EQ Design Challenge – Win a Fat Quarter Bundle of Abstract Garden

I’ve partnered up with my friends at Electric Quilt once again to offer free digital images of my latest fabric line, Abstract Garden. You can use the images in Electric Quilt software to design lots of fun quilts!

Abstract Garden Digital Images

Click here to download Abstract Garden digital images for EQ.
(You must have the software installed on your computer for it to work.)

In fact, that’s how I designed my newest quilt patterns made from my fabric. Once I design a fabric line and the digital images are sent off to the mill for printing, I import them into EQ8 to use as a palette while designing. That way I can see exactly how the finished quilt will look before I ever cut into my fabric!

Abstract Garden Fat Quarter Bundle

2 random entrants will each win a fat quarter bundle of Abstract Garden!

Once you’ve got your images, it’s time to play! You can enter your design for a chance to win one of 2 Abstract Garden fat quarter bundles, courtesy of Benartex Fabrics. The contest runs the entire month of February so you have plenty of time to design to your heart’s content!

Electric Quilt Design Contest for Abstract Garden

Click here to get the digital images for EQ and enter the contest. I can’t wait to see your entry!

I’m the Guest Curator For February’s Quilty Box!

I have some super fun and exciting news to share: I’ll be the guest curator for February’s Quilty Box. And even better news: click here to get $10 off your first Quilty Box subscription!

Quilty Box February 2019

Here’s the way this fun subscription service works: choose a 1 month, 3 month, 6 month or one year subscription and received a fabulous box of quilt goodies curated by some of your favorite designers. They usually include fabrics, a brand-new pattern, and several awesome notions, all for an amazing lower price over what you would pay for them separately. And the more months you sign up for, the better the deal gets!

February 2019 QuiltyBox with Christa Watson

Click here to get $10 off your first subscription of QuiltyBox.

Each monthly box is like getting a fun surprise in the mail, so be sure to up by Feb 9th! It will ship approximately February 11, and as a special bonus for subscribers of my box, I’ll be offering an exclusive quilt along in March with a brand new pattern that will be revealed in the February box. I can’t wait for you to see it! and I can’t wait for the big reveal, coming soon!!!

Blooming Wallflowers Week 1: Cutting

Are you ready to dive in and make this dynamic looking quilt? All you need is a copy of the Blooming Wallflowers quilt pattern and you can jump in anytime! See the end of this post for all relevant links.

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

Blooming Wallflowers can be made in three sizes: Crib, Throw, or Queen

Cutting the Center Triangles

The triangles used in this pattern are a specific shape and require either the use of the full-size templates included in the pattern, or a specialty ruler. Tri recs is recommended for the smaller sizes or Creative Grids Triangle Squared AND Perfect Rectangle for the larger size. Of course you can use the larger rulers for the smaller blocks, too.

Cut Pieces for Blooming Wallflowers Quilt

These are all of the cut pieces used to make Blooming Wallflowers.
I used my Abstract Garden fabric line for the “flowers.”

Stack and layer the fabric strips for faster cutting. Follow the chart on page 6 of the pattern to cut the center triangles from the colorful prints. Here’s a quick 1 minute video demo showing how I used the specialty ruler. Notice the position of the blunt end on the ruler.

Corresponding diagrams can be found on page 2 of the quilt pattern.

Cutting The Triangle Pairs

The background triangle pairs s are cut in the same way except you will want to make sure to cut one left and right triangle at the same time. The easiest way to do that is to make sure the background fabric strips are folded in half. Then you’ll get one pair per cut. See the step by step cutting diagrams on page 3 of the pattern.

Here’s another short video showing how I cut the triangle pairs. Don’t forget to trim off the little triangle tip at the top to ensure proper matching when sewing them together next week. I used the ruler to trim off the left edge of the fabric strip first, and didn’t worry about the direction of the print while cutting.

The background fabric is Navy Herringbone from my Modern Marks fabric line.

Cutting the rest of the background

The rest of the background is pretty straightforward. Follow the chart in the pattern on page 6 to cut extra background squares that allow the design to float, plus the side and corner triangles and the binding strips. See the diagram on page 3 to cut the corner and side triangles.

Blooming Wallflowers cut pieces

I love a pretty stack of cut pieces, don’t you?

Once everything is cut, you’ll be ready to sew the blocks together next week! Don’t forget to share pics of your progress in my Facebook group, or on Instagram using the hashtag #bloomingwallflowersquilt.

Important Links

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Along Supply List and Schedule

All you need to get started is a copy of the quilt pattern and a few supplies listed below:

Click here to receive quilt along updates via email.

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

Supply List

(1) Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Pattern

(2) Fabric Needs – see materials list in the image below. I will be making the throw size.

Blooming Wallflowers Supply List

(3) A set of Tri Recs rulers for the Crib or Throw Size.

Please get these exact tools. Anything else won’t be the correct angle for cutting. Tri Recs makes blocks up to 6″ finished. For the Queen size quilt, you will need the Creative Grids Triangle Squared AND Perfect Rectangle rulers that make up to 9″ finished size blocks.

If you don’t have access to these rulers, you can use the full-size templates included in the quilt pattern.

Tri Recs Tools

(4) Batting for your quilt size
(5) Basic rotary cutting equipment – mat and rulers, and cutter with new sharp blade.
(6) Basting supplies – either safety pins or 505 basting spray. (I will spray baste)
(7) A “can-do” attitude and willingness to share – this is going to be fun!!

Quilt Along Schedule

The quilt along will run for a total for a total of 10 weeks which includes 3 scheduled breaks to catch up. If you follow along each week, you’ll have a completely finished quilt at the end!!
Once each post has been published, the links below will become clickable so you can navigate to any post you need as you follow along.

Sharing is Caring

As you are gathering your supplies and getting ready to start, please share pics of the fabrics you’ll use – I’d love to see! Also, anytime during the quilt along, I encourage you to share your progress in any of these ways:

  1. On Your own blog – share links in the comments section of any of the QAL posts
  2. On Instagram – use hashtag #bloomingwallflowersquilt so others can see your progress
  3. In my Christa Quilts Facebook group – this is also a great place to ask questions and interact with other quilt along participants.

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Along

I’m so excited to get started!! Who’s with me?? As always, it’s totally OK to follow along virtually, or save the blog posts for later and make this quilt any time, on YOUR schedule.

Abstract Garden Fabric is Here – Hooray!

First a quick thanks to all of the kind comments I received last week on our new home, AND this week on my QuiltCon entries. It’s been a bit hectic around here so I wasn’t able to respond individually like I usually do, but I so appreciate your kindness and support! And now for the best news: Abstract Garden yardage has finally arrived and is shipping to stores, whoo hoo!!

Abstract Garden Fabric

Click here to purchase Abstract Garden Fabric

Soon, I’ll be posting a list of which shops I know of are carrying it. In the meantime, I bought some for myself and some to sell as yardage, precut bundles, and kits. Really, it’s just an excuse to fondle my fabric as much as possible and imagine what you all will make with it!

In fact, please be sure to use the hashtag #abstractgardenfabric on instagram so I can see your beautiful creations! You can also share them over in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group.

Blooming Wallflowers Kit

Click here to purchase the Blooming Wallflowers kit, while supplies last.

I’ve also been busy cutting out more Blooming Wallflowers kits to get ready for the upcoming quilt along next month – click here to sign up for free.

Of course you can use any fabrics you like for any of my QAL’s and I’m super excited about the extra interest now that the quilt will be hanging at  QuiltCon. I had a nice surge in Blooming Wallflowers pattern sales once the news went out, so that definitely made my day!

Abstract Garden Fabric

Click here to purchase Abstract Garden precuts, bundles, or kits.

Don’t forget about the pre-cuts, too. Abstract Garden comes in fat quarters, 5″ charm packs, 10″ squares and 2 1/2″ precut “strip-pies”. I’ve already set aside room in the new house to display my precuts on a shelf, because I’ve finally realized that fabric collecting is its own hobby just like quilting, right???

Thank You Bonus – Score a Free Pattern!

For everyone who places a fabric order with me now through the end of the year, I’ll throw in a bonus surprise pattern as my way of saying thanks. I ordered it all before we decided to move, so needless to say, the more I can ship off before we have to pack up, the better!!

Click here to visit shop.ChristaQuilts.com for all of my fabrics, patterns, and books.

My QuiltCon Entries for 2019 and a Plea for Kindness Online

I love this time of year. Not only for the holidays, but also to see what quilts everyone has entered for next year’s QuiltCon show. So far, I’ve been to every show since it began in 2013 and I’ve also had at least one quilt accepted for each show which is always fun to see. I just received word that one of three of my entries got in this year and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Blooming Wallflowers Accepted

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

Click here to get the PDF pattern for Blooming Wallflowers
Click here to get the print pattern for Blooming Wallflowers
Kits available – while supplies last

It’s really special to me that this quilt was accepted, because I had originally made a slightly different version (shown below) for a magazine (using my first line, Modern Marks). I entered the first version into the show last year and it was rejected then. I know that the jury changes from year to year and the group of quilts to choose from is always different, so that just goes to show that it’s always worth trying again if you think you have a really great design.

In the updated version (seen above), I still used the same dark Navy from Modern Marks, but paired it with coordinates from Abstract Garden.

Earlier Version – Made from Modern Marks

star Shadow by Christa WatsonThis version was a “reject” for QuiltCon 2018

Out of the Box Declined

This quilt was such fun to make and I’ll for sure be entering it into other shows. One thing I’ve learned is that my commercial quilt designs I make for patterns and books tend to be a little more on the more “modern traditionalism” side of things which usually has a ton of entries, so I’m never disappointed when one of them doesn’t make the cut. I’ve actually designed a super-modern version of this quilt with much more negative space that I may try to make and enter for next year, so we’ll see what happens!

Out of the Box by Christa Watson for American Patchwork and Quilting using Fandangle fabric

This quilt was originally made for a magazine to showcase Fandangle Fat Quarters.
I plan to remake it in an upcoming fabric line and re-release the pattern, so stay tuned!

Beaded Lanterns Declined

This one didn’t surprise me at all because all though it’s a dynamic design, it’s still very traditional in the layout and setting. But I still love it since it was easy to pattern and teach. This is the first year that I didn’t have time to make a quilt specifically for the show, but I’m still glad I entered. It’s always fun to be part of the process!!

Beaded Lanterns Finished Quilt

Beaded Lanterns was made to showcase Fandangle precut strips.
Kits available while supplies last.
Get the free pattern here.

A Plea for Kindness

Before you leave comments online saying “I can’t believe so and so’s quilt didn’t get in” or “what were those jurors thinking, they are crazy!” or anything of that nature, please remember to be kind.

I know that emotions tend to run a little high when everyone gets their notices that their quilts weren’t accepted. However, I always remind myself, it’s just simple math. There were 1750 quilts entered this year, and the show usually only had room for 400. So that means that less than 1 in 4 will get in on average. In other words, 75% of the quilts entered will not make it into the show. But that doesn’t make them “rejects.”  I’m sure that if QuiltCon had the room, they’d take as many quilts as they could.

I enter a lot of national shows, most of which are much larger than QuiltCon in terms of numbers of quilts on display. However, they don’t get nearly the amount of entries as QuiltCon does and I never hear negative comments about quilts that don’t make it in. I think it’s because QuiltCon and the MQG have such a large internet presence and we all know how easy it is to make an off-handed comment online. My one request would be to keep things as positive as you can, even if you didn’t get in. I know that the folks working behind the scenes put in untold numbers of hours to make a great show and I’m so thankful for the hard work they do!

In fact, if you’d like to treat yourself to a really inspiring “virtual” quilt show online, be sure to check out the hashtag “quiltconreject” on instagram. It’s a visual feast for sure!

Other Quilt Show Venues

And if you are thinking about entering your quilt into a large national show, here’s a few more that I’d highly recommend:

Blooming Wallflowers made with Abstract Garden and Modern Marks

Now it’s time to add a hanging sleeve and label to this quilt so it’s ready to ship!

New Patterns and Kits: Pieced Primrose, Geese in the Garden, Blooming Wallflowers, LatticeWork

Just a quick note to say that the print versions of my 4 new patterns have now arrived from the printer – whoo hoo! Although they were made to feature my new Abstract Garden fabric line, they are versatile to use any fabrics you like! You can pull similar colors, or mix it up for your own unique take! I’m also offering kits for each, while supplies last.

Abstract Garden Quilt Patterns

To give you a quick overview of the quality and layout of the print versions, I made this short one-minute (silent) YouTube video of me thumbing through the pages. They are printed on high quality semi-gloss paper with a firm cover so they’ll hold up while you use them! Click the image below to watch.

And now, to end this post with some colorful “eye candy” here are images of the finished quilts themselves. Coming up soon, I’ll be blogging more about the making of each quilt with some bonus tutorials and tips. And don’t forget, I’ll be hosting a quilt along to make Blooming Wallflowers in January, so be on the lookout for the QAL schedule, coming soon!

Pieced Primrose Quilts

Click here to purchase this pattern.
Click here to purchase the kit.

Pieced Primrose Quilts Made from Abstract Garden

Geese in the Garden Quilts

Click here to purchase this pattern.
Click here to purchase the kit.

Geese in the Garden with Abstract Garden fabric

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt

Click here to purchase this pattern.
Click here to purchase the kit.

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

LatticeWork Quilt

Click here to purchase this pattern.
Click here to purchase the kit.

LatticeWork Quilt Made from Abstract Garden

Abstract Garden Precuts Are Here!!

I’m so excited – it’s like early Christmas around here! My shipment of Abstract Garden precuts have just arrived, and the yardage should be here soon, whoo hoo! Take a quick peek below:

While I encourage all of you to ask for my fabrics at your local quilt shop, I understand that not everyone has access to a great shop close by. So I always order extras that I’m happy to share while supplies last. Here’s what I’ve got:

Abstract Garden 20 Fat Quarters

Click here to purchase Abstract Garden Fat Quarters

Abstract Garden Fat Quarters by Christa Watson for Benartex

This is the second time I’ve featured 20 prints in a line. It’s the perfect amount I think because it won’t break the bank, and it’s enough to make a substantial sized quilt. I do love a good rainbow and I’m excited to see how everyone will mix and match the different prints!

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson for Benartex
Click here to get Abstract Garden bundles in FQ, 1/2 Yard, or Full Yards

Pair these with a contrasting background (like the greys from Fandangle) and you can’t go wrong! If you need more than a FQ, you can also get these in 1/2 yard or full yard cuts.

Abstract Garden Strip-Pies: 40 – 2 1/2″ x 42″ Strips

Click here to purchase Abstract Garden Strip-pies

You can either pronounce them stripp-ees (rhymes with hippies), or strip Pies (mmm… pie!!). But however you do it, I love the look of them and how they are packaged. They are separated into warm and cool for you by the manufacturer, which just makes me smile!!

Otherwise known as “jelly rolls, pinwheels, roll-ups” etc, these are much easier to ship since they will fit easily into a flat rate envelope. And the best part is, they don’t fuzz up as much!!

Abstract Garden 10×10’s – 42 Squares

Click here to purchase Abstract Garden 10×10’s

Abstract Garden Layer Cake

These are probably my least used precut, but they are great to cut up when you want to make a really scrappy quilt! I like using them when I want a lot of 5″ squares of the same fabric, since it’s a bit cheaper to crosscut each square in half twice, rather than buying 4 charm packs. They are also fun to slice up when making a pattern like my Improv Squares, and I love whipping up a fun pieced back by sewing all 42 squares together, set 6 x 7.

If you work a lot with 10″ squares (also known as Layer Cakes), please leave me a comment and let me know how you use them. I’d love to know!

Abstract Garden Charm Packs: 42 – 5″ Squares

Click here to purchase Abstract Garden Charm Packs

Abstract Garden Charm Packs

Charm packs are the most popular precut because it’s a great way to sample the entire line of fabric at the lowest price. You can quickly whip up a baby quilt from just one pack, or combine packs together for a larger quilt. Because the charm packs include a total of 42 squares, you get 2 of each print in the collection, plus 3 of the main “Raised Beds” print.

I hope you love these pretties as much as I do! Click here to grab your favorites!

Sign up for My Next Quilt Along in January: Blooming Wallflowers

Can I say how much I enjoy doing quilt alongs with you all? It keeps me motivated to design and make new things, and nothing thrills me more than seeing all the variety of quilts that are being made, even when we all start with the same basic pattern. So I’m excited to announce the next quilt along which will start mid January!

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

We will be making my Blooming Wallflowers quilt from start to finish over 12 weeks. Each Friday starting in Janaury, I’ll share a new blog post with inspiration pictures, bonus tips and plenty of cheerleading to keep you motivated. I’ve built in a couple of breaks to the quilt along, so it should be a nice and relaxing pace, and easy to follow along!

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

Get the Pattern

The quilt along itself is free, all you need to purchase is a copy of the pattern:
Click here to purchase the PDF version of Blooming Wallflowers
Click here to purchase the print version of Blooming Wallflowers

Optional Kit

Of course, you can use whichever fabrics you like, but I’ve put together an optional fabric kit which includes all the fabric to make the quilt top and binding as shown above: Fat Eights of 12 different Blooming Roses prints, 1 1/4 yards of light blue Tracks for the accent, and 4 yards of Modern Marks Herringbone Navy for background and binding.

Click here to purchase the Blooming Wallflowers kit – Throw Size

Blooming Wallflowers made with Abstract Garden and Modern Marks

Sign up to Follow Along (Free)

It’s completely free to follow along and you will gain tips and tricks for better quilt making, even if you don’t want to actually make the quilt!

Click here to sign up and be notified each time a new quilt along step has been released.

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Along

I’ll post the complete supply list and schedule on January 4th and will then give everyone a couple of weeks to gather their materials and supplies before we dive into cutting on January 18th. We will wrap up by the end of March and I’ll encourage everyone to post their progress in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group. After all, doing things with friends is a large part of the fun!

So who wants to join me?? Leave a comment if you plan to follow along, either making the quilt – or virtually in your head!!

Black Friday-Cyber Monday: Preorder Abstract Garden Fabric on Sale!

I just got the best news ever! My Abstract Garden line is shipping a little early and should be here soon! To celebrate, for this weekend only, you can use the code BLACKFRIDAY to get 10% off your preorder of any of the yardage. As soon as it arrives on my doorstep I’ll cut it and get it out the door to you, while supplies last.

Abstract Garden Fabric

Click here and use code BLACKFRIDAY to get 10% off any fabric order by the yard.

Here’s the fine print:

  • I’m offering it in 2 yard increments only, but will be happy to cut continuous yardage for you.
  • I’m happy to ship international – any shipping overages will be credited back to your account.
  • Sale price applies to yardage only, but I’m happy to combine shipping for other items purchased in the same transaction.
  • Coupon also applies to remaining yardage of my other lines: Modern Marks and Fandangle.
  • I don’t have an exact shipping date but it will most likely be in early December.

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo

Click here to preorder Abstract Garden – use code BLACKFRIDAY to save 10%