Color Weave Quilt Kit, Gray Fabrics Back in Stock!!

I know it’s been a minute since I posted but I have lots of exciting behind-the-scenes stuff happening right now. But I had to come up for air to let you know the fabulous news that my Confetti Crosshatch fabrics are now back in stock.

Confetti Crosshatch by Christa Watson

Click here to get Confetti Crosshatch by the yard in light or dark grey.

These are my most popular prints of all time and you can see why – because they are the PERFECT grays that go with just about anything!!

And there’s even more great news to share – my Color Weave quilt kit is now back in stock, too. This has been my best selling kit and pattern EVER!! I’m not sure if it’s the rainbow effect that folks love, or the magic of the piecing, but it’s one of my favorites, too!!Color Weave quilt by Christa Watson

Click here to get the Color Weave quilt kit, while supplies last.

In case you missed it the first time around, you can learn how to make this quilt from start to finish by checking out my step-by-step Color Weave Quilt Along. The quilt along itself is free – all you need is a copy of the Color Weave quilt pattern to follow along.

Click here for the Color Weave Quilt Along

Color Weave Quilt Pattern

I love seeing everything you all have made with my quilt patterns and fabric. Keep sharing them with me and making my day!!!

Color Weave Quilt by Christa Watson

Quilts Made by You!! Gotta Love the Inspiration :-)

Nothing makes my day more than seeing what you all are making with my fabrics! And I love seeing when you’ve used one of my patterns for your latest project. With so many options, it’s an honor to see these beautiful quilts and works in progress “in the wild!” 🙂

Christa Quilts Patterns

So today I thought it would be fun to do a little roundup of what you all have been making with my designer products. It makes my day to see these pop up on social media 🙂

This gorgeous photo shows Kathleen Hetzler Riordan with quilts on her beautiful white fence. She says, “My street had a pop-up quilt show today and four of us who are quilters put our quilts out on our picket fence, and neighbors walked, drove and golf carted by to see them! It was very impromptu but lots of fun! Christa’s Puzzle Box is on the far left!” 

Click here to get the free Puzzle Box quilt pattern.
Kathleen Hetzler Riordan on Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

I love this outdoor image—it shouts “Summertime!” Kathleen lives in Virginia and the quilt show took place on May 24, 2020. I’m sure it was a source of joy for many people during the pandemic. 

Sally J. is currently working on a baby quilt with my Color Weave pattern and Abstract Garden prints. This design is great for 2.5 strips—maybe you have a favorite sitting around just waiting to be used?! Or maybe you’d like to treat yourself to one of my colorful modern strip sets!

 

Megan G. used purple for her Optical Illusion quilt and I love it! This design works in so many great combinations. Pay attention to the instructions for the values of each fabric so that your illusion shows up nicely.

Here are links to all of the steps in the Optical Illusion Quilt Along that we recently wrapped up! My QAL blog posts stay up indefinitely so you can sew on your own timeline.

Optical Illusion QAL steps:

Here’s another one in progress from Kate S. I love that red and aqua combo!

 

Debora L shared her success in quilting continuous spirals on her black, white and gray version shown below:

 Kate S. is gets bonus points for combining fat quarters from ALL of my fabric lines to make this colorful project below:

I can’t wait to see more!!

And I see Good Vibes fabrics in her stacks of Flying Geese. I wonder where this is going? I’m sure it will look amazing when finished!

How about this scrappy house quilt? Judy A. posted it in my Christa Quilts Facebook group and had this to say about it:

This is my “Village” (Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co). Mostly Christa’s fabrics plus some Patrick Lose, Allison Glass, and my stash. I can honestly say that working on this made me SO happy. 

I sure love it when I see my fabrics playing so nicely with others!!

Sandi S. in Australia is making this bright and happy number with Geo Pop fat quarters and half-square triangles. That’s some gorgeous eye candy, isn’t it?!

Nancy Mahoney Modern Fans

Last but not least for today, I just love this beauty above made by Nancy Mahoney. She combined a bunch of my fat quarter color bundles along with Op Squares in white from Geo Pop for the background. You can actually find the pattern for it in the July/August issue of Love of Quilting Magazine.

I so appreciate all of you! Thank you for making this the best job under the sun!

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 8 – Binding by Machine

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

Color Weave Quilt by Christa Watson

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

Binding Step 1: Square up the quilt

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

Binding Step 2 – Make Continuous Binding Strips

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

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

Binding Step 3 – Sew the Binding to the Quilt

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

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

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

Binding Step 4 – Secure the Binding with Decorative Stitches

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

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

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

Machine Stitched Binding

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

IMPORTANT LINKS

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

How You can Support ChristaQuilts

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

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

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 7 – Machine Quilting Random Crosshatch

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

Random Crosshatch Quilting

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

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

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

Machine Quilting Random crosshatch

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

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

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

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

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

Quilting Random crosshatch

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

Quilting Random Crosshatch

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

Machine Quilting Random Crosshatch

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

IMPORTANT LINKS

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

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 6 – Stitching in the Ditch

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

Random Crosshatch quilt plan

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

Thread Choices

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

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

Aurifil variegated thread

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

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

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

Aurifil Variegated Thread

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

Machine Quilting – Stitch in the Ditch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMPORTANT LINKS

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

Quilt in Progress: Color Weave Blocks in Fandangle

I’m currently working on a second version of Color Weave using my Fandangle strip roll (2 1/2″ precut strips). This is what the finished layout will look like:

Color Weave Fandangle

I’m loving how it’s looking so far. Here are my finished blocks in color order waiting for quilt top assembly:

Color Weave by Christa Watson

Color Weave by Christa Watson

Color Weave by Christa Watson

Color Weave by Christa Watson

Color Weave by Christa WatsonColor Weave by Christa Watson

Color Weave by Christa Watson

Color Weave by Christa Watson

Color Weave by Christa Watson

If you are making this quilt along with me, be sure to share your progress on social media with the hashtag #colorweavequilt so I can see what you are doing. You can also share in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group along with many others. Happy sewing!!

Get the Supplies

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 5 – Backing and Basting

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

Christa Watson Quilt Studio

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

Pieced Quilt Backing

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

Abstract Garden Pieced backing

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

Abstract Garden Pieced backing

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

Abstract Garden Selvage

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

WALL BASTING TUTORIAL

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

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

Hobbs Batting Cotton/Wool

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

STEP 1 – APPLY ADHESIVE TO BACKING AND QUILT TOP SEPARATELY

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

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

Basting Spray

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

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

STEP 2 – ASSEMBLE THE LAYERS INDOORS

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

Wall Basting

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

Basting Smooth Back

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

Quilt Batting for Basting

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

Wall basting - batting

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

Adding the quilt top for basting

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

Adding the quilt top for basting

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

Trim Batting

STEP 3 – IRON THE BASTED QUILT

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

Iron the basted quilt to set the glue

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

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

IMPORTANT LINKS

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

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 4 – Quilt Top Assembly

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

Rainbow Weave Blocks

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

Rainbow Weave Block Rows

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

Rainbow Weave Blocks

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

Rainbow Weave Blocks

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

Rainbow Weave Turquoise Blocks

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

Rainbow Weave Blocks

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

Rainbow Weave Blocks

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

Pinning rows

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

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

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

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

Color Weave Quilt Top – Abstract Garden

Rainbow Weave Quilt Top by Christa Watson

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

Color Weave Recolored With Fandangle in EQ8

Color Weave Fandangle

Click here to get a Fandangle Strip-pie.

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

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

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

IMPORTANT LINKS

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

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 3 – Completing the Blocks

Now that you have your Color Weave units sewn, you can join them into blocks. The key to the woven design is careful color placement as you sew your blocks. Be sure to refer to the block chart in the quilt pattern that shows you exactly which piece goes where in each block. Although the block structure is the same for all of the blocks in the quilt, the color placement varies for each column of blocks.

Rainbow Weave Blocks

Color Weave blocks in progress

Notice that some of the blocks have darker gray strips across the top whereas others have a lighter gray strip across the top. Pay close attention to the pattern so that you make the correct number of each type of block. If you are using different fabrics, make notes in your pattern so that you can substitute your fabrics in the correct location.

Rainbow Weave Blocks

I love stacking up the blocks into pretty piles!

The key to the success of the design is seam accuracy. Because the woven lines are made up of smaller pieces of fabric, accurate fabric joins will ensure that the design flows smoothly across the quilt. You want the finished size of each strip to be 2″ after sewing together, so it’s a good idea to make a test block to check your seam accuracy and pin generously.

Rainbow Weave Quilt Block

It’s important to keep the seam lines straight across the entire quilt to create the woven look.

To ensure that the fabric pieces line up across from each other, layer the pieces wrong sides together, then flip up the top piece to ensure that the lines match up across the piece. Once you are happy with the seam alignment on both sides, pin (or use a stiletto) to keep everything in place as you sew.

Create the center block unit from the subunits sewn last week along with a colorful center rectangle for each block. (See the pattern instructions for the exact number to make.) Here’s a short video showing how I line up the rows of each block so that the seams will align:

Once the center block units are all sewn, join the outer pieces to complete each block, ensuring that the gray units continue to align accurately.

Rainbow Weave Block

Ensure accurate fabric placement according to the Color Weave pattern.

Continue to press your seams open and sew with a smaller stitch length (or backstitch) to secure the seams. What I like to do is chain piece a whole bunch of sections, then stop and press them all at once. It gives me a sense of accomplishment that I’m actually getting something done.

Seams Pressed Open

Pressing Seams open gives more accurate results and a smooth, flat block.

Keep sewing and pressing all of the blocks in the same manner until they are finished. In the next step, we’ll sew them together into rows and assemble the quilt top.

Rainbow Weave Quilt Blocks

IMPORTANT LINKS

Click here for links to the previous quilt along posts
Click here to purchase the Abstract Garden strip roll
Click here to purchase Color Weave pattern – paper version
Click here to purchase Color Weave pattern – PDF version
Click here to share your progress in my Facebook group

Color Weave Quilt Along Week 2 – Sewing the Subunits

This week we are sewing our cut pieces into larger units, following the instructions and diagrams as given in the Color Weave quilt pattern. Next week, we will assemble the units into blocks. Be sure to scroll to the end for important quilt along links you may have missed!

Several people have asked why I cut out all of the individual units rather than using strip piecing and I’m happy to explain why: because it’s much more accurate!

Rainbow Weave blocks in progress

When you sew long skinny strips of fabric and then cut them, you have a much greater chance of stretching your fabric as you sew. So if I know the units are cut to the correct size to begin with, the blocks will turn out the right size, and won’t warp or stretch out of shape. However, I’m happy for you to continue using any method or technique that you are comfortable with and works for you, because after all, you are the boss of your quilt!!

Triple Square Units

Once you’ve cut out all of the pieces according to the chart in the pattern, it’s time to sew them into larger units. You CAN sew one block at a time if you like, but I find that very tedious and time consuming.

Triple Square Blocks from Rainbow Weave Quilt Pattern

First sew together ALL of the triple square units, then press the seams open when you are finished so your blocks will lie nice and flat. In order to prevent the edges of your seams from splitting open I recommend sewing with a shorter stitch length (like 2.0 instead of 2.5) or backstitching at the start and end of each unit.

Chain Piecing Video Clip

Take a look at this short (slient) video showing how I chain piece 2 units together at a time. I use a stilleto for accuracy and make sure I’m sewing with an accurate 1/4″ seam. Take care that you don’t veer off at the end of the square while sewing. I also engage the “hover” feature on my machine (a BERNINA 770QE). This automatically raises the foot up slightly when I stop sewing, so it’s much easier to slide the next set of units to be sewn under the machine.

In this next video, I’m using a Triangle Thread Cutter to quickly clip the threads in between each chain pieced unit. Once I’m through, I’ll sew the other square to the other side to complete my triple square units.

Side Units

Once you’ve completed the triple square units,  you can also construct all of the longer units that will be sewn on to the left side of each block. This unit consists of 2 small squares and a rectangle. If you make 11 each of the following units, you’ll be in good shape to finish all of the blocks after next week’s post. If you are using different fabrics, make a note in your pattern and substitute your fabrics for those shown below.

Be sure to refer to the Color Weave quilt pattern as you sew.

Rainbow Weave Units

Next week we will complete the blocks!

Important Links

Click here to purchase my Abstract Garden Strip roll
Click here to get the Color Weave quilt pattern – PDF version
Click here to get the Color Weave quilt pattern – print version
Click here to buy additional Abstract Garden Quilt Fabric
Click here for links to the previous quilt along posts
Click here to share your progress in my Facebook group