Pieced Primrose Quilt Along Week 3 – Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial

Are you ready to start sewing your blocks? Notice how there are 3 separate sections you’ll need to create for each Pieced Primrose block. Just follow my step-by-step tutorial below and you can adapt this process to any foundation paper pieced (FPP) design you can think of!

Paper Piecing with Christa Watson

Preparing the Paper Foundations

One of our quilt along participants, Michelle Hanus recommends folding all of the sewing lines (the dark lines on the pattern) before piecing. That will make it easier to rip off the papers later on. Thanks for that great tip, Michelle!

After photocopying the master template (one for each block you are making), roughly cut apart the two FPP sections (A and B), leaving a little bit of space around the dashed lines – those are your seam allowances for the outside edges of the blocks.

Foundation Paper Piecing

Above  is what the master template looks like. In the examples below, mine look slightly different because I was working from a draft before I finalized the pattern for printing.

I highly recommend making one test block out of scrap fabrics following the steps below. Then, once you understand the process, you can sew multiple blocks at the same time with your chosen fabrics. You can even chain piece the same sections if desired – just know that you’ll use a little bit more thread in the process, but that’s ok.

Fold, Trim, Sew and Press (FTSp)

This process might seem very awkward because it’s different then what you are used to with regular piecing. I’ve heard it described as dancing like Ginger Rogers – backwards and with high heels! But if you just follow the same “dance” steps each time, you’ll have no problems getting precise results every time!

Position the First Piece Into Place – A Units

To begin, line up the wrong side of your A1 fabric piece underneath the A1 section so that there is fabric sticking out on all sides of the A1 unit. To keep it from shifting, you can pin it or add a dab of glue from a glue stick to keep it in place.

A rectangle works much better than a long skinny triangle so that you can ensure coverage of the entire piece. You will be sewing on the paper side with the printed lines facing up, just like the image below:

FPP by Christa Watson

Step 1 – Fold

Position a piece of cardstock (such as the pattern cover, or an index card) on the first line that you will sew (the line between A1 and A2 above). A piece of thin, rigid plastic works, too!

Fold the paper template over the piece of cardstock, exposing the extra fabric underneath. Remember that the wrong side of the fabric will be touching the blank side of the paper each time.

Paper Pieced Primrose

Step 2 – Trim

Keeping the fabric, cardstock, and paper template in position, place the Add a Quarter ruler on top with the lip securing everything in place. This will add 1/4″ seam allowance beyond the fold line.

Trim the excess fabric with a rotary cutter.

Doing it this way ensures that the long skinny triangle is positioned at the correct angle for sewing.

Pieced Primrose Quilt

Step 3 – Sew

On the non printed paper side, line up the freshly trimmed edge of piece A1 with the edge of piece A2, with the fabric right sides together. Align the raw edges ensuring that the A2 piece is long enough to cover the entire A1/A2 line plus 1/4″ seam allowances on both ends.

FPP by Christa Watson

Lower your stitch length so that it will perforate the paper, making it easier to tear off later. My default is 2.5 so I turn it down to 2.0 or even 1.8. Use a brand new needle for best results.

Sew from 1/4″ before the A1/A2 line to 1/4″ after the printed solid line to ensure you have seam allowances on both sides of the marked line.

Foundation Paper Piecing

Here’s what my piece looks like after sewing the first seam. It’s ok to go slightly beyond 1/4″ if needed. I do this especially when chain piecing multiple blocks at the same time.

Foundation Paper Piecing

Step 4 – Press

Open up the A2 piece so that both fabrics are right side up. With a wooden seam roller, press the the seam from the front of the fabric. This is easier to do for each step than using an iron.

Foundation Paper Piecing

repeat The Dance over and over until the unit is complete
A3: Fold and Trim

Reposition the cardstock again along the next line. For this example, it’s the very short line between A2 and A3. Click the image below to enlarge if needed.

Fold the paper template over again. Use the Add a Quarter ruler to add the 1/4″ seam allowances and trim the excess with a rotary cutter.

Tip: if the paper is stuck to the fabric, you can lift it away (gently) from the seam as needed.
Foundation Paper Piecing

A3: Sew

Sew the next piece in the same manner as before. Align the A3 edge to be sewn with the freshly cut edge. In the example below, the small blue square does not need to take up the entire space of the trimmed A1- A2 edges.

Position the fabric square in the middle of the area to be sewn as shown below. Flip the whole unit over if needed and hold it up to the light to ensure that the fabric square will cover the full line between A2/A3 plus seam allowances.

Foundation Paper Piecing

Below is what my unit looks like after sewing the line between A2/A3. It’s ok if the sewn line is slightly longer than 1/4″ on both sides. If you are worried about the seam coming apart at the ends, you can backstitch at either end.

Foundation Paper Piecing

A3: Press
A4: Fold

Repeat the prior steps: open up the A3 piece and press from the front with the wooden seam roller. Then fold over the next line (A2/A4) using the cardstock or other thin, hard edge for stability.
Foundation Paper Piecing

A4: Trim

Repeat the same step as before: use the Add a Quarter ruler to add 1/4″ seam and trim the excess.

Fold the paper template back into position and flip the paper over again so that you can see the proper angle to align the next piece (the green A4 rectangle).

Pieced Primrose Quilt

A4: Sew

Line up the A4 rectangle right sides together. Flip the paper over and sew on the line between A2/A4 with 1/4″ extra on either end of the drawn line. Below is what this next step looks like:

Pieced Primrose

A4: Press
A5: Fold and Trim

Repeat the same steps over and over again: press the green A4 rectangle (below left), fold the paper back (not shown), trim the excess (below right).

Foundation Paper Piecing by Christa Watson

A5: Sew and Press

Align the A5 square (light blue), sew the seam and press from the top.

Foundation Paper Piecing by Christa Watson

A6 and A7: Fold, Trim, Sew and Press!

Fold the paper, trim the excess, Sew A6 (light purple), press A6 (below left).
Fold, trim, sew, and press the A7 unit (light blue square, below right).

Foundation Paper Piecing by Christa Watson

A8: Fold, Trim, Sew and Press

This will complete all of the sewing for the A side of the block!

Foundation Paper Piecing by Christa Watson

Sewing the B Units

Now repeat the process for the B half of the block. It has a total of 10 units to piece. Remember to fold, trim, sew and press each and every unit, just like before!

Notice that I used a triangle instead of a square for the B10 unit. This made more efficient use of the fabric when cutting, but it’s still the same process as before.

Foundation paper piecing

Once you’ve sewn all of the Section A and Section B blocks, trim them along the outer dashed lines using a rotary cutter and ruler. Be sure you don’t trim off your triangle points! At this point, your paper should still be intact to keep the blocks stable.

Paper Pieced Primrose by Christa Watson

Sew the A and B unit together. Then sew the oversized corner triangle to the bottom of the block. It’s oversized so that you don’t have to line it up perfectly. (See below, left).

Trim the excess fabric from the triangle to match the rest of the block. (see below right).

Paper Pieced Primrose

After making one test block, continue in the same manner to sew the number of blocks you need for the size you are making. I’m creating this quilt in both the warm and cool colorways of my Abstract Garden fabric line, but the process is exactly the same!

Pieced Primrose Blocks by Christa WatsonAbove is the same Pieced Primrose block in warm and cool colorways of Abstract Garden.

Next week, we will choose from several different layouts, and start sewing the blocks together into bigger units!

LINKS AT A GLANCE

Click the links below for supplies needed to make this quilt:

Paper Pieced Primrose Quilt Along Week 2 – Cutting the Fabric

This week we will work on cutting out all of the fabric pieces to make your blocks. The cutting chart is on pages 3-4 of the Pieced Primrose quilt pattern. I include instructions to cut enough fabric for 1 block (for practice), 16 blocks for the wall size, or 80 blocks for the throw size.

Pieced Primrose Quilt Abstract Garden Fabric

Above is the one of the bundles of fabrics I used from my Abstract Garden fabric line.
Click here to get a kit in the cool or warm colorway.

When it comes to cutting, I like to speed through the process as fast as possible by layering multiple fabrics on top of each other and cutting strips, then cutting those strips into subunits. I was generous in my cutting calculations so that there would be enough fabric to cover each piece as it’s sewn.

Refer to the pattern to cut each of your fabrics into piles as shown below. If your fabric colors are different, just make a note in the pattern and label your piles so you know what is what.Abstract Garden Fabric

How to Measure a Foundation Paper Pieced Template

I still want to teach foundation paper piecing to those of you who are aren’t following my particular pattern because the methods are still the same. So here’s how you can easily figure out how big of a piece to cut:

For each section of the foundation template, measure the length of the longest line and add one inch. For example, look at the section A1 below and let’s figure out how big the piece of fabric needs to be so that it will cover the entire area on all sides:

Foundation Paper Piece Measuring

Measure the length of both of the long lines on either side of the A1. In this case, one side was about 4 3/4″ and the other is 4 7/8″ so I just rounded that up to 5. Then I added 1″ for seam allowances, so the LENGTH of the piece to cut is 6 inches.

Now measure the width. At one end it comes to a point. At the other end, it is slightly wider than 1 1/4″. Adding an inch makes the WIDTH to cut  2 1/4″ which is close enough. Therefore, each A1 piece will be cut 2 1/4″ x 6″.

Now If I wanted to save some fabric, I could cut a slightly bigger rectangle and cut it in half on the diagonal to get 2 pieces, but honestly that will be more trouble than it’s worth trying to line up that diagonal properly. I’d rather work with rectangles and have a little bit of scraps left over.

So you could repeat this process to figure out how big to cut each piece in the design. But don’t worry, I’ve already done that for you in the pattern – so just follow the chart given.

Most good foundation paper patterns should figure this out for you, so that all you have to do is cut what you are used to: strips, squares, and rectangles (and maybe the occasional triangle).

Homework: Cut All the Pieces for Your Size

Refer to the chart on pages 3-4 of the pattern for the number of strips to cut, and then the number of units to subcut. Just remember to measure twice, cut once! So double check your measurements as you go. Since I made two versions of this quilt in warm and cool, my cut units for both quilts look like this:

Pieced Primrose Cut Units

Click here for coordinating fabric from my Abstract Garden collection from Benartex.

Next week, we will start sewing the blocks! If you’d like to practice first, just cut enough fabric for one block from scraps so you can see how the whole process works. Remember to share your progress on instagram #piecedprimrosequilt or in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group!

LINKS AT A GLANCE

Click the links below for supplies needed to make this quilt:

Paper Pieced Primrose Quilt Along Week 1 – Getting Started

Welcome to a new year and a new quilt along! I just love quilt alongs – don’t you? To ease into making this quilt, all you have to do this week is gather your materials and read through the introduction below. Then we will dive in and start cutting next week! For anyone new to the blog: click THIS LINK for the full supply list and QAL schedule.

Paper Pieced Primrose

What is Paper Piecing?

First of all, there are two techniques known as paper piecing and they are completely different methods. For our Pieced Primrose quilt, we are going to be doing “Foundation” paper piecing, which means that fabric will be sewn to paper foundations and then ripped away before you assemble the quilt. The foundations stabilize the quilt blocks and allow for more accuracy than what you could achieve with regular piecing techniques.

Foundation Paper Piecing

This is what “foundation” paper piecing looks like.

The other technique that we are NOT doing is called “English” paper piecing, which means that fabric shapes are cut out, wrapped around a paper template and then sewn together by hand along the edges. Think of those super popular hexie quilts or grandmother’s flower garden designs. It’s a great technique, just not what we are using during this quilt along.

Foundation Paper Piecing Pros and Cons

So back to foundation paper piecing (FPP for short)! FPP is super simple to achieve because all you have to do is sew on a marked line. You generally photocopy the FPP pattern (also known as a template) and make as many copies as you need for as many blocks as you are making. You can easily sew together wonky shapes because the paper basically does the work of matching everything together for you at the correct angle.

Below is an image of the foundation paper pieced template that’s included in my Pieced Primrose pattern. Please note that the image below is NOT to scale and can’t be used for purposes of this QAL. It’s an example only so you can see what’s included in the pattern. You’ll need to purchase a copy of the pattern itself to get a usable template to photocopy.

Paper Pieced Template

Click here to get the Pieced Primrose Pattern – PDF version
Click here to get the Pieced Primrose Pattern – Paper version

The downside of some paper pieced block patterns is that they are larger than what will fit on an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper. In that case you’ll need to tape multiple papers of the foundation template together. However, with Pieced Primrose, I purposefully designed the quilt block so that it ALL fits on one piece of paper as shown above. After all, I want to make things easy for you so you’ll actually enjoy the process!!

Printing the Block Template:

If you’ve purchased the paper version of my Pieced Primrose pattern, all you need to do is remove the staple in the middle of the pattern, then you’ll have an intact sheet of paper that you can photocopy as many times as needed.

If you’ve purchased the PDF version of Pieced Primrose, it’s even easier. All you need to do is print off the FPP template page from your computer as many times as you need. What could be easier?? But here’s the catch. Please, please, please REMEMBER to print off one copy first and make sure your printer settings are set to print ACTUAL SIZE. It’s formatted to print as a “spread” meaning that the full template will print horizontally on one 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper.

You can test it with the little 1″ square box that’s included in the pattern. Also, make sure you’ve saved the PDF download into a folder on your computer where you can find it again. In all cases when using PDF patterns, download the pattern, save it first, and then print it out if needed. You’ll have way fewer technical issues this way. Once you know you have an accurate template, then print off as many copies as you need for as many blocks as you are making.

Pieced Primrose Quilt Pattern

Pieced Primrose Pattern Cover

A Word about FPP Paper

Honestly, I just print my templates on regular copy paper. It’s easy and cheap and readily available. However, feel free to use specialty paper if desired. The choice is yours and you are the boss of your quilt!

For reference, the smaller wall size is made from 16 blocks so you’ll need 16 copies of the FPP pattern template. The throw size is made from 80 blocks so print off 80 copies (plus an extra or two if you want to make a test block.) You can always adjust the size of your quilt by making more or fewer blocks, or adding borders.

Pieced Primrose Quilt Throw Size

Click here to get the Pieced Primrose Quilt kit in Wall or Throw size, warm or cool colorway.

Foundation Paper Piecing Uses More Fabric

I put that in all caps and bold to remind you that you that Yes, FPP does use more fabric and you WILL have a large pile of scraps left over. But here’s my philosophy when it comes to FPP: you can either waste time or you can waste fabric.

You can “waste” time getting frustrated by trying to scrimp and save fabric by cutting all pieces exactly. But unless you are a FPP pro, what usually happens is that once you sew the snugly fitting piece, it doesn’t end up covering the entire area and you end up ripping it out and/or giving up. Or you ruin the fabric with too much “Frog” sewing (aka “rip-it! rip-it!”). So do yourself a favor and be ok with the fact that wasting a little fabric is justified in the pursuit of learning a new skill.

Paper Piecing Scraps

Use your FPP scraps for making pet beds for your favorite critters: throw the scraps into a pillowcase, then sew the end shut when it’s fully stuffed.

If the scraps really, really bother you, then I recommend making a test block out of scrap fabrics first. Cut enough for one block using the measurements given in the pattern. If you don’t like the amount of scraps it generates, then trim the pieces down smaller for the next practice block and see if that works out better for you.

Once you are comfortable with how much extra fabric you need for each piece, then cut out all the blocks that way. To figure out how big to cut a “snug” piece, measure the longest line of each sewn piece and then add 1/2″ for seam allowances. I was generous and added a full inch, just to be safe! Just remember, you can always cut away extra fabric, but you can never add more after it’s been cut.

I know that was a lot of words I just wrote. If it all sounds like gobbledy-gook at this point – don’t worry – I’m going to walk you through the cutting starting next week – so it will be all okay 🙂

Tools and Needles and Thread, Oh MY!!

These tools are not absolutely required, but they sure make the job easier! I’m going to show how to make the blocks using these tools so I highly recommend them.

Paper Piecing Notions

Click here to get my favorite notions for foundation paper piecing.

Good quality needles: I really like the Superior needles – size 80/12. I use them with size 50 weight thread and they are nice and sharp to pierce the paper and make it easy to remove. The paper may dull the needle a bit so be sure to use a fresh needle when starting this project and plan to change your needle after sewing about 20 blocks. Then be sure to use another fresh needle when quilting, or change it if you get a loud clunking sound while sewing. That means your needle is getting dull.

I’ll probably mention this again when sewing, but use a shorter stitch length when sewing as that will make more holes in the paper to make it easier to remove.

Add a quarter ruler – this is the most important tool for FPP. It gives nice crisp lines when you are folding your paper back (more about that later) and ensures that you can cut the excess seam allowances without making a huge mess. I prefer the 12″ add a quarter ruler so that it will work with most sizes of paper pieced units.

Wooden seam roller: I recommend pressing each and every seam in your block as you go. With this design that is a LOT of pressing. So to make the job easier, you can keep a wooden seam roller right at your sewing table and use it instead of an iron for the individual pieced units. Then press the entire block when it’s finished.

My Aurifil thread collections: these are all 50 weight cotton in colors, neutrals or variegated. When piecing with colorful fabrics, I like to use colorful thread that will blend in so I don’t see the thread peeking out from the seams.

Aurifil Thread by Christa Watson

Click here to get my Aurifil thread kits – 12 large spools of premium 50 weight cotton.

I will usually piece with 1 spool of colorful thread, and then quilt with another 1-2 colors so that I can make sure I have enough for the whole project. The nice thing about using cotton for piecing AND quilting is that I can use up any leftover bobbins when making my next quilt!

Gather Your Materials and show off your pretties!

I know that not all of you follow me in all the places, but if you are on Facebook or Instagram, I’d love to see your progress and what fabrics you are using. Use the hashtag #piecedprimrosequilt on instagram, or share pics in my Facebook group ChristaQuilts. If you are the blogging sort, you can include a link to your blog in the comments, and of course you can always email me your pics, too. I love to see it all.

Pieced Primrose Pattern

Feel free to use the yardage requirements as given in the pattern above, or bust your stash and use up a ton of scraps in similar colors. Remember – just because the pattern calls for one blue or pink, that doesn’t mean you can’t use 20 – right??

If you have any questions – feel free to leave a comment. This was a lot of info but I’m ready to get started. Meet me back here and the same time and place next week for the next step!!

Links at a Glance

Click the links below for supplies needed to make this quilt:

quilting details

Paper Pieced Primrose Quilt Along Starts Next Week!!

Are you planning on learning to foundation paper piece in the new year? With my Pieced Primrose pattern, learning this skill is much easier than you’d think!! Be sure to let me know in the comments if you’ve done paper piecing before, or if this will be your first experience with it.

Pieced Primrose Quilt Pattern

The fun begins on Monday, January 6th with weekly posts to keep you on track for finishing by the end February. But you can still work at your own pace, and I’m here to cheer you on, no matter how long it takes!

Next week’s introductory post will talk a little bit more about the tools and supplies and general foundation  paper piecing tips. Then we’ll dive into cutting the following week, so you still have plenty of time to gather your fabrics and supplies.

Click here for the complete quilt along schedule and supply list.

Paper Piecing Notions

Click here to get my favorite notions for successful foundation paper piecing.

We’ll take extra time to piece the blocks and will finish up with basting, machine quilting and binding. After all, if you’ve done a quilt along with me before, you know how much I detest these three little words, “quilt as desired!”

Pieced Primose Quilt Abstract Garden Cool

Pieced Primrose shown in the Cool colorway of Abstract Garden above.
Pieed Primrose shown in the warm colorway of Abstract Garden below.

Pieced Primrose Abstract Garden Warm

My Pieced Primrose quilt pattern is super versatile and you can sew up as many blocks as you like with several different layouts. And it looks fabulous in ANY fabrics you choose to use. So I hope you’ll join the fun and consider me your cheerleader for “Start to Finish” quilting!!

Let’s Learn to Foundation Paper Piece with My Paper Pieced Primrose QAL

I just love hosting quilt alongs, and better yet, I love it when you all quilt along with me! Here’s all the info you need to get started on my Paper Pieced Primrose Quilt Along:

Paper Pieced Primrose

Paper Pieced Primrose Kits Available

The image above shows the 35″ x 35″ wall size in two colorways, made from 16 paper pieced blocks. The images below show the 68″ x 84″ throw size in both colors, made from 80 paper pieced blocks.

For your convenience, I’m offering kits in both colorways, and both sizes – so you can pick and choose what works best for you! All four versions are made from my Abstract Garden fabric for Benartex. And for one week only, you can save 10% off the kit when you enter code KIT at checkout!

Click here to get the Paper Pieced Primrose Kit in Warm or Cool, Wall or Throw.

Paper Pieced Primrose Throw Size  – Warm ColorwayPaper Pieced Primrose Abstract Garden
Paper Pieced Primrose Throw Size  – Cool Colorway

Paper Pieced Primrose in Abstract Garden

Of course you can make this quilt using any fabrics you like! Part of the fun will be seeing all of the different variations! Click the quilt pattern image below to enlarge the materials list:

Paper Pieced Primrose

Supplies Needed to Make this Quilt

Paper Piecing Notions

Click here to get the recommended notions shown above. 

Quilt Along Schedule:

If you want to follow along, we’ll make this entire quilt from start to finish in just 8 weeks!!
Click the links below for each step of the quilt along:

So don’t worry if you’ve never tried foundation paper piecing before. I’m going to walk you through every step of the process with detailed photos and explanations. The pattern includes the master foundation paper pieced template that you can photo copy as many times as you’d like. It will be a fun new adventure for a new year!

Abstract Garden Fabric

If you can cut the shapes above, you’ll have no problem foundation paper piecing – I promise!! Abstract Garden fabric shown is for BOTH colorways of Pieced Primrose.

So who’s with me? All you have to do is follow my blog each week! You can subscribe to my blog by entering your email in the box in the sidebar (either on the right if you are viewing on a laptop, or scroll all the way down to the bottom on your phone). You can also use the hashtag #piecedprimrosequilt on instagram so I can see what you are making!

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.