The Making of Bling Quilt Part 4 of 4 – Machine Quilting

I’m back to share the final step of making my Bling quilts that I starting telling you about last month. Check out the links below to catch up on the previous posts.Bling Quilts with Geo Pop

Whenever I make the same quilt twice, I like to show different fabric combos and machine quilting ideas. I quilted both versions of Bling using a walking foot but with two very different designs. I always make a quilting plan so I know what I’m doing before I get there.

Here are two suggested quilting plans that I included in the Bling Pattern:

Random Crosshatch quilting

Random Crosshatch Quilting

Wavy Grid Quilting

Wavy Gird Quilting

Both techniques are basically the same: you quilt a series of lines across the quilt in both directions, starting with widely spaced lines, and then filling in the gaps with more lines until you like how dense the quilting is. The only difference is that the first version uses straight lines, and the second version uses wavy lines.

Here’s a short video I’ve put together with two 30 second snippets of me quilting each quilt, using the dual feed on my BERNINA, which works just like a walking foot.

These are super simple, fast and fun designs to quilt and are my go-to’s when I’m in a hurry!

Here are two other helpful tutorials in order for you to make a complete quilt. I use these same methods, no matter which quilt I’m making:

And here are the finished quilts! I have quilt kits available for both versions if you’d like to make them just like this. Because they have a scrappy look, no two quilts will be the same!

Bling Quilt - Geo Pop Fabric by Christa WatsonBling Quilt with Geo Pop fabric by Christa Watson

Sharing is Caring

Remember – I love to see you work and I know others do, too! So share pics of your progress on instagram with the hasthtag #blingquilt and be sure to tag me @christaquilts. You can also post pics, ask questions, and get any type of quilting advice over in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group. I love virtual show ‘n tell, don’t you??

Bling Quilt Part 3 of 4 – Making the Quilt Top

Now it’s time to take those yummy cut up pieces from Geo Pop and sew them together into a quilt! Although I’m making two versions of Bling at the same time, it’s really not that much extra effort to do double the amount of sewing! This is a quick overview of my process – please purchase a copy of the Bling quilt pattern for more detailed instructions.

Geo Pop Cutting in Progress
Bling Fabric Cutting in process

Cutting in progress for both version of Bling – in black or white

Geo Pop Fabric

Click here to get Geo Pop fabrics, kits, precuts and coordinating patterns.

Thread Tips

When choosing thread for piecing, I prefer to use Aurifil 50 weight cotton from one of my 3 thread collections. When sewing with lots of colorful prints like Geo Pop, I’ll choose a lighter color when sewing with the light background, and darker colors when sewing with the dark background. I’ll use the same color in top and bobbin or similar shades.

Aurifil Thread and Geo Pop Fabric

Because these quilts were so colorful, I was able to use up some leftover spools and bobbins while piecing. I sew with a shorter stitch length (2.0 instead of 2.5) and I press my seams open so that everything will lie flat. The shorter stitch length also prevents the stitches from showing through the seams.

Aurifil Thread and Geo Pop fabric

Click here to checkout my Aurifil thread collections – Colors, Neutrals and Variegated.

Sewing the Blocks

The block that forms the Bling quilt is actually very versatile. First take a look at the finished sewn blocks using both background colors below.

Bling Block White

Look at those beautiful seams pressed open!!

Bling Blocks

Each block in the quilt pattern uses the same background fabric and then two fun colorful prints.But look at the other options you could try! You could rotate the unit placement to create a slightly different block:

Geo Pop Bling

Or you could make the block a bit scrappier if desired.

Geo Pop Bling

However, you make it is it up to you – because you are the boss of your quilt!!

Piecing the top

Although my usual method is to sew blocks into rows, you can actually sew groups of 4 into larger blocks for easier handling.

Geo Pop Bling

Geo Pop Bling

Once the blocks are all sewn, the quilt top goes together very quickly. The pattern even includes several alternate layouts for you to try. I use my design wall to help me keep the blocks arranged just how I want them. You could also take a picture with your phone to refer to!

Geo Pop Bling

Click here for my design wall tutorial.

Quilt in Progress on Design Wall

I love quilts that show off the fabrics, and Bling was sooo fun to make! Stay tuned for the last segment where I talk about the machine quilting (my favorite part!!)

RELEVANT LINKS:

If you’ve enjoyed these helpful tips and tricks, pleas consider supporting me by purchasing my quilt patterns, fabrics, and other supplies.

The Making of Bling Quilt Part 2 of 4 – Cutting the Fabrics

I’m working on both versions of my Bling quilt at the same time, so it will be double the fun! If you remember from my last post, I’m making the same design and using the same Geo Pop fat quarters for both quilts, but one will have a white background and the other will have a black background. Any colorful prints will work as long as you have contrast between your fat quarters and background fabric.

Geo Pop by Christa Watson

Geo Pop Fat Quarter Bundle – I love working with my own fabrics!

I have more fabrics than I need since the pattern calls for just 20 fat quarters, and Geo Pop includes 25, so I’m going to save the leftovers for another project. Of course, you could use the extra fabrics for some of the blocks, since each print will be repeated in more than one block.

Washing and Starching

First, I separated the fabrics into lights and darks and then pre-washed everything on cold, using several Color Catchers in the wash. Even though this is premium quality fabric I’m working with, I still like to wash to preshrink it and wash out any excess dye so there’s no chance of bleeding when I wash the quilt later. I starched the fabrics by spraying the back side with inexpensive Faultess Premium Starch from the grocery store,  and then pressing from the front side. I repeated for both sides of the fabric.

Bling by Christa Watson of Christa Quilts

Click the image above to enlarge

Click here to purchase the Bling quilt pattern – paper version.
Click here to purchase the Bling quilt pattern – PDF version.

Cutting the Units

See the quilt pattern for specifics on cutting each of the prints.

Even though I design, test, and make all of my own quilts myself, I always write the pattern first, then follow my own instructions to make sure I haven’t missed anything as I go. I love when quilts are easy to cut out. The block units are all cut from fat quarters and the background is all cut from one fabric – light or dark.

Because I had a lot of fabric to cut, I made sure to layer 4 fat quarters at a time, and fold my background fabrics into 4 layers so I was cutting more at the same time. In a pattern like this, you don’t have to worry too much about directional prints, because they can randomly go in any direction.

Geo Pop Fabric for Bling Quilt by Christa Watson

Cut Block Pieces – with White Background
Click here to purchase yardage of Op Squares White

When dealing with large pieces of fabric, like my white or black background, I’ll cut off smaller chunks like a yard or two to work with. There’s enough so that if I lose an inch or two by squaring up the fabric, it won’t make that much of a difference.

The white version will have a scrappy binding and the black version will use the same binding as the background fabric. Here’s a tip: although the pattern calls for the standard  2 1/4″ wide strips, I actually cut mine out 2″ wide so I get a super skinny binding that’s the same side on front and back.

Geo Pop fabric for Bling quilt by Christa Watson of Christa Quilts

Cut Block Pieces – with Black Background
Click here to purchase the Bling Quilt Kit in White or Black

Now everything is ready to sew! Stay tuned for the next post where I’ll sew them up into two fun and colorful quilt tops. Click any of the links below to purchase supplies to make these quilts.

Bling Quilts with Geo Pop

RELEVANT LINKS:

The Making of Bling Quilt Part 1 of 4 – Choosing Fabrics

I enjoy sharing my process of quilt making so that you can have more success when you make your own quilts. Over the next 4 blog posts, I’ll share my process for making Bling – one of my newest patterns featuring my 4th fabric collection – Geo Pop for Benartex/Contempo. Of course it would look great in any fabrics, which is what today’s topic is all about.

Bling Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson

Bling Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson

I love this design for Bling, and especially enjoy making fat quarter friendly quilts. When choosing fabrics, the easiest way to choose colors for a successful quilt is to pick a whole bunch of fabrics that you like with the same theme or color scheme, then pair them up with a highly contrasting background fabric.

Geo Pop fabric by Christa Watson

Geo Pop fat quarters for Bling.

For example, I knew I wanted to use as many fabrics as I could in the line and most are all very bright. So bright, bold, and geometric was my fabric “theme” for this quilt.

Because there’s a lot going on with the fabrics themselves, I paired them up with the lightest fabric in the line and the darkest fabric in the line to ensure there was contrast between the main fabrics and the background. I honestly couldn’t decide which I liked better, so I decided to make both quilts!

Geo Pop fabric by Christa Quilts

I used Tiny Hex black for the darker background and Op Squares white for the lighter one.

For me, fabric selection really is that easy. I don’t get hung up too much on color theory; rather I just go with my gut feeling. After all, most of us are pretty successful choosing what to wear each day, so choosing the colors our quilts will wear isn’t that much different, right?

Geo Pop by Christa Watson

Geo Pop – 20 Colors for Bling.
Click here to get the kit of 20 FQ’s plus background fabric.

My Bling quilt pattern calls for 20 fat quarters + 4 yards of background fabric for the Twin size that I’m making. Geo Pop has 25 prints in the line including several light and dark grays. To ensure I had the most contrast possible, I pulled out the 5 light and dark grays and just use the more colorful prints. I’ll plan to use the leftovers in another project, or add them to my stash.

Geo Pop by Christa Watson

I pulled these grays out of the bundle and will use them in another project.
You could also piece them into the back of the quilt.

For the white version, I’m using some of the leftovers to make a scrappy binding that frames the quilt. For binding on the black version, I’ll use the same fabric as the background so that the the negative space goes all the way to the edges – two slightly different looks for two great quilts!

Geo Pop by Christa Watson

Geo Pop full collection – 25 colorful prints!

The first step after choosing fabrics is to prewash and starch. I always prewash any fabric that’s a fat quarter or larger. My favorite starch is inexpensive Faultless premium starch from the grocery store. To prevent flaking, I spray starch on one side of the fabric, and then iron it from the opposite side, then repeat for both sides of the fabric.

In the next post, I’ll show you these lovelies all cut and ready to piece, so stay tuned!

Relevant Links:

***Thanks for your purchase – your support of our mom and pop shop makes my day!!***

New Quilt Patterns Featuring Geo Pop!

I’m excited to release three new patterns that I created to showcase my new fabric line, Geo Pop which will be shipping to stores in August/September. Just like all of my quilt patterns, they will look great in any fabrics you choose! And they are available in either print or PDF.

Bling – Fat Quarter Friendly

Bling Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson

Bling comes in three sizes and is made from 20 fat quarters plus background. I loved the design so much I had to make it twice! The key to color success is choosing a very high contrasting background. I wanted to show off the black and white prints from Geo Pop and I love how they turned out!

Optical Illusion – 3 Colors, Fun to Look At!

Bling Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson

It only takes 3 fabrics to create this stunning Optical Illusion! Scroll up and down to watch the lines play tricks on your eyes. Yes, they really are straight!! I’ve made my version using geometric prints in black, white and gray, but I’d love to see this made up in other colors, too! I’ve included instructions for 3 sizes and like all of my patterns, it also includes machine quilting suggestions.

Infrastructure – a Modern Row Quilt

Infrastructure Quilt Pattern

This stunning quilt is a collaboration between me and my very talented friend Heather Black. I sent her digital images of Geo Pop early on and asked her to come up with a fun modern design with straight piecing (rather than the curves she’s well known for). I think she knocked it out of the park with this design while cleverly using every fabric in the line. I love this quilt so much that it will be my next quilt along in September, once the fabrics have been released. I can’t wait!!

Once Geo Pop hits stores later this year, I’ll share more about the making of each quilt. Remember – I’m here to cheer you on every step of the way so that you enjoy making these quilts as much as I did!