Feathered Chevrons Finish

I’m so happy to have finished another version of my Charming Chevrons pattern! This layout is called Feathered Chevrons, and I made it using my Kona Designer series charm packs, plus Kona Coal.

Feathered Chevrons is an alternate of my Charming Chevrons quilt pattern.

Feathered Chevrons by Christa Watson, 64″ x 80″

This is the third version of Charming Chevrons I have made, and all three layouts are available in the original pattern, along with 4 different sizes.

Click here to purchase a PDF pattern of Charming Chevrons.
Click here to purchase a print pattern of Charming Chevrons.

feathered-chevrons-backing

I love it when the quilting shows up well on the back.

I used some leftover chunks of Kona solids to make a pieced backing. I love how the quilting really shows up on the back. I stuck a label on the lower back corner before I put the binding on so I would only have to hand-sew it along two of the sides.

quilting_practice

On the test sample, I quilted the swirls flowing in opposite directions. On the quilt, I quilted them all flowing in one direction. Other than that, I stuck to the original plan.

Like I do for most of my quilts, I made up a test block so that I could see how the quilting design and thread color looked before diving in. Even though it’s a little more effort to do this, it saves me a lot of aggravation in the long run. If I like how this piece looks, then there won’t be any surprises when I’m quilting the quilt, and I can just relax and enjoy the process.

quilting_switchbacks

I filled in all of the gray background areas with switchbacks, one of the motifs I teach in my book Machine Quilting with Style. Notice how I stitched an area of relief inside the block, by quilting straight lines about 1/4″ away from the seams. This allows the different sections to pop, and also shrinks up the amount of area I need to quilt.

swirls_pebbles

Next, I filled in the chevrons with a motif I call “swirl-feathers.” It’s a new design for me, made up of swirls that branch off of each other rather than filling in the whole space. Then I filled in the spaces in between the swirls with pebbles.

I quilted it entirely on my BERNINA 770 QE. I anchored the quilt by quilting straight lines with my integrated dual feed (which works like a walking foot) and then the free-motion sections with my BSR (BERNINA stitch regulator.)

Aurifil-Thread

You’ll be hearing more about some of my favorite Aurifil thread colors in the coming months.

I love to use Aurifil 50 weight cotton for piecing and quilting all of my quilts. It’s lightweight yet strong and I never have any issue with thread breaks. I used  Aurifil 2920 Light Brass for the swirls and 2605 Grey for the background.

feathered_chevrons_quilting_detail

If you make your own version of Charming Chevrons, please share it in my Facebook group: Quilt with Christa. I’d love to see you progress! I’m also happy to chat about machine quilting over there and answer your questions in the group for all to see.

Save

Save

Aurifil Designer of the Month – March 2016 (That’s Me!)

It is with great pride and honor to announce that I was chosen to be the Aurifil Designer of the Month for March. I’ve designed this exclusive “Improv Star” block as part of the Aurifil Designer Series, hosted by Pat Sloan.

Each month in 2016, you’ll get free access to a brand new blue and white 12″ finished block pattern. Make them each month, share them on Pat’s website and enter for your chance to win a box of thread – 12 large spools for your creating pleasure!

improv_star_styled

My 12″ Improv Star block – click here for the free pattern.

I have to tell you what a whirlwind of a journey it’s been, falling in love with Aurifil threads and using them exclusively for all of my sewing and quilting. I first discovered Aurifil 50 weight cotton thread just a few years ago and it was love at first stitch! Like any other aspect of quilting, at first I struggled to know which materials to use, what threads to try and how to put them all together.

20140909_aurifil

This is just one of my drawers full of Aurifil thread – I love all that color!

I soon realized that being a prolific quilter, Aurifil satisfied my need to keep things simple and organized. Rather than buying ALL the threads in ALL the colors in ALL the different fibers and weights out there, I could do everything I needed with Aurifil cotton! (And yeah, I still do own almost ALL the colors!!)

aurifil-2016-design-team-photo

If you are an Aurifil thread fan like I am, you can find all your favorite colors and kits at The Precut Store.

New around here?

Be sure to sign up for Friendly Threads, my email newsletter, and get a free PDF quilt pattern!

3 Fun Things for You to Check out…pattern writing, finish-a-long, Aurifil BOM

One of the things I love about the online community (no, blogs are NOT dead!) is all of the community projects that you can be a part of! Last week I introduced my Facets QAL which starts next week, and today I’m here to share a roundup of a few fun things my friends are doing.

#1 – Pattern Writing Series

meadowmist_designs

Cheryl, from Meadow Mist Designs just kicked off her pattern writing series which I know that many of you are interested in. Today, she’s introduced the 6 designers that are going to be part of each weekly roundtable discussion. It was fun putting together my thoughts on various topics, and I love how the series is going to go very in-depth in several areas. Each week will include 2-4 posts from Cheryl and the other designers. It’s going to be a wealth of information, and I’m sure I’ll learn a thing or two!

pattern_writing_series

Click here to keep up with the Pattern Writing Series.

#2 – Finish Along

Next, I’m one of the sponsors for the Finish Along, coordinated by Leanne from She Can Quilt. I’ll be offering a different prize each quarter, so be sure to sign up and link up your finishes! The Finish Along is also on Instagram at – you guessed it – @finishalong.

2016 button

Click here for the Finish A Long main page.

#3 – Aurifil Designer Block of the Month

Finally, I am proud to be one of the 2016 Aurifil Designers of the month. Pat Sloan and Aurifil have teamed up since 2011 to bring you fun free projects each month, so you can put your collection of Aurifil threads to work!

aurifil-2016-design-team-photo

The theme for 2016 is blue and white blocks, so each month, you’ll get a free block pattern from a different designer. (My month is March.) Heather Valentine kicks of January with her awesome block, Swirl Away, shown below.

heathers_block

Click here to get directions to make the Swirl Away block.

What quilting groups and community projects will you be involved with this year?

Thread Thursday and a Folkschool Sneak Peek!

This week I am having the most wonderful time teaching at the John C. Campbell Folkschool. My students are learning how to make a modern quilt, and I will give a full report next week, once I’m home and rested!

folkschoolsignHaving a great time at the Folkschool. Wish you were here!!

We’ve been here all week and today is machine quilting day in class. Many of my students have chosen to piece and quilt with Aurifil thread, and they are getting great results!

machinequiltingI love this version of Modern Logs – it’s so graphic and cheerful!

Since you aren’t here with me, enjoy some pretty pictures of my favorite thread collections:

thread_tula_pinkTula Pink’s Premium Collection

thread_botanicsBotanics by Carolyn Friedlander

thread_alison_glassAlison Glass Essentials

All of these thread collections and more are available in my thread/precut store!

Aurifil Thread Winner

Thank you for your comments on my last giveaway. I think that’s the most comments I’ve ever received for a giveaway. I guess you guys really like Aurifil thread as much as I do!

abacus_aurifil_threadCongratulations to Kathie H. who won the Abacus thread bundle! I will have another giveaway related to the Abacus Quilt Along this Thursday so stay tuned! And be sure to come back tomorrow for the next quilt along tutorial.

20140909_aurifilSome of my personal stash of Aurifil – you could say I’ve got a passion for thread!

Christa’s Giveaway – Aurifil Thread Bundle

It’s time for another giveaway! As with all of the giveaways I’m hosting during my Abacus Quilt Along, you do not have to follow along to participate in the giveaway. Everyone is welcome to comment and enter for a chance to win.

abacus_aurifil_threadBeautiful Aurifil threads I used in my version of Abacus.

Up for grabs this week: A bundle of beautiful 50 weight Aurifil cotton threads! One lucky winner will receive 8 small spools of the same exact colors I used for the machine applique on Abacus; plus a large spool of the same grey I used for the machine quilting.

Click here for a listing of the exact colors of threads and fabrics I chose.

Abacus_machinequilting

Machine quilting is my favorite part of making any quilt – it’s quick, easy, and fun!

To enter, simply leave a comment letting me know what you think about machine applique! Do you love it or hate it? Or are you somewhere in between? You can also mention your favorite method of applique if you like. 🙂

Good luck!

Thread Thursday – New Aurifil Thread Kits

I don’t know about you, but I am starting to collect a pretty healthy thread stash that is starting to rival my fabric stash! I just can’t help it when Aurifil keeps releasing fabulous thread collections by some of my favorite designers.

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s new in the store, thread-wise:

 

20140815_fruit_veggie2Pat Sloan’s latest grouping: Eat Your Fruits N Veggies – Love that Variegated Spool!

20140815_drift Drift by Angela Walters – these are so her colors (and mine – and yours!)

20140815_fave_thingsFavorite Things by Jeni Baker – Why, yes they are!

I love how most of the Aurifil thread sets come in a trial box of 10 smaller spools (perfect for decorative stitching, bindings, and applique) and in the thread lovers’ size of 12 large spools (usually enough to quilt a throw-sized quilt).

Just think of thread as quilter’s candy – zero calorie, high fiber treats!

WIP Wednesday – Free Motion Quilting Frenzy

I’ve been quilting like crazy, trying to finish up quite a few projects on a deadline. The sad thing is that I won’t be able to share them for awhile, but the good news is that I can share little work-in-progress snippets here and there. (The pictures are all from my instagram feed so they are not the highest quality – but you get the idea!)

20140809_fmq_4I can get lost in pebbles! They are fun to stitch but very time consuming! I usually put on a good audio book and keep stitching until I can’t stand it or until my shoulders ache – then I take a break and do something else!

I’ve been having a blast playing around with different weights and colors of Aurifil threads as I quilt my myriad of projects. My go-to thread is the standard 50 weight cotton which blends wonderfully with any fabrics.

20140809_fmq_3I’m also experimenting with quilting spirals – in a slightly heavier thread – I love it!

However, I have been getting a little more daring. I usually try to match my thread colors to my fabrics but have been playing with variegated thread colors and heavier weights, too. I’m really liking the 40 weight Aurifil cotton which is just a tad heavier than the 50 weight (the smaller the number – the heavier the thread).

20140809_fmq_1Who doesn’t love a good stipple? Technically, the larger scale is called “meandering.”

I even tried some of the heavier 28 weight which adds a nice definition to the quilting. I love the Aurifil cottons because they go through my machine with ease and they don’t break! I usually use a size 80 needle with the size 50 thread and then switch to a heaver size 90 needle when dealing with the thicker threads. So far, so good.

20140809_fmq_2Loops are a great go-to design anytime. They always look good on any pattern!

I usually stick with the regular 50 weight thread in the bobbin in a similar color so that I can pack a lot of thread onto one bobbin for more non-stop quilting.

20140809_fmq_5Swirls always take my breath away. They don’t have to be perfect, either, to look good!

How about you? What are you working on this week?

20140809_fmq_threadNearly empty spools of thread make me happy!

Thread Thursday – New Aurifil Collections

This week instead of Fabric Friday, I am going to share Thread Thursday with you today! Aurifil has released many new 50 weight thread kits and we are busy stocking them all!

aurifil_best_selection

Aurifil Best Selection kit – includes small spools of the 45 most popular colors!

I love that machine quilting with beautifully colored threads has become a large part of the modern quilting movement, and I will do my part to further the cause. 🙂

aurifil_botanicsMany designers, such as Carolyn Friedlander have designed their own collections in beautiful hues to match their fabric lines. The Botanics set comes in a large thread kit as well as a smaller boxed set – choose which size best fits your budget!

aurifil_alison_glassAlison Glass’ booth was a favorite at quilt market, with her colorful fabrics and beautiful threads. Hew new thread set, Alison Glass Essentials also comes in both large and small spool versions.

I usually stock up on the large spools when I know I will use those colors for piecing or to machine quilt. I round out my color selection with the smaller spools which are perfect to have on hand for machine applique, embroidery details, or matching binding.

aurifil_winter_essentialsEdyta Sitar has just released a 4-spool set of Winter Essentials – darker neutrals that go along with original release of  Quilters Essentials – lighter neutrals that are perfect for piecing and blending.

I love that so many modern and traditional designers are curating their collections with Aurifil. Additional designers’ offerings include sets by Tula Pink, Pat Bravo, Darlene Zimmerman, Minick and Simpson, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Zen Chic, Me & My Sister, Pat Sloan, Vanessa Christensen, Camille Roskelley and many others.

Click here to see them all.

aurifil_victoriaFresh, Modern & Timeless by Victoria Findlay Wolfe – Small Set Available Now.

Many more collections were previewed at this spring’s quilt market, which will be available in the fall, and you know I will carry those, too! Thanks for supporting my thread addiction. I hope I’m feeding yours as well! 🙂

Modern X – A Free Pattern for Modern Quilt Guild Members

I’m pleased to share with you my latest quilt finish – Modern X.

I made it for the Modern Quilt Guild as a free pattern for their members. One of the benefits of being a MQG member is getting a free pattern with each of their monthly newsletters in 2014. I got selected to be “Miss March.”

modern_x_cquilts_mqgModern X – designed, pieced and quilted by Christa Watson – 56″x 70″

All of the quilts of the month will be shown at a special exhibit at QuiltCon next year, so it will be exciting to see them all presented in one place.

If you are not a member of the Modern Quilt Guild (why not?) I also have this pattern available for sale in my Craftsy Pattern Store. It runs 7 pages in length and also includes diagrams on how to machine quilt it, if you are so inclined.

I used Kona Cotton Solid fabrics for the quilt and it is pieced and quilted using Aurifil threads in 50 wt. cotton. Here’s a detailed shot of some of the quilting:

aurifil_quiltingBe sure to come back later in the week as I’ll share a couple of basting and binding tutorials I put together for this quilt. 🙂