Have You Seen My Christa Cabinet from Arrow Sewing?

I love my Christa Cabinet from Arrow Sewing – it’s perfect for domestic machine quilting!

Collaborating with a sewing furniture company was a dream come true!

Here’s a quick backstory: I’ve been quilting my own quilts for over 25 years, and with the rise of social media I began sharing more pictures and videos of my work. Anytime I shared my sewing setup, I would get about a dozen people asking where to get my table.

I had a hard time answering that question since the table I was previously using was a gift from my mom over 20 years ago. The shop she purchased it from was no longer in business and I didn’t even know the brand!

When you order your Christa Cabinet from me, it comes with a free custom insert to fit your machine!

So fast forward to just before the pandemic. I spent a good amount of time coming up with the *perfect* design for a sewing table since I couldn’t find anything like it on the market. In addition to creating a large flat surface with a drop-in hole for my machine, I needed a table that would hold up the weight of the quilt in ALL the right places, with plenty of room for my notions close at hand.

But here’s the most important feature: I needed a table with raised edges to keep the quilt from falling off the sides as I quilted. I was dumbfounded that no one thought of this before!! Another super important consideration was cost. In my research, I checked out all of the leading companies’ offerings and found the prices to be way too high for the average quilter.

Moreover, most of the high end tables I researched were actually too big to fit in an average sized room, especially if you wanted to keep your cabinet completely open and in use all the time, like I do.

The “L” shaped design to the left of your machine holds up the weight of your quilt.

Much to my luck, a mutual friend helped me get in touch with the folks at Arrow Sewing. I showed them my design and asked if they could produce something like this.

When they said yes, a beautiful partnership was created and I was thrilled to work with them to create the Christa Cabinet which made its debut in May of 2022. It was an instant hit and the response has been amazing!

If you haven’t seen this amazing table in action yet, I’m excited to share measurements with you, plus a video for you to check out. So keep reading…

Christa Cabinet Specs

My cabinet will fit all of the BERNINA & Juki models out there, plus about 95% of all other brands currently on the market. As long as your machine measures less than 23 1/2″ wide by 12 1/2″ deep, it will fit nicely. Here are the rest of the cabinet measurements:

  • Cabinet fully open, will all leaves extended: 71 5/8″ W x 40″ D x 29″ H
  • Cabinet closed with side leaf down: 56 1/2″ W x 22 5/8″ D x 29″ H
  • Quilt leaf (back extension): 55 3/4″ x W x 18 1/4″ D
  • Right side leaf for notions and stuff: 15 3/4″ W x 19 5/8″ D
  • Lift opening (table top cutout): 23 3/4″ x 12 1/2″ D
  • Drawer (open or closed on left): 18 3/4″ x 15″ D x 3 1/2″ H
  • Cover for drawer (extra table space): 22 3/4″ W x 14 3/8 D

With my Christa Cabinet, domestic machine quilting is a breeze!

Shipping the Christa Cabinet

As of right now, the cabinet can only be sent to addresses in the continental US. It can be shipped fully assembled to about 90% of US addresses through Fed Ex’s premium delivery service. For areas where this service is unavailable, you’ll have the option for it to be shipped unassembled and flat in a couple of boxes.

Here are a few more FAQs (frequently asked questions):

  • The Christa Cabinet features manual lift and locking casters.
  • Standard height with casters is 29″
  • Assembled Cabinet takes 3-4 weeks for delivery
  • Both top loading and front loading bobbins can be accessed.
  • Knee will fit with the cabinet; specify with custom insert
  • Custom insert ships separately, allow 3-4 weeks for delivery
  • Height of table tray can be adjusted for perfect fit by tightening the wing nut or removing a few of the chain links. (Click here for Arrow video showing how!)

Click here for more info on my Christa Cabinet and Quilt Blocks.

Christa’s Quilt Blocks

My quilt blocks shown above are a separate add-on purchase. But the best thing is, they’ll fit most tables already on the market. They come in a set of 2 are they are like guardrails for your quilt, keeping it from going overboard!!

Christa Cabinet Pricing

Due to MAP regulations (minimum advertised pricing), the retail price (MSRP) listed on my website will usually be higher than what you will actually pay. In addition, Arrow offers special deals from time to time, plus I can offer a few bonus incentives when you order it directly from me.

So if you are at all interested in getting more information about the cabinet, just shoot me an email to christa@christaquilts.com and I’ll help you determine if it’s a good fit for your machine! I’ll be able to quote you the lowest current price and help you with shipping questions, too!

Watch This Videos for More Info about the Christa Cabinet

Click play below to see my cabinet in action!

My Teaching Events for 2023

One thing the pandemic taught me is that I absolutely LOVE being out and about with quilters in person. Although I tried the live, online teaching thing, I realized it just wasn’t for me. After returning home from my first teaching event of the year, I realized there’s nothing like being in a room full of excited quilting students, walking around and giving them encouragement. I just can’t duplicate that online.

Examples of student work from my workshops at Road 2 CA in January, 2023

That’s why I’m so happy to be getting back to a full traveling & teaching schedule! See below for my complete list of 2023 events. It’s a fun mix of guild events, quilt shows, and few quilt shops from coast to coast. If you plan to attend one of these, please let me know in the comments. I’m really looking forward to it!

2023 Travel Schedule

  • February 23-26: Vending at QuiltCon in Atlanta, GA
  • April 27-29 – East Cobb Quilters Guild, Marietta GA
    Thursday: Walking Foot Quilting
    Thursday night: Meet & Greet
    Friday Lecture: How Do I Quilt It?
    Saturday: Free-Motion Quilting
  • May 3-5: Sauder Village Quilt Show Featured Artist, Archbold Ohio
    Wednesday: Walking Foot Wonders
    Thursday: Free Motion Favorites
    Thursday Evening Lecture: How Do I Quilt It?
    Friday Schoolhouse: What makes a quilt modern?
  • May 19-20 Dave’s BERNINA in St. George and Provo, UT
    Friday: How Do I Quilt It? workshop in St. George
    Saturday: How Do I Quilt It? workshop in Provo
  • June 14-17: Minnesota Quilters Show in St. Cloud
    Thursday 1:30-4:30 How to Make a Quilting Plan
    Thursday 6-7 Lecture: What Makes This Quilt Modern
    Friday 8:30-4:30 Quilting Between the Lines – Free Motion
    Saturday 8:30-4 Quilting Between the Lines – Your Walking Foot
  • June 27-30: BERNINA University, Dallas TX
  • Aug 1-2: The Quilt Guild of the Villages in Florida
    Tuesday Lecture
    Wednesday Machine Quilting Workshop
  • September 14-16: All About Sewing in Mobile, AL
    Thursday: Lecture/Trunk Show
    Friday: Walking Foot Quilting
    Saturday: Free Motion Quilting
  • September 18: Pensacola Quilt Guild in Florida
    Monday: All Day Machine Quilting Workshop
  • October-Nov: Fall Quilt Market & Festival

I get a lot of requests to travel nationwide and even a few overseas! I try to get to as many of them as I can. If your guild, group, or local quilt shop would like to host me for an event (starting in 2024 or later), have them shoot me an email to christa@christaquilts.com. I’d love to come!

My New Notions Have Arrived!

Partnering up with Brewer Sewing to create my own line of quilting notions has long been a dream of mine. These are tools I use every day in my quilting life and I’m super excited that I get to share them with you!

We worked together to create my top 5 most useful notions: batting shears, quilting gloves, a creasing tool (also known as a Hera marker), an ergonomic rotary cutter, and a mini mat and ruler set. Let me tell you more about them!

Batting Shears

The batting shears are my absolute fave because they make trimming up batting such a breeze! I use them first of all to cut off a large chunk of batting from the roll so that it’s larger than my quilt top. Once my quilt is all basted together, I use them again to trim off the excess batting and backing from my quilt. They cut through the thick quilt layers like butter and I don’t know how I ever got along without them!

Click here to get my batting shears and reduce the amount of time you spend basting!

They include flat handles for left or right handed use.

Machine Quilting Gloves

My machine quilting gloves are a game changer when it comes to scrunching and smooshing your quilt under the machine. The grippy dots help you grab onto the quilt, reducing hand fatigue. They are one size and reversible so you can wear each glove on either hand (just in case you don’t want to show off my cute logo while quilting, LOL!) The gloves are washable and they don’t get as dirty as other gloves I’ve tried, so that’s an extra bonus!

Click here to get my universal machine quilting gloves. They are soft and comfy!

Christa Quilts Crease Marker

Say that 3 times fast!! Here’s a fun fact: I usually call this creasing tool a “Hera” marker. But when it was time to create the packaging for this notion, I looked up to see if that word was copyrighted. It was, but whoever owned it had let the copyright lapse. However, not wanting to take any chances, I opted to go by its more generic name instead. No matter what you call it, this handy gadget is perfect for marking straight lines on your quilt to follow while machine quilting!

Click here to get my crease marker. Doesn’t it look cute on top of my colorful Stitchy fabrics??

Ergonomic Rotary Cutter

This is the most comfortable rotary cutter you’ll ever own! This safety cutter is fabulous because you can lock the blade open or closed, and it can even stand upright on a table when not in use. Each cutter comes with several spare blades, making it a fantastic value to add to your toolbox!

Click here to get my ergonomic rotary cutter. You may want to grab an extra for a friend!

Mini Mat and Ruler Set

My rotary cutter pairs nicely with my mini mat and ruler set. This handy pair is perfect to keep right by your machine to make small cuts without having to get up from your workspace. I also use it to trim off binding ends when sewing my binding to a quilt.

Click here to get my mini mat and ruler set. You’ll find so many handy uses for it!

Get the Whole Set of Christa Quilts Notions!

I hope you enjoy using these notions as much as I do. They’ll make life in your craft room “sew” much easier! You can purchase each of these notions individually, or get the entire notions set directly from me at a discount.

Click here to grab the notions set at a discount off the regular price.

Let me know how you like them!

Make My Herringbone Quilt from Start to Finish

I was pleased that I was able to get some pretty pics of my Herringbone quilt with the help of my friend Susanne from Shultis Photography. In fact we did a really fun photoshoot of many of my recent quilts made from my Stitchy fabric!

Click here to get Stitchy kits for all of the quilts shown above.

Click here to download my free Herringbone Quilt Pattern

In case you haven’t made this one yet, it’s a free pattern that you can download and make at your convenience using 5 colorful fabrics with matching low-volume backgrounds. As I made the quilt I took videos of all the parts so that I could show you how easy it is to make this quilt from start to finish including cutting, piecing, basting, machine quilting AND binding.

I originally shared this video in 2 separate parts. But now by requests, I’ve edited into one longer video that runs about 35 minutes in length.Click the image below to watch, and let me know if you have any questions!

Interlinked Quilt Along Kicks off This Week!

Happy New Year! My quilty goal for 2023 is to sew (almost) every day! One of the ways to accomplish this is by hosting more quilt alongs. You see, I’m very deadline driven. When I have to get something done for someone else, that motivates me more than simply sewing for myself. So plan to see lots more quilt alongs (and new patterns) this year!

To kick things off, I’m hosting an 8 week long quilt along over in my facebook group. We’ll make my Interlinked quilt from start to finish including all of the sewing, quilting & binding steps. You can follow along to make this quilt, or practice these techniques on ANY quilt in your UFO pile.

Interlinked Quilt Along Schedule

Here’s the complete schedule if you’d like to follow along:

Week of Jan 2: Introductions & Fabric Choices
Week of Jan 9: Fabric Cutting
Week of Jan 16: Sewing the Blocks
Week of Jan 23: Making the Quilt Top
Week of Jan 30: Basting the Quilt
Week of Feb 6: Make a Quilting Plan
Week of Feb 13: Machine Quilting
Week of Feb 20: Binding

Get the Interlinked Quilt Pattern

Click here to get the Interlinked Quilt Pattern digital download
Click here to get the Interlinked Quilt Pattern printed booklet

The quilt along itself is free; I just ask that you purchase your own copy of the Interlinked quilt pattern. The new and improved pattern includes instructions to make the quilt in 4 different sizes from Throw to King.

I’ll be sharing daily encouragement as well as plenty of tips and tricks over in my ChristaQuilts facebook group, so be sure to check in each day to see what’s new!

Optional Kits

Click here to view all of my quilt kits, made from my designer fabrics from Benartex.

You can always choose ANY fabrics you wish for my quilt alongs. However, to make things easier, I love offering kits (while supplies last.) For Interlinked, I’ve put together neutral kits with either white or black background:

Throw sized versions of Interlinked

Or you can make it from my current Stitchy fabric collection, with more of a scrappy vibe!

Interlinked, Double Bed Size

The neutral kits shown above are throw sized, and the colorful version above is double sized. As you can see, they are slightly different layouts with a different number of blocks. You can change the size of each by simply adding or reducing the number of blocks.

To quickly make either of them larger, add borders in coordinating fabrics. For my current version, I will be sewing pieced borders around the edges to make it King sized. When we moved into our new home 3 years ago, we upgraded to a King sized bed and now I need to make a quilt to fit!

Interlinked in King Size. This is the one I plan to make!

I will be taking videos when I baste and machine quilt my king sized quilt, so you can see how I wrestle such a big quilt on a small machine. So stay tuned for that!

If you have any questions about this quilt or the quilt along, please leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to answer for all to see. Now I hope you have a Happy, Quilty new year!!

New Quilt Patterns Now Available in Print or PDF

One of my favorite things about designing quilt fabric is creating quilts to show off the fun colors and fabric designs. For Stitchy, my latest collection from Benartex, I designed 6 quilts which is more than I usually make, but I just couldn’t help myself! While supplies last, I have Stitchy patterns and kits for all of them. Take a look below:

Interlinked Quilt

I’m currently remaking a larger, more colorful version of this quilt, and will be hosting a quilt along over in my facebook group starting in January. Just grab a copy of the Interlinked quilt pattern to follow along!

Sparkling Stars

Sparkling Stars is like the show stopper of the group. Fun fact: I actually designed all of the color gradations of Stitchy with this quilt in mind!

Churn Dash Slide

Churn Dash Slide is my modern take on a very traditional quilt block. Design tip: to make your traditional design modern, offset the blocks a little bit like I did and skip the borders so that the design goes all the way to the edges.

Bling Quilt

Bling is a remake of an earlier quilt that I made to show off a previous fabric collection. I’ve actually made this quilt 5 times because I love it so much! The pattern includes several different layouts to try including the hashtags layout shown on the front cover. Isn’t it dynamic??

Terrace Tiles Quilt

Terrace Tiles is the easiest quilt pattern I’ve designed. I’ve made it several times in a few different colorways and it always looks fabulous, every time!

Herringbone – Free Quilt Pattern

Click here to get the free Herringbone quilt pattern emailed to you

I love including a free quilt pattern with every collection I design. It’s my gift to you as my way of saying thanks for your continued support!

Evolution of a New Fabric Design

I’ve been designing fabric now with Benartex for 6 years and have released 8 fabric collections so far (with the next one in the works now). Over this time, I’ve learned a lot about my style and how to put together a cohesive color story. Today I thought it would be fun to explain more about how I created the designs for my newest collection called Stitchy.

Click here to view all Stitchy fabrics by Christa Watson for Benartex.

Usually I start with very simple line drawings on paper and add more details as I go. Sometimes they’ll evolve into something completely different and other times they’ll stay relatively the same. My Hashtags print was the simplest design but one of my favorites. I literally drew a bunch of pound signs on a white background in photoshop with pink ink. This was my original drawing below, so that’s my actual penmanship, messy marks and all!

It was a simple matter of putting the design into repeat and replacing the original ink color with a few more hues to match the rest of the prints in the group:

The Stitches print, which is the title name for the whole line, was very straightforward to create. I started with one of my favorite modern machine quilting designs called “Geo Chains.”

I included a simplified line drawing of this design in my Block Chain Quilt pattern:

When I wrote my book 99 Machine Quilting Designs, I revisited this motif and mixed it up so that the design was a little bit more random and whimsical:

Then it was a simple matter of shrinking down the scale and putting it into repeat on several different background colors. I absolutely love how the final version turned out! I really enjoy including at least one fabric in each collection that’s based on my actual machine quilting designs.

The Crossweave print took the longest to develop. I originally drew out a very simplified design years ago that I called “Dot Dash.” First tried to include it in my Gridwork collection, but it just didn’t fit. Then I wanted to squeeze it into Black, White & Bright, but again, it didn’t jive with the rest of the group. I’ve learned that I can’t force a design, no matter how much I like it!

Finally, I had the idea to color in some of the dots and squares to form a secondary design print, sort of like a cross stitch design. But even that took a few tries, too! First I tried to go “cutesy” with a heart motif, but decided that’s not really my look or style. Then I tried randomly coloring in the squares, but that didn’t do much for me either.

Finally I leaned into the geometry of the print and enjoyed creating a simple cross woven design by coloring in the squares on the diagonal. I used several shades of the same color to give it a bit of depth and sparkle. The hardest part was figuring out which colors I wanted the center dots to be, LOL!!

Threaded Lines was another idea that I’d had in my head for awhile. Here are some earlier evolutions of this design. I literally called the green dashed lines “chicken scratch” while I was working on it, LOL! I wanted simple lines, but not THAT simple for this print.

I actually like the deep red jewel-toned look below, but thought the style read a little more “sophisticated contemporary.” To me, this didn’t fit with the overall look and feel that I was going for.

After a bit more work, it evolved into the Threaded Lines print that I love below. That’s MUCH better, don’t you think?

Sunny Day was the easiest print to finalize, mainly because the team at Benartex did most of the heavy lifting on this one. Whenever I’m designing a collection, I work with a graphic designer and the marketing team to finalize the scale, coloring, repeat, and all of the other technical stuff that needs to occur before printing can begin.

Every now and then they’ll make suggestions or send me ideas to explore. I fell in love with the sun/stars motif they sent me immediately, and together we tweaked it until it was just right.

Often times quilters will ask where I get my ideas, or how I start on each collection. Most of the time I start with a seed of an idea, develop a color palette, and then naming the group usually comes last. Other times I’ll have a specific theme I want to explore and then will design everything to coordinate. It’s a bit of a messy process, but one that I enjoy!

If you’ve sewn with Stitchy or are working on a current project using this collection, please let me know. You can use the hashtag #stitchyfabric on social media or share images in my Christa Quilts Facebook group. I’d love to see what you are making!

Learn to Baste, Quilt & Bind with my free Herringbone Quilt Pattern!

It’s been great to get back to a regular video posting schedule again. Although far from perfect, I really enjoy recording and editing new videos for you each week. Today I’m back with part 2 of making my Herringbone quilt.

Click here to grab my free Herringbone quilt pattern.

Click here to grab the optional Herringbone kit, made from my Stitchy fabric.

Click play below to watch the roughly 20 min video. I demonstrate my spray basting method, how I created a quilting plan for this design, how I custom quilted it, AND how to finish with a bit of hand binding. You can check out my other videos if you’d rather bind it by machine. You can definitely use these same techniques on any quilt you make!

I have a limited number of Herringbone quilt kits while supplies last, but it would look fabulous in scraps, too!

Please ask any questions you have, and let me know if /when you make it. I’d love to cheer you on!

New Patterns and Kits Made from Stitchy!

I’ve been busy cutting out loads of new kits made from my Stitchy fabric collection. Usually I only create a couple of patterns and kits with each new fabric release. However, I couldn’t help myself this time around. These fabrics are just so fun that I wanted to offer more patterns and quilt kits for you to enjoy. The patterns are available as printed booklets or PDF downloads.

Kits are available while supplies last, and I’m working on more video tutorials showing how I quilted each one, so stay tuned!

Sparkling Stars is Aglow with Color

Churn Dash Slide is My Modern Take on a Favorite Traditional Block

Bling is one of My Most Popular Designs – I’ve Made it 4 Times!!

Terrace Tiles is one of the Easiest Quilts You Can Make – Perfect for Beginners!

Herringbone is my Free Quilt Pattern for You to Enjoy

Interlinked is an Updated Version of My Modern Neutrals Design

I took a lot of videos and pictures of my process while making these quilts, especially the machine quilting. I’ll be sharing more of that over the next few weeks and months in the hope that you can apply my techniques to any quilt you are creating. My goal is to help you enjoy every step of the quilt-making process from start to finish, and take pride in your accomplishment!

Learn to Make My Herringbone Quilt – Get the Free Pattern!

Just in time for the holidays, here’s my free gift to you! I just released a video showing how to make my Herringbone quilt top along with the free quilt pattern. This is part one which includes all of the cutting and piecing. Next week I’ll share part 2 which shows how to baste, quilt and bind. Click the image or play button below to watch:

Get the Herringbone Quilt Kit Made from Stitchy

While supplies last, I have a limited number of quilt kits so you can make one exactly like this! Of course it will look fabulous in any fabrics you choose. Just be sure your background really contrasts and you can either do a “rainbow row” coloring like I did, or you can make it super scrappy. It will turn out great either way!

Links to items mentioned in the video:

Please let me know if you make this quilt and how you liked it!