Bling Quilt Along Part 1: Cutting and Sewing the Blocks

It’s Bling quilt along time – whoo hoo!! This quilt is so fun and fast to make you’ll want to sew more than 1! We will move through this quilt along quickly – but just remember, these posts will stay up indefinitely, so you can refer back to them anytime.

Bling Quilts with Geo Pop

Bling on display in my Geo Pop quilt market booth a few seasons ago.

Whether you want to follow along and make this quilt IRL (in real life) or just virtually in your head, I’m excited to share tips and tricks over the next 5 weeks that will help you make better quilts, no matter which quilt pattern you are sewing. So let’s get started!!!

Bling Cutting Options

Geo Pop fabric for Bling quilt by Christa Watson of Christa Quilts

Above is all of the cut units for Bling made from Geo Pop with Tiny Hex black background.

Start by cutting your fat quarters into subunits as listed in the Bling quilt pattern on page 2. I’m making the twin size, but follow along by cutting the number of units as indicate for your size (lap, twin, queen).

Below is all of the cut units for Bling made from Geo Pop with Op Squares white background.

Geo Pop Fabric for Bling Quilt by Christa Watson

You can use all of the same background fabric as shown in my pictures above, or you can go scrappy if you wish (see other color ideas here). Just remember to cut out the correct number of total pieces as listed in the pattern for your size.

Bling in Good Vibes

For example, if you want a scrappy background version shown above, you can cut out each block background from a different low volume print. In my example, I used half yard bundles of Good Vibes in low volume and saturated prints to get this look, but you could use up lots of scraps this way, too.

Be sure to pair up the “legs” of your block units if you want them to match (but they certainly don’t have to). You can even mix up the backgrounds within each block to go “super” scrappy, too. Just remember – the choice is up to you because you are the boss of your quilt!

Thread Options

I prefer to sew with a shorter stitch length (2.0 instead of 2.5) and press ALL seams open so my blocks lie nice and flat. Sewing with a shorter stitch also prevents the seams from splitting open, and it makes it harder to see the thread in between the seams.

Aurifil Thread and Geo Pop fabric

I used up lots of leftover thread in making these quilts. I prefer to piece and quilt with Aurifil 50 weight cotton, and I used up lots of leftover bobbins since this was such a colorful quilt!

I used lighter colored piecing threads for the version with the white background, and darker threads for the version with the black background. Aurifil Thread and Geo Pop Fabric

Whenever I’m making a scrappy, colorful quilt, I’l try to use up as many spools as possible that just have a little bit of thread left on them.  Who says you have to use the same exact color of thread throughout? I love finishing up a spool of thread – don’t you??

Block Sewing Options

Follow the pattern instructions on pages 2-3 to create the basic Bling block below. I recommend sewing one block first, to make sure it turns out correctly, then chain piecing a whole bunch of units at once for speed and efficiency.

Bling Block

The fun part about making this block is mixing up the different fabric combinations. There’s no right or wrong way to pair them up. Just go for it and don’t over think it!!

Below is the back side of one of my blocks with those nice flat seams. This will make quilting sooooooo much easier, because the quilt top will be smooth and flat in the end.

Bling Block White

If you’d like to be a bit adventurous, here are a couple of bonus ideas on how you can sew your block units:

In the option below, I’ve rotated the position of the rectangle units.

Geo Pop Bling

Here’s what the blocks above will look like (in the white version) if you repeat this option throughout the entire quilt. The math and number of blocks is all the same, but what a huge variation one small change will create!!

Bling Alternate Blocks

Here’s another option to try: go super scrappy by using 3 prints in each block, rather than 2. Again, there’s not much thinking involved in this change.

Sew all of the rectangle units first (see the Bling pattern, page 2) and then decide if you want to make coordinating or super scrappy blocks. Or maybe a mix of both!

Geo Pop Bling

You can also try the other extreme: using all of the same print for the main part of the block!

Isn’t it fun to have choices????

Bling block same fabric

Whichever way you choose to sew your blocks – they will look fabulous!

Homework: Sew all of the Bling Blocks

Quilty “homework” is the best kind of homework!! Now that you have several options to try, work on sewing all of your Bling blocks this week. Don’t worry if you fall behind – just work on a few blocks a day, and you’ll have them done in no time!

Bling Blocks

Remember, I’m here to help and cheer you on – even after the quilt along is over. Check out the resources below to help enhance your quilt along experience:

Additional Resources

Good Vibes Precuts are Here

I’m so excited that my 6th fabric line, Good Vibes is now out in the world. Be sure  to check out the post I wrote about the inspiration behind each of the fabrics. I’m thrilled to announce that the precuts are now available too!

Good Vibes by Christa Watson for Benartex

I always recommend finding my fabrics at your favorite independent quilt shop first. With lots of fabric and stores out there, the best way to get your favorite shop to carry my fabrics is to ask them to do so – they LOVE listening to their customers!

But if you aren’t able to visit your favorite shop during this crazy time, I do also sell all of my fabrics in my online shop too – and I’m happy to ship anywhere in the world.

So let’s take a look at these beauties, shall we?

Good Vibes Fat Quarters

Click here to get Good Vibes fat quarters – one of each fabric in the line.

Good Vibes fat quarters

Of course my personal favorite precut to work with is the fat quarter bundle. I love working with fat quarters because I think they are the most versatile. I can cut them down into any size or shape and it’s usually enough fabric of each print for most of the quilts I like to make.

I used 2 fat quarter bundles to make my newest Modern Logs quilt – more info about that coming soon!!

Good Vibes Jelly Rolls – aka Strip-Pies

Click here to get Good Vibes precut strips- 2 of each fabric cut 2 1/2″ x 42″ each.

Good Vibes Jelly Roll

Jelly rolls, strip-pies, roll ups, or whatever you call them are a definite favorite among quilters. There are so many great patterns out there for them, including my free Puzzle box pattern that is made from 2 of these beauties! The best thing I love about colorful precut strips is using the leftovers to make a scrappy binding. I love it when nothing goes to waste!

Good Vibes layer Cake – 42 Precut 10″ Squares

Click here to get Good Vibes Layer Cakes: 2-3 of each fabric in the line.

Good Vibes Layer Cake

My fabric company likes to call these 10x10s because that’s exactly what they are. They include the exact same fabrics as the charm pack shown below, but in a larger size. I love the 10″ squares because they can be cut into 2 1/2″ strips or 5″ squares and the math places nicely with the other precuts. I’m excited to be remaking my Charming Chevrons pattern using these squares. It’s a larger quilt, with less work!

Good Vibes Charm Pack – 42 Precut 5″ Squares

Click here to get Good Vibes charms- 2 of each fabric plus 2 bonus squares.

Good Vibes Charm Pack

You can make a baby quilt in a day by sewing one set of charm squares in a 6×7 layout. If you’d like to make a larger quilt, be sure to check out my Charming Chevrons pattern in the lap or throw size. It’s a match made in heaven!

Good Vibes Charm Squares

I’m thrilled that these fabrics are now out in the world and getting a good reception. If you make something using them, please let me know. You can use the hashtag #goodvibesfabric so I can see what you are working on. It’ll definitely make my day!!!

Click here to get Good Vibes yardage, fat quarters, and kits.

Bling Quilt Along Supply List and Schedule

It’s time for another quilt along – whoo hoo! Be sure to head over to my Quilt Along page for links to any of the quilt alongs you may have missed in the past! Who’s ready to make Bling with me???

Click here to get the optional Bling Quilt Kit while supplies last.

Bling Quilt - Geo Pop Fabric by Christa Watson

You can make this fun colorful quilt using 20 fat quarters + 4 yards of background fabric. Make it with a rich black background as shown above, or a crisp white as shown below. For other fun color combos – check out my Bling Color Inspiration post.

Bling Quilt with Geo Pop fabric by Christa Watson

All you need to join this quilt along is a copy of the quilt pattern and a can-do attitude! I will be showing how to make the Twin size in this quilt along, but you can make any of the sizes listed in the quilt pattern.

Bling Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson

Bling Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson

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. The first part – cutting will begin next week on Monday, July 20th, so gather your supplies and get ready to sew!

 

Quilt in Progress on Design Wall

Share Your Work

If you’d like to share your progress, and get extra help from me and other quilt along enthusiasts, be sure to join my ChristaQuilts Facebook Group. It’s a great way to stay motivated! In fact, once you gather your supplies, be sure to share pics of the fabrics you’ll be working with. The best part of any quilt along is seeing how varied all of the quilts turn out to be!

So who’s in??? All you have to do is follow right here on the blog each week as I post the next step. I’ve even got a few videos of the machine quilting when we get to that part – I can’t wait!

My New Summer Project – Building a Pool!!

During this crazy long stretch where I’ve been working from home and not traveling, I came up with the hair-brained idea that we needed a backyard pool! We are in Vegas. We are hot. We need to cool down. But mostly I’ll be home over the next few months so I can stay on top of getting it done! Here’s a digital rendering of what our pool should look like when it’s done:

Pool Rendering

We actually made a few slight tweaks to the design after these drawings were made, but it’s pretty similar to what’s shown here and we are super excited about it!!

Watsons pool design

The start of an Idea

If you live in Las Vegas, chances are you either have a backyard pool or know someone who does. Shortly after we moved into our new home last year, our next door neighbors put in a pool in their yard. They’ve been super generous in allowing us to use it, but after the pandemic hit, I began thinking what our yard would like like if we had one built, too.

I was pleased that I was able to use Electric Quilt Design software (EQ8) to come up with the rough sketch shown below. But even before that that I spent several days chatting with my husband Jason about what we would want in our pool.

Pool Designed in EQ

We both really like to swim for exercise, but knew that our yard wasn’t big enough for a lap pool. So after a bit of research, we discovered this device called a “fast lane” by Endless Pools. It basically creates a current in the pool, allowing you to swim in place continuously. We knew that we had to include that if we were going to make this pool idea become a reality.

Next,  I started asking a bunch of friends which pool companies they used, and I was referred to BYOP (Build Your Own Pool) of Nevada. (FYI this is NOT an affiliate post – I just want to share about my experience as it happens). The clincher was when I asked them if they were familiar with they fast lane idea and they said yes they had installed those before.

So just like I tweak my quilt designs over and over to get them just right, we worked with BYOP to perfect our pool design, That included figuring out how to incorporate the fast lane device and preserve a pretty pool aesthetic. It will be recessed as shown below and covered with pool decking so that it doesn’t stick out into the pool itself.

Fast Lane Swim Jet

It’s gonna take awhile!

So the hardest part about the whole experience is that it will take a total of 3-4 months to install. I jokingly say it will be done just in time for winter, LOL!! But we did opt for a heating unit AND a spa – so it will be functional year round. Christmas day swimming anyone??

First we had to submit our plans to not 1, but 2 neighborhood HOA’s. Then we had to secure permits for the construction. Fortunately that all got approved relatively quickly, so now we can begin excavation soon. That’s where they basically destroy our current backyard and dig a big hole in the ground.

Once the design was finalized, the pool company came over and marked up the yard so that when the excavators come, they’ll knno exactly where to dig.

As we were finalizing the design, I used bricks from the yard and empty fabric bolts to visualize how big the areas of the pool would be. It was actually pretty fun to see my idea begin to take shape!

Below are the construction lines for our “wet deck” – a trend that I’ve seen in newer pools. It’s like a suntan ledge where you can put a chair and umbrella in the water or dangle your legs into the pool while sitting in just a few inches of water. It will be a great play area for future grandchildren, too (not that there any on the way anytime soon, but I’m just sayin’ it’s good to be prepared…)!

The Start of Something Good

Because we decided to cover the entire non-pool area with the same tile and decking, the first big project was to dismantle our covered patio so that they could remove the concrete that’s already there. The cover will be reassembled once the pool is in place. Here’s the before shot:

Covered patio

Below is our poor house with no more backyard shade. So sad, but at least we know it’s only temporary!! It’s kinda crazy how small our yard is, but in the future we will just refer to it as “swimming pool” room, LOL!!

uncovered patio

So, in the meantime while I wait for work to begin, I will cool off the best way I know how – with a portable pool and some lounge chairs in the shade. I’ll post another update in a few weeks, when things really start happening. After all, it’s been a great distraction, and something to keep me occupied in between sewing sessions.

cool in the pool

Stay cool out there, friends!!

Bling Quilt Along Color Inspiration

I’m always excited when I can host a quilt along featuring easy to choose fabrics. For my Bling quilt, all you need is 20 fat quarters and 4 yards of contrasting background fabric. Today I’m excited to share with you lots of different color options in order to prepare for our next quilt along which begins on Monday, July 20!

Original Bling

Bling Quilt by Christa Watson

My first version of Bling made from Fandangle won a ribbon at a local quilt show! 

The key to a successful color combo seen in all the quilts I’m sharing today lies in the variation between the colorful prints in the blocks and the contrasting background fabrics. Be sure to take note of which colorings you like and choose similar fabrics, or grab a kit or fabric bundle to make any of the options shown here.

Geo Pop Bling

When my Geo Pop fabric line came out, I knew I wanted to offer Bling quilt kits to show how well these fabrics would pop wether you paired them up with bright white or dark black.

Bling Quilts with Geo Pop

Click here to get the Geo Pop Bling quilt kit with your choice of black or white background.

Whenever I release a new line of fabric, it’s always fun to recolor my patterns digitally to give lots more color options. Here are some other colorways I would love to make whenever I get the chance:

Abstract Garden Bling

The bright pastels of Abstract Garden pair nicely with Tiny Hex black print from Geo Pop or the Square Grid black print from Gridwork. I just love it when my fabrics can work well together!!

Bling Quilt Abstract Garden

Click here to get the Abstract Garden fat quarter bundle to make this version of Bling.

Good Vibes Bling with Gray

And of course I couldn’t wait to recolor bling in my newest fabric line, Good Vibes. This one was a fun challenge since the collection features an equal amount of lights and darks. But thank goodness for EQ8 so that changing colors only took a few clicks!!

Bling in Good Vibes

In the color option above, I’ve paired a Good Vibes fat quarter bundle with 4 yards of Hourglass Gray from Gridwork. In this example, the gray background works better than black or white because of the variation of light and dark prints in the Good Vibes collection. I also love it when I can use the leftovers to make a scrappy binding!

Good Vibes Scrappy Bling

I’m so thrilled that the math STILL works if you want to go super scrappy, too. For the version below, you can grab Good Vibes 1/2 yards Saturated for the blocks/binding, and Good Vibes 1/2 yards Low Volume for the background.Bling in Good Vibes

Click here to grab the Good Vibes Low Volume Bundle.
Click here to grab the Good Vibes Saturated Bundle.

You’ll have about a yard leftover if you choose the scrappy option, but you can always throw that on the back of your quilt, or save your scraps for another project.

Click here for the Bling Quilt Along.

How to Bind Your Quilt, Optical Illusion Quilt Along Part 6

When the quilting is finished on your Optical Illusion quilt, or whatever quilt you happen to be making, just the final step of binding is left. I’d like to show you in words, pictures and videos how to bind a quilt. Let’s dive right in.

Optical Illusion Quilt

Finished Optical Illusion Quilt, 67″ x 88″

If you’re still working on your Optical Illusion quilt, no worries! This will be here when you’re ready for it. You can scroll to the bottom for links to all of the steps.

binding-scrappy-OI-christa

The first thing to decide is whether you want to make the binding from just one fabric or you want to make it scrappy.

binding one color OI christa

Which way you go is just a matter of personal preference, as there is not a right or wrong decision.

Step 1 – Calculate and cut your binding strips

A well-written quilt pattern will tell you how many binding strips to cut, but it’s handy to know how to figure it yourself. To determine the length of binding you’ll need, add up the length of the four sides (known as the perimeter) and then add 10″. The extra 10″ is for the seams and gives you a little insurance.

For example, Optical Illusion finishes at 67″ x 88″. This would be the math:

67+67+88+88+10 = 320″

You’ll need 320″ of binding. We use 40″ as the standard width of useable fabric from selvage to selvage, so from each cut across the fabric, we will get 40″ of binding. So we divide 320″ by 40″ to see how many strips to cut.

320″/40″= 8 strips

Just as a side note, if you ever divide by 40 and get something like 6.49, round up to get the number of strips. If you got 6.49, you’d round up to 7 because you’d need 7 strips.

bind_2 christa

How wide should your binding strips be cut? It’s a matter of personal preference. Most of my patterns, including Optical Illusion, give 2-1/4″ as the cut width for binding strips. But over the past few years, I often cut my strips 2″ wide and sew them to the quilt with a scant 1/4″ seam allowance. If you’re a beginner, it may be a little easier to cut binding strips at 2-1/4″ wide.

Step 2 – Sew the binding into a continuous length

bind_3 diagonal seam christa

To join the strips with mitered seams, place two strips right sides together at a 90 degree angle. Sew them together across the diagonal as shown. Join all of the binding strips into one long piece.

Trim the seam allowances to 1/4″ and press the seams open.

bind_4 trim end 45º christa

Trim one end of your binding at a 45 degree angle as shown above. This will be the starting end.

Step 3 – Press the binding

bind_6 press christa

Press the binding wrong sides together along the entire length.

Step 4 – Trim the quilt and walk-around

Trim off the excess backing and batting before you attach your binding. I use a large square ruler for the corners, and a long straight ruler for the sides.

bind_5 trimming christa

Note: the quilt above is Moder X – patern available here while supplies last.

Quickly do a “walk-around” by running your binding along the perimeter of your quilt to ensure you won’t have any seams falling in the corners. If you do – move the binding up or down a few inches to avoid seams at the corners.

Step 5 – Attach the binding to the quilt

Please note: These instructions are for sewing binding to the front of the quilt and then sewing it by hand on the back to finish. If you prefer to bind completely by machine, see this video. Or:

Click to see a blog post about binding by machine.

Now back to Step 5: Attach the binding to the quilt

Starting at least 6″ – 8″ away from any corner, place your binding on the front side of the quilt and leave a tail of about 6″ – 8″. Line up the raw edges of binding with the raw edges of your quilt. The fold should be toward the quilt.

Attach a walking foot or even-feed foot or use a dual-feed setting on your machine. Starting at the pin as shown, stitch the binding onto the front of the quilt with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

As you come to a corner, stop stitching 1/4″ before you reach the corner and sew off the corner at a 45º angle.

It will look like this. In order to miter the corner, fold the binding up and away from yourself. Keep the raw edges of the binding in line with the raw edges of the quilt as shown.

Next, fold the binding back down toward yourself, creating a tuck of fabric underneath.

The fold will form a little triangle that stands up off the quilt.

The fold will form a little triangle that stands up off the quilt; later it will form the miter on the quilt front. Now the quilt goes back under the machine.

Starting from the edge of the quilt, stitch the next side of binding down until you reach the next corner. Repeat this process for all four corners until you approach your starting point. STOP when you’re about 8″ away from where you began.

Trim off the excess, leaving a few inches of overlap to work with. Open up the end of binding and place the beginning tail inside it.

Using the cut angled end as a guide, lightly mark a line right up next to it. Then cut 1/2″ away from this measurement to account for seam allowances on both ends.

Put the two tail ends right sides together, and sew with 1/4″ seam to complete the continuous loop of binding. Finger press the seam open.

Sew that last part of the binding to the quilt. Now the binding is attached all the way around the quilt.

Step 6: Sew the binding down

The next step is to fold the binding to the back of the quilt and sew it down by hand. I love using binding clips all round the edges to hold it down. Here’s the only picture I got of my binding Optical Illusion:

binding clips

Click here to see a video of how I sew my binding down by hand.

Congratulations on finishing strong! And thank you for quilting along with me!

Optical Illusion Pattern Cover spread

Click here to get the Optical Illusion pattern in paper format.

Click here to get the Optical Illusion pattern as a pdf that you’ll download instantly to print yourself.

Optical Illusion Quilt Along

Click on each part you’d like to see.

  1. Part 1: Cutting for Optical Illusion
  2. Part 2: How to Make the Blocks
  3. Part 3: How to Sew the Quilt Top
  4. Part 4: Prepare Backing, Batting and How to Baste the Layers
  5. Part 5: Machine Quilting

Save the Date: QuiltCon Together Registration Opens July 15

I’m so excited to be a part of this! The Modern Quilt Guild took early steps to reimagine QuiltCon as a virtual event February 18–22, 2021, and it’s going to be great!

QuiltCon Together 2021

I think that more people will actually get to participate this way. I love that The MQG made lemonade out of lemons! I’ll miss seeing everyone in person, but this is the next best thing!

I didn’t originally apply to teach for QuiltCon 2021 because we were supposed to be out of the country. But of course the pandemic changed all that.

 

QuiltCon Catalog

Click here to download the QuiltCon Together Catalog.

I’ll be teaching two machine quilting classes: Carefree Walking Foot Quilting and Carefree Free-Motion Quilting.

What is carefree quilting?

It’s an attitude that aims for texture over perfection and leans into the slight flaws and irregularities that occur with any handmade craft. After all, they are part of the charm!

Walking Foot Quilting

The continuous spiral is just one of the many quilting motifs we’ll learn in Carefree Walking Foot Quilting. This is a detail shot from my Sparkling Stars quilt. (Pattern available here.)

Carefree Walking Foot Quilting

Learn to stitch beyond the ditch and unleash the power of your walking foot to quilt modern or traditional designs. Walking foot motifs to be taught include wavy lines, decorative stitches, irregular grids, large continuous spirals, several straight line variations and more! You’ll leave class armed with the confidence that yes, you can quilt your own quilts!

 

Carefree Free-Motion Quilting

Free Motion Quilting

Here’s a detail from my Block Chain quilt. All of my patterns include machine quilting suggestions!

Embrace perfectly imperfect quilting! That means little to no marking and a whole lot of gorgeous texture. Ease into free-motion quilting with asymmetrical wavy lines, then move onto loops, traditional and modern stippling, plus curvy fillers like wishbones and cursive l’s that can expand to fit any space. Finish it off with several swirl variations, and you’ve got a toolbox of motifs to try on your next quilt!

Students should be comfortable with their sewing machines, and will practice on their own pre-basted fabric and batting samples. The best part is that it will be a pre-recorded video that you can watch all through the event!

Books by Christa Watson

Both classes are based on ideas presented in my machine quilting books. Each book includes full patterns for each quilt (10–12 per book) along with detailed step-by-step machine quilting instructions. All three books include walking foot techniques and free-motion motifs.

Get a signed copy of any of my books for just $19.95 from my shop. 

Both of my classes are “Mini Workshops,” which means they will focus on technique, allow you to learn a new technique, practice a technique that needs work, or just gain tips and tricks from a technique expert. Each Mini Workshop consists of at least 35 minutes of video content in segments of on-demand education, as well as at least one homework assignment to help you practice your new skills. Each Mini Workshop will allow students the ability to type questions to their instructors in the online platform as they work through the class.

You will also have the option to upgrade your Mini Workshop to spend one 45-minute session live with me to ask for help or feedback on your project in a small group setting.

LECTURE/TRUNK SHOW: HOW DO I QUILT IT?

The secret to successful quilting is in the planning and preparation. I’ll guide you through the steps I take to make each quilting experience fun and stress free.

Christa Watson Trunk Show

Once you see my methods, you’ll feel empowered to quilt your own quilts! Learn how I baste my quilts, make a quilting plan, choose thread colors, divide and conquer each task, and apply rich texture with little to no marking of the quilt. I’m also excited to share my quilts and answer any questions you may have.

 

LE 17 Quilting perspectives

I’m also excited to be part of a machine quilting panel about our quilting plans and processes, and how we approach a finished top. Hand quilting, machine quilting, and long arm quilting will all be represented on the panel from me, Tia Curtis, Sandra Johnson, and Riane Menardi Morrison. It will take place online live at 11 AM on Saturday, February 20.

I would be honored to have you in my classes and lecture at QuiltCon Together.

Registration for members opens July 15 at 10 am Eastern. 

Click here to Learn more about The Modern Quilt Guild! 

Machine Quilting Tutorial: How to Quilt a Continuous Spiral (Optical Illusion Quilt Along Part 5)

I love it whenever we get to the machine quilting part of any quilt along! In case you missed it, click here to view all previous Optical Illusion Quilt Along posts. Today, I’m showing how to quilt the continuous spiral design.

Machine Quilting Continuous Spirals

Above is a sample I made for my in-person quilting classes. Notice that I used a blending thread so that you don’t see the imperfections.

Below is the sample I quilted for you on video this week so you can see how the process works. I quilted with black thread on white fabric which shows ALLL the imperfections, LOL!!

Machine Quilting Continuous Spirals

For my Optical Illusion quilt, I used a black/white thread from my Aurifil Variegated thread collection.  I love using 50 weight cotton thread for both piecing and quilting, because I’m able to use any leftover bobbins when piecing my next quilt!

Christa Quilts Variegated Thread

Click here to get my Aurifil Variegated Thread collection

Spiral Quilting Video Tutorial

Click the image below to watch my spiral quilting video tutorial on my YouTube channel. It’s just over 9 minutes long and will demo how to quilt the basic spiral.

If you’d like to learn how to quilt additional spirals, be sure to grab a copy of my machine quilting books.

In my first book, Machine Quilting with Style, I show how to do the basic spiral, plus a wonky spiral variation. Then I expand on that with overlapping spirals in The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting. Finally, I teach how to quilt a continuous square spiral in my third book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts.

Get My Books on Sale – Just $19.95 Each

Machine Quilting Books by Christa Watson

Click here to get my books on sale for just $19.95 each, while supplies last.

All 3 of my books are currently on sale for just now on sale for just $19.95 each until they sell out!
So grab 1 (or all 3) today! And who knows – you may find a completely different design you want to quilt on your version of Optical Illusion.

Optical Illusion Detail

Optical Illusion Quilt Detail

Optical Illusion Quilt

Remember to share your version of Optical Illusion in my ChristaQuilts Group on facebook. I love seeing everyone’s progress and the variations with all the different fabric colors are amazing!!

FOR MORE ABOUT THIS QUILT ALONG

My New Good Vibes Fabric for Benartex Contempo

Debut day is here!

This is my sixth fabric line for Benartex Contempo Studio and I’m thrilled with it! There’s nothing more exciting than seeing your name on the selvage!!

good vibes by christa watson for Benartex
Good Vibes: saturated prints on the left, low volume prints on the right.

Good Vibes consists of 10 colorful, saturated prints and 10 low-volume prints, all with a geometric theme. The fresh citrus colors of orange, lemon, lime, and turquoise are going to look great in so many kinds of projects!

And of course there are a few neutrals thrown in to make the line super useful as well as happy and beautiful!

This group is all about nostalgia for me. As a child of the 80s, it reminds me of good vibes and happy times with my family and friends. 

I spent my summers running through sprinklers, exploring my crafty side, watching TV with friends, and tinkering with computers—all while practicing my bubblegum-popping skills.

Would you like to hear the story behind each print? I hope this will jog happy memories for you, too!

Gumballs

This print reminds me of gumballs, jawbreakers and all sorts of “juicy” fruits! The colors make my mouth water for those sweet tastes that were a part of the past.

My most prized possession was an authentic gumball machine of my own that I could fill with whatever I wanted!

The scale of this print adds movement and interest, and I know you’ll find creative ways to use it in your quilts and bags and more.

Good Vibes by Christa Watson
Click here for Gumballs yardage

Circuit Board

This low-volume geometric print comes in four delicious colors, and it’s all about computers. When I was growing up, we were the first people on our block to get an Apple II-E computer. We thought that machine was amazing!

I loved tinkering with computers and video games back then, and even now, the computer is a workhorse for my business.

TIP: If the right side of a fabric is too intense for your project, flip it over and use the back side for a lovely muted effect.

Good Vibes by Christa Watson for Benartex
Click here for Circuit Board yardage

Slippin’ Slide

What is childhood without some slippin’ and slidin’? My siblings and I kept cool in the Las Vegas heat for hours on that classic plastic strip in our front yard.

These four summery colors in a medium scale look great against the smaller prints!

Good Vibes by Christa Watson for Benartex
Click here for Slippin’ Slide yardage

Good Vibrations

This print is the namesake of the entire collection, and it reminds me of movies, mixtapes and everything that hi-fi had to offer!

Have you tried light gray as a neutral in your quilts? You might be surprised at how nicely it plays with bright colors!

Good Vibes by Christa Watson for Benartex
Click here for Good Vibrations yardage

Bedazzled

This small geometric print brings out memories of my crafty side! In the 80s I added bling to my jeans and jackets and made a big mess with all those baubles and bits, but look where it has led today.

Good Vibes by Christa Watson for Benartex
Click here for Bedazzled yardage

Interconnected

Another of the fun low-volume prints! Look closely and maybe you’ll see the interlocking roller skates in this design. I spent many Friday nights at the roller rink with friends, and I still get nostalgic when I hear those old songs. We were the original dance party!

Just like the Slippin’ Slide colors, there’s great movement in this print, and it will add zip wherever you put it!

Good Vibes by Christa Watson for Benartex
Click here for Interconnected yardage

Thanks for strolling down memory lane with me! I hope it made you smile, too!

All the Good Vibes prints are available as yardage and in bundles of half yards and full yards. I want to you to be able to get exactly what you desire!

Click here for the 20-piece fat quarter bundle.

Click here for the half-yard or one-yard bundles of low-volume prints.

Click here for the half-yard or one-yard bundles of saturated prints.

Gotta love the low volume and saturated prints—don’t they look great when they’re arranged so prettily?!

And it’s fun to see them in different combinations. Playing with fabric and seeing how it looks with different “neighbors” helps your color sense grow and mature!

Remember that you can use the lighter prints right side up or turn them over for a more subdued look. Any way you pair them, they are sure to dazzle!

I did a video to introduce Good Vibes to the world! See it here.

Good Vibes by Christa Watson

Since you can use the front OR back side, maybe the low-volume bundle would be a perfect addition to your fabric conservancy!

Since these arrived, I’ve been enjoying a rainbow of citrus hues!! My family often finds me with the fabric, happily stroking and dreaming and remembering all the happy times and the Good Vibes!

Love Your Creative Space Blog Tour with Lilo Bowman

Today I’m excited to tell you about a fabulous new book, from my friend Lilo Bowman.

Lilo Bowman

Lilo Bowman

Love Your Creative Space: A Visual Guide to Creating an Inspiring & Organized Studio Without Breaking the Bank is Lilo’s new title from C&T Publishing. It’s full of ideas, solutions, and creative ways to set aside and love your personal space for making.

Love Your Creative Space book

Click here to buy Love Your Creative Space on Amazon. 

So backing up a little, I first met Lilo when I was a guest on The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. She’s used to working behind the scenes as a producer for the show but now I’m excited for her to be the star of the show with her new book and blog tour.

The Quilt Show Set

Click here to see the trailer for my Quilt Show episode.
Lilo helped keep me organized and ready to roll on filming day!

Love Your Creative Space is divided into My Stuff (we all have it!), My Space (tiny or large) and My System. It addresses the common needs of needlecrafters, but also covers many less common topics.
Love Your Creative Space
For example, how do you stay organized when you head out for a class or a retreat? How can or should your space be altered when life itself changes because of a move, an illness or just getting older? There are many ideas and suggestions, along with questions to help you analyze your own stuff, space and system.
 
I especially enjoyed the gallery of artist studios. One space has been adapted for its owner’s special needs after a stroke left her with partial paralysis. One space is especially compact. A third artist requires both dry and wet work spaces!
 
If you work in more than one medium, you’ll find ideas to organize, separate and combine your supplies. The book’s photography might even inspire you to try something new!
 
Love Your Creative Space
 
This book recognizes that budgets for creative spaces come in all sizes, and Lilo gives helpful advice for saving, economizing and reimagining or repurposing. It’s clear that she wants makers to love and enjoy their spaces regardless of the size or financial constraints. That’s a win!

It’s a Giveaway!

This week’s blog tour includes a giveaway of the ebook Love Your Creative Space: A Visual Guide to Creating an Inspiring & Organized Studio Without Breaking the Bank. For your chance to win, leave a comment here by Tuesday, June 30. Tell me what kind of space you’d like to plan, or how you’d improve your current space.

There are other great stops on the blog tour. I hope you’ll follow these folks and check out their posts for more insight into Love Your Creative Space by Lilo Bowman.
 
LoveYourCreativeSpaceBookLaunchBlogTour

The Love Your Creative Space Blog Tour:

Friday, June 26:
Christa Watson/Blog –christaquilts.com
C&T Publishing/Blog-https://www.ctpub.com/blog/

Saturday, June 27:

Bonnie K. Hunter/Blog-quiltville.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 28:

Heidi Proffetty-heidifproffetty.com/blog
 
Monday, June 29:
 
Tuesday, June 30:
 

Be sure to follow the entire tour for much more inspiration around creative spaces large and small!