Terrace Tiles Quilts: Ta Da! They are Finished!

This is the final part of my “making of” series for Terrace Tiles. I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey and are inspired to make your own version! See below for info about these quilts and the previous progress posts.

Terrace Tiles by Christa Watson

Terrace Tiles Finished Quilt Stats

  • Finished sizes: Amethyst and Citron 38″ x 57″; Breeze 57″ x 76″
  • Designed using Electric Quilt 8 software
  • Pieced and quilted by Christa Watson on my Bernina 770QE
  • Fabric collection: Gridwork by Christa Watson for Benartex
  • Pattern: Terrace Tiles by Christa Watson
  • Batting used: Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 cotton/polyester
  • Thread used: Aurifil 50 weight cotton from The Variegated Collection by Christa Watson
  • Quilting designs: edge to edge swirls, boxes and jagged stipple
  • Completed: October of 2019

Terrace Tiles Amethyst

Terrace Tiles Amethyst

Terrace Tiles Amethyst

Terrace tiles Breeze

Terrace Tiles Breeze 1500

Terrace Tiles Breeze

Terrace Tiles Citron

Terrace Tiles Citron

Terrace Tiles Citron

Kits and Patterns Available

MakinG of Terrace Tiles

Terrace Tiles pattern front cover

Terrace Tiles pattern back cover

Pieced Primrose Quilt Along Week 6 – Basting

And now we come to everyone’s least favorite part of making a quilt – basting!! But really, if you just set aside the time to do it’s not that bad! Here’s what both versions of Pieced Primose look like up on my design wall that also doubles as my basting area. Read on for helfpul ways to tackle this part of the quilt-making process. It’s easier than you think!

Pieced Primrose Quilts Basted

Get the Pieced Primose kits here – in cool or warm, large or small.

Because I wanted to include all 10 warm or cool fabrics from Abstract Garden in both colorways of Pieced Primrose, I used 9 fabrics for the blocks, and then the multicolor print “Raised Beds” for the backing and binding. The wall size kit includes the backing; for the larger size you’d need 6 yards of either color.

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson Raised Beds

Click here to get yardage of the Raised Beds print from Abstract Garden

I’ve basted my quilts many different ways over the last few years, and I try to share as much about the process as I can. So take a look at the different tutorials below from prior quilts I’ve made. I’m sure one of them will make your quilting life easier!!

Spray bastinG Video Tutorial

Click here (or the image below) for my spray basting video tutorial.

This is the first full-fledged basting tutorial I’ve created for my YouTube channel. I filmed and edited it while making my Infrastructure quilt. In reality it takes about an hour to do, but with the magic of edting, you can watch on super speed which only takes about 7 minutes. Too bad I can’t baste that quickly in real life, right??

Spray basting photo tutorial

Here’s the step by step process shared in my video above, but will still photos on my Modern Puzzle quilt made from Jelly Rolls.

Click here for my spray basting tutorial using a design wall.

Wall Basting Quilt Tutorial for Modern Puzzle Free Quilt Pattern

Table basting photo tutorial

If you don’t have a dedicated design wall, no problem! You can still do my spray basting method using a table. It’s the method I used when making my Improv Squares quilt:

Click here for my table basting tutorial.

Spray Baste

Safety Pin Basting Tutorial

Finally, here’s the way I USED to baste my quilts until about 5-6 years ago – using safety pins! It’s still a good method if basting spray isn’t your thing.

Click here for my safety pin basting tutorial.

Basted

If you have another method you prefer, feel free to share you tips or links in the comments for others to see. Until next week – happy piecing and basting!!

LINKS AT A GLANCE

Click the links below for supplies needed to make this quilt:

Next Week – Machine Quilting Ideas for Pieced Primrose

Swirls quilting

Making of Terrace Tiles Part 4: Machine Quilting & Binding

Today I’m excited to share some machine quilting tips and videos for all 3 versions of my Terrace Tiles quilts. My thought is why make one quilt when you can make 3 in almost the same amount of time, right?? LOL!!

Choosing Thread colors

Aurifil Variegated Thread by Christa Watson

The variegated thread color above is actually a combo of red, white and blue but it looks pink and purple when quilted on the Amethyst quilt!

Because these quilts are so bright and colorful, I decided to quilt them using 3 different colors from my Aurifil Variegated Thread Collection. I’ve really been enjoying quilting with them because they add a bit of whimsy and sparkle to my busy quilts! Whenever I pick colors, I audition the thread by placing the spool on top of the fabrics to see how it will blend in.

Aurifil Variegated Thread by Christa Watson

Variegated thread on the Breeze colorway in progress!

It’s often surprising how well a thread will blend in even if the colors aren’t an exact match to the fabric. I normally use the same color it top and bobbin and don’t worry about whether or not the same colors will line up perfectly – that’s an impossible task. But with the variegated colors, any imperfections are hard to see and that makes for stress free quilting!

Aurifil Variegated Thread by Christa Watson

The black and white will add an extra dimension to this modern color palette!

Choosing the Quilting Designs

Because I was in a hurry to make these quilts for quilt market last fall, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to finish them. I pride myself on quilting my own quilts because (1) that’s my favorite part and (2) I’m a little bit of a control freak. So I knew I had to choose designs that would look great and wouldn’t take too much time.

free motion swirls

Swirls in progress on the Amethyst colorway. Don’t stress about the imperfections!

Also, I wanted these quilts to do double duty. Not only do they showcase my Gridwork fabric and Terrace Tiles quilt pattern, they also are examples of 3 different motifs I teach in my machine quilting workshops: Swirls on the Amethsyt colorway, Boxes on the Breeze colorway, and Jagged Stipple on the Citron colorway.

modern free motion

Boxes on the Breeze colorway is one of my favorite modern machine quilting designs.

The fastest and easiest way to finish a quilt with free motion is to choose one design and quilt it from edge to edge across the quilt regardless of the pieced quilt design. It’s also a forgiving way to hide wonky or irregular seams. Just focus on one block at a time, and before you know it, the whole thing is finished! Another way to speed up the process is to quilt the motifs on a larger scale, because that takes up more space in less time.

Jagged stipple by Christa Watson

Jagged stipple is my modern, angular version of it’s traditional cousin, smooth curving stipple.

Just to give you an idea of how fast these designs are to stitch out, it took me about 3 hours to quit swirls on the baby size Amethyst version, 5 hours to quilt boxes on the throw-sized Breeze version, and 2 hours to quilt jagged stipple on the baby sized Citron version. Although the Citron quilt is the same size as the Amethyst, jagged stipple is a much looser design than swirls, so it was a bit faster.

Scrunching and Smooshing the Quilt

Because I do everything on a sit down machine, it’s important to control the weight and bulk of the quilt. I still have yet to find the perfect quilting table, so this is what my hacked together set up looks like below:

Christa Quilts Studio

I got this table for a song 20+ years ago and sadly I don’t even remember the brand!

My sewing machine is flush with the bed of the table so it can hold most of the weight. It’s pushed against the wall so the quilt won’t fall off the back of the table. Most of the bulk is to my left, and I’ve placed a TV tray forming an L shape to hold more of the quilt as I scrunch and smoosh it through the machine. I also have a comfortable ergonomic chair that I can roll around easily.

Christa Quilts Studio

A larger throat space on my machine makes a huge difference when managing the bulk!

On a bright sunny day I like to look out the window which gives me lots of natural light while I’m sewing and quilting! When the quilt falls into my lap, I just scrunch and smoosh it out of the way as needed while I quilt.

I hope this helps you overcome your fear of free motion when choosing and allover textural design like this. The key is to fill in all the spaces, so your eye doesn’t notice any of the imperfections.

See it on Video!

Here’s a YouTube video I made showing me actually fee motion quilting each quilt. The video is just under 8 minutes and it’s packed with tips as I quilt each of the 3 quilts shown above. I’m stitching in real time with the volume on my machine so you can see and hear what it looks like “in real life.” Notice how much I stop and reposition my hands:

Scrappy Binding

gridwork fabric scrappy binding

Sew the leftovers together randomly for a fun, scrappy binding!

I love a scrappy binding, especially when making quilts from fat quarters. For Terrace Tiles, you just use up the leftovers and piece them together randomly to carry the colorful chaos all the way to the edges of the quilt.

scrappy binding gridwork fabric

You can join the ends on an angle or edge to edge!

I prefer to cut my binding strips 2″ wide so they finish nice and narrow and are even on both sides. I press each of the seams open to reduce bulk and make sure the binding  is long enough to go around the entire quilt with a few inches extra.

gridwork scrappy binding

Another great thing about scrappy binding  is you can always add more strips!

Although I prefer the look of hand binding, machine binding is a great way to finish fast! Here are my two favorite ways to bind, either by hand or machine:

Remember, if you make your own version of this quilt, please share. You can use #terracetilesquilt on instagram, or you can share your progress in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group. I’d love to see it!!

Terrace Tiles by Christa Watson

LINKS AT A GLANCE:

Click here for the making of Terrace Tiles, Part 3
Click here to get the Terrace Tiles quilt pattern – paper version
Click here to get the Terrace Tiles quilt pattern  – PDF version
Click here to get the Terrace Tiles quilt kits + Gridwork by the yard
Click here to get my Aurifil thread collections: colors, neutrals, or variegated
Click here for my binding tutorial (on a previous quilt)

Making of Terrace Tiles Part 3 – Sewing the Top, Backing and Basting

My Terrace Tiles quilt pattern is quickly becoming a favorite because it is so fast and fun to make!! Last week I shared some tips on piecing the quilt blocks. Now it’s time to finish the quilt tops and get them ready for quilting.

Terrace Tiles in Gridwork Citron Colorway
Citron Terrace Tiles Quilt

You can either arrange all the blocks on a design wall or other flat space; or you can sew them together into larger sets of 4 blocks like I did to speed up the process.  I’m not worrying about block placement at this point. The more random the better!

I’ll take a little bit of time to arrange them in a pleasing order, but I won’t overthink it.

Terrace Tiles in Gridwork Amethyst Colorway

Terrace Tiles Quilt Amethyst Colorway

I don’t worry too much if the blocks get a little wrinkly at this point. I’ve used spray starch on the fabric before I cut it which gives the blocks a tendency to wrinkle when handled. But that’s ok – once the top is sewn up and basted they won’t be as flimsy or prone to wrinkling. I also press each seam as I go to keep my blocks as flat as possible.

Terrace Tiles in Gridwork Breeze Colorway

Terrace Tiles Quilt Breeze colorway

I made the Amethyst and Citron quilts in the smaller crib size. For the Breeze colorway, I wanted to make it in the bigger throw size with more blocks.

Once the blocks are assembled into the quilt top, I take what’s called a “Victory lap:” I sew about 1/8″ around the edges with a longer stitch length to secure the edge seams from splitting open. If the quilt has borders, then you don’t need to worry about that step.

Prepping the Backing

The crib size calls for 2 yards of backing so that you can piece part of it if needed. However, you can get away with less fabric if you measure and baste carefully. As long as the backing is a couple of inches bigger than the quilt top on all sides, you’ll be ok. Below the backing just barely covers the finished quilt top on the left and right, but it’s still enough, thank goodness!

Gridwork backing fabric

Click here to get coordinating Arches Stripe fabric for backing.

I’ll make sure to pull up the backing from the floor so that it covers the entire quilt top; then I’ll trim off the extra fabric, and press it with starch before I baste.

I also like to take a picture of the batting with the quilt I so I can remember which one I used.

Quilt batting

Basting the Quilt

I like to set up a table in my back yard and apply 505 basting spray to the wrong side of the top and backing. It’s much easier to spray the top and backing separately and it uses less spray than spraying the batting instead. Below I’m basting the throw sized quilt so it requires a larger backing.

505 basting spray

After spraying outside, I bring the top and backing inside and assemble them on my design wall, one layer at a time.

Below, you can see how I pieced the backing for the throw size in the Breeze Colorway: two 2-yard pieces of the blue Hourglass fabric with a horizontal seam in the middle. Don’t worry too much about the small wrinkles – those will get ironed out at the end once the layers are assembled.

Quilt Batting

Click here to get the blue Hourglass fabric for backing of the Breeze Terrace Tiles quilt.

I prefer to work with Hobbs batting on a roll so I’ll roll out just enough batting to cover the top plus a few inches, then cut if off the roll and trim off the extra after it’s all basted. I smooth out one layer at a time on my design wall: backing, then batting, then quilt top.

A long acrylic ruler is handy to smooth out each layer. I use a separate one just for basting, since it tends to get sticky from the basting spray.

Quilt basting
Click here to get the Circle Grid fabric in purple/red for the backing of the Amethyst quilt.

Above is the Amethyst quilt after basting. I’ll trim off the extra batting and backing fabric so that there’s only about 1″ sticking out on all sides for quilting. That way the excess won’t accidentally get tucked under itself while quilting!!

The final step (not shown) is to iron the front and back of the basted quilt with a hot dry iron. This presses out any wrinkles and helps set the glue so things don’t shift while quilting.

Next week I’ll share some pics and videos the machine quilting I did for each quilt, so stay tuned!

Terrace Tiles by Christa Watson

LINKS AT A GLANCE:

Click here for the making of Terrace Tiles, Part 2
Click here to get the Terrace Tiles quilt pattern – paper version
Click here to get the Terrace Tiles quilt pattern  – PDF version
Click here to get the Terrace Tiles quilt kits + Gridwork by the yard

Pieced Primrose Quilt Along Week 3 – Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial

Are you ready to start sewing your blocks? Notice how there are 3 separate sections you’ll need to create for each Pieced Primrose block. Just follow my step-by-step tutorial below and you can adapt this process to any foundation paper pieced (FPP) design you can think of!

Paper Piecing with Christa Watson

Preparing the Paper Foundations

One of our quilt along participants, Michelle Hanus recommends folding all of the sewing lines (the dark lines on the pattern) before piecing. That will make it easier to rip off the papers later on. Thanks for that great tip, Michelle!

After photocopying the master template (one for each block you are making), roughly cut apart the two FPP sections (A and B), leaving a little bit of space around the dashed lines – those are your seam allowances for the outside edges of the blocks.

Foundation Paper Piecing

Above  is what the master template looks like. In the examples below, mine look slightly different because I was working from a draft before I finalized the pattern for printing.

I highly recommend making one test block out of scrap fabrics following the steps below. Then, once you understand the process, you can sew multiple blocks at the same time with your chosen fabrics. You can even chain piece the same sections if desired – just know that you’ll use a little bit more thread in the process, but that’s ok.

Fold, Trim, Sew and Press (FTSp)

This process might seem very awkward because it’s different then what you are used to with regular piecing. I’ve heard it described as dancing like Ginger Rogers – backwards and with high heels! But if you just follow the same “dance” steps each time, you’ll have no problems getting precise results every time!

Position the First Piece Into Place – A Units

To begin, line up the wrong side of your A1 fabric piece underneath the A1 section so that there is fabric sticking out on all sides of the A1 unit. To keep it from shifting, you can pin it or add a dab of glue from a glue stick to keep it in place.

A rectangle works much better than a long skinny triangle so that you can ensure coverage of the entire piece. You will be sewing on the paper side with the printed lines facing up, just like the image below:

FPP by Christa Watson

Step 1 – Fold

Position a piece of cardstock (such as the pattern cover, or an index card) on the first line that you will sew (the line between A1 and A2 above). A piece of thin, rigid plastic works, too!

Fold the paper template over the piece of cardstock, exposing the extra fabric underneath. Remember that the wrong side of the fabric will be touching the blank side of the paper each time.

Paper Pieced Primrose

Step 2 – Trim

Keeping the fabric, cardstock, and paper template in position, place the Add a Quarter ruler on top with the lip securing everything in place. This will add 1/4″ seam allowance beyond the fold line.

Trim the excess fabric with a rotary cutter.

Doing it this way ensures that the long skinny triangle is positioned at the correct angle for sewing.

Pieced Primrose Quilt

Step 3 – Sew

On the non printed paper side, line up the freshly trimmed edge of piece A1 with the edge of piece A2, with the fabric right sides together. Align the raw edges ensuring that the A2 piece is long enough to cover the entire A1/A2 line plus 1/4″ seam allowances on both ends.

FPP by Christa Watson

Lower your stitch length so that it will perforate the paper, making it easier to tear off later. My default is 2.5 so I turn it down to 2.0 or even 1.8. Use a brand new needle for best results.

Sew from 1/4″ before the A1/A2 line to 1/4″ after the printed solid line to ensure you have seam allowances on both sides of the marked line.

Foundation Paper Piecing

Here’s what my piece looks like after sewing the first seam. It’s ok to go slightly beyond 1/4″ if needed. I do this especially when chain piecing multiple blocks at the same time.

Foundation Paper Piecing

Step 4 – Press

Open up the A2 piece so that both fabrics are right side up. With a wooden seam roller, press the the seam from the front of the fabric. This is easier to do for each step than using an iron.

Foundation Paper Piecing

repeat The Dance over and over until the unit is complete
A3: Fold and Trim

Reposition the cardstock again along the next line. For this example, it’s the very short line between A2 and A3. Click the image below to enlarge if needed.

Fold the paper template over again. Use the Add a Quarter ruler to add the 1/4″ seam allowances and trim the excess with a rotary cutter.

Tip: if the paper is stuck to the fabric, you can lift it away (gently) from the seam as needed.
Foundation Paper Piecing

A3: Sew

Sew the next piece in the same manner as before. Align the A3 edge to be sewn with the freshly cut edge. In the example below, the small blue square does not need to take up the entire space of the trimmed A1- A2 edges.

Position the fabric square in the middle of the area to be sewn as shown below. Flip the whole unit over if needed and hold it up to the light to ensure that the fabric square will cover the full line between A2/A3 plus seam allowances.

Foundation Paper Piecing

Below is what my unit looks like after sewing the line between A2/A3. It’s ok if the sewn line is slightly longer than 1/4″ on both sides. If you are worried about the seam coming apart at the ends, you can backstitch at either end.

Foundation Paper Piecing

A3: Press
A4: Fold

Repeat the prior steps: open up the A3 piece and press from the front with the wooden seam roller. Then fold over the next line (A2/A4) using the cardstock or other thin, hard edge for stability.
Foundation Paper Piecing

A4: Trim

Repeat the same step as before: use the Add a Quarter ruler to add 1/4″ seam and trim the excess.

Fold the paper template back into position and flip the paper over again so that you can see the proper angle to align the next piece (the green A4 rectangle).

Pieced Primrose Quilt

A4: Sew

Line up the A4 rectangle right sides together. Flip the paper over and sew on the line between A2/A4 with 1/4″ extra on either end of the drawn line. Below is what this next step looks like:

Pieced Primrose

A4: Press
A5: Fold and Trim

Repeat the same steps over and over again: press the green A4 rectangle (below left), fold the paper back (not shown), trim the excess (below right).

Foundation Paper Piecing by Christa Watson

A5: Sew and Press

Align the A5 square (light blue), sew the seam and press from the top.

Foundation Paper Piecing by Christa Watson

A6 and A7: Fold, Trim, Sew and Press!

Fold the paper, trim the excess, Sew A6 (light purple), press A6 (below left).
Fold, trim, sew, and press the A7 unit (light blue square, below right).

Foundation Paper Piecing by Christa Watson

A8: Fold, Trim, Sew and Press

This will complete all of the sewing for the A side of the block!

Foundation Paper Piecing by Christa Watson

Sewing the B Units

Now repeat the process for the B half of the block. It has a total of 10 units to piece. Remember to fold, trim, sew and press each and every unit, just like before!

Notice that I used a triangle instead of a square for the B10 unit. This made more efficient use of the fabric when cutting, but it’s still the same process as before.

Foundation paper piecing

Once you’ve sewn all of the Section A and Section B blocks, trim them along the outer dashed lines using a rotary cutter and ruler. Be sure you don’t trim off your triangle points! At this point, your paper should still be intact to keep the blocks stable.

Paper Pieced Primrose by Christa Watson

Sew the A and B unit together. Then sew the oversized corner triangle to the bottom of the block. It’s oversized so that you don’t have to line it up perfectly. (See below, left).

Trim the excess fabric from the triangle to match the rest of the block. (see below right).

Paper Pieced Primrose

After making one test block, continue in the same manner to sew the number of blocks you need for the size you are making. I’m creating this quilt in both the warm and cool colorways of my Abstract Garden fabric line, but the process is exactly the same!

Pieced Primrose Blocks by Christa WatsonAbove is the same Pieced Primrose block in warm and cool colorways of Abstract Garden.

Next week, we will choose from several different layouts, and start sewing the blocks together into bigger units!

LINKS AT A GLANCE

Click the links below for supplies needed to make this quilt:

Making of Terrace Tiles Part 1 – Quilt Design, Cutting Fabrics

Now that my Gridwork fabric line has started arriving in quilt shops, I want to share more about the quilts I made from it. Over the next 4 weeks I’ll share some detailed progress pics of the three Terrace Tiles Quilts I made in three different colors.

Terrace Tiles Quilts

Terrace Tiles Quilts were first shown at Fall 2019 Quilt Market in Houston Texas

With 27 different fabrics in this collection, I wanted to make it easier to work with so I organized Gridwork into 3 distinct colorways with 9 fabrics each: Amethyst, Breeze, and Citron.

Gridwork by Christa Watson

All 27 fabrics from my Gridwork Fabric Line

I love designing fat quarter friendly quilts, and wanted to sew up some sample quilts that would effectively showcase the different Gridwork colorways. I also wanted to offer a quick and easy quilt that could be made entirely from any of the Gridwork fat quarter bundles.

Gridwork by Christa WatsonGridwork 9-piece fat quarter bundles in Amethyst, Breeze, and Citron

The quilt sizes included in the pattern are Crib (1 FQ bundle), Throw (2 FQ bundles) and Twin/Full (3 FQ bundles). Each quilt size is completely made from fat quarters, including the scrappy binding. You can mix and match any of the fat quarters from the line to make a scrappy looking quilt, or you can use multiple bundles from the same color group for a more coordinated look. The choice is up to you!

Terrace Tiles by Christa Watson

Click here to get the Terrace Tiles Quilt Pattern – PDF Version
Click here to get the Terrace Tiles Quilt Pattern – Paper Version

Because I  wanted to show off this fun design in all 3 colorways, I decided to make three quilts: two of them are Crib size using one bundle each of Amethyst and Citron; and the third one is Throw size using two fat quarter bundles (or half yards) of the Breeze colorway. Here are all my yummy pieces, cut and ready to sew!

Amethyst ColorwayGridwork Amethyst by Christa Watson

Breeze Colorway

Gridwork Breeze Colorway by Christa Watson

Citron Colorway

Gridwork Citron Colorway

Click here to get fat quarter bundles or yardage of my Gridwork fabric.

Cutting tip: I love to assembly line cut and piece so I’ll usually stack 4 fat quarters on top of each other for speedy cutting. When making the scrappy binding, I’ll go ahead and cut one strip from each fat quarter at the same time I’m cutting the block units.

Stay tuned for next time when I show what the blocks look like when they are all sewn!

Gridwork is Here!! Free Shipping with $50+ Purchase (Use Code SHIP)

First of all – huge thanks and hugs to those of you who commented on my last post about my blogging goals for the new year. I’m so grateful to all of you who read this blog. Your kind thoughts really made my week!!

Today I’m excited to announce that my new Gridwork fabric is finally here – whoo hoo!! Gridwork by Christa Watson

Gridwork Bundles

Gridwork includes 27 prints divided into three colorways: Amethyst, Breeze, and Citron. Each colorway includes a total of 9 pieces  and they are available in fat quarters, half yards, or full yard bundles.

Use code SHIP at checkout on orders of $50 or more for a bonus free shipping discount!

By request, I also put together a Gridwork neutrals bundle – 8 pieces of the black, white and gray prints from among all three colorways:Gridwork Neutrals 8

Gridwork by the Yard

Of course, you can pick and choose your favorite prints by the yard, too! There are a total of 6 different geometric designs with several colors of each. Here they are grouped together by print:

Arches Stripe in Blue, Turquoise, and Fuchsia

Gridwork Arches Stripe

Gridwork Arches Stripe

Diamond Ovals in Citron, Purple and Turquoise

Gridwork Diamond Ovals

Circle Grid in Caribbean, Purple/Red, Grape/Blue, and Black

Gridwork Circle Grid

Gridwork Circle Grid

Hourglass in Gray, Black/white, Red/pink, Purple and Blue

Gridwork Hourglass

Gridwork Hourglass

Gridwork Hourglass

Square Grid in fuchsia, Lime, Navy, Grape, Black, Cloud, Lt Gray, Gray

Gridwork Square Grid

Gridwork Square Grid

Gridwork Square Grid

Square Dots in Pink, Sky, Citron and Black/White

Gridwork Square Dots

When Gridwork first arrived, I created an unboxing video on Youtube. It always feels like Christmas when I get new fabric, but these actually DID arrive right before Christmas and I couldn’t wait to dive into them!

Gridwork Precuts

Gridwork comes in all of the standard precuts, too: 5″x5″ charm packs, 10″x10″ squares, and everyone’s favorite: 2 1/2″ strip rolls which Benartex calls “Strip-pies.”

The Strip-pie includes 40 strips with 1-2 of each print as shown below:

Gridwork Strippie

The 5×5 Charm pack includes 42 squares with 1-2 squares of each print in the line:Gridwork Charmpack

The 10×10 pack, aka “layer cake” includes 42 squares that are 10″ x 10″, with 1-2 prints each:

Gridwork by Christa Watson for Benartex

Free Shipping on $50 or More – Use Code Ship

To thank you for being a loyal blog reader, I’d like to offer you free shipping on your Gridwork fabric purchase. Use code SHIP at checkout to get free US shipping on orders of $50 or more. International customers will get $5 off the shipping cost order and I’ll refund any excess international shipping charges.

I sure hope you enjoy Gridwork as much as I do! When you share your makes on social media, please use the hashtag #gridworkfabric so I can see what you are creating. I love to re-share and inspire others, too!

Now what will YOU make?

My Christmas Wish: To Partner with a Sewing Machine Table Company

Almost a year ago we moved into our new home and I began looking for a new sewing table to replace this one that I’ve had for over 20 years.

Christa's Quilt Studio

The quilt shown on the design wall is my Color Weave Quilt Pattern.

The main reason I want to replace it is because every single time I share a picture of it on social media, everyone wants to know where I got it from, and I don’t have an answer for them. I bought it from a dealer who’s no longer in business and I don’t even know the brand of table it is. I’ve looked long and hard through ALL the current companies out there and have never been able to find it again.

Christa's Sewing Table

Another view of my sewing room, before we installed the design wall.

But more to the point, this table has served me well, but there are a lot of features I wish it had. For example, when I first set it up in the middle of my new larger studio space, it actually doesn’t work well here because there’s no ledge on the back of the table to keep the quilt from falling off while quilting. I quilted a few quilts like this but struggled to keep the quilt on the table.

So I moved my table to the back wall of my space, underneath the window in my sewing studio.

Christa's Sewing Room

This is a current quilt pattern I’m working on, so stay tuned for details in a few months!

Pushing my table against the wall works better because the wall can block the quilt from falling off the table. However, I’ve had to add small tray table in front of the table to form an L and hold up the quilt to my left. Of course this isn’t pretty and it also blocks access to the drawer, but it works in a pinch!

Here’s a similar setup from my sewing space in my old house that we moved from. I used a plastic table or ironing board to hold the bulk of the quilt on the left. Again, this is practical, but not very pretty:

Sewing Table in Use

This quilt is Beaded Lanterns, a free pattern using precut Fandangle Strips.

I’ve gotten lots and lots of suggestions for other tables to try , but here’s the problem: They either aren’t all that pleasing to look at, or they are way too big. Or they have too many bells and whistles which jack up the price to be more than the cost of the machine!

Below is my setup again, and notice how I’ve also added another small table to the right of the machine, tucked into the corner. This is to hold notions and things that would fall off the side of the table. As you can see, when there’s nothing to hold up the quilt in the front of the machine, it falls off the table again!

Christa's Sewing Table

This quilt in progress is made from neutrals from several of my fabric lines.

So one of my goals in the new year (or next several years) is to try and find a table manufacturer that wants to work with me to design and create the PERFECT domestic machine quilting table. To be clear, I’m not just looking for a “custom” solution for myself. I want to be an ambassador for THE PERFECT TABLE so that I can endorse it and share it with thousands of fans, followers, and machine quilting students. After all, one of my main reasons in being a quilting educator is to make the process easier for YOU!!

So here is what I’m looking for:

  • The piece should be a table that stays up all the time, NOT an overpriced cabinet.
  • It should measure between 60-66″ inches at the longest side. Anything larger than that and it simply wont fit in most quilters’ sewing spaces.
  • The depth should be about 36″-40″
  • It should have some sort of extension forming an L on the left
  • It should include an optional fly out leaf on the right to hold notions
  • The hole for the machine should be positioned as far to the RIGHT as possible,
    not in the MIDDLE!
  • It should have a lip on the back to hold up the quilt if needed.
  • It should retail for $2,000 or LESS.

Machine Quiltin Scrunching and Smooshing

I’m “scrunching and smooshing” my Infrastructure Quilt through the machine on my table.

I’m putting this out there to the universe in the hopes that the right partner will see this, or someone out there has connections to a company who’d be interested in working with me as their spokesperson. If I can find the PERFECT domestic machine quilting table, I’ll be singing their praises all day long!!

So how about you? What’s your wish for the perfect sewing table, or other studio furniture??

Make the Rounds Quilt Pattern and Kit Available

Did you see this amazing quilt, designed and made by my friend Heather Black? She used my Geo Pop fabric and it’s in the current issue of American Patchwork and Quilting (February 2020).

Make the Rounds by Heather Black

Click here to get the quilt kit for Make the Rounds.

Before the issue went to print, APQ magazine contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to offer kits for this quilt since it’s so eye catching. I immediately said yes and they were kind enough to mention my fabric and include a link to my shop in the magazine pattern.

Here’s a photo of the magazine cover, so you know which issue has the pattern:

American Patchwork and Quilting Cover Feb 2020

It’s no secret that I simply adore all of Heather Black’s quilt designs. She really makes my fabric look good, don’t you think??

This is what she had to say about the design of this quilt, “When making a quilt, I like to choose a theme, either literal or figurative to help guide my choices while picking fabrics and quilting. I wanted to convey a sense of movement, and the name of this quilt [Make the Rounds] helped me pair colors and choose how to quilt the top.”Make The Rounds Quilt by Heather BlackDesigned by Heather Black. Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2020 Meredith Corporation. All Rights Reserved. The kit includes the same fabrics shown here for blocks, borders and binding. The background behind the blocks consists of all one fabric.

Of course I’m biased because it’s using my fabric, but I just love the bold design and energy in this quilt! I think Heather did a fabulous job with color placement, and I love how she fussy cut the Mosaic Dots print to create a frame in the borders. Heather is an expert with modern pieced curved designs, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

Machine Quilting by Heather BlackQuilting detail on Heather’s quilt. 

Infrastructure Quilt Finish – Ta Da!!

I had the most amazing time making my Infrastructure quilt and sharing each step of the process with you. I’m excited to share more pics of the finished quilt along with links to all of the previous quilt along tutorials and videos. I hope it inspires you to make your own version!

Infrastructure made from Geo Pop Fabric

Infrastructure Finished Stats:

Infrastructure Detail Pics:

You can really see how the bright geometric fabric and adds to the movement of the design.

Infrastructure Quilt Detail Geo Pop Fabric

Infrastructure Quilt Detail Geo Pop Fabric

Links to Quilt Along Tips & Tutorials

Infrastructure YouTube Videos

I’ve created a “play list” of the entire making of Infrastructure on YouTube. There are a total of 12 video clips, running a total of 48 minutes. I made this videos concurrently with the quilt along so you can see how they improved as we moved along each week!

Click here to subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

Stay Tuned for More!!

I want to continue to be a cheerleader for “Start to Finish” quilting. Although I know that everyone has their favorite part of the quilt making process, I’m happy to guide you through the entire journey.

Click here to be notified about future quilt alongs.

Infrastructure quilt, designed by Heather Black, made by Christa Watson