My Finished Terrace Dresses (and Matching Shoes)

I’m finally recovered from Quilt Market last week, so I can share with you how my dresses turned out using my new Geo Pop fabric line. “3-D” sewing is new to me, so this was a fun adventure! I began by pairing up my new fabric samples with some of my favorite Fluevogs

Geo Pop Fabric Fluevog Shoes

Which do you think came first – the fabric or the shoes??

Then I made a “muslin” – a practice version (using my Modern Marks fabric) without all the finishing touches so I could test for fit. I used Liesl & Co’s Terrace Dress pattern because it looked easy enough for beginners, and it really was!!

Making a dress from Modern Marks

I used Crossmarks in pink for my “practice” dress before making the real thing.

I don’t have many in-progress pics because I was a hot mess while sewing on a deadline. But I tried tissue fitting and making an FBA (full-bust adjustment) before I finally settled on making a version of the dress according to the size I thought I was on the pattern, without any adjustments. This actually seemed to give me the best result.

Black Yellow Terrace DresssCut pattern pieces all laid out on my design wall – it’s not just for quilts!!

I made a total of 4 of this dress using each color of the “Mosaic Dots” print from my new Geo Pop fabric line from Benartex (shipping in August). I put pockets in the first version which was awesome! But they took a lot of extra time, so I skipped that step in the other 3 versions since I was in a hurry. I also changed up the hem length a couple of times, just to see which I liked better (slightly longer for sure!) I missed getting a good pic of me in the yellow version, but here are the other 3 versions below.

A purple dress with matching purple shoes!!

Terrace Dress in Geo Pop Fabric

I admit it – sometimes my fabric color palette is influenced by my shoe collection!!

Geo Pop Terrace Dress

You can’t go wrong with classic black and white!!
It was fun to try out different sash/belt configurations.

I really enjoyed making these dresses, and am excited to make more clothing. I got a great tip from a seamstress I met when I wondered why the top had a few small wrinkles between the bust dart and shoulder area. She said  I should look for patterns with set in sleeves rather than a cap sleeve – that it would fit my shape better. I’ll be sure to look for that next time!!

If I’ve piqued your curiosity about my new booth and fabrics, don’t worry. I’ll share more about the items in my booth at the of the week, so stay tuned!!

Come See Me at Spring Quilt Market 2019 in Kansas City!

This week I head off to Kansas City, Missouri for Spring 2019 international quilt market – the quilting industry trade show. I’ll have new fabric, quilts and patterns to share plus loads of inspiration! Catch live daily updates from me on instagram @christaquilts – and if you’ll be at the show, please be sure to come say hi during my in-person events below:

Geo Pop by Christa Watson

Ask your local quilt shop to order Geo Pop from their Benartex sales rep.
Click here to view Geo Pop fabric swatches.

Schedule of Events

  • Thursday 1:55-2:25 PM Schoolhouse Session, Room 2209
  • Friday 8-9 AM Business Seminar – click here to register
  • Friday-Sunday during show hours –  meet and greet in booth #2111

  • Friday 2:30 PM Designer Showcase Booth 2111 – free goody bags for attendees
  • Saturday 11 AM Designer Showcase Booth 211 – free goody bags for attendees

Benartex Designer ShowcaseJoin me and the other Benatex designers shown above to learn more about our new collections, grab a goody bag and take pics of our booths – it will be super fun!!

Quilt Market Newsletter Feature

Speaking of quilt market, I was pleased to be featured in the April Edition of eInsider – News and Trends from Quilt Market. Click here to read my interview.

Geo Pop by Christa Watson

Click here to preorder Geo Pop FQ Bundles, shipping Aug/Sept 2019.

WHERE TO BUY Geo Pop – SHIPPING IN AUG/SEPT

QUILT SHOP OWNERS:

Click here to view the entire line from Benartex. You can order directly online from Benartex, from your independent sales rep, or from most major distributors:

FANS AND FRIENDS:

Please ask your favorite local quilt shop to carry it. If you don’t have one nearby,
click here to preorder FQ bundles for a limited time (one per person, please).

Geo Pop Fabric

Geo Pop includes 25 skus of saturated geometrics with black and gray neutrals.

Sneak Peek of My Newest Fabric Line – Geo Pop with Benartex!

Today I’m excited to share a quick sneak peek of my newest fabric line, Geo Pop from Benartex/Contempo Studio. It will debut at quilt market next week and I can’t wait!

Geo Pop by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here to pre-order Geo Pop 25 Fat Quarters – shipping Aug/Sept, 2019.

Geo Pop is my fourth fabric line and I was super stoked to add black, white and gray to the mix of fun, bright geometrics. It mixes well with my previous collections: Modern Marks, Fandangle, and Abstract Garden. More info and patterns to come, so stay tuned – I’d better go pack!!

Where to Buy – Shipping in Aug/Sept

Quilt Shop Owners:

Click here to view the entire line from Benartex. You can order directly online from Benartex, from your independent sales rep, or from most major distributors:

Fans and Friends:

Please ask your favorite local quilt shop to carry it. If you don’t have one nearby,
click here to preorder FQ bundles for a limited time (one per person, please).

Geo Pop Fabric

Quick Update on Aurifil Thread Kits – Get them for just $99

Good news for those wanting to purchase my Aurifil Thread collections: I have them in stock at shop.ChristaQuilts.com for just $99 plus shipping. This includes my new Variegated Collection as well as my Piece and Quilt Collections in Colors and Neutrals. Here’s what’s included in each:

The Variegated Collection

Variegated collection by Christa Watson

Variegated collection by Christa Watson

PIECE AND QUILT NEUTRALS INCLUDE:

3660 Bubblegum
3770 Stone Washed Denim
3817 Marrakesh
3840 French Lilac
3852 Liberty
3910 Lemon Ice
4150 Crème Brule
4250 Flamingo
4650 Leaves
4652 Licorice Twist
4654 Turquoise Foam
4667 Nutty Nougat

Piece and Quilt Collection Colors

PIECE AND QUILT COLORS INCLUDE:

2425 Bright Pink
2250 Red
4020 Fuchsia
2520 Violet
2130 Medium Butter
1133 Bright Orange
2920 Light Brass
2884 Green Yellow
2886 Light Avocado
1148 Light Jade
2725 Light Wedgewood
2783 Medium Delft Blue

Piece and Quilt Collection Neutrals

PIECE AND QUILT NEUTRALS INCLUDE:

2311 Muslin
5021 Bamboo
1246 Dark Grey
5007 Light Grey Blue
2326 Sand
2372 Dark Antique Gold (Brown)
2315 Pale Flesh
2405 Oyster
2024 White
2615 Aluminium
2605 Grey
4241 Very Dark Grey

Each collection includes 12 spools of 100% cotton, 50 weight, 2 ply threads with 1422 yards each They work perfectly for everything I do: piecing, quilting, machine, applique and binding.

Click here to purchase any of my thread collections while supplies last.

New Color Weave Quilt Pattern Now Available in My Etsy Shop!

I’ve had something under wraps that I’m finally excited to share! My latest quit pattern – Color Weave is now available as a PDF download from my Etsy shop.

Rainbow Weave Quilt

Click here to get the Color Weave quilt pattern PDF from my Etsy shop.

Color Weave is made from one Strip-pie of Abstract Garden plus about 3 yards each of my light and dark grays from Fandangle.  For a limited time, you can also grab a quilt kit to make one exactly as shown here.

Abstract Garden Strip-pie

Click here to get the Abstract Garden Strip-pie or Color Weave quilt kit.

I enhanced the original pattern and also included an option to make it from a single color instead. But of course it would look fabulous in any fabric combo! You just need two strips of the same fabric when working with precuts. That’s why I designed my Abstract Garden precuts with 2 of each!

Click the image below to enlarge so you can see the materials requirements.

Color Weave Quilt Pattern

I had an amazing time making this quilt! The instructions are easy to follow and I’ve included step-by-step full color diagrams for both versions shown above. I’ve also included a quilting plan to quilt one of my favorite walking foot designs – random crosshatch.

Machine Quilting Random Crosshatch

I’m here to cheer you on every step of the way when you purchase any of my patterns. I want you to have just as much fun making this quilt as I did!

Color Weave Quilt Pattern by Christa Quilts

Sharing is caring! While you are making your version, be sure to share your progress in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group or use the hashtag #colorweavequilt on instagram. I’m happy to guide you every step of the way!

Finished Quilt – Geese in the Garden made from Abstract Garden Fabric

I hope you enjoyed reading about the making of my Geese in the Garden Quilt:
Click here for part 1 of Geese in the Garden
Click here for part 2 of Geese in the Garden

Geese in the Garden with Abstract Garden fabric

Click here to purchase Geese in the Garden quilt pattern – print version.
Click here to purchase Geese in the Garden quilt pattern – PDF version on Etsy.
Click here to purchase the Geese in the Garden Quilt Kit

About Geese in the GArden

  • Size: 32″ x 40″ (Baby)
  • Pattern comes in 4 sizes
  • Completed: October, 2018
  • Machine used: BERNINA 770QE
  • Fabric used: Abstract Garden by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo Studio
  • Batting used: Hobbs Tuscany Cotton/Wool
  • Thread used: Aurifil 50 weight cotton from The Variegated Collection by Christa Watson
  • Quilting Motifs: straight lines (cool), wavy lines (warm)

Geese in the Garden by Christa Watson

Geese in the Garden by Christa Watson

Tips for Making Geese in the Garden – Part 2 of 2

I’m excited to share with you how I quilted my Geese in the Garden quilts – using two different but super simple and fun walking foot quilting designs. These are designs that I teach in my quilting classes and they can also be found in my books Piece and Quilt with Precuts and Machine Quilting with Style.

Wavy Line Quilting on Geese in the Garden

Wavy Line Quilting on Geese in the Garden – Warm

Most people think that stitch in the ditch is the easiest thing you can do with your walking foot, but wavy lines “near” the ditch are much easier to accomplish. Then, when you are ready to tackle straight line quilting, embrace unmarked, uneven line spacing for a quicker finish!

Straight Line quilting on geese in the garden by Christa Watson

Irregular Parallel Lines on Geese in the Garden – Cool

Make a Quilting Plan

I originally developed the idea to make a quilting plan in my books, then refined my technique so that I could clearly teach it to others in my online video class – The Quilter’s Path. In a nutshell, I like to draw my designs out on an image of the finished quilt top to see how it will look before I quilt the quilt. Below is the quilting plan for both quilts, which is included in my Geese in the Garden quilt pattern.

Make a quilting plan

The reason I like to quilt irregularly spaced, imperfect lines is because I know I’m going to “mess up” anyway, so why not build it into the design? After all – you know what they say: do something once and it could be a “mistake.” But do it two or more times and it’s a design element! Plus, it’s a lot faster to quilt imperfect lines than perfect ones!

Thread Choice

I recently released my new thread kit with Aurifil – The Varigated collection and was super excited to try some of my new colors out on these quilts.

Variegated collection by Christa Watson

Click here to get my Aurifil thread collection.

Because the prints are so colorful and busy, a variegated thread looks great and helps blend everything together. I chose Stone Washed Denim #3770 for the cool version. Even though it looks like a solid colored thread, it has subtle color changes that will look great on this quilt. Because it’s more on the pastel side, it also blends in with the rest of the prints.

Aurifil thread

For the warm version, I selected #3840 French Lilac. The purply-pinks blend beautifully and add wonderful texture. When choosing colors, I lay the spool across the quilt and see which color disappears into the quilt the most. If I’m not using and exact matching thread, I’ll usually go a shade lighter rather than darker, as that seems to blend in the best.

Pink Variegated Thread from Aurifil

To do the actual quilting, first I quilt a series of “anchor” lines to secure the quilt. These can be lines in, or near, the ditch, randomly spaced across the quilt to prevent it from shifting. Then I fill in with additional lines as desired.

Check out this video of me quilting the warm version with a simple wavy line design, following the pieced design of the quilt. I’m using my BERNINA dual feed, which acts just like a walking foot, but allows me to use different feet on my machine.

For the cool version, I used painter’s tape in some of the areas to divid up the space and give me nice, crips lines. When stitching right next to the tape, I have to be careful not to stitch it to the quilt!

Geese in the GArden quilting

Once I’ve established a few anchor lines, I’ll fill in between the lines at random intervals, using the edge of my foot as a guideline for spacing. Here’s another short video of my quilting the cool version, adding more lines in between previously spaced lines:

Finally, I prefer to bind my quilts by hand because I love the clean look it gives to them. Here’s a final video showing how I make each stitch by hand, once it’s been sewn onto the quilt by machine. (See links at the end for my full binding tutorial.)

Binding a quilt

Here’s a short video showing how I stitch the binding by hand to finish:

I really enjoyed sharing more behind the scenes of making this quilt. To help support the time it takes to create these posts, please use the links below to purchase the pattern, or find my entire pattern and fabric line at shop.ChristaQuilts.com. Many thanks!!

Geese in the Garden Quilt Pattern

Helpful Links

ChristaQuilts Patterns are Now Available on Etsy

I’ve finally jumped on the Etsy bandwagon!! I set up an account many years ago before we had The Precut Store but didn’t do much with it. I’ve also purchased a few items here and there. But I finally made the push to get my quilt patterns (PDF versions) on the site so you could access them quickly and easily!

Click here to visit my Etsy store.

Christa Quilts Patterns

Click here to visit my Etsy store.

Although I still have my print patterns available for sale at shop.ChristaQuilts.com, AND the PDF versions are still available to purchase through Craftsy (Bluprint), with the recent changes they’ve made, I can’t add any new ones. (Instructors were supposed to be able to continue adding new patterns but I haven’t figured out how to do that…) Since I have a bunch of new patterns coming out this spring, I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss out on getting my patterns in the hands of those who needed them.

So will you do me a favor? If you’ve had your eye on a pattern or two of mine, will you go ahead and place your order and leave some feedback? That will allow me to make sure everything is running smoothly and that I can grow my presence on the site.

My Etsy shop name is ChristaQuilts and the url is:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/ChristaQuilts

As a recap, here are some beauty shots of a few of my favorites:

Positive Direction

Positive Direction quilt pattern by Christa Quilts

Sparkling Stars

Sparkling Stars Quilt by Christa Watson

Blooming Wallflowers

Blooming Wallflowers Modern Marks

Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones by Christa Watson

Surplus Strips

Surplus Strips quilts made from Fandangle by Christa Watson

Modern Logs

Modern Logs by Christa Watson

Improv Squares

Improv Squares Quilt Pattern using Modern Marks Fabric

Click here to purchase my PDF patterns (instant digital download) on Etsy.

Just a reminder – to access your PDF pattern once you’ve purchased it, be sure to save it to your computer and then open it up with your favorite PDF reader. Then be sure and keep me posted during your progress. My favorite thing is to see what you make and the fun fabrics you choose!

More patterns are coming soon – so stay tuned!!

Tips for Making Geese in the Garden – Part 1 of 2

Welcome to my new series where I explain a little more in depth about how I made a recent quilt and share tips to make your sewing and quilting faster and more fun! Today we’ll focus on my Geese in the Garden Quilts made from my Abstract Garden line with Benartex/Contempo.

Geese in the Garden Quilt Pattern

Click here to get the print version of Geese in the Garden pattern.
Click here to get the PDF version of Geese in the Garden pattern.

The “Geese” Design

When I designed Geese in the Garden with it’s radiating diamond-like shapes,  my first instinct was to write the pattern by making all of  the blocks from Half Square Triangles. However, that would have left a seam in the middle of each block which would have disrupted the fabric print.

I knew I could eliminate some of the seams using the “flip and sew” method but there would still be some seams I didn’t like, and it would have created a lot of waste. Here’s an early sketch of it in Electric Quilt with those unsightly seams (in the yellow seeds fabric and the pink roses fabric).

Geese in the Garden Sketch

So then I researched how to sew diamond shapes and discovered that these shapes are NOT true diamonds, but are rather “squished” or “elongated” diamonds. However, the traditional technique to make the diamonds would still work, but I’d have to recalculate the math.

Diamond Cutting

Diamond cutting in process. 

After a bit of testing I figured out an easy way to cut these elongated diamonds with a simple acrylic ruler that has a 45 degree line – no specialty ruler required! It’s all about the width that you cut them, and that information is included in detail in the pattern.

45 degree angle cutting

You’ll get a chance to use the 45 degree line on your ruler when cutting these diamonds.

Because these are not true diamonds, they have a definite left and right side. You can create some really cool designs with “mirror image” units. Here’s a tip to cut them correctly: Cut at least 2 stacked strips at a time. Make sure one strip is right side up, while the other is wrong side up. Or fold the strip in half and you’ll automatically get mirror image pairs.

Mirror Image Diamond Units

Mirror image units – and no pesky seams in the middle of the fabric!

Abstract Garden Fabric Choices

My Abstract Garden collection includes a total of 20 fabrics arranged into warm and cool colorways. However, I wanted fabric selection to be easy for this quilt pattern, so that you could use any fabrics you like.  So it only takes a total of 5 prints to create the design.

Since I was making two quilts (warm and cool), I decided to cut and piece them both at the same time. I starched the fabrics ahead of time before I cut, to help control the diagonal bias edges.

Abstract Garden UnitsClick here to get the Geese in the Garden Kit – in warm or cool.

The fun part about choosing fabrics is creating a radiating, glowing look with your color choices. Because the center diamonds of the design are interchangeable, I played around with them to make sure I was happy with the color arrangement.

Geese in the Garden Units

I love pretty stacks of cut units – don’t you?

Sewing the Geese Rows

Technically, this is a “row” quilt, meaning it’s sewn together into rows, rather than blocks. The super easy thing about this pattern is that each row is exactly the same! To make sewing go even easier, I recommend laying out all of the units, and sewing them into pairs on either side of the center triangle.

Geese in the Garden Rows

Although these are for 2 separate quilts, how fun would it be to alternate the rows?

My tip for sewing units with a 45 degree angle is that you need to offset the triangle tips by the same amount on both sides as you sew. The triangle tip will stick out about 1/4″ inch on either side. Notice the tips sticking out in the image below when the fabrics are matched up, right sides together:

Geese Triangle Tips

Sew an accurate 1/4″ seam, using the point where the two fabrics intersect in the corner. This detail image below shows the sewn seam (stitched with my favorite 50 weight Aurifil thread). Notice it’s been rotated to show the angle at which I sew each unit under the machine. (Make sure to chain piece all the units at once for speed and efficiency.)

Sewing Diamond Units

You’ll know you’ve sewn them correctly when you’ve created a nice smooth edge along both pieces. Don’t forget to trim the triangle tips! I also press all of my seams open so that my blocks will lie nice and flat.

Sewn Diamond Units

Remember, this technique works for ANY units with a 45 degree angle. Below is what the center triangle looks like when I lined it up with the rest of the sewn pairs. It looks a little awkward, but notice how both tips are sticking out about 1/4″. Once the pieces are flipped over right sides together and sewn, everything will come out even, just like the diamond pairs.

Sewing 45 degree angles

I often get asked how I press seams open without burning my fingers. The answer is that I open them up with my fingers ahead of the iron, and I never use steam. Here’s a 20 second video clip showing how I press my seam open, once I’ve sewn my rows:

Here’s the backside of the cool version with all of the rows sewn and those nice, flat, pressed open seams. Doesn’t it look just as pretty as the front??

seams pressed open

Although the pattern comes in 3 sizes, I chose to make the smallest size. But the best thing about this pattern is that it’s the same number of pieces to cut and sew, no matter which size you make. They just get larger as the quilt gets bigger. It only took me a few hours to piece each quit top, so it’s a great design to make when you are in a hurry, and it’s fun to show off your favorite fabrics in the diamonds.

One final tip to share today: don’t stress too much about perfection. Do your best to line up the seams as you sew the quilt, but notice the lower left corner of the image below. The turquoise and blue corners don’t match up perfectly in all the rows,  but that’s ok. Once the quilt is quilted – you won’t even notice it!!

Geese in the Garden quilt featuring Abstract Garden by Christa Watson

Very few of my points line up perfectly – but it still looks great!!

If you found this post helpful, you can help support my blogging efforts by purchasing my Geese in the Garden pattern or any of my other quilt patterns or fabrics at shop.ChristaQuilts.com. They’ll come infused with a little “Christa Quilts” magic, ensuring your success while I cheer you on!

In the next post, I’ll share tips on how I quilted each quilt with two quick and easy walking foot designs, so stay tuned!