Happy Turkey Day!! Save 20% on My Fabric Collections by the Yard!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This officially kicks off the holiday shopping season, so I figured I’d join the crowd of business owners and get it on the Black Friday frenzy! From now through the end of the month, you can save 20% off all of my fabric lines by the yard, when you use code TURKEY during checkout at shop.ChristaQuilts.com.

Modern Marks – My Very First Line from 2017!!

Modern Marks by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here to shop Modern Marks fabric.

It was such a thrill when Benartex contacted me three years ago and invited me to become one of their fabric designers for their Contempo division which features modern and contemporary prints. They told me they loved my work and would love for me to infuse my funky geometric style into fun colorful fabric. Modern Marks was the result and it’s been a wild ride ever since!!

I still have a bit left of each of the 26 Modern Marks fabrics, and most are now out of print. As you can see below, all of my groups mix and match and are a riot of color and texture!

Fandangle – Debuted in 2018

Fandangle by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here to shop Fandangle fabric.

I continued to fill out the rainbow in my fabric stash with this line, and decided I needed not one, but two background grays to go with them. Because Benartex reprints hot selling fabrics, the grays have been printed over, and over, and over again. They are literally, the “perfect” neutrals!!

Fun fact: most people mistake the word Fandangle with Fandango, but hey have two completely different meanings. Fandango is the dance, but Fandangle means decorative ornamentation – which is why I included fun fabric names like Beaded Curtain, Triangle Trinkets, and Baubles and Bits. Sometimes naming the fabrics is as much fun as designing them!!

With this group, you can separate them into warm and cool, but as you can see above, each print looks great with every other piece in the line. I have yardage of all 20 bolts of Fandangle available, and with this special deal, you can stock up on your faves!!

Abstract Garden – Spring of 2019

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here to shop Abstract Garden fabric.

Can we say purple?? With each line I create, I want it to stand on its own as a complete color story. But, I love adding new things that will mix and match with what came prior. In Abstract Garden, I made sure to include purple, plus four great pastels that would serve as light, or “low volume” backgrounds.

Abstract Garden consists of 20 prints, many of which are loosely based on some of my favorite machine quilting motifs. The name is a tongue in cheek nod to the fact that I can’t really garden, OR draw floral motifs. Be sure to check out the signature print of the line, “Raised Beds.” It’s little plots of my most favorite geometric shapes!!

Geo Pop – Newest Release, Fall 2019

Geo Pop by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here to shop Geo Pop fabric.

With four fabric collections under my belt, I decided I really needed a line of modern basics. This is my largest line yet at 25 pieces, but with only 4 different prints. I’m thrilled that I was able to include more neutrals – plenty of black, white, and gray in this group to go along with the bright saturated colors.

With Geo Pop, you can have fun fussy cutting the geometric stripe, and can create some really cool effects with the eye catching Mosaic Dots print.

Shop, Save, and Share!!

For your viewing pleasure, here’s my stash of all four collections that I’m offering for sale by the yard. I keep these in my overflow fabric room, I mean guest room!!

When you create with my fabrics, be sure to send me pics or tag me on social media using @christaquilts or #modernmarksfabric #fandanglefabric #abstractgardenfabric and #geopopfabric. I absolutely love to see what you create!!

Click here to shop all fabric lines by the yard.

Don’t forget to use code TURKEY at checkout to save 20%! Shipping is a flat $5 to the US, and I’m happy to refund excess International shipping charges, too!!

LatticeWork Quilt Part 2 of 2 – Quick and Easy Walking Foot Quilting

If you missed it, click here for part 1 – tips on sewing the LatticeWork quilt top.

LatticeWork quilt by Christa Watson

LatticeWork is made from charm packs; I used my Abstract Garden fabric line.

Today I’ll be sharing how I quilted my LattticeWork quilt using a super simple, fast and fun walking foot quilting design. It’s called “wavy grid” and it’s one of my fave designs when I’m on a deadline, so you’ll probably see it in lots of my quilts!

Here’s a close detail shot of what it looks like quilted with my Aurifil Variegated Thread collection. I love the funky modern texture it adds to the quilt, especially where the thread contrasts the most:

LatticeWork Quilt Detail

The most fun part about machine quilting is choosing which thread color I’m going to use to quilt it. Because this quilt was so colorful, I could have used nearly any hue and it would look great. Below are the colors in my Variegated Collection.

Variegated collection by Christa Watson

Variegated collection by Christa Watson

Click here to get my Aurifil Variegated Thread Collection.

I chose to go with the cheddar/orange color because the variegation is really subtle and it reads as one shade of orange. But I love the slight sparkle that the it adds to the quilt!

Wavy Grid Quilting Detail

How to Quilt a Wavy Grid

Because I’m quilting continuous lines all the way across the quilt from edge to edge, it’s easiest done with a walking foot (or a built in dual-feed system like I’m using on my BERNINA 770 QE). The idea is to quilt a “line” from one end of the quilt to the other and slightly rotate the quilt from side to side to form the wavy lines.

First I do what I call “anchor” quilting: stitching in or near the ditch along the major seam lines to secure the quilt. Then I made additional passes across the quilt in both directions, creating a wavy grid. With each pass across the quilt, the gap in between the lines shrink. You can quilt a 2″ grid, 1″ grid, 1/2 grid, etc. depending on the look you want. Notice that nothing is marked – I just eyeball the spacing and it ends up looking great!!

Here’s a 4 minute silent video of me quilting the wavy grid on my LatticeWork quilt. I’m still getting the hang of editing videos but this is a good start!! Notice how I make one path across the quilt in both directions, then keep subdividing the area until the grid gets to the size I want. I hope you enjoy it!!

In the video above, notice how I stop and shift a lot. I’m quilting the area near my hands which is only a few inches at a time. When I feel like I’m starting to reach, that’s when it’s time to stop and shift the quilt. But you’ll get the hang of quickly so it’s not too disruptive.

I’m also quilting from edge to edge into the batting so I don’t have to worry about tying off my threads. I’ll just trim the excess and cover it all with binding when finished.

If you’d like to make this quilt , click either of the links below to purchase the pattern in your favorite format. I appreciate your support of my small mom and pop shop!

Lattice Work Quilt Pattern

If you have any questions about this quilt in particular, or the machine quilting process in general, please ask them in the comment box. I’d love you to enjoy making this quilt as much as I did!

LatticeWork quilt by Christa Watson

Happy piecing and quilting!!

LatticeWork Quilt Part 1 of 2 – Making the Quilt Top

While we wait for my next quilt along to start, I thought I would share some “making of” blog posts. Think of them as process posts rather than full-on quilt alongs. Because I’m usually sewing on a deadline I have to make my quilts months ahead, but when my fabric and patterns are finally released into the world, my favorite part of the process is sharing behind the scenes of them being made.

LatticeWork quilt by Christa Watson

LatticeWork by Christa Watson, 74″ x 82″ made from Abstract Garden 5″ Squares + background
Click here to get the LatticeWork quilt kit (while supplies last)

So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to LatticeWork, made from Charm Squares + contrasting background fabric. I made my version using my Abstract Garden fabric line, but of course it works well for any set of precut squares.

Cutting the Fabric

Because this quilt is mostly made from precut squares, there wasn’t much cutting. The pattern comes in 3 sizes and calls for 1, 2, or 4 standard size 5″ charm packs. I made the throw size above, from 4 Abstract Garden 5″ square packs, but you could also use precut 10″ squares and cut them down.

Or how fun would it be to mix and match precut packs, or create a custom bundle from your scrap pile? Anything goes with this quilt. As long as you have good contrast with the other 2 fabrics (black and grey in my version) it will look great!!

latticework cutting

You can make this quilt quickly and easily from my quilt pattern. Click the links below to purchase it in your favorite format:

Sewing the Rows

The only tricky part about this quilt is that you sew the rows with the black lattice and then cut off the extra to get nice straight edges. But I have easy to follow diagrams in the pattern so you won’t get lost. It’s very meditative for me to put up the pieces on my design wall and sew them together methodically. Here are a few in process shots of the top going together:

LatticeWork Making Of

My design wall allows me to lay out the entire quilt while sewing!

Whenever I sew scrappy looking quilts, I don’t spend too much time arranging the fabrics. As long as I don’t have 2 of the same fabric next to each other, I’m good to go. Most of my quilts are bright and colorful anyway with at least 20 different fabrics, so I don’t over-think it.

LatticeWork Making Of

Working with setting triangles isn’t tricky once you get the hang of it!

As you can see above, I don’t always lay out my quilts completely straight, but no biggie – it all sews together straight and that’s what matters!

LatticeWork Making Of

Those extra black tips will get trimmed away before adding the floating border.

Here’s a tip when lining up lots of rows without intersecting seams: fold over each previous row until the sashing lines up. Then pin like crazy to keep it from shifting.

Lining up the rows

Make sure each lattice row lines up before sewing. 

The last step before adding the final floating border is to trim up the corners and sides. Get the biggest acrylic rulers you can to help with this!

I forgot to get a picture of the finished quilt top before I basted it, but in part 2 I’ll share how I machine quilted it using one of my favorite fast and easy walking foot designs. Stay tuned!

Lattice Work Quilt Pattern

Part 2 – Machine Quilting will be available later this week so stay tuned!

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Revisited – See 3 Different Versions

I wanted to do a quick throwback to my Blooming Wallflowers quilt because I’ve made it twice and digitally recolored it a third time, using 3 of my fabric lines. When I design a quilt, I love iterating to see what it will look like in different fabric/color combos!

Blooming Wallflowers in Modern Marks

Blooming Wallflowers Modern Marks

Click here to get the Blooming Wallflowers quilt pattern – PDF version.

Above is the original version, made completely in Modern Marks fabric. I originally made it for a magazine to promote my first fabric line when it came out. I had fun selecting the 12 rainbow prints from the line and pairing them up the light blue accent and dark navy background.

Blooming Wallflowers in Abstract Garden

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

Click here to get the Blooming Wallflowers quilt pattern – print version.

Once the publishing rights reverted back to me,  I decided to self-publish the pattern with a new cover to show case my third line of fabric, Abstract Garden. Again, it was fun to mix and match the prints and arrange them in a pleasing order. I used the navy herringbone print from Modern Marks again because it really made the other prints pop!

Blooming Wallflowers in Geo Pop

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt in Geo Pop

Click here for the free Blooming Wallflowers quilt along.

Now that my fourth line of fabric, Geo Pop officially releases next month, I wanted to see what the quilt would look like in the new fabric, with a different colored background. Thanks to Electric Quilt, I can upload jpegs of my fabric swatches and easily recolor it. It was fun to play around with different fabric combinations and I was happily surprised with how good it looks when pairing it with the yellow/gray Diamond Pop print and the charcoal Op Squares print for background. I may have to add this one to my “to make” list!!

What do you think? Which colorway is YOUR favorite?

Get the Supplies!

If you are new to the blog and haven’t seen this quilt before, click the links below for more info about the quilt pattern, fabric, and a recent quilt along to make it:

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 8 – Binding by Machine

We’ve finally come to the end of our quilt along and I sure have enjoyed seeing everyone’s progress so far! This week we will finish the quilt with machine binding. Now usually, I prefer the clean look of binding by hand. However, I was in a hurry to make this quilt so I decided to make the machine stitched binding an overall part of the design.

Color Weave Quilt by Christa Watson

This tutorial is pretty heavy on the videos because I thought it would be much easier to SHOW you my process for binding and explain what I’m doing each step of the way. The videos don’t have any sound because I’m still getting comfortable with the process, but I’m learning so much along the way (just like quilting right?)! They are pretty short, just about a minute or two each, and very easy to follow along what I’m doing.

Binding Step 1: Square up the quilt

Trim off all sides evenly with a long acrylic corner. I like to use square rulers at the corners to keep things nice and square. I trim the backing and batting even with the quilt top so I can wrap the binding snugly around the edges.

Binding Step 2 – Make Continuous Binding Strips

The pattern gives the number of strips to cut and how wide. I actually like to cut mine a little narrower, at 2″ wide so that they finish an even 1/4″ on both sides of the quilt. To join them end to end, place the strips right sides together and sew from corner to corner. I’m pretty good at eyeballing the middle; if you need more help, you can mark the sewing line ahead of time.

When you open up the strip, you want the top and bottom of the strip to be nice and even. Trim off the excess fabric and press seams open. Trim off one tail of the binding at a 45 degree angle. This will be your starting end. Finally, press the binding in half wrong sides together with a hot, dry iron.

Binding Step 3 – Sew the Binding to the Quilt

Usually, I attach the binding to the FRONT of the quilt and then wrap it around the back to finish by hand. However, when binding by machine, I sew the binding to the BACK of the quilt and wrap to the front, then finish with a decorative stitch.

Attach the binding with 1/4″ seam starting on any side and leaving about 10″ of starting tail loose from the quilt. When you get to the corner, stop 1/4″ away from the edge and sew off the quilt. Fold the binding up so the edges are even, then fold back down on itself to form the corner miter. (Watch this part several times if needed to get the hang of it!)

Continuing sewing the next side in the same manner. When you reach the end of your quilt, leave a gap between the ending and beginning binding tails. Open up the ending tail (with the flat end) and place the beginning tail (with the angle) gently on top. Mark the angled edge on the ending tail and add 1/2″ for seam allowances on both ends. Carefully pin the ends together and sew. Finger press the seam open and clip off the excess fabric. Smooth it back down on the quilt and stitch by machine to close the gap.

Binding Step 4 – Secure the Binding with Decorative Stitches

When machine binding it’s nearly impossible to hide the stitches evenly in the ditch. So I make them a decorative part of the quilt! Fold over the binding to hide your stitching and secure with clips. The corners will form a natural miter when you fold them down. Fold them in opposite directions from the back of the quilt to reduce bulk.

I used the same variegated thread for the binding as I used for the machine quilting so it looked like part of the quilting design. First I stitched one line of stitching all the way around the quilt, right along the edge of the binding to secure it to the quilt. This is similar to topstitching near the seam of a garment. Then I went back and added another line of stitching about 1/4″ away to complete the pattern. I used a straight stitch but you could also try using a decorative stitch for a different look!

Ta Da! This is what it looks like when it’s all done. The quilt is secure and ready to use!

Machine Stitched Binding

I used the same Aurifil variegated thread for machine quilting and binding.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Click here for links to all of the quilt along posts.
Click here to share your progress in my Facebook group.

How You can Support ChristaQuilts

If you’ve enjoyed this quilt along, please consider supporting my efforts by purchasing any of my products using the links below. I sure love what I do and I thank you for your patronage!

Click here to purchase my fabrics by the yard.
Click here to purchase my precuts, bundles and kits.
Click here to purchase my print patterns.
Click here to purchase PDF patterns from my Etsy shop.
Click here to purchase a signed copy of my machine quilting books.
Click here to purchase my Aurifil thread kits.

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 7 – Machine Quilting Random Crosshatch

How is your quilt coming along? Remember, you can work at your own pace, so please don’t every feel like you have to “catch up!” Last week I discussed making a quilting plan and stitching in the ditch to anchor your quilt. This week we will complete the Random Crosshatch quilting.

Random Crosshatch Quilting

Here’s what it looks like after I’ve stitched in the ditch in both directions and am filling in randomly spaced lines vertically. My Aurifil variegated thread adds lots of texture and I’m not stressing out too much about whether the stitches are perfectly straight or all the same length. It’s more about enjoying the process!

Machine Quilting Random CrosshatchClick here to purchase yardage of the pink “Tracks” fabric from Abstract Garden.
I used the selvage as my label for this quilt!!

Because I quilted so densely, I started with 2 full spools of thread from my Auifil Variegated thread collection – one for the front and one for the backing in variegated colors that blend in with the quilt. Although I used up most of the spool, there’s still enough left that I can use for piecing my next quilt.

Machine Quilting Random crosshatch

I like to avoid marking my quilt as much as possible, so I’m using my  “divide and conquer” process which means I don’t quilt ALL of the lines in one area. Instead, I make several passes across the quilt in both directions, adding more and more lines until I’m happy with the way it looks.

Below are several videos I took of the random crosshatch quilting in progress where I’m adding additional lines of quilting. During an earlier pass across the quilt, I stitched about 1/4″ away from the ditch on both sides of the yellow fabric below. Now I’m using the previously stitched lines as a guide for no-mark quilting. I randomly changed my needle position so that the lines end up various distances apart as I go.

Doing this type of “irregular” quilting is much easier to do and gives a more interesting texture to the quilt. Next, this is what it looks like after I’ve added more passes across the quilt in both directions:

The pieced  texture is emphasized with the random spacing, and the variegated thread makes the whole quilt more exciting! It’s a really fun and forgiving machine quilting design to do. I recommend doing it over several days rather than trying to cram it all into quilting session. Here’s more eye candy quilting in progress:

And finally, here are some more detail shots of the finished quilting:

Quilting Random crosshatch

I love how the variegated thread adds a pop of color and dimension to the quilt!

Quilting Random Crosshatch

If you are ever unsure about your design – just add more quilting!!

Machine Quilting Random Crosshatch

Can you believe this quilt is nearly finished?! Next week, we’ll complete the quilt with fast and easy machine quilting – I can’t wait!

IMPORTANT LINKS

Click here to purchase the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – paper version
Click here to purchase the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – digital download
Click here to purchase the Abstract Garden strip roll
Click here to get my Aurifil thread collections
Click here for links to the previous quilt along posts
Click here to share your progress in my Facebook group

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 6 – Stitching in the Ditch

Now we’ve reached my favorite part of the quilt-making process – machine quilting!! Quitling will be broken up into 2 parts so that it won’t feel so overwhelming. The quilting design I’ve chosen – random crosshatch, is actually very easy to do, but it can be a bit time-consuming if you like your quilting to be as dense as mine.

Random Crosshatch quilt plan

My favorite designs to quilt are those than can go all the way across the quilt without starting and stopping. That way I don’t have to worry about tying off and burying my threads. The random crosshatch above is basically a series of straight lines quilted across the quilt in both directions with a walking foot. You start and end each line of quilting in the batting, and that will get all trimmed up later once you add the binding.

Thread Choices

I also don’t want to stress too much over thread color. I prefer to use 1-2 colors for the whole quilt, if possible. My thread of choice is Aurifil 50 weight cotton because it comes in any color I need. It’s thin but strong and blends into the quilts I make rather than being the star of the show.

Because this quilt has so much color in it, I chose to use threads from my new Variegated Thread Collection. I used #4650 Leaves for the top of the quilt. Although it will show up on the gray sections, by the time I add lots of texture, it won’t be that noticeable.

Aurifil variegated thread

I like to “audition” my thread choices before I begin quilting.

For the bobbin, I used #3852 Liberty since it reads more pink. For 95% of my quilts, I use the same thread in top and bottom. But every now and then I’ll use two different colors when it makes sense.

The thread will still be visible on both sides, but with so many different colors (in the fabric and thread), these were the best choice. I made a practice piece with leftover scrap fabrics and tested both threads to make sure I’d be happy with the results before I started quilting my quilt.

Aurifil Variegated Thread

 #3852 Liberty and 4650 Leaves can both be found in my Variegated Thread Collection from Aurifil.

Machine Quilting – Stitch in the Ditch

To break the quilting into easier, doable steps, this week we’ll focus on just stitching in the ditch in both directions. This will secure the quilt for further quilting later, and will also evenly distribute the bulk of the quilting across the quilt. You can also decide at any point how lightly or densely you’d like to quilt the rest of the lines.

Here’s a short video clip showing how I deal with the quilt as I stitch in the ditch. I’m using my BERNINA dual feed foot which works the same way as a regular walking foot. I have an open toe so I can see what I’m doing and I reposition the quilt a lot so that my quilting lines are smooth the entire time. Also, pressing my seams open makes it sooo much easier to stay in the ditch!!

Notice in the video below that when I quilt an area without seams, I just eyeball the straight-line I’m stitching. Because it’s never more than 2″ that I have to eyeball, it works pretty well.

First, I started quilting from the right side of the quilt towards the middle. I quilted in the ditch every 2″ since that’s the finished size of my strips. I quilted all of the vertical seams first, then rotated the quilt and quilted all of the horizontal seems to create a quilted grid.

It’s easier to work from the side of the quilt towards the middle, because that’s less bulk to deal with at the beginning. By the time it gets too bulky, you’ll be halfway across the quilt and you can rotate the quilt, continuing from the center to the other side.

Here’s another video of me quilting from a wider angle. I really just scrunch and smoosh the quilt however I can, re-shifting whenever necessary.

Once I “anchor” or stabilize the quilt with ditching in both directions, I go back in and quilt randomly spaced lines, using the edge of my foot as a guideline for spacing. That will be our goal for next week, so I’ll see ya then!

IMPORTANT LINKS

Click here to purchase the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – paper version
Click here to purchase the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – digital download
Click here to purchase the Abstract Garden strip roll
Click here to get my Aurifil thread collections
Click here for links to the previous quilt along posts
Click here to share your progress in my Facebook group

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 5 – Backing and Basting

One of the secrets to successful machine quilting is basting your quilts properly. So today I will share with you my favorite way to baste a quilt using 505 basting spray and my design wall. You can definitely modify this technique and baste your quilts on a table, but I prefer the design wall because I can get up close to the quilt and make sure it’s nice and flat.

Christa Watson Quilt Studio

Click here for my bonus tutorial – how to build a design wall.
Click here to get the Color Weave pattern shown on the wall.

Pieced Quilt Backing

Before we get to the basting tutorial, let me share how I pieced the backing, from leftover Abstract Garden strips, and 5 yards of Abstract Garden Tracks in pink. (The quilt pattern calls for 5 1/2 yards of backing if it’s all one fabric.)

Abstract Garden Pieced backing

First I put up the finished quilt top on the design wall so I can see how much area to cover. I cut my 5 yards into 2 pieces that are NOT equal because I knew the strips would take up some of the room. One piece was about 94″ and the other piece was about 80″. Then I cut the shorter piece in half to create to rectangles, roughly 40″ x 40″ each. I placed the strips in the center gap between the two pink squares and sewed them together to create a strip set, then joined the two pink pieces on either side.

Abstract Garden Pieced backing

Once the left half of the backing was sewn, I attached it to the long piece, parallel to the selvage to create the finished backing. The important thing is to ensure that the backing is a few inches larger on all four sides for basting.

Abstract Garden Selvage

Because my name was on the selvage, I allowed the selvage to show instead of cutting it off first. And I wrote more info on the white part of the selvage to create a built-in label for the quilt.

WALL BASTING TUTORIAL

Ensure that all 3 layers of your quilt (top, batting, and backing) are nice and flat. The batting and backing should be a few inches larger than the quilt top on all sides.

Give the top and backing a final press and clip any stray threads. Relax the wrinkles in your batting by throwing it in a dryer with a wet towel for a few minutes, unrolling it from the package to “rest” for a few days, or pressing the batting with a hot dry iron. (For delicate batting, use a piece of fabric to cover it while you press.)

Hobbs Batting Cotton/Wool

I’m using Hobbs Cotton/Wool batting and I have a roll of it, so to measure how much I need, I keep the quilt top on the design wall and unroll enough of it so there’s extra around all 4 sides. I cut it with specialty batting shears.

STEP 1 – APPLY ADHESIVE TO BACKING AND QUILT TOP SEPARATELY

Lay a sheet on the ground or a table to protect your quilt and catch any over-spray. Outdoors is best so that the fumes can dissipate, but you can do it inside in a well ventilated room while wearing a dust mask. Be sure to shake the can and spray a few squirts on the sheet to ensure the nozzle is clean and the spray comes out evenly before you start.

Lay out the quilt backing wrong side up and apply a thin coat of 505 spray adhesive evenly across the surface of the quilt. Walk around the quilt backing as needed to reach all areas.

Basting Spray

Repeat the process for the quilt top, using the design of the quilt to help you keep track of which areas you’ve already covered. Don’t worry if the quilt top and backing have some give or are a bit wrinkly from movement. You will smooth it all out later.

Once the backing and quilt top are sprayed, fold them up and bring indoors to assemble the layers on a design wall. It doesn’t matter if you fold them right sides in or out. They will be sticky, but not stuck and you can easily unfold and the layers and peel them apart. You don’t need to baste right away, but I wouldn’t wait more than a few days to prevent the spray from drying out.

STEP 2 – ASSEMBLE THE LAYERS INDOORS

Pin the quilt backing wrong side up to the top of the design wall (mine is made from foam insulation board covered with a white flannel sheet). Let gravity pull the weight of the fabric down.

Wall Basting

Gently un-stick any of the fabric sticking to itself and spend some time smoothing it all out with your hands or a long acrylic ruler. Your hands will get a bit sticky, but the residue easily washes off with soap and water. Spend as much time as you need to straighten the backing so that it’s nice and smooth and flat on the design wall.

Basting Smooth Back

Repeat the process above with the batting. It can take awhile to smooth out all of the lumps and bumps so give yourself time and don’t rush the process.

Quilt Batting for Basting

Notice that I didn’t cut my batting perfectly straight on one edge and that’s okay. As long as the batting is larger than the quilt top, it’s easy to trim off any excess.

Wall basting - batting

Add the quilt top right side up in the same manner as the backing and batting. Pin generously and let gravity pull on the weight of the quilt top to get it to hang straight. This is why it’s so important for the batting and backing to be larger than the quilt top. Then you don’t have to make sure it’s lined up perfectly in the middle – you’ll have a bit of “wiggle room” to maneuver.

Adding the quilt top for basting

Spend a lot of time smoothing out the top layer once it’s on the wall. Use the acrylic ruler to help you work out any bubbles and ensure that the seam lines are nice and straight. Once your basted quilt is flat, smooth and straight, machine quilting it will be a breeze!

Adding the quilt top for basting

After the layers are nice and smooth, I trim off much of the excess batting and batting, leaving only about an inch all the way around. I don’t want a ton of excess around the edges that could flip and get caught under the machine as I quilt. I use the leftover fabric/batting pieces when I’m practicing my machine quilting.

Trim Batting

STEP 3 – IRON THE BASTED QUILT

Here’s where the magic happens! Once the quilt is basted, I take it to the ironing board and press both sides of the quilt. This does two things: (1) it’s a final chance to press out any wrinkles and work out any fullness in the quilt. (2) It sets the glue and ensures that all 3 layers will stay together without shifting, eliminating the need to add any pins. You can still pull apart the layers if needed, but this process will ensure that every inch of the quilt is sticking to every other inch of the quilt.

Iron the basted quilt to set the glue

I use a “big board” which sits on top of my regular ironing board and gives me more room!

If you prefer to use a table, check out my table basting tutorial here, using similar steps.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Click here to get the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – paper version
Click here to get the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – PDF version
Click here to purchase the Abstract Garden Strip Roll
Click here for links to the previous quilt along posts
Click here to share your progress in my Facebook group

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 4 – Quilt Top Assembly

How are your Color Weave quilt blocks coming along? Now it’s time to sew them together to complete the quilt top. You’ll want to refer to the quilt top assembly diagram in the quilt pattern often to ensure proper block placement based on color.

Rainbow Weave Blocks

The easiest way to sew this quilt top together if you are doing the Rainbow version is to first sew all of the same colored blocks into long columns (aka vertical rows), and then join the columns together to complete the quilt top. If you are doing a single color for the weave, then you can sew them together into horizontal rows.

Rainbow Weave Block Rows

Notice that there is one of each colored block that has a dark gray strip across the top. This is for the top block of each column so that it appears that the design is “floating” on the dark gray background.

Rainbow Weave Blocks

When joining two blocks together, don’t worry if the print doesn’t like up exactly like in the pair of purple blocks below. Because these are busy prints, you’ll still get the woven effect as long as your seams line up well.

Rainbow Weave Blocks

In the turquoise pair, the join is not as obvious because of the print.

Rainbow Weave Turquoise Blocks

Not all of the prints will have obvious joins, so let the seams fall where they may and the overall design will still look great.

Rainbow Weave Blocks

The easiest way to sew the rows together is to sew them into pairs, then sew the pairs into larger units: 1 set of 3 blocks and 2 sets of 4 blocks. Then sew the sets into each row by color.

Rainbow Weave Blocks

Be sure to use lots of pins to keep your rows straight and organized. In the photo below, the pin at the top is to keep that edge together while I pin the long row along the side. I like to pin perpendicular to the edges, and line up the seams. You can see that I use a lot of pins and this really helps with accuracy.

Pinning rows

I also continue to press EVERY seam. I press all of the long seams open in addition to the individual block seams. The trick is to open the seam ahead of your iron with your fingers and don’t use steam so you won’t get burned.

Here’s a short video showing how I press the seams open:

Because you are sewing long strips together, they have a tendency to bow or warp out of shape. To prevent this from happening, switch sewing directions each time you add a new row.

When you are finished sewing the quilt top, there will be a lot of seams left on the outside of the quilt that have a tendency to split apart due to handling. To prevent this, do what I call a “Victory Lap” around your quilt: stitch the edges with a 1/8″ wide seam all the way around the perimeter of the quilt. This is also known as “top-stitching” or “stay-stitching.”

Color Weave Quilt Top – Abstract Garden

Rainbow Weave Quilt Top by Christa Watson

My finished quilt top made with Abstract Garden strips and Fandangle background.
Click here to get the Abstract Garden Strip-pie.

Color Weave Recolored With Fandangle in EQ8

Color Weave Fandangle

Click here to get a Fandangle Strip-pie.

Just for fun, I recolored the design using Electric Quilt 8 software and my Fandangle fabric line. (plus the black from Geo Pop) I wan’t sure if it would work, but I absolutely love how it turned out! The key was figuring out the order of the colors so I’d still get the rainbow effect. There are 20 prints in both lines (Fandangle and Abstract Garden) and you need 17 to make the quilt (2 strips of each), so that gives a little wiggle room to decide which strips to leave out.

I can’t wait to see how your quilts are turning out, especially if you chose different fabrics. Be sure to click the link below and add your progress to my Facebook group.

In the next step, we’ll do everyone’s LEAST favorite part of the process: basting! But not to worry, with my method, it’s not as hard as you think!

IMPORTANT LINKS

Click here for links to the previous quilt along posts
Click ere to share your progress in my Facebook group
Click here to purchase Abstract Garden precuts and backing yardage
Click here to get the Color Weave quilt pattern – paper version
Click here to get the Color Weave quilt pattern – digital download

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

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

Follow the Leader by Heather Black

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

Abstract Garden FQ's

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

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

Follow the Leader by Heather Black

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

Follow the leader by Heather Black

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