Check Out Dear Quilty – and Some Pattern News

So this is kind of fun. Mary Fons has put together a new compilation book called Dear Quilty which is a collection of the best patterns from the now-defunct Quilty Magazine. She chose to include my Colorful Chevrons quilt in the book and they are even using it in their ad campaign.

Although I don’t get any royalties from the sale of this book, since they already paid me for the use of it when it was published in the magazine, it’s still pretty flattering to be included.

20150608_dear_quiltyColorful Chevrons, lower left, is featured in the ad campaign for Dear Quilty

I’ve had great success with this design, which was based on my original quilt of a similar name, Charming Chevrons. Once the rights to the design reverted back to me, I was able to create a PDF pattern for the quilt (in 4 sizes) and most recently I’ve started creating print versions, too!

I love it when I can get a lot of use out of my quilts and patterns and they can be shared with a wider audience!

My Cup Runneth Over…

I just found out two very exciting pieces of news today, and forgive me if I can’t help but put them out there for all the world to see!

Excitement #1 – Colorful Chevrons Takes 3rd at Paducah!

Thanks to my friend Linda H. for sending me this phone pic. She just happens to be there covering the story for AQ magazine and was able to show me the good news. The funny thing is, I couldn’t remember when QuiltWeek started and had my dates confused. I was thinking I wouldn’t hear anything about it until at least next week!

AQS Paducah Modern 3rd PlaceColorful Chevrons won 3rd place in the Large Wall Quilts – Modern category.
Click here for a list of all the winners.

Excitement #2 – I’ve Been Nominated for Teacher of the Year!

I’ve been nominated for 2014 Teacher of The Year, presented by the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals. Although I didn’t win, I’m in total agreement with who was chosen. In fact, after reading the email announcing the 8 nominees and the winner, I’m completely awed and humbled to be among those who made the final list.

teacher of the year image

No, I’m not going to spill the beans and spoil any surprises yet. The winner and all of the finalists will be given coverage in the Spring Issue of The Professional Quilter, and it will be up to any of them if they want to announce it publicly first. πŸ™‚

My cup truly runneth over….

Sew and Tell – Colorful Chevrons: Now Available as a Dress!

Where quilting and fashion collide…

Who knew I was so fashion forward? I got a kick out of this picture showing a dress version of Colorful (Quilty) Chevrons! One of my blog readers (Samantha K.) pointed it out to me and it’s from Southern State of Mind BoutiqueΒ on facebook, a store in Texas that sells amazing boutique dresses. (Picture re-posted here with their permission).


Isn’t it fabulous? I’m almost tempted to buy one for myself. Wouldn’t that be a riot? I didn’t realize that when I compared my quilting to a runway fashion show earlier in the week that could actually be a possibility, LOL!

Quilty Chevrons

Colorful Chevrons as seen in Quilty – image shared with permission.

You know of course that I was independently working on my color and design months ago while whoever designed this dress was independently doing the same thing. The fact that we chose similar colors and design is a testament to just how much the chevron shape has infiltrated popular culture!

Hmm – maybe I should commission someone to make dress versions of all my quilt designs….?

Bar Graphs Pieced Backing Tutorial

Bar Graphs is the name I gave to the design of the pieced back I made for Colorful Chevrons. I like my backs to be just as fun and colorful as the original quilt, and many times they end up being even more modern than the fronts!

Bar Graphs

Strips of Color Backing by Christa Watson

I really like the chunky “bars and graphs” look to this design, so I thought I would share a tutorial with you on how I pieced this backing. After all, it could stand on it’s own as an independent quilt design.

Strips of Color

Bar Graphs 72″ x 88″

I started off with some basic measurements. Since my finished quilt size is approximately 64″ x 80″, I needed my backing to measure at least 4 inches larger on each side so that there would be “wiggle room” around the entire perimeter.

I also wanted to make sure that whatever design I chose would look okay once the top, bottom and sides were trimmed up. I designed the backing to be 72″ x 88″ with plenty of blank space on the top and bottom strips for trimming.

I started by sketching long colorful strips in a stair step design, filling in with dark blue solid for the negative space.

I used leftover Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids from the front of the quilt along with more of the dark navy.

The backing is basically a horizontal strippy quilt sewn together in rows. A list of yardage requirement and cutting dimensions are shown below:

Cutting StripsDark Blue Fabric – Approximately 4.5 yards. Cut (18) 8.5″ x 42″ strips. Piece them together to create the lengths shown in the above diagram

Colored Scraps – Approximately 1/4 yard of 9 different fabrics. Trim each piece to the lengths shown above. In some cases you can use a fat quarter where the pieces measure less than 22″ in length.

Colored Strips

Bar Graphs Pieced Together – Ready to Baste!

Join together the rectangles with 1/4″ seams to create each strip. Then join the strips to create the backing (or new quilt top). I prefer to press my seams open and I starch the whole piece when sewn together. This is especially helpful if you are making a pieced backing. It will help the quilt glide more smoothly under the machine.

When I basted my quilt, I was careful to line up the strips as straight as I could. I knew that a lot of the blue would be trimmed up from the top and bottom strips and I’m pleased with how it turned out. I used the same dark navy for the binding as well.

Here are pictures of the finished quilt, both front and back:

Colorful ChevronsBar Graphs

Click here for detailed shots of the quilting and more about the front.

Whether you use it for the back or front of your quilt, please share pictures of your progress on my flickr group: Christa’s Quilt Along. Remember, you can make it yourself and make it your own. πŸ™‚

EQI hope you enjoy making Bar Graphs. Click here for the EQ7 download and play around with different colorings, layouts and sizes.

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Entry – Strips of Color (Home Machine Quilted Category)

I’m doing something a little bit differently this time around and probably unheard of. Since I’ve been blogging so much about the front of my quilts and how much I adore machine quilting, I thought I would enter the back side of my Colorful Chevrons quilt into the Bloggers Quilt Festival. Crazy, huh? After all, every quilt has two sides and I really like to make my backs just as fun as the fronts!

Strips of Color

Strips of Color by Christa Watson

The “other side of the quilt” was inspired by a simple line sketch I drew on paper some months ago. I like the simplicity of the design and how it really shows off the machine quilting. I used leftover chunks of fabric from the front of the quilt, plus a rich dark navy for all of the negative space. The fabrics are Cotton Couture by Michael Miller.

Strips of Color Backing

Strips of Color Backing

I call it Strips of Color and it measures 64″ x 80″ – perfect for snuggling! I quilted it myself on my Bernina 710 and loved every last stitch! Machine quilting is very meditative for me. I can put on an audio book and quilt for hours. πŸ™‚


Quilting on My Bernina

I straight-line quilted tons of zig zag lines with a walking foot following the pattern on the font of the quilt. I free-motion quilted pebbles in between for added texture. For those of you new to my blog, here’s a detailed shot of “Colorful Chevrons”, just so you can see the complete picture!


Detailed Quilting on the Front

You can vote for this quilt as your favorite in the Home Machine Quilted category here. Voting is open November 1-7, 2013.

Quilt Market

Colorful Chevrons at Quilt Market, Fall 2013

I’m not at Quilt Market but my Chevron Quilt Is

I didn’t get a chance to attend Fall Quilt Market in Houston this weekend because I’m home judiciously revamping my sewing room. However, I just found out a little piece of me is there. πŸ™‚

Thanks so much to my BQF (best quilting friend) Stacy who snapped this picture of my Chevron Quilt while she was there and emailed it to me. (Can we say jealous?) I had no idea it would be on display so this is a pleasant surprise! I was kind of wondering when they’d mail it back to me after the issue was published, but now I’m completely happy to wait a few more days, knowing it’s getting a little more exposure.

Quilty Chevrons

Quilty Chevrons at Market

Seeing it paired up next to the blown up cover shot gives me a thought – is it ok to change the name of one’s quilt after it’s been “christened”? I originally named it Colorful Chevrons, but lately I’ve been referring to it as Quilty Chevrons in honor of the magazine, and to help me keep track of which chevron design I’m referring to.

I plan on entering this quilt into shows in the future and using it as teaching sample, so the name Quilty Chevrons is kind of growing on me. What do you think?

By the way, for those of you who are new to my blog, you can read more about the quilting of this quilt here, and enter my giveaway to win a free copy of the magazine here.

You can be sure I’m not missing market next time around, and you can quote me on that!

Quilt MarketUpdated – I have to give a big shout out to another of my BQF’s Denise, who talked the gals from the booth into sending me the poster sized cover shot. Won’t that look great in my new sewing room?!

Cover Girl!

I am over the moon about this. I am a cover girl. Well, really my quilt is, and it looks much better closely cropped than I do. πŸ™‚ My Chevrons quilt is on the cover of the Nov./Dec. 2013 issue of Quilty Magazine.

Quilty Cover

I was beside myself when the folks at Quilty accepted my submission many months ago. I set to work diligently cutting and piecing this labor of love and giving little hints whenever I could. I was thrilled that someone wanted to publish it. Not that I don’t take pride in my work. It’s just that seeing it in print is somehow a validation of everything I work for.

Quilting Practice I pieced it on my older Bernina 1630 and quilted it on my brand new Bernina 710 . (Buying a new machine mid-deadline can be a pretty stressful experience, LOL!)

I practiced on a bunch of scrap pieces before I was happy with the quilt design. I basted my quilt with lots of pins and anchored the rows by stitching in the ditch. I quilted straight lines about 1/4 away from the seams, using painter’s tape to help keep them straight.

SITDHere’s a closeup of the back after all the rows were quilted. This is technically enough quilting for this quilt, but since I tend to go a little crazy when it comes to machine quilting, I decided to add quite a bit more.

Chervrons BackI filled in all the Chevrons with straight lines using a blending thread. I added pebbles and echoed lines in the background, leaving some un-quilted areas to create a textural “relief”.

Chevrons DetailI was unsure how this would turn out, but once I flipped the quilt over to the back side, I was happy with how the texture was looking.

Chevrons BackingI’m still learning how to photograph my quilts so that the quilting can show, but it’s a work in progress. For some reason, I get better details when the quilt is flat on a table rather than a straight shot. I know it has something to do with the lighting.

Closeup QuiltingThe down side is that since I can’t get a straight on shot, you get to see my messy sewing room with ugly chairs, plastic bins, and cords sticking out everywhere, LOL!

Finished Chevrons

Chevrons Front

It took me several years to get the quilting part down. It may be several more before my photography skills catch up to my quilting skills. Be sure to pick up your copy of Quilty so you can see it professionally patterned, styled, and photographed. πŸ™‚

I almost forgot – I owe a huge thanks to the folks over at Micheal Miller who supplied their gorgeous Cotton Couture Solids to me to make this quilt. I simply adore solids!

Chevrons Back

Chevrons Back

Here’s a shot of the back. I’ve written up a separate tutorial on how to make your own colorful strippy backing here.