I’m Off to BERNINA University!

Tomorrow I fly out for my next fun event – setting up my booth and teaching a couple of classes to dealers at BERNINA University. BU is an industry event exclusively for BERNINA dealers that’s held in different locations around the country. This will be my third time attending and it’s been great for getting up close and personal with quilt shop owners who carry the brand.

BERNINA U 2018My BU Booth last year when Fandangle fabric was released.
Click here to get the fabric, kits and quilt patterns shown.

At the show, I’m able to show off my newest line of fabric (which shops can order from Benartex), sell my latest patterns designed to support my fabrics, and talk one-on-one with shop owners.

No matter how huge the quilting industry is, it’s so important to create relationships with shops who carry my products. Many of them have also invited me to come teach at their shops, so I’m looking forward to traveling to new places over the next few years.

Big BERNINA at BU

Giant BERNINA on display at BU for their 125th anniversary last year.

If you’d like me to visit your local BERNINA dealer – be sure to have them contact me and I’ll be glad to add them to my teaching schedule. I’m currently booked through the end of 2020 but have just opened up my calendar for 2021 and it’s starting to fill.

Be sure to follow my adventures over the coming week on instagram @christaquilts and I’ll continue to share fun things here on the blog, too – so stay tuned!

Free Fat Quarter with $50 Purchase!

I was cleaning and organizing my sewing room and realized I have a TON of leftover fat quarters from quilts in progress, bolt ends, and fat quarter bundles from all four of my fabric lines: Modern Marks, Fandangle, Abstract Garden, and Geo Pop.

Christa Watson FQ's

Don’t they look like colorful candy?? This is just a small sampling of my freebies for you!!

Rather than trying to cram them in somewhere and let them collect dust, I’d rather give them to you!! So from now on, all orders of $50 or more from my little online store at shop.ChristaQuilts.com will get one of these beauties as a surprise in their package!

Modern Marks Fabric swatches

Click here to shop all remaining Modern Marks fabric.

Fandangle fabrics

Click here to shop all remaining Fandangle fabric.

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo

Click here to shop all remaining Abstract Garden fabric.

Geo Pop by Christa Watson

Click here to preorder bundles of Geo Pop fabric.

I’m very much a minimalist, and although I’m keeping plenty of yardage of all my collections on hand for personal use, I have a hard time storing smaller pieces of fabric. So I’m excited to send them your way instead! ūüôā

Click here to shop my fabrics, patterns, books, and thread at Shop.ChristaQuilts.com.

Quilt Shops that Carry Abstract Garden

Below is the current list of shops I know of who’ve purchased Abstract Garden from Benartex. Keep in mind that I don’t get a report of who orders from distributors or international stores unless they tell me. So if you know of another shop, I’ll be glad to add them to the list!

Christa Watson Abstract Garden

Click here to purchase quilt patterns seen above, plus many more!

Clickable links are included for shops selling online.
For all others – contact them directly.

Note: shops that have purchased the full line are indicated with ***
fabrics may go in an out of stock and this is by no means a complete list.

1915 Inspired – Raleigh, NC
A Stitch in Time – Franklin, NC
***Always in Stitches – Nobelsville, IN***
***Bernina Sewing Center – Greenville, SC***
Bernina Sewing Etc. – Ridgeland MS
***Blue Bar Quilts – Middleton, WI***
Carolina Quilt – Vorhees, NJ
Checker Distributors – Nationwide
***Christa Quilts¬† ———– That’s Me!!***
***The Crafty Bundler – Online***
Distribuidora de Tejidos SLU – Valencia, Spain
***E. E. Schenck Distributor – Nationwide***
eQuilter.com – Online Only
***Fabric.com – Online Only***
Fabrics Plus – Anacortes, WA
Heirlooms Forever – Tupelo, MS
Highered Hands – Hopewell, NY
***Homestead Hearth – Mexico, MO***
***Kennard & Kennard – Australian Distributors***
Kiki’s Quilt Shack – Fresno, CA
***Long Teh Trading Co. Distributor – Taichung City, Taiwan***
***Jordan Fabrics – Grants Pass, OR***
***Meissner Sewing – Sacramento, CA***
***Niemanns-Land Quiltshop – Germany and Online***
Mennonite Quilt Center – Reedley, CA
Midwest Textiles & Supplies Distributor – Nationwide
Patches & Stitches – Huntsville, AL
***QBFabrics – Distributor to the Netherlands***
***Quilt Basket – Wappingers Falls, NY***
Quilt Nuts – Sand Springs, OK
Quilting Gardner – McLouth, KS
Quilts & Treasures – East Longmeadow, MA
***Sew Many Ideas – Jackson, TN***
Sew Much More – Waukesha, WI
Stitchin’ Heaven – Mineola, TX
Stofgalleriet Engros – Distributor to Denmark
The Quilted Nest – Collingswood, NJ
The Sewing Source – Lake Villa, IL
***The Vintage Owl – Silsbee, TX***
Trend-Tex Fabrics – Distributor to Canada
Watt A Find – Mesquite, TX
Whale’s Tail Quilt Shop – Ketchikan, AK
Wooden Spool Boutique – Odessa, TX
Zweigart & Sawitzki,GmbH&Co.KG – Distributor to Germany

Abstract Garden Fabric

Click here to get Abstract Garden yardage, bundles and kits from me while supplies last.

Quilts and Projects from my Booth at KC Spring Market 2019

As promised, here’s a virtual tour of my quilt market booth, where I showcased my brand new Geo Pop line (shipping in Aug/Sept) and shared new things made from my current line, Abstract Garden. Quilt Market is an industry only trade who which took place in Kansas City, MO. Ready for a bunch of inspiring pics??? Here goes:

Christa Watson Spring Quilt Market 2019

Here’s the whole booth at a glance. I features some brand new quilt patterns, along with some fabulous projects made from my designer friends. Putting up a booth is no easy feat; fortunately I do get help from Benartex with booth setup, but it still takes all day!

Make These Fun Projects from Geo Pop

Mini Quilts Made from Geo Pop by Christa Watson for Benartex

Two of my talented friends made the projects above. You can get the Sew Speedy quilt pattern from Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio.  The Retro Runner pattern is brand new from Margaret Travis of Eazy Peazy Quilts.

Colour Maze quilt with Geo Pop

This amazing strip-roll quilt is called Colour Maze, from the uber talented Linda Sullivan of Colourwerx. How fab would it look made from an Abstract Garden Strip Roll?? On the benc above left, you’ll see the adorable rope bowl made by Vicki Arnold of SewPositivelyVickie on Instragram (who also made my adorable name tag below.)

I displayed my Geo Pop fat quarter bundle (which you can pre-order now), plus my quilt patterns that work great in any of my lines (or other fabrics for that matter.) Shops really liked being able to my current patterns directly from me and take them home from the show!

Woven Bag with Geo Pop

Don’t you love this woven bag made by Sherry Shish of Powered by Quilting? I believe she’s currently working on a pattern for it, so stay tuned!!

Spark Quilt by Tammi Silvers

Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis chose white and gray, with pops of blue and green for her brand new Spark quilt pattern, coming soon. Isn’t it super cool and modern? On top of the quilt are the new patterns being released this spring , so stay tuned for more info when they are ready!

Sprinkled throughout the booth were more pops of color – bags and accessories from the folks over at ByAnnie. They make quick gifts and give you a fast finish!

Mally the Maker and Miss Bunny

Domestic machine quilting goddess Leah Day recently released her first fiction novel, “Mally the Maker” about a young girl on a quest to find her missing grandmother. Her companion is Miss Bunny, her beloved doll. Leah created a pattern to go along with the book and even made a miss Bunny for me (which my daughter quickly claimed.)

Geo Pop Dress

You can see above that Miss Bunny and I are both wearing matching dresses – from the Mosaic Dots print in green. Just behind me and left I showcased my Pieced Primrose pattern made from Abstract Garden fabric. Because the line is currently in stock, I wanted to show how nicely the two colorful groups play with each other.

Aurifil Thread

I also displayed my newest Aurifil Thread kit – The Variegated Collection. I used it to quilt the Pieced Primrose quilts as well as Color Weave. It was fun to share quilting tips with anyone who stopped by!

I displayed a few Abstract Garden fat quarter bundles throughout the booth, so shops could touch and feel the actual fabrics.

Bling Quilts with Geo Pop

The highlight of my booth was two versions of my Bling pattern that I made, with either black or white background from the line. It just takes 20 fat quarters of Geo Pop (or your favorite fabrics) and it goes together super fast!

Click here to pre-order the Bling quilt pattern – shipping mid June.

Abstract Garden Color Weave Quilt

Color Weave Quilt from Abstract Garden

By far, my Color Weave quilt got the most attention because of its striking color gradation. I wrote the Color Weave pattern to showcase the Abstract Garden strip roll, and paired it with the grays from Fandangle which has been reprinted several times.

Although it was a ton of work to pull this together for 3 days of display, it was worth it seeing all of the smiles of everyone who’s ordered it so far for their shops. I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour, and believe it or not, it’s already time for me to start prepping for fall market, LOL!!

Where to Buy Geo Pop

My Finished Terrace Dresses (and Matching Shoes)

I’m finally recovered from Quilt Market last week, so I can share with you how my dresses turned out using my new Geo Pop fabric line. “3-D” sewing is new to me, so this was a fun adventure! I began by pairing up my new fabric samples with some of my favorite Fluevogs

Geo Pop Fabric Fluevog Shoes

Which do you think came first – the fabric or the shoes??

Then I made a “muslin” – a practice version (using my Modern Marks fabric) without all the finishing touches so I could test for fit. I used Liesl & Co’s Terrace Dress pattern because it looked easy enough for beginners, and it really was!!

Making a dress from Modern Marks

I used Crossmarks in pink for my “practice” dress before making the real thing.

I don’t have many in-progress pics because I was a hot mess while sewing on a deadline. But I tried tissue fitting and making an FBA (full-bust adjustment) before I finally settled on making a version of the dress according to the size I thought I was on the pattern, without any adjustments. This actually seemed to give me the best result.

Black Yellow Terrace DresssCut pattern pieces all laid out on my design wall – it’s not just for quilts!!

I made a total of 4 of this dress using each color of the “Mosaic Dots” print from my new Geo Pop fabric line from Benartex (shipping in August). I put pockets in the first version which was awesome! But they took a lot of extra time, so I skipped that step in the other 3 versions since I was in a hurry. I also changed up the hem length a couple of times, just to see which I liked better (slightly longer for sure!) I missed getting a good pic of me in the yellow version, but here are the other 3 versions below.

A purple dress with matching purple shoes!!

Terrace Dress in Geo Pop Fabric

I admit it – sometimes my fabric color palette is influenced by my shoe collection!!

Geo Pop Terrace Dress

You can’t go wrong with classic black and white!!
It was fun to try out different sash/belt configurations.

I really enjoyed making these dresses, and am excited to make more clothing. I got a great tip from a seamstress I met when I wondered why the top had a few small wrinkles between the bust dart and shoulder area. She said¬† I should look for patterns with set in sleeves rather than a cap sleeve – that it would fit my shape better. I’ll be sure to look for that next time!!

If I’ve piqued your curiosity about my new booth and fabrics, don’t worry. I’ll share more about the items in my booth at the of the week, so stay tuned!!

Come See Me at Spring Quilt Market 2019 in Kansas City!

This week I head off to Kansas City, Missouri for Spring 2019 international quilt market – the quilting industry trade show. I’ll have new fabric, quilts and patterns to share plus loads of inspiration! Catch live daily updates from me on instagram @christaquilts – and if you’ll be at the show, please be sure to come say hi during my in-person events below:

Geo Pop by Christa Watson

Ask your local quilt shop to order Geo Pop from their Benartex sales rep.
Click here to view Geo Pop fabric swatches.

Schedule of Events

  • Thursday 1:55-2:25 PM Schoolhouse Session, Room 2209
  • Friday 8-9 AM Business Seminar – click here to register
  • Friday-Sunday during show hours –¬† meet and greet in booth #2111

  • Friday 2:30 PM Designer Showcase Booth 2111 – free goody bags for attendees
  • Saturday 11 AM Designer Showcase Booth 211 – free goody bags for attendees

Benartex Designer ShowcaseJoin me and the other Benatex designers shown above to learn more about our new collections, grab a goody bag and take pics of our booths – it will be super fun!!

Quilt Market Newsletter Feature

Speaking of quilt market, I was pleased to be featured in the April Edition of eInsider – News and Trends from Quilt Market. Click here to read my interview.

Geo Pop by Christa Watson

Click here to preorder Geo Pop FQ Bundles, shipping Aug/Sept 2019.

WHERE TO BUY Geo Pop ‚Äď SHIPPING IN AUG/SEPT

QUILT SHOP OWNERS:

Click here to view the entire line from Benartex. You can order directly online from Benartex, from your independent sales rep, or from most major distributors:

FANS AND FRIENDS:

Please ask your favorite local quilt shop to carry it. If you don’t have one nearby,
click here to preorder FQ bundles for a limited time (one per person, please).

Geo Pop Fabric

Geo Pop includes 25 skus of saturated geometrics with black and gray neutrals.

Sneak Peek of My Newest Fabric Line – Geo Pop with Benartex!

Today I’m excited to share a quick sneak peek of my newest fabric line, Geo Pop from Benartex/Contempo Studio. It will debut at quilt market next week and I can’t wait!

Geo Pop by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here to pre-order Geo Pop 25 Fat Quarters – shipping Aug/Sept, 2019.

Geo Pop is my fourth fabric line and I was super stoked to add black, white and gray to the mix of fun, bright geometrics. It mixes well with my previous collections: Modern Marks, Fandangle, and Abstract Garden. More info and patterns to come, so stay tuned – I’d better go pack!!

Where to Buy – Shipping in Aug/Sept

Quilt Shop Owners:

Click here to view the entire line from Benartex. You can order directly online from Benartex, from your independent sales rep, or from most major distributors:

Fans and Friends:

Please ask your favorite local quilt shop to carry it. If you don’t have one nearby,
click here to preorder FQ bundles for a limited time (one per person, please).

Geo Pop Fabric

Tips for Making Geese in the Garden – Part 1 of 2

Welcome to my new series where I explain a little more in depth about how I made a recent quilt and share tips to make your sewing and quilting faster and more fun! Today we’ll focus on my Geese in the Garden Quilts made from my Abstract Garden line¬†with Benartex/Contempo.

Geese in the Garden Quilt Pattern

Click here to get the print version of Geese in the Garden pattern.
Click here to get the PDF version of Geese in the Garden pattern.

The “Geese” Design

When I designed Geese in the Garden with it’s radiating diamond-like shapes,¬† my first instinct was to write the pattern by making all of¬† the blocks from Half Square Triangles. However, that would have left a seam in the middle of each block which would have disrupted the fabric print.

I knew I could eliminate some of the seams using the “flip and sew” method but there would still be some seams I didn’t like, and it would have created a lot of waste. Here’s an early sketch of it in Electric Quilt with those unsightly seams (in the yellow seeds fabric and the pink roses fabric).

Geese in the Garden Sketch

So then I researched how to sew diamond shapes and discovered that these shapes are NOT true diamonds, but are rather “squished” or “elongated” diamonds. However, the traditional technique to make the diamonds would still work, but I’d have to recalculate the math.

Diamond Cutting

Diamond cutting in process. 

After a bit of testing I figured out an easy way to cut these elongated diamonds with a simple acrylic ruler that has a 45 degree line – no specialty ruler required! It’s all about the width that you cut them, and that information is included in detail in the pattern.

45 degree angle cutting

You’ll get a chance to use the 45 degree line on your ruler when cutting these diamonds.

Because these are not true diamonds, they have a definite left and right side. You can create some really cool designs with “mirror image” units. Here’s a tip to cut them correctly: Cut at least 2 stacked strips at a time. Make sure one strip is right side up, while the other is wrong side up. Or fold the strip in half and you’ll automatically get mirror image pairs.

Mirror Image Diamond Units

Mirror image units – and no pesky seams in the middle of the fabric!

Abstract Garden Fabric Choices

My Abstract Garden collection includes a total of 20 fabrics arranged into warm and cool colorways. However, I wanted fabric selection to be easy for this quilt pattern, so that you could use any fabrics you like.  So it only takes a total of 5 prints to create the design.

Since I was making two quilts (warm and cool), I decided to cut and piece them both at the same time. I starched the fabrics ahead of time before I cut, to help control the diagonal bias edges.

Abstract Garden UnitsClick here to get the Geese in the Garden Kit – in warm or cool.

The fun part about choosing fabrics is creating a radiating, glowing look with your color choices. Because the center diamonds of the design are interchangeable, I played around with them to make sure I was happy with the color arrangement.

Geese in the Garden Units

I love pretty stacks of cut units – don’t you?

Sewing the Geese Rows

Technically, this is a “row” quilt, meaning it’s sewn together into rows, rather than blocks. The super easy thing about this pattern is that each row is exactly the same! To make sewing go even easier, I recommend laying out all of the units, and sewing them into pairs on either side of the center triangle.

Geese in the Garden Rows

Although these are for 2 separate quilts, how fun would it be to alternate the rows?

My tip for sewing units with a 45 degree angle is that you need to offset the triangle tips by the same amount on both sides as you sew. The triangle tip will stick out about 1/4″ inch on either side. Notice the tips sticking out in the image below when the fabrics are matched up, right sides together:

Geese Triangle Tips

Sew an accurate 1/4″ seam, using the point where the two fabrics intersect in the corner. This detail image below shows the sewn seam (stitched with my favorite 50 weight Aurifil thread). Notice it’s been rotated to show the angle at which I sew each unit under the machine. (Make sure to chain piece all the units at once for speed and efficiency.)

Sewing Diamond Units

You’ll know you’ve sewn them correctly when you’ve created a nice smooth edge along both pieces. Don’t forget to trim the triangle tips! I also press all of my seams open so that my blocks will lie nice and flat.

Sewn Diamond Units

Remember, this technique works for ANY units with a 45 degree angle. Below is what the center triangle looks like when I lined it up with the rest of the sewn pairs. It looks a little awkward, but notice how both tips are sticking out about 1/4″. Once the pieces are flipped over right sides together and sewn, everything will come out even, just like the diamond pairs.

Sewing 45 degree angles

I often get asked how I press seams open without burning my fingers. The answer is that I open them up with my fingers ahead of the iron, and I never use steam. Here’s a 20 second video clip showing how I press my seam open, once I’ve sewn my rows:

Here’s the backside of the cool version with all of the rows sewn and those nice, flat, pressed open seams. Doesn’t it look just as pretty as the front??

seams pressed open

Although the pattern comes in 3 sizes, I chose to make the smallest size. But the best thing about this pattern is that it’s the same number of pieces to cut and sew, no matter which size you make. They just get larger as the quilt gets bigger. It only took me a few hours to piece each quit top, so it’s a great design to make when you are in a hurry, and it’s fun to show off your favorite fabrics in the diamonds.

One final tip to share today: don’t stress too much about perfection. Do your best to line up the seams as you sew the quilt, but notice the lower left corner of the image below. The turquoise and blue corners don’t match up perfectly in all the rows,¬† but that’s ok. Once the quilt is quilted – you won’t even notice it!!

Geese in the Garden quilt featuring Abstract Garden by Christa Watson

Very few of my points line up perfectly – but it still looks great!!

If you found this post helpful, you can help support my blogging efforts by purchasing my Geese in the Garden pattern or any of my other quilt patterns or fabrics at shop.ChristaQuilts.com. They’ll come infused with a little “Christa Quilts” magic, ensuring your success while I cheer you on!

In the next post, I’ll share tips on how I quilted each quilt with two quick and easy walking foot designs, so stay tuned!

Designer Sampler – Free Quilt Block Tutorials for You from Benartex

One of the fun things I love about designing fabric for Benartex is being able to express myself creatively through fabric. I also love getting to know their other fabric designers and see the amazing things they make! Recently Benartex pulled together a fun collaboration to create this fun sampler quilt. Each block was designed by one of nine current fabric designers who participated, and there are instructions to make each block as well as the full quilt over on the Benartex blog.

Benartex Designer Sampler in Solids

Designer Sampler in Solids
Click here for the Sampler introduction
Click here for finishing instructions

As an inspiring bonus, the folks over at Benartex recolored the sampler quilt using each designers’ latest fabric line. Links to each block and fabric collection are below each image:

Jackie Robinson Festival of Roses

Click here to see Jackie Robinson’s “A Festival of Roses” collection
Click here for instructions to make Jackie’s Rose block

Amanda Murphy Thankful

Click here to see Amanda Murphy’s “Thankful” collection
Click here for instructions to make Amanda’s Octablock

Nancy Halvorson Home Grown

Click here to see Nancy Halvorsen’s “Home Grown” collection
Click here for instructions to make Nancy’s Home block

Cherry Guidry Hearty the Snowman

Click here to see Cherry Guidry’s “Hearty the Snowman” collection
Click here for instructions to make Cherry’s Hearty Gifts block

Modern Quilt Studio Warp and Weft

Click here to see Modern Quilt Studio’s “Warp and Waft” collection
Click here for instructions to make Bill & Weeks’ Jawbreaker block

Ann Lauer Catitude Christmas

Click here to see Ann Lauer’s “Catitude Christmas” collection
Click here for instructions to make Ann’s 8-Pointed Star block

Cheryl Haynes Harvest Berry

Click here to see Cheryl Haynes’ “Harvest Berry” collection
Click here for instructions to make Cheryl’s Pumpkin House block

Paula Nadelstern Piece and Joy

Click here to see Paula Nadelstern’s “Piece & Joy” collection
Click here for instructions to make The Big T block designed by Stephanie  Sheridan

Christa Watson Abstract Garden

Click here to see Christa Watsons “Abstract Garden” collection
Click here for instructions to make my Sunshine block

Isn’t it fun to see how unique a quilt looks made up in different fabrics? This is a great way to experience the variety of colors and styles that Benartex offers. Now I want to make them all!!

Come See Me at QuiltCon 2019 in Nashville! (And a fun personal update)

I can’t believe it’s already time to get packed and ready for QuiltCon which is happening next week! It’s been a whirlwind of a year for our family so far – moving into a new home and getting ready for our younger son leave for his mission to China this week. The older one will be moving back home for awhile to work for us, and we are sooo glad we got the bigger house with an extra room! During all the chaos, we were even able to sneak in a last minute Disney vacation over the weekend. It was a great way to celebrate all the changes happening this year!

Watsons at Disney 2019

Disneyland is truly our happy place!! Although it was a chilly weekend, I kept nice and toasty warm with my MQG Hoodie I got at last year’s QuiltCon!

But now, it’s time to transition back into quilting mode big time!! And I’m so excited to do that with my first teaching event of the year! If you are planning on attending QuiltCon but didn’t make it into my sold-out workshops, I have great news for you: there’s still room in my lecture, plus I’ll be doing several free events on the flow show all weekend long. So be sure to come up and say hi – I’d love to chat with you!

BERNINA demos at QuiltCon

Here’s my schedule of events:

Christa’s QuiltCon Schedule

  • Friday 1:00 PM Stage Demo –¬†Free Motion¬†Quilting with BERNINA
  • Friday 1:30¬†PM¬†Meet ‘n Greet – Booth 712 Designs by Sarah J.
  • Friday 5:00 PM Stage Demo – Electric Quilt 8
  • Saturday 11:00 AM¬†Stage Demo – Walking Foot Quilting with BERNINA
  • Saturday 11:30 AM¬†Meet ‘n Greet –¬†Booth 712 Designs by Sarah J.
  • Sunday¬†10:15 AM Lecture – Modern Machine Quilting

Click here to register for my lecture.

Christa EQ and QuiltCon

So far I have attended every QuiltCon since the event began in 2013. This will be my third time teaching there and it’s my favorite show of the year! I always get inspired when I go and I love learning more about the modern quilting aesthetic. Plus, it’s super fun to meet up with friends, many of which I’ve met because of my involvement with QuiltCon!

Christa and Sarah J

I’m excited to hang out in my pal Sarah J’s booth next week. She’ll have many of my fabrics, patterns and of course my books! Stop by to say hi and I’ll be happy to sign anything you like… (a book, a pattern, your arm, a blank check… just kidding!!)

QuiltCon 2019

Are you planning to attend? If so – I’ll see you there!!