as many different instructors as you can. We each put our own spin on the material, and you never know when one of us will say something in a way you’ve never heard before. I sure love teaching, but I’m still always learning, too!

Click here to view all Quilting Classes on sale. And remember, every class site-wide is on sale, too! (Note: this post contains affiliate links, so thanks for your support!!)

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!

My Week at John C Campbell Folkschool 2016

I had the most fabulous time teaching a group of students how to make a modern quilt at the John C. Campbell Folkschool last week. We used my Charming Chevrons pattern and it was so fun to see all of the variations!


I had a wonderful group of 8 students who made 9 quilts in 5 days!!

The Folkschool has been around since 1925, offering classes on dozens of different arts and crafts disciplines. For a week long class, students arrive on Sunday and get settled in, then work for 5 days straight in 6 hours of classes per day, with breaks for yummy meals 3 times a day!

My students started cutting and sewing on Monday, and by the time of the student presentation on Friday afternoon, every single one of them had a finished quilt top, two had completely finished quilts, and most of the rest of them had their quilts basted and ready to finish at home.


Gerry smooths out her quilt after it has been spray basted, while Fran is ironing one of two charity quilts she was able to complete during class. Check out those mountain views!!

I taught a similar class last year, using my Modern Logs pattern. This year I encouraged the students to work at their own pace, and several of them took advantage of open sewing time in the evening to get a little more done. We covered all aspects of making a quilt: cutting, piecing, basting, machine quilting and binding.


Pam Howard is the resident Weaver at the Folkschool. She took my modern logs class last year and brought back her completed quilt! Her Charming Chevrons blocks are on the wall behind her.

It was so fun to see the students’ faces light up when they realized that yes, they can make an entire quilt on their home sewing machines!!


Susan was so excited to quilt her chevron quilt in class! Each student had their own table and design wall – plenty of space in which to work! That’s Barb’s top hanging on the wall.

Each students’ quilts were so unique. Whether it was their first quilt, or they had been quilting for decades, all had fun and created a beautiful work of art!


First-time-quilter Lucy quilted an easy wavy plaid design with her walking foot. I brought along copies of my machine quilting books so students hand plenty of designs from which to choose!

While I was teaching quilting, my husband Jason took a photography class. In fact, he told me he hopes I teach there on a regular basis, so he can take a class each time I teach.


Jason poses beside the welcome sign on the first day of class.

The good news is, I’ll be back again in the summer of 2018. (My 2017 teaching calendar was already full.) We haven’t set an exact date yet, but I’m thinking sometime in June would be great.


One of the landscape pictures Jason took during his photography class. The folkschool is nestled in the mountains and the views are just spectacular!

Each Folkschool instructor has their own specialty, and I love that mine is teaching how to make a complete quilt from start to finish, while emphasizing the modern aesthetic.  I’ll repeat this format in 2018, albeit with a different pattern. Several of the students have already said they plan to come again, so it will be a fun reunion!!

Craftsy Review – Pre-Cut Shortcuts Class by Amy Smart

My talented friend Amy Smart (from Diary of a Quilter)  just released her first Craftsy class and it’s right up my alley! It’s called Pre-Cut Shortcuts: Quilt Tops in Less Time.

From now until June 9th, you can get 50% off using this link, available only from me!


As you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of precuts and run The Precut Store with my husband, Jason. In fact, we stock many of the precuts shown in the class!!

Amy’s class is chock full of information as she walks you through how to make several different patterns from precuts. In addition to the Q&A sidebar and easy to follow class materials, a new feature to this class includes animated illustrations.

For each pattern, Amy does a voiceover of the steps she’s going to perform while images move around the screen showing what the final layout will look like. Then she hops on the machine and shows each step of the process. It’s a great way to learn!

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.56.55 AM

My personal favorite quilt from the class is the Gumball Quilt which is hanging behind her in the picture above. Watching this one come together was so fun to see. I picked up a few tips that I’m definitely going to incorporate in my piecing from now on!


The camera angles in the class are fantastic – you can really see what she’s doing!


The Basket Weave Quilt in Progress – No you don’t have to cut any little pieces!!

Amy cleverly starts with precuts, sews them into units which are then cut up into other units, using shortcuts like disappearing blocks and strip piecing. In fact, after viewing this class, there are several quilts I want to make!

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.54.52 AM

I really liked the Crosshatch quilt Amy made using the Valley Collection by Sheri and Chelsi for Moda. In fact, I recently made a quilt from these fabrics, and they are in stock now!

Pre-cut Shortcuts is broken down into a total of 6 segments, of about 15-20 minutes each. It’s the prefect length to watch a segment and get a little sewing done at the same time! And the last section of the class is worth the entire price of the class!

Amy walks you through step by step how to bind your quilts. It’s very similar to the way I bind mine, but she throws in a a few speedy tricks which I’ve never seen before and definitely plan to incorporate going forward.


Check out that yummy Elizabeth Hartman Pacific rollup! We have it at The Precut Store!

Amy also includes tips on working with multiple precuts and how to measure them or deal with inconsistencies between different precuts.

I’ve known Amy for several years now and can truly say she’s a cheerleader for fast and fun quilting. She’s also a great teacher with a very calming voice that you can listen to for hours on end.


I hope you’ll give Precut Shortcuts a try. Click here to save 50% off until June 9!


My QuiltCon 2017 Workshop Schedule – Catalog Available Now!

I’m super excited for QuiltCon East 2017 in Savannah Georgia! After having a blast teaching in 2016, I’m so excited to return in 2017! The 2017 Catalog is available now.  Registration for Modern Quilt Guild Members opens June 25th. Public registration opens July 1.


I am excited to be teaching 2 classes on EQ7, 3 classes on domestic machine quilting, plus a lecture. Here’s my schedule, in order:

(220) Getting Started with EQ7 – Thursday 2/23 9-5


In this comprehensive workshop, students will learn the basics of Electric Quilt Software – version 7 for Windows or Mac. Topics include: learning to use the block library, setting blocks into quilt layouts, adding borders, importing fabric swatches, designing simple quilts, calculating yardage and more. This is a hands-on computer class, and students must be comfortable using their own laptops, with their version of the software installed and validated prior to class.

(826) Machine quilting Spirals and Swirls – Thursday 2/23 6-9 PM


Learn how to quilt modern, geometric spirals and swirls using both walking foot and free-motion motifs. Students will learn how to quilt stunning designs such as large continuous spirals, geometric spirals, and several swirl variations. Spirals can be quilted in different areas of your quilts, or used as an allover design. Combine motifs for even more possibilities! Students should be comfortable with basic machine quilting techniques.

(LE08) Quilting on Your Home Sewing Machine: Tips and Tricks – Friday 2/24 10:30-11:15 AM (lecture)


There are quite a few differences between quilting on a long arm and quilting on a sit-down home sewing machine. Although many of the same motifs can be quilted on either machine, the techniques on how to approach the quilting are different. In this lecture, I will share her best tricks on how to approach quilting on a sit-down machine. Plus, I’ll answer your questions and share tips on how to become a better quilter.

(223) Designing Modern Quilts in EQ7 – Saturday 2/25 6-9 PM


Take your modern designs to the next level by learning how to draw and change them in EQ7. Topics will include drawing improv blocks, manipulating borders, incorporating negative space, going off the grid, changing sizes, and designing custom set quilts. We will work at a quick pace, so students should be comfortable with the basics of EQ7 prior to class. This is a hands-on computer workshop, and students must be comfortable using their own laptops, with their version of the software installed and validated prior to class.

(817) Free Motion Alternatives to STraight Line Quilting – Sunday 2/26 9-12


Go beyond the straight line and use your free-motion quilting skills to their fullest. In this workshop, students will learn how to turn basic shapes into linear free-motion quilting designs. Quilt them as allover designs across the surface of your quilt, or use them sporadically to create custom quilting motifs. Students should be comfortable with basic machine quilting techniques.

(833) Improv Machine Quilting – Sunday 2/26 2-5


Liberate yourself from traditional quilting symmetry by combining your favorite machine quilting motifs in a seemingly random way. Add amazing texture to the negative spaces in your quilts and create your own unique combinations. The class will cover basic free-motion filler designs such as pebbles, swirls, leaves, paisleys, triangles, and more. Learn how to improvisationally combine them for stunning results. Students should be comfortable with basic machine quilting techniques.

The rest of the time, I’ll be walking the show floor, checking out the quilts, and of course trying to meet as many of you! Let me know if you are planning to attend.

Download the QuiltCon 2017 catalog here.

Join Me at the Folkschool for a Week of Quilty Fun!

Please join me this summer at the John C. Campbell Folkschool in Brasstown, North Carolina! From July 31-August 6, 2016 I will be teaching a week-long class: Modern Quilting 101, featuring my Charming Chevrons Pattern.

John C. Campbell Folkschool

Click here to register for the rare opportunity to learn from me for an entire week!

What to Expect

I had such an amazing time teaching last year that when they invited me to return, I immediately said yes! Let me tell you a little bit about what to expect, if you’ve never been:

You’ll arrive on Sunday afternoon and get a chance to meet me and the other students. You’ll receive an orientation to the program along with a yummy home-cooked meal. Then on Monday morning, the week-long event will kick off with the best breakfast you’ve ever had!

Class sessions will run for 6 hours a day Monday-Friday with breaks for scrumptious family-style meals 3 times a day. Seriously, it’s worth it to come just for the food!

Folkschool Fiber Studio

This is the fiber studio at the Folkschool. Don’t you just love the barn-quilt block??

In the evenings, students can choose to spend additional additional free-time in the sewing studio, attend evening performances, or just relax in their rooms after a fun day!

The on Friday night, students will have a chance to present what they’ve made to the other classes that have met during the week. Trust me, seeing the handwork of makers from many different disciplines under one roof is incredibly inspiring!

Folkschool 2015

2015 Modern Logs quilts on stage behind the beautifully handcrafted Windsor chairs

Classes and Registration

I’ll be upfront and tell you that it’s a big investment of time and money to take a week out of your busy life for this amazing event. But it’s so worth it to escape to the beautiful mountains of North Carolina so you can enjoy this magical experience.

Class sizes are limited to 12 students so you will get plenty of personal interaction with me and the other students. (At of this writing there are just 6 spots left – so register soon!) In fact, you’ll meet fantastic like-minded quilters that will most likely turn into life-long friends.

You can also bring along a friend or spouse who can take a different class at the same time. During my week, there will be 14 classes going on at the same time including spinning, weaving, photography, cooking, woodworking, clay-working, print-making, and more!

Click here for the complete class catalog.
Click here to register for my week-long class: Modern Quilting 101.


The Folkschool offers a variety of lodging packages to suit your budget. My mom was part of my class last time around, and we stayed in this beautiful historic home that has been updated with modern amenities! This year I’m taking Jason along for the ride, and he’s going to take either cooking or photography while I teach. (He can’t quite decide yet!)

Follow the Folkschool

I sure would love for you to join me in this amazing adventure!

Binding Class – Next Saturday at The Christmas Goose in Las Vegas

If you will be in or near the Las Vegas area, next Saturday, April 9th, from 2-5 PM, I will be teaching Binding A to Z at The Christmas Goose Quilt Shop, located at 2988 South Durango, Las Vegas, NV. The cost is only $25 and you will be binding on a real quilt! Call (702) 877-1158 to register, and I hope to see you there!


Learn to bind on an actual quilt! You supply the quilt, I’ll teach you how!

The Christmas Goose is owned by mother-daughter team Jeanette and Andrea, and they’ve been in business for over 20 years – almost as long as I’ve been quilting!! It’s been fun getting to know them over the years and they have always been supportive of my work.

Mother and Daughter at The Christmas Goose

In fact, if you come to my class on April 9th, you’ll be able to pick up a copy of either of my books at the store, and I’ll be glad to sign them for you, on the spot!


The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting and Machine Quilting with Style are both available for purchase from The Christmas Goose.

If you can’t make it to this weekend’s class, you can keep up with my teaching schedule here. Jut think – I may be coming to a city near you!!