Free Quilt Pattern Featuring Abstract Garden Fabric in Modern by the Yard

One of the things I love about designing fabric for Benartex is the free quarterly online magazine they produce, called Modern by the Yard. In each issue they include fabulous patterns made by some of the leading industry designers. I always love it when one of them wants to work with my fabric AND it’s extra special when their quilt with my fabric makes the cover!

Follow the Leader by Heather Black

In the latest issue, the amazing Heather Black has created her stunning quilt “Follow the Leader” which is made from a fat quarter bundle of Abstract Garden plus coordinating background fabric from Fandangle.

Abstract Garden FQ's

Click here to get a fat quarter bundle of Abstract Garden.

I love how Heather “rainbow-tized” the triangles to create color and movement in this quilt.

Follow the Leader by Heather Black

Here’s a fab in-progress shot of the quilt top. She really makes my fabrics sparkle!!

Follow the leader by Heather Black

Click here to download the latest issue of Modern by the Yard and get started on your own version of Follow the Leader, or any of the other great patterns featured in the issue!

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 3 – Completing the Blocks

Now that you have your Color Weave units sewn, you can join them into blocks. The key to the woven design is careful color placement as you sew your blocks. Be sure to refer to the block chart in the quilt pattern that shows you exactly which piece goes where in each block. Although the block structure is the same for all of the blocks in the quilt, the color placement varies for each column of blocks.

Rainbow Weave Blocks

Color Weave blocks in progress

Notice that some of the blocks have darker gray strips across the top whereas others have a lighter gray strip across the top. Pay close attention to the pattern so that you make the correct number of each type of block. If you are using different fabrics, make notes in your pattern so that you can substitute your fabrics in the correct location.

Rainbow Weave Blocks

I love stacking up the blocks into pretty piles!

The key to the success of the design is seam accuracy. Because the woven lines are made up of smaller pieces of fabric, accurate fabric joins will ensure that the design flows smoothly across the quilt. You want the finished size of each strip to be 2″ after sewing together, so it’s a good idea to make a test block to check your seam accuracy and pin generously.

Rainbow Weave Quilt Block

It’s important to keep the seam lines straight across the entire quilt to create the woven look.

To ensure that the fabric pieces line up across from each other, layer the pieces wrong sides together, then flip up the top piece to ensure that the lines match up across the piece. Once you are happy with the seam alignment on both sides, pin (or use a stiletto) to keep everything in place as you sew.

Create the center block unit from the subunits sewn last week along with a colorful center rectangle for each block. (See the pattern instructions for the exact number to make.) Here’s a short video showing how I line up the rows of each block so that the seams will align:

Once the center block units are all sewn, join the outer pieces to complete each block, ensuring that the gray units continue to align accurately.

Rainbow Weave Block

Ensure accurate fabric placement according to the Color Weave pattern.

Continue to press your seams open and sew with a smaller stitch length (or backstitch) to secure the seams. What I like to do is chain piece a whole bunch of sections, then stop and press them all at once. It gives me a sense of accomplishment that I’m actually getting something done.

Seams Pressed Open

Pressing Seams open gives more accurate results and a smooth, flat block.

Keep sewing and pressing all of the blocks in the same manner until they are finished. In the next step, we’ll sew them together into rows and assemble the quilt top.

Rainbow Weave Quilt Blocks

IMPORTANT LINKS

Click here for links to the previous quilt along posts
Click here to purchase the Abstract Garden strip roll
Click here to purchase Color Weave pattern – paper version
Click here to purchase Color Weave pattern – PDF version
Click here to share your progress in my Facebook group

Pattern Clearance: Grab 6 of My Paper Patterns for just $6.95 Each!

Thanks to everyone for your tremendous support of my pattern business. I’ve been focusing on creating fresh new patterns to showcase my fabrics and the response I’ve been receiving is simply wonderful! So I’ve decided to reduce the price of all previous paper patterns that were published before I started designing fabrics:

Modern X

Click here to purchase Modern X paper pattern for $6.95 + free US shipping

Modern X Received a 2nd Place ribbon in my local guild’s show back in 2014.

Plus, if you stock up on any of my other paper patterns and spend $50 or more, I’ll throw in a free bonus fat quarter (my choice so it will be a fun surprise)!

String of Pearls

Click here to purchase String of Pearls paper pattern for $6.95 + free US shipping

String of Pearls at Road to California

String of Pearls was my first national award winner! It received an honorable mention at MQX in 2013, but the thrill I felt was as if I had received best in show!

Patterns make great gifts for a quilty friend because you can provide them with great instruction and inspiration and you don’t even have to make them a quilt, LOL!! So stock up now and help me make some room for more great things coming your way!

Stepping Stones

Click here to purchase Stepping Stones paper pattern for $6.95 + free US shipping

Stepping Stones by Christa Watson

I learned how to do interesting outdoor photography when I made Stepping Stones in 2015.

I’ve learned a lot over the years about designing patterns and what makes for a fun and interesting quilt. Plus I share machine quilting suggestions for all of them so you can actually finish the quilt!

Charming Chevrons

Click here to purchase Charming Chevrons paper pattern for $6.95 + free US shipping

Colorful chevrons

The one that started it all – my first published pattern is made completely from charm packs.

Nothing thrills me more than seeing someone make a quilt from my patterns. It’s always fun to see the fabrics and colors they choose and how fabulous it ends up looking!

Modern Logs

Click here to purchase Modern Logs paper pattern for $6.95 + free US shipping

Modern Logs Quilt Pattern

Iconic wonky logs made from improv piecing – it’s so fun to make!!

Most of my quilts are either precut friendly or scrap friendly so you can really use up your stash. I especially love making “coordinated scrappy” quilts with lots of color, pattern and texture!

Positive Direction

Click here to purchase Positive Direction paper pattern for $6.95 + free US shipping

Positive Direction quilt pattern by Christa Quilts

Make this fun scrappy quilt just in time for 4th of July!

If any shop owners owners out there want to stock up on this deal, please send me an email to christa@christaquilts.com and I’ll give you distributor pricing on these 6 patterns only and then wholesale pricing on my entire line. ­čÖé

Click here to shop all ChristaQuilts paper patterns.

Results from my Entries into DQN Quilt Show 2019 – Quilt Las Vegas

Earlier this spring, my local quilt guild held their annual show which has been going on for nearly 30 years (I think). It’s always fun to participate in my guild, and even more thrilling when my entries get a ribbon. So I thought I’d share them with you – along with the judging feedback I received:

Bling – Honorable Mention, Modern Category

Bling Quilt by Christa WatsonBling quilt pattern is now available in Print (click here) or PDF (click here).

This is the original version of my Bling quilt, made using a Fandangle fat quarters plus white background fabric. (I recently remade 2 more versions of the quilt using Geo Pop fat quarters with white or black background.)

Judge’s Comments for this quilt:
  • Print choices and placement create a lively quilt.
  • The woven quilting design contributes movement and texture.
  • Very good binding technique.
  • Pieced binding frames quilt well and contributes to unity.

Modern Star Struck – 2nd Place Pieced, Single Maker

Modern Starstruck by Christa Watson

The pattern for Starstruck can be found in my book Piece and Quilt with Precuts.

This is one of my favorite quilts because it was made using every fabric in my very first fabric line Modern Marks. The pattern comes from my book Piece and Quilt with Precuts and I was happy to be able to get a good color contrast without using any background fabrics. It’s all in how you pair them up! (The original quilt from the book was made in black and white.)

free-motion quilting on starstruck

Click here to get a Modern Marks fat quarter bundle – while supplies last!

The prints in this quilt are pretty busy so it’s hard to see the quilting, but I really enjoyed quilting it densely with 2 different designs in each block – that’s a total of 48 different motifs in one quilt!

Judge’s Comments for this quilt:
  • Excellent variety of prints create visual texture.
  • Very good value contrast between stars and background in individual blocks.
  • Blocks are well pieced.
  • Outside quilt edges should be straight and corners should be 90 degrees.
  • Good binding technique.

Color Weave – 1st Place Modern

Color Weave Quilt by Christa Watson

Click here to join the quilt along to make this quilt.
Color Weave was made from Abstract Garden precut strips + background.

It’s always hard to get a good pic of quilts hanging in a show, due to lighting and space constraints, but I love how the quilting shows up in this picture. I was pleasantly surprised at the positive comments I overhead about this quilt while walking the show. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has a thing for bright, rainbow quilts!

Judge’s Comments for this quilt:
  • Beautiful color gradation.
  • Print choices lend wonderful visual texture.
  • Strong vertical lines are created through fabric placement.
  • Outside quilt corners should be 90 degrees.
  • Variegated thread unifies quilt top and provides visual accents on gray background fabrics.

Overall, I’m very pleased that the judge liked my bold bright colors and my busy fabric prints. The quilting wasn’t the star of the show in any of these quilts – and in fact, 2 of them utilized very simple walking foot quilting. I haven’t been entering as many quilt shows this year because I’ve been so busy designing fabrics and writing quilt patterns. But this was just the boost I needed to make it a priority once again!

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 2 – Sewing the Subunits

This week we are sewing our cut pieces into larger units, following the instructions and diagrams as given in the Color Weave quilt pattern. Next week, we will assemble the units into blocks. Be sure to scroll to the end for important quilt along links you may have missed!

Several people have asked why I cut out all of the individual units rather than using strip piecing and I’m happy to explain why: because it’s much more accurate!

Rainbow Weave blocks in progress

When you sew long skinny strips of fabric and then cut them, you have a much greater chance of stretching your fabric as you sew. So if I know the units are cut to the correct size to begin with, the blocks will turn out the right size, and won’t warp or stretch out of shape. However, I’m happy for you to continue using any method or technique that you are comfortable with and works for you, because after all, you are the boss of your quilt!!

Triple Square Units

Once you’ve cut out all of the pieces according to the chart in the pattern, it’s time to sew them into larger units. You CAN sew one block at a time if you like, but I find that very tedious and time consuming.

Triple Square Blocks from Rainbow Weave Quilt Pattern

First sew together ALL of the triple square units, then press the seams open when you are finished so your blocks will lie nice and flat. In order to prevent the edges of your seams from splitting open I recommend sewing with a shorter stitch length (like 2.0 instead of 2.5) or backstitching at the start and end of each unit.

Chain Piecing Video Clip

Take a look at this short (slient) video showing how I chain piece 2 units together at a time. I use a stilleto for accuracy and make sure I’m sewing with an accurate 1/4″ seam. Take care that you don’t veer off at the end of the square while sewing. I also engage the “hover” feature on my machine (a BERNINA 770QE). This automatically raises the foot up slightly when I stop sewing, so it’s much easier to slide the next set of units to be sewn under the machine.

In this next video, I’m using a Triangle Thread Cutter to quickly clip the threads in between each chain pieced unit. Once I’m through, I’ll sew the other square to the other side to complete my triple square units.

Side Units

Once you’ve completed the triple square units,┬á you can also construct all of the longer units that will be sewn on to the left side of each block. This unit consists of 2 small squares and a rectangle. If you make 11 each of the following units, you’ll be in good shape to finish all of the blocks after next week’s post. If you are using different fabrics, make a note in your pattern and substitute your fabrics for those shown below.

Be sure to refer to the Color Weave quilt pattern as you sew.

Rainbow Weave Units

Next week we will complete the blocks!

Important Links

Click here to purchase my Abstract Garden Strip roll
Click here to get the Color Weave quilt pattern – PDF version
Click here to get the Color Weave quilt pattern – print version
Click here to buy additional Abstract Garden Quilt Fabric
Click here for links to the previous quilt along posts
Click here to share your progress in my Facebook group

New Quilt Patterns Featuring Geo Pop!

I’m excited to release three new patterns that I created to showcase my new fabric line, Geo Pop which will be shipping to stores in August/September. Just like all of my quilt patterns, they will look great in any fabrics you choose! And they are available in either print or PDF.

Bling – Fat Quarter Friendly

Bling Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson

Bling comes in three sizes and is made from 20 fat quarters plus background. I loved the design so much I had to make it twice! The key to color success is choosing a very high contrasting background. I wanted to show off the black and white prints from Geo Pop and I love how they turned out!

Optical Illusion – 3 Colors, Fun to Look At!

Bling Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson

It only takes 3 fabrics to create this stunning Optical Illusion! Scroll up and down to watch the lines play tricks on your eyes. Yes, they really are straight!! I’ve made my version using geometric prints in black, white and gray, but I’d love to see this made up in other colors, too! I’ve included instructions for 3 sizes and like all of my patterns, it also includes machine quilting suggestions.

Infrastructure – a Modern Row Quilt

Infrastructure Quilt Pattern

This stunning quilt is a collaboration between me and my very talented friend Heather Black. I sent her digital images of Geo Pop early on and asked her to come up with a fun modern design with straight piecing (rather than the curves she’s well known for). I think she knocked it out of the park with this design while cleverly using every fabric in the line. I love this quilt so much that it will be my next quilt along in September, once the fabrics have been released. I can’t wait!!

Once Geo Pop hits stores later this year, I’ll share more about the making of each quilt. Remember – I’m here to cheer you on every step of the way so that you enjoy making these quilts as much as I did!

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 1 – Cutting

Welcome to the Color Weave quilt along! Cutting and color placement is the key to the success of this design. There is definitely a lot of cutting involved, but just take it step-by-step and give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the process!

Rainbow Weave Quilt

Click here to purchase the Color Weave Kit

This Week’s Homework – Subcutting the Strips

Although my Abstract Garden Strip Roll includes 20 different fabrics (2 of each), you will only need 17 of them (34 strips total) to get the glowing rainbow effect. Set aside the gray strips and the pastel “tracks” prints for another project, or use them on the back of the quilt.

In my Color Weave pattern, the strips are listed and cut in rainbow order, making it easier to keep track. Cut the strips into the subunits listed in the pattern cutting chart. Keep all of the same piles together and remember to measure twice, cut once!

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here to purchase additional Abstract Garden fabric.

If you are using a different set of rainbow colored strips, you will need 2 of each fabric to get the rainbow effect. You could also make it super scrappy, or coordinated scrappy (same color, different fabrics for each rainbow strip).

The background grays will be quicker to cut since it’s only two additional fabrics. These can either be cut from yardage or from a strip roll of each. Because I cut mine from yardage, I starched them before cutting, so they curled up a little in the corners. But they have a little more body to them now which will make lining up the pieces for sewing much easier.

Starching tip

I prefer to only starch yardage (not precuts or finished blocks). I use inexpensive starch from the grocery store (my favorite is Faultess Premium). The trick to avoid flaking is to starch on one side of the fabric and let it rest for about 30 seconds, then flip the fabric over and iron from the other side. If you want crisper, stiffer fabric, repeat the process for both sides of the fabric.

Fandangle Gray Confetti Crosshatch by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here to purchase yardage of  the Confetti Crosshatch grays from my Fandangle collection.

Bonus Tips

If you are comfortable cutting through multiple layers accurately, you can cut through two folded strips (4 layers of fabric) at a time. Just keep track of how many units you need to cut per fabric and the number of units you need to cut from each strip. There’s not much room for error, so remember to measure twice, cut once!

If you do make a boo-boo when cutting, you can get additional Abstract Garden fabric at shop.ChristaQuilts.com. Or substitute a similar color in your stash for a scrappier, custom look!

Next week we’ll start sewing the pieces into blocks, but remember – you can work at your own pace so feel free to jump ahead if you are an eager beaver, or slow down and enjoy the process.

Remember to share your progress on social media using the hashtag #colorweavequilt. Not only will others cheer you on, but you can see lots of other ways to make this quilt and change things up to make it uniquely your own!

Rainbow Weave Quilt blocks

IMPORTANT LINKS: Supply List & Schedule, Where to buy

I’m Off to BERNINA University!

Tomorrow I fly out for my next fun event – setting up my booth and teaching a couple of classes to dealers at BERNINA University. BU is an industry event exclusively for BERNINA dealers that’s held in different locations around the country. This will be my third time attending and it’s been great for getting up close and personal with quilt shop owners who carry the brand.

BERNINA U 2018My BU Booth last year when Fandangle fabric was released.
Click here to get the fabric, kits and quilt patterns shown.

At the show, I’m able to show off my newest line of fabric (which shops can order from Benartex), sell my latest patterns designed to support my fabrics, and talk one-on-one with shop owners.

No matter how huge the quilting industry is, it’s so important to create relationships with shops who carry my products. Many of them have also invited me to come teach at their shops, so I’m looking forward to traveling to new places over the next few years.

Big BERNINA at BU

Giant BERNINA on display at BU for their 125th anniversary last year.

If you’d like me to visit your local BERNINA dealer – be sure to have them contact me and I’ll be glad to add them to my teaching schedule. I’m currently booked through the end of 2020 but have just opened up my calendar for 2021 and it’s starting to fill.

Be sure to follow my adventures over the coming week on instagram @christaquilts and I’ll continue to share fun things here on the blog, too – so stay tuned!

Color Weave Color Options – The Quilt Along Begins Next Week!

We are less than week away from the start of my Color Weave quilt along and I can’t wait! I love getting people excited to quilt their own quilts and I’m going to be there, cheering you on every step of the way from cutting to binding!

Color Weave Quilt Pattern

Three Color Version

Below is an earlier version of the quilt I made for a magazine when testing out the design. It’s actually smaller than the one in the pattern, but it shows the same quilt using 3 solid colors instead. I will be focusing on the rainbow version during this quilt along, but the Color Weave pattern includes step by step instructions for both options.

Color Weave by Christa Watson

The same color option (in the larger throw size) is included in the pattern.

Make it Scrappy

My friend Pam, (who with her cohost Lynn produce The Stitch TV Show on YouTube) is making a wonderfully scrappy version of Color Weave. In her screen shot below you can see how she still gets the woven color effect, but if you look closely, each section of the weave is a different piece of scrap fabric. How cool is that?

Scrappy ColorWeave from The Stitch TV Show

You can click here to watch Pam’s process as she sorted through her stash, deciding which fabrics would work and which wouldn’t. Her approach is super versatile and used pieces as small as a 5″ charm square. The units are all cut the same size as given in the pattern, but using multiple fabrics for each woven strip really gives it a ton of depth and sparkle.

Rainbow Option

If you choose to make the Rainbow version like mine, you can use one Abstract Garden strip roll, or select 2 precut strips of the same fabric per rainbow weave as shown below. Then choose two contrasting background fabrics. I used light and dark gray, but other combos will work, too!

Color Weave Quilt

Click here to purchase the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – Print version.
Click here to purchase the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – PDF version.

Color Weave Quilt

Click here to buy the Abstract Garden strip roll.

Color Weave Quilt by Christa Watson

Click here to get additional yardage and precuts of Abstract Garden

All you need to get started are some rainbow color strips, the pattern, and a can do attitude!
Click here┬á for the complete supply list and quilt along schedule. I can’t wait to see your progress!

Free Fat Quarter with $50 Purchase!

I was cleaning and organizing my sewing room and realized I have a TON of leftover fat quarters from quilts in progress, bolt ends, and fat quarter bundles from all four of my fabric lines: Modern Marks, Fandangle, Abstract Garden, and Geo Pop.

Christa Watson FQ's

Don’t they look like colorful candy?? This is just a small sampling of my freebies for you!!

Rather than trying to cram them in somewhere and let them collect dust, I’d rather give them to you!! So from now on, all orders of $50 or more from my little online store at shop.ChristaQuilts.com will get one of these beauties as a surprise in their package!

Modern Marks Fabric swatches

Click here to shop all remaining Modern Marks fabric.

Fandangle fabrics

Click here to shop all remaining Fandangle fabric.

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo

Click here to shop all remaining Abstract Garden fabric.

Geo Pop by Christa Watson

Click here to preorder bundles of Geo Pop fabric.

I’m very much a minimalist, and although I’m keeping plenty of yardage of all my collections on hand for personal use, I have a hard time storing smaller pieces of fabric. So I’m excited to send them your way instead! ­čÖé

Click here to shop my fabrics, patterns, books, and thread at Shop.ChristaQuilts.com.