My Feature in Quiltfolk Magazine: Nevada Issue 15

I love reading quilt magazines that are more than just a bunch of patterns. So when QuiltFolk debuted in 2016 it was a no-brainer for me to get a subscription and I’ve enjoyed every issue since then!

Imagine my pleasant surprise when editor in chief Mary Fons called me up earlier this year (before the world went a little haywire) and asked if she could feature me as one of the stories in their Nevada issue which published earlier this month.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, this amazing magazine tells stories about quilters all over the country, region by region. I was wondering when they would get to Nevada, and it was interesting read about the experience from Mary’s perspective on her Paper Girl blog here:

  1. Part 1 of Mary’s Crazy trip to Vegas
  2. Part 2 of Mary’s Crazy trip  to Vegas

The original Charming Chevrons making its second magazine appearance.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. I do actually know Mary quite well as she used to be editor-in-chief of the now defunct Quilty magazine, in which my first ever published pattern (the first iteration of Charming Chevrons) appeared on the cover back in 2013. I’ve kept in touch with her over the years and it was so wonderful to actually have her in my home before she came for a visit, back in March, literally, the day before everything here shut down (talk about timing!!)

Jason’s first (and probably last) magazine appearance!!

So the issue was extra special for me since they included a pic of me and Jason in what I lovingly now call “the fabric room.” (Anyone who knows him knows that he prefers to stay AWAY from the limelight as much as possible). We chatted about quilts and things, my new home, and a little bit of my regret that quilting has taken over soo much of my life that other hobbies (like running) have taken a back seat.

Jason took this action shot of me chatting with the QuiltFolk team in my studio!!!

But it was fun to be photographed as Mary and her team poured over my quilts and artfully took pics of them around my home. Mary even told me “thanks for having so many quilts here – that makes my job easy!!”

Of course there are some other amazing stories as well and it was fun to see that every other person or group they mentioned from Las Vegas is actually someone I know. I’m a member of the guilds that are mentioned in the magazine, and I’ve taught for both of the quilt shops featured in the issue as well. If you look closely, there’s also a closeup shot of my quilts included in the article about The Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild on page 130.

Closeups of my “Vegas” Themed Quilts

I specially loved reading the stories about Nevada quilters I didn’t know about in northern Nevada, since they like to cover the entire state as much as possible.

If you’d like to get your hands on this issue or any other, you can check them out here. Fortunately QuiltFolk sent me an extra copy for publicity so I’d like to share that with you. One lucky US winner can win a copy of the magazine (or should I say journal is it’s quite heft for a quilting magazine. It’s more like a book)!

One of the feature photos they took with the updated Charming Chevrons behind me.

Just leave a comment telling me which state you’d love to visit to learn more about their quilting history. I’ll select one winner at random a week from now so be sure to comment by the end of the day on Thursday, August 6, 2020. I’ll notify the winner via email, sign the copy where my article is, and ship it directly to you!!

Quilts Made by You!! Gotta Love the Inspiration :-)

Nothing makes my day more than seeing what you all are making with my fabrics! And I love seeing when you’ve used one of my patterns for your latest project. With so many options, it’s an honor to see these beautiful quilts and works in progress “in the wild!” 🙂

Christa Quilts Patterns

So today I thought it would be fun to do a little roundup of what you all have been making with my designer products. It makes my day to see these pop up on social media 🙂

This gorgeous photo shows Kathleen Hetzler Riordan with quilts on her beautiful white fence. She says, “My street had a pop-up quilt show today and four of us who are quilters put our quilts out on our picket fence, and neighbors walked, drove and golf carted by to see them! It was very impromptu but lots of fun! Christa’s Puzzle Box is on the far left!” 

Click here to get the free Puzzle Box quilt pattern.
Kathleen Hetzler Riordan on Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

I love this outdoor image—it shouts “Summertime!” Kathleen lives in Virginia and the quilt show took place on May 24, 2020. I’m sure it was a source of joy for many people during the pandemic. 

Sally J. is currently working on a baby quilt with my Color Weave pattern and Abstract Garden prints. This design is great for 2.5 strips—maybe you have a favorite sitting around just waiting to be used?! Or maybe you’d like to treat yourself to one of my colorful modern strip sets!

 

Megan G. used purple for her Optical Illusion quilt and I love it! This design works in so many great combinations. Pay attention to the instructions for the values of each fabric so that your illusion shows up nicely.

Here are links to all of the steps in the Optical Illusion Quilt Along that we recently wrapped up! My QAL blog posts stay up indefinitely so you can sew on your own timeline.

Optical Illusion QAL steps:

Here’s another one in progress from Kate S. I love that red and aqua combo!

 

Debora L shared her success in quilting continuous spirals on her black, white and gray version shown below:

 Kate S. is gets bonus points for combining fat quarters from ALL of my fabric lines to make this colorful project below:

I can’t wait to see more!!

And I see Good Vibes fabrics in her stacks of Flying Geese. I wonder where this is going? I’m sure it will look amazing when finished!

How about this scrappy house quilt? Judy A. posted it in my Christa Quilts Facebook group and had this to say about it:

This is my “Village” (Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co). Mostly Christa’s fabrics plus some Patrick Lose, Allison Glass, and my stash. I can honestly say that working on this made me SO happy. 

I sure love it when I see my fabrics playing so nicely with others!!

Sandi S. in Australia is making this bright and happy number with Geo Pop fat quarters and half-square triangles. That’s some gorgeous eye candy, isn’t it?!

Nancy Mahoney Modern Fans

Last but not least for today, I just love this beauty above made by Nancy Mahoney. She combined a bunch of my fat quarter color bundles along with Op Squares in white from Geo Pop for the background. You can actually find the pattern for it in the July/August issue of Love of Quilting Magazine.

I so appreciate all of you! Thank you for making this the best job under the sun!

You’re Inspiring Me! See More Quilts Made from my Fabrics and Patterns

One of the best things about designing fabric is seeing how people use it. It’s absolutely inspiring for me when I notice your work using my fabric out in the world. It makes my day! Here are some recent examples.

Geo Pop Beaded Lanterns

Beaded Lanterns by Leesa Burr-Bates; pattern by Christa Watson.

Leesa Burr-Bates shared her Beaded Lanterns quilt top in the Christa Quilts Group on Facebook. If you’re not yet a member of the Group, you’re invited to join us!

Leesa used my Geo Pop fabrics from Benartex. I think she did a great job, and I can’t wait to see this one quilted up!

Click here to get Beaded Lanterns on my free quilt pattern page.
Click here to get the Geo Pop strip roll to make this quilt.

Made from Gridwork Strips

Sheila @mysteryquilter in New Zealand made this top from 2.5″ Gridwork strips.

Over on Instagram, Sheila from New Zealand made a snazzy top from a roll-up of Gridwork strips. This one keeps your eyes moving, doesn’t it?

Check out my Instagram feed.
Find a Gridwork bundle to treat yourself!

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt!

Bonnie Eicher’s Blooming Wallflowers piecing progress.

Bonnie Eicher pieced Blooming Wallflowers from a kit, and it turned out really well! Then she used a simple drawing app on her tablet to try out ideas for quilting.

Bonnie’s auditions for quilting.

Can’t wait to see her finish!

Find the Blooming Wallflowers quilt kit (throw size, 59″ x 76″).
Get the Blooming Wallflowers pattern instantly as a downloadable pdf.
Get the Blooming Wallflowers paper pattern.

Colourful Mod Cats

If you’re a friend of felines, check out these Mod Cats made from a variety of my fabrics. Mod Cat was designed by Linda and Carl Sullivan of Colourwerx in Palm Desert, CA. If you’d like to make one-color cats, my brand new bundles would make it easy: 

Try green or red! 

There are bundles of Turquoise/Teal, Yellow and Orange, too. 😊

And how about this beauty? 

New York Lattice in Geo Pop

New York Lattice by @sewjess, from a kit in Geo Pop from @timefliesquiltandsew

Jess @sewjess posted her New York Lattice quilt top recently.

The fabrics are from my Geo Pop line. Jess made the shop sample for @timefliesquiltandsew. I appreciate it when a shop puts my fabrics into a kit, thank you very much! 

Get a kit from Time Flies Quilt & Sew.

Geo Pop Zip Cases

Quick Zip Cases in Geo Pop fabrics, pattern byAnnie.com

These Quick Zip Cases are so handy for storing all kinds of items. And aren’t they cute in Geo Pop fabrics? The contrasting zippers are a nice added pop. The pattern for Quick Zip Cases is from byAnnie.com, and it’s just five dollars!

When you use my fabrics from any collection, please post it to your social media with the @christaquilts tag and #christaquilts, or send photos my way using christa@christaquilts.com. I’d love to see what you’re making!

Optical Illusion: Supply List, Schedule and Color Combos

Are you ready to join me for the adventure of a lifetime? Or at least a fun sewing escapade over the next several weeks? I’m excited to guide you as we make my Optical Illusion quilt from start to finish.  All you need is a copy of the Optical Illusion quilt pattern and a can-do attitude!

Optical Illusion Quilt

Optical Illusion made from Geo Pop, 67″ x 88″
Scroll this image to see the lines move!

My original version was sewn up in bold black, white and gray from my Geo Pop fabric line. I had requests to see how it would look in other colorways, so thank goodness for EQ8 software which allowed me to quickly recolor lots of fun combinations!

I made some of them into quilt kits which you can pick up if you desire, or just use them as a color guide and pick something similar from your stash.

Color Play: Choose Light, Medium and Dark

The trick to making the design work is the interplay of the values. Value is just the lightness or darkness of a fabric compared to its neighbors. For this design to work you need three fabrics that read as light, medium and dark.

So take a look at these color combos and scroll your screen up and down to see the illusion of the lines waving back and forth. Pretty trippy right?

The illusion works because the medium fabric is ALWAYS used for the skinny strips whereas the light and dark color combos are used for the squares.

Here’s another group of colors that also showcases the illusion with some interesting color combos:

Solids, or fabrics that read as a solid look best for the bold, graphic design, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use prints. Just be sure you choose something that is mostly one color or color family per print. Here’s another color grouping that works well:

Remember, for best results, use the lightest and darkest fabrics are for the squares, with the medium for the skinny strips. To test the value of your fabrics, take a picture set on gray scale from your camera phone. Then you can easily tell which should be classifued as light, medium or dark.

That’s a dozen different combinations that WORK! (Many are available as kits for the Quilt Along.) I have no idea why our brains read it this way, but it sure is cool, don’t ya think??

Now…

Watch what happens when the skinny strips are LIGHTER or DARKER than the two colors in the squares. It creates too much contrast and doesn’t give the illusion.

These 4 colorways above and below still make a nice looking modern quilt, so don’t despair if your color combos don’t work exactly as you thought. Part of the fun is learning new things, right??

For further discussion and some more examples, check out this video from my Facebook Live “Ask me Anything” series. Click the image below to play. It’s just under and hour and I go through color combinations as well as other quilty tips and advice asked by the audience. (I do these live sessions each wee k and have started posting them on YouTube so be sure to subscribe!)

In my examples, I’ve used mostly prints that read as one color for the best results. But don’t worry—the modern quilt design looks cool whether the illusion works or not!

Optical Illusion Supply List

Start thinking about the colors and fabrics that you would like to use, and gather up the needed supplies. The quilt pattern comes in three sizes. Click the pattern image below to expand.

Optical Illusion Quilt Pattern

Here’s what you need for the Twin size quilt top (67″ x 88″), which is what I made:

Get the Optical Illusion Quilt Kit, while supplies last!

Optical Illusion Quilt with Good Vibes Fabric

I can’t wait to show you how to quilt the walking foot spiral design!

Quilt Along Schedule

The links below will go live as each part is posted. Bookmark this page and refer back to the schedule anytime in the future to work on this quilt at your own pace.

Optical Illusion Quilt

SHARing is caring

If you’re an Instagram junkie (like me!), please tag me at @christaquilts and use the hashtag #opticalillusionquilt so I can see what you are doing and cheer you on!

If you’d like to ask questions or need additional help, please participate in my Christa Quilts Group on Facebook. It’s a great place to encourage your fellow makers and get additional ideas for fabric choices and a quilting plan!

Sign up for Email Notifications

Be sure to enter your email address in the box on the sidebar of this blog. If you are viewing this on your phone or tablet, scroll aaaaaaaallllllllllllll the way down to the bottom of the page to find the email address box.

Facebook Live A.M.A. Each Monday at 2 PM PST

So the biggest casualty for me in this whole quarantine situation is getting out and chatting with fun folks like you! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy working from home and am grateful for the flexibility that my job in the quilting community allows. However, I miss teaching quilting and I miss talking about quilting and I miss being with quilters. So I wanted to try out an experiment….

Christa Quilts

Starting on Monday, April 27th at 2 PM PST (5 PM EST) I’m going to host “Ask Me Anything” using Facebook Live in my ChristaQuilts facebook group.

It’s going to be very casual and unscripted, mostly so I don’t have to plan too much ahead of time. And I’d like to keep it at about 30 minutes so it doesn’t take up too much of your time. This will be a great chance for you to ask me ANY questions you have, quilting related or not!

I might even share some behind the scenes sneak peeks of the “secret sewing” I’m currently working on, and maybe some general thoughts about life or anything else that naturally comes up.

If it goes well – meaning people show up for some fun conversation – I’d like to make it a weekly thing. So think about what you’d like to ask me and let’s have a fun conversation. I can’t wait!

Modern Marks by Christa Watson for Benartex

I’m sorely missing quilt market, teaching, and other live events, so hopefully this will be the next best thing. Click here to join my Facebook Group and I’ll see ya on Monday!!

Block Chain Quilt Along Week 5 – Free Motion Quilting

This part of the quilt along is always my favorite!! I’m excited to share how I free-motion quilted my Block Chain Quilt with a fast, fun and forgiving modern design I call “Geometric Chains.”

Click here to get the optional Block Chain quilt kit, while supplies last.

The basic idea is to quilt an allover design, one line at a time across the entire quilt. Below is the basic motif diagram shown in the Block Chain quilt pattern.

To get a feel for how this design is stitched, draw a series of geometric lines, similar to those shown below on a blank piece of paper. Start with a straight-ish line, then sketch a series of geometric shape such as circles, triangles, squares, spirals, hearts, etc. The sky’s the limit when it comes to ideas!!

To get around each shape and make the next one, you can backtrack (stitch over a previous part of the design), or you can echo part of the design. There’s no wrong way to do it! To avoid marking, make the shapes roughly the size of a pieced block unit. Notice how the middle spiral chain above is roughly the width of the center of the block.

Once you’ve sketched out a few shapes you like, stitch them out on some practice scraps before quilting them on your actual quilt. Be sure to test out thread colors so you are happy with the results.

In the closeup image below, you can see I used a colorful thread from my Aurifil Variegated thread collection. Because the quilt has such a high contrast, I didn’t want to have to change threads as I quilted – so I made the colorful quilting a part of the final design!

When it comes to quilting the quilt, I use my “divide and conquer” method. I start on the right side of my quilt and begin stitching at the top of the quilt, in the batting sticking out around the edges. Then I quilt one “anchor” line of quilting through each block. This will hold each pieced row together so it won’t shift after basting. Then I go back and fill in all of the quilting in each row of blocks.

Click the play button below to watch a short, 2 1/2 minute video of me quilting a couple of the “chains” in this quilt. I’m only showing the closeups, but I’m just quilting one section at a time, and taking my time. I’m able to quilt an entire chain from top to bottom without having to tie off threads at either end.

Click here, or above to view my Block Chain quilting on YouTube. (Be sure to subscribe!)

The image below is a cross section details of the quilt. Notice how all that quilting adds a somewhat whimsical texture to the quilt. Click the image below to enlarge for detail.

Alternate Quilting Ideas

You can definitely apply the Geometric Chains quilting motif to any quilt, and there are several ways you can change it up, too! How about using ONE geometric design across the entire quilt? Or mix up each “chain” of quilting so it looks like a geometric sampler.

Instead of quilting straight lines with each shape, try wiggly lines, or do an allover meander with the shapes instead. No matter how you quilt it, I’d love to see your variations! Be sure to share them in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group. Or tag me on instagram @christaquilts and use #blockchainquilt so I can see your progress.

Next week it’s time to bind this quilt and then it will be complete! Be sure to check out my Quilt Along landing page for past quilt alongs and new ones coming in the future!

For MOre INfo ABOUT THIS QAL

Block Chain QAL Week 1 – Cutting the Fabric

Welcome to the Block Chain quilt along! This week we will be cutting all the fabric needed to make this quilt. It will be super easy because the center of each block features precut squares which are already cut for you (one of the reasons I love working with precuts)!

Gridwork Charmpack

My version uses 36 out of the 42 squares included in the Gridwork Charm Pack.

Sorting the Charm Squares

You will need one charm square for each block in your quilt. Because the throw size consists of 36 blocks and my  Gridwork charm pack includes 42 squares, I pulled out 6 squares of the black and gray prints. I like the random coloring below with just two of the black/white squares included for interest. Refer to the Block Chain pattern for the number of squares you’ll need for the smaller or larger sizes.

The important thing to remember is that as long as there is contrast between the squares and the surrounding frames (black in my quilt), it will still look good. Here’s another tip: if one of your squares is the same color as your background, it will look like there’s a hole in your block, so avoid that if possible.

Block Chain by Christa WatsonClick here to get the Block Chain quilt kit wile supplies last.

Cutting the Black and gray Fabrics

Refer to the Gridwork quilt pattern on page 3 to cut out your accent, background, and binding strips. Here are closeup images of the fabrics that I used:

The black is called Square Grid. I included this one in the Gridwork line specifically for this quilt!!

Square Grid Black

There are several great grays in Gridwork but I really like the look of the gray Hourglass print for the background. It gives the quilt just the right amount of interest and texture!

gridwork Hourglass gray

I especially love using fun geometric bindings for my quilts, so I picked the black Circle Grid print to finish off the edges of the quilt.

Here’s a tip to save for the end: if you want a super narrow binding thats finishes exactly 1/4″ evenly on front and back, cut your strips 2″ and sew the binding on with 1/4″ seam allowance.

Circle Grid Black

Click here to stock up on yardage and bundles of your favorite Gridwork prints.

Looking ahead to next Week:

Next week we will start sewing all of our cut units into blocks. Just remember, you can work at your own pace, faster or slower as you wish. I’m here to cheer you on each step of the way!

Blockchain quilt blocks

Where Can I Find MORE Info about this qal?

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)