Happy New Year 2020 and New Blogging Goals!

It’s been a few years since I actually sat down and wrote some business goals. But finally feel like I’m catching up and have actually had time to think and plan again, LOL! One thing has really stuck out at me lately, and that’s how much I enjoy blogging (and sharing pretty quilt pics)!

Surplus Strips by Christa Watson made from Fandangle Fabric

Here’s a recent quilt finish you may have missed.
It’s called Surplus Strips made from leftovers or precut strips.

I’ve written several times over the past year about how I’m trying to nail down this social media stuff. I appreciate everyone’s support in ALL THE PLACES and I’m not going to abandon any of them. But no sooner had I decided that I should blog LESS that I realized that’s the wrong answer for me. I actually want to blog MORE!

So I was looking at my stats and I get a healthy number of people who visit my blog each and every day, whether they leave a comment or not. And I LIKE writing lots of words! And sharing lots of pics!

Surplus Strips Warm by Christa Watson

I made surplus strips in both warm and cool colorways of my Fandangle fabric line.

Don’t get me wrong – Facebook and Instagram are great for spur of the moment stuff. But sooo many people don’t see my content because of the 8#!@& algorithms! In fact I would say I have double the number of instagram followers than blog followers, yet my engagement and views here on the blog is about 2-3x higher than on Instagram.

So all of this is to say that going forward I plan to increase my blogging frequency to 3x per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Now to make this work, I’ll write up and schedule some of the content, like quilt alongs, ahead of time. Other days I’ll write a stream of consciousness “soapbox” post like today (but I’ll still include pretty pics).

Surplus Strips Warm Pieced backing

I love making pieced quilt backs from leftovers!!

And because this IS my business after all, I’ll still need to sprinkle in the occasional post about my latest & greatest fabrics, books or patterns for sale. But hopefully it will be inspiring content that will get you excited to make (and finish) more quilts!

Surplus Strips Cool by Christa WatsonClick here to get the Surplus Strips Quilt Pattern – PDF
Click here to get the Surplus Strips Quilt Pattern – in Print

So now I’m curious to know: how do you read this blog?

  1. Do you get instant email notices when a new post goes up?
    (You can add your email in the right side bar or scroll to the end below.)
  2. Do you use a blog reader service like Bloglovin’?
  3. Do you book mark this blog and come back to check it occasionally?
  4. Or do you get reminded about it when I share links to my posts on instagram/facebook/newsletter?

Surplus Strips quilts made from Fandangle by Christa Watson

Click here to get the Surplus Strips quilt kit.

I’m very data driven and geeky about this stuff, so I’d love to know. And feel free to leave me a comment letting me know what you’d love to see more of in the new year. Here’s hoping you have a fabulous 2020 and that all your quilty dreams come true!!! 🙂

Happy Turkey Day!! Save 20% on My Fabric Collections by the Yard!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This officially kicks off the holiday shopping season, so I figured I’d join the crowd of business owners and get it on the Black Friday frenzy! From now through the end of the month, you can save 20% off all of my fabric lines by the yard, when you use code TURKEY during checkout at shop.ChristaQuilts.com.

Modern Marks – My Very First Line from 2017!!

Modern Marks by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here to shop Modern Marks fabric.

It was such a thrill when Benartex contacted me three years ago and invited me to become one of their fabric designers for their Contempo division which features modern and contemporary prints. They told me they loved my work and would love for me to infuse my funky geometric style into fun colorful fabric. Modern Marks was the result and it’s been a wild ride ever since!!

I still have a bit left of each of the 26 Modern Marks fabrics, and most are now out of print. As you can see below, all of my groups mix and match and are a riot of color and texture!

Fandangle – Debuted in 2018

Fandangle by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here to shop Fandangle fabric.

I continued to fill out the rainbow in my fabric stash with this line, and decided I needed not one, but two background grays to go with them. Because Benartex reprints hot selling fabrics, the grays have been printed over, and over, and over again. They are literally, the “perfect” neutrals!!

Fun fact: most people mistake the word Fandangle with Fandango, but hey have two completely different meanings. Fandango is the dance, but Fandangle means decorative ornamentation – which is why I included fun fabric names like Beaded Curtain, Triangle Trinkets, and Baubles and Bits. Sometimes naming the fabrics is as much fun as designing them!!

With this group, you can separate them into warm and cool, but as you can see above, each print looks great with every other piece in the line. I have yardage of all 20 bolts of Fandangle available, and with this special deal, you can stock up on your faves!!

Abstract Garden – Spring of 2019

Abstract Garden by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here to shop Abstract Garden fabric.

Can we say purple?? With each line I create, I want it to stand on its own as a complete color story. But, I love adding new things that will mix and match with what came prior. In Abstract Garden, I made sure to include purple, plus four great pastels that would serve as light, or “low volume” backgrounds.

Abstract Garden consists of 20 prints, many of which are loosely based on some of my favorite machine quilting motifs. The name is a tongue in cheek nod to the fact that I can’t really garden, OR draw floral motifs. Be sure to check out the signature print of the line, “Raised Beds.” It’s little plots of my most favorite geometric shapes!!

Geo Pop – Newest Release, Fall 2019

Geo Pop by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here to shop Geo Pop fabric.

With four fabric collections under my belt, I decided I really needed a line of modern basics. This is my largest line yet at 25 pieces, but with only 4 different prints. I’m thrilled that I was able to include more neutrals – plenty of black, white, and gray in this group to go along with the bright saturated colors.

With Geo Pop, you can have fun fussy cutting the geometric stripe, and can create some really cool effects with the eye catching Mosaic Dots print.

Shop, Save, and Share!!

For your viewing pleasure, here’s my stash of all four collections that I’m offering for sale by the yard. I keep these in my overflow fabric room, I mean guest room!!

When you create with my fabrics, be sure to send me pics or tag me on social media using @christaquilts or #modernmarksfabric #fandanglefabric #abstractgardenfabric and #geopopfabric. I absolutely love to see what you create!!

Click here to shop all fabric lines by the yard.

Don’t forget to use code TURKEY at checkout to save 20%! Shipping is a flat $5 to the US, and I’m happy to refund excess International shipping charges, too!!

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

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! 🙂

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

Color Weave Quilt Along Supply List and QAL Schedule

Let’s dive into a summer full of color! In two weeks I’ll kick off my free Quilt Along featuring Color Weave – the perfect quilt that you can work on at your own pace and on your own schedule! This should give you enough time to gather your supplies and be ready for some quilting fun!

Color Weave Quilt Abstract Garden Fabric

This quilt was originally made for the February Quilty Box and they had exclusive rights to it for the first couple of months. Now that the rights have reverted back to me, I was able to release the pattern (in print and PDF) to share it will you all.

It’s made from one Abstract Garden strip roll, plus approximately 3 yards of each of the grays from Fandangle. But you can certainly use whichever fabrics you like to make it your own.

Color Weave Quilt Along Supply List

So here’s what ya need to get started:

**Click here to purchase a complete Color Weave quilt kit, while supplies last.**

Here’s the complete pattern cover front and back. You can change it up and use just 3 colors for a completely different look, and I’ve included backing requirements, too. Click the image below to enlarge.

Color Weave Quilt Pattern

Color Weave Quilt Along Schedule

Each Monday for the 8 weeks, I’ll write up a post with bonus content and tips on top of what you’ll find in the pattern. Each time a post goes live, I’ll update the links below so you can refer back to it any time you are working on your quilt.

Just like all of my quilt alongs, I’ll guide you through the entire quilt making process from cutting to binding. After all, I want you to have just as much fun making this quilt as I did!!

Color Weave Quilt Pattern by Christa Quilts

The fun begins next week, so gather your supplies, and join the fun anytime right here on my blog. If you want to receive a notice each time a new blog post has published, enter your email in the subscribe box (found on the left of the screen on a computer, or scroll down to the very bottom of your screen on a mobile device).

Click here to join my ChristaQuilts Facebook group to share your progress!

Things to Make from Fandangle – Heather Black’s Beads and Baubles

Right now I’m currently doing a bunch of “secret sewing” – things I can’t share with you until several months in the future. But instead of going radio silent for awhile, I thought I would fill the time with previous projects that my friends and I have made to keep you inspired.

Beads and Baubles by Heather Black

Get the PDF Pattern for Beads and Baubles by Heather Black

For starters, I’d like to share with you Beads and Baubles – a quilt that my talented friend Heather Black (from Quiltachusetts) made to showcase Fandangle Fat Quarters. I love how she paired the prints with some soft tone on tone Color Weave prints to create a fun stripe in the background.

She named her quilt after the focus print from my collection, called “Baubles and Bits.” (I think these prints together would make a fun, modern Christmas quilt!)

Fandangle Fabric, Baubles and Bits print

Click here to get yardage of Baubles and Bits in Teal or Red

To further tie in the theme, she quilted it with an allover design that’s similar to the “Beaded Curtain” print from the line. I think it’s the perfect motif for this amazing quilt!

Machine Quilting by Heather Black

Click here to grab a fat quarter bundle of Fandangle.

Heather created this design with some simple curved piecing and I love how the oval shapes look like beads. She has released this pattern as a PDF version in her Etsy shop and I’d love to see what it looks like in different fabrics, too!

Beads and Baubles by Heather Black

Click here to get the PDF Pattern for Beads and Baubles by Heather Black

Heather is so talented and I love her modern design sense! She’s made quilts from my fabric before (click here to see her amazing Pearl Pendants quilt) and she’s got several more designs in the works using my current and upcoming lines, too. I can’t wait for you to see them!

And now I have a question for you – have you ever tried curved piecing? If so – how did it go? Leave me a comment as I’d love to know. I’ve only done it sparingly but I love the look!

Dot ‘n Dash Quilt Along Wrap Up and Inspiration Photos

Although my Dot ‘n Dash quilt along wrapped up about a month ago, I wanted to revisit it one final time to share all the links to all the posts for anyone just wanting to get started. I also want to share some gorgeous photos from several in my Facebook Group that made their versions.

Dot n Dash quilt by Christa Watson

Click here to purchase the Dot ‘n Dash quilt kit, while supplies last.

As a reminder, the pattern for Dot’n’Dash can be found in my book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts and it’s easy enough to gather your supplies: just one Jelly Roll of prints and 3 yards of background fabric are all you need to make this fun quilt.

Dot ‘n’ Dash Inspiration

Here are some beautiful finishes and works in progress from others who are making their own versions. Some of them have finished while others are still working at their own pace, so it’s never too late to jump in and start!

Dot n Dash by Lucy Given

Don’t you love this one above in teal by Lucy Given? She did a fabulous job making it super scrappy by mixing up beautiful blue hues for both the blocks and the background. She’s finished the quilt top so far and I can’t wait to see how she quilts it!

Patti Baymiller's Dot n Dash

Here’s another beauty above, pieced and quilted by Patti Baymiller. Didn’t she do a fantastic job on the quilting? The texture is so fantastic! I love it when others show how easy and fun domestic machine quilting can be.

Heather Lofstrom Halloween Dot n Dash

How about this one done in Halloween novelty prints by Heather Lofstrom? She quilted it with a diagonal grid and she shares more of her inspiring quilty life over on her instagram account @aquiltingcowgirl so be sure to check out her feed for more fun!

Lucy's Dot n Dash quilt top in Modern Marks

Of course I might be biased, but I really think Lucy Blum’s quilt top done in Modern Marks looks just as fabulous!! She used up leftovers from other projects, and although the Modern Marks precut strips are sold out, you can still grab a fat quarter bundle and cut your own strips if you are so inclined.

Lisa's Dot n Dash in Yellow

Lisa Tucker created her stunning quilt with a yellow background which really pops! Who says you have to use a neutral background, right??

Abbie Bill Machine Quilting

Here’s another quilt in process, being quilted by Abbie Bill. She’s opting for the original quilting plan as given in the book and she’s making fabulous progress!!

And these are just the tip of the iceberg of the fabulous work being created and shared over in my Christa Quilts Facebook group. Be sure to add pics of your progress there and you can do a quick search of “Dot ‘n Dash” in the group for even more amazing inspiration. 🙂

Quilt Along Posts

Here’s a roundup of links to all of the Dot ‘n’ Dash Quilt Along Posts that were shared. Keep in touch and let me know if you have any questions as you make YOUR version – I’d love to cheer you on!

Week 1 – Quilt Along Complete Supply List
Week 2 – Cutting the Fabric
Week 3 – Sewing the Blocks
Week 4 – Completing the Quilt Top
Week 5 – Backing and Basting
Week 6 – Quilting Part 1 – Stitching in the Ditch
Week 7 – Quilting Part 2 – Quilting Double Zig-Zags
Week 8 – Quilting Part 3 – Free Motion Quilting Double L’s
Week 9 – Binding to finish

Free Motion quilting on Dot n Dash by Christa WatsonQuilting Detail from Dot’n’Dash made from my Fandangle Strip-pie.

Beaded Lanterns QAL Week 7 – Binding

I can’t believe we’ve finally come to the end of the Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along! If you’ve missed any part of it or want to make one later on, be sure and check out the rest of the links at the end of this post.

Beaded Lanterns Finished Quilt

Over on the BERNINA blog at We All Sew, I’m sharing my method for binding my quilts. If you’ve followed any of my quilt alongs before it will look familiar because it’s the same technique I use for all my quilts large or small. One thing I will say is that the more you do it, the faster and better you’ll get!

Click here for the Beaded Lanterns Binding Tutorial

Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along - Trim and Bind

Beaded Lanterns QAL Links

Click here to purchase the Beaded Lanterns Quilt Kit
Click here to get the free Beaded Lanterns Quilt Pattern

Week 1: Supply List
Week 2: Making the Blocks
Week 3: Sewing the Quilt Top
Week 4: Spray Basting Tutorial
Week 5: Walking Foot Quilting & Quilting Plan
Week 6: Free-Motion Quilting
Week 7: Binding to Finish

Beaded Lanterns Week 6 – Free Motion Quilting

I’ve been super busy prepping for fall quilt market which begins November 1 and I can’t wait to share more inspiring quilts next month. But in the meantime, you can check out the latest installment of my Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along hosted over on the BERNINA blog.

beaded lanterns

For week 6, I’m breaking down how I free-motion quilted this fun colorful quilt, made from a kit of my Fandangle fabric. There’s even a short video in the post showing how I quilt the loopy cursive L’s seen in the lantern blocks below.

And don’t worry, if you are just now hearing about the quilt along, you can jump in any time and work at your own pace! Check out the links at the bottom of this page to get started!

Free Motion Quilting Beaded Lanterns made with Fandangle

Beaded Lanterns QAL Links

Click here to purchase the Beaded Lanterns Quilt Kit
Click here to get the free Beaded Lanterns Quilt Pattern

Week 1: Supply List
Week 2: Making the Blocks
Week 3: Sewing the Quilt Top
Week 4: Spray Basting Tutorial
Week 5: Walking Foot Quilting & Quilting Plan
Week 6: Free-Motion Quilting