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

Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along Week 5 – Make a Quilting Plan

I love seeing all of the Beaded Lanterns quilts in progress! Remember, you can share your work in my ChristaQuilts facebook group, or on instagram #beadedlanternsqal. For my latest post hosted over on the BERNINA blog, We All Sew, I’m chatting about the quilting plan I created and how I broke the steps down into walking foot quilting and free-motion techniques.

Stitching in the ditch walking foot quilting

One of the easiest ways to quilt a quilt is to stitch in the ditch and then echo it to highlight certain areas of the quilt. For more tips and to check out the rest of the quilt along, be sure to click any of links below.

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

Dot ‘n’ Dash Quilt Along Week 9 – Binding

Have you enjoyed quilting along with me? Or are you just now finding this quilt along? Either way, I want to remind you that Dot ‘n’ Dash quilt along will stay up on my blog indefinitely so you can make this quilt any time you wish, on your own time, and at your own schedule. Dot ‘n’ Dash Kits are still available and you can pick up a signed copy of my book to get the pattern.

Dot n Dash Quilt Along

Click here for the supply list and links to all of the previous posts for Dot’n’Dash QAL.

This week it’s time to bind the quilt! Follow the steps below for my favorite method, or adapt it to your own process as desired. This method uses straight of grain strips that are double folded and attached with smooth seams ensuring no lumps and bumps. I use it for all of my quilts!

Step 1 – Trim the Quilt

I like to trim off the excess batting and backing flush with the edge of the quilt so that I can sew the binding on nice, straight, and even. I use a large square acrylic ruler to trim off all four corners first. This ensures that the corners of the quilt will stay nice and square. I use the lines on the ruler to nudge the quilt into shape if needed.

Quilt Trimming - Corners

Once the corners are trimmed, I use a long acrylic ruler to trim up the sides the same way. I line up the already cut corner with the edge of the straight ruler so that I can continue to get a straight, clean cut around all four sides of the quilt.

Quilt Trimming - Sides

Step 2 – Sew the Binding Strips

To figure out how much binding I need, I take the perimeter of the quilt, add 10″ to the total, and divide by 40″ (the width of fabric) to figure out how many binding strips I need. See pages 52-55 of the book for this particular pattern.

Binding from leftover jelly roll strips

Because I wanted to use the fabric efficiently, I used leftover precut strips from the Strip-pie bundle (aka jellyroll) to make a scrappy binding. Because you don’t use the entire strip when you cut and sew the blocks, there’s enough leftover for the binding. You can trim them narrower if desired, but I went ahead and left them at 2 1/2″ since I was in a hurry to finish!

Sewing the binding

Join the binding strips with a mitered seam by placing them wrong sides together at a 90 degree angle. Sew from one corner to the other to join the seams. I can usually eyeball it (see image above), but feel free to mark the sewing line if you need to stay straight.

Sewing binding strips

To chain piece (assembly line sew), I add each next strip as I go, flipping over the top strip so that I join them right sides together each time.

Because the strips are very colorful, I joined them with a neutral colored Aurifil 50 weight thread and sewed with a shorter stitch length (2.0 instead of 2.5). This prevents the thread from poking through the seam and makes a nice tight stitch that won’t split when I press the seams open.

Trim binding corners

Once all of the seams are sewn, I trim off the excess with 1/4″ seam and press all seams open.
I’ll designate one of the binding ends as the starting “tail” and trim it off at a 45 degree angle. That will come in handy later when it’s time to join the ends together seamlessly.

Continuous Binding

Finally, I’ll press the entire binding in half wrong sides together lengthwise, and it’s ready to sew to the quilt!

Step 3 – Attach Binding to Quilt

I line up the open ends of the binding to the raw edge of the quilt. I leave about 10″-12″ of a starting “tail” so that I have room to join it up later. I’ll put a pin in place to indicate where I’ll start sewing. Sew with 1/4″ seam for skinnier binding strips, or slightly wider if using wider strips.

Attach binding to quilt

If you want the pieced seams to avoid ending up in the corners, quickly measure the binding around the perimeter of the quilt before you start sewing. If any of the seams ends up in the corners, adjust your starting tail by an inch or two in either direction.

When you get to the end of one side, stop sewing about 1/4″ away from the edge (or the width of your seam allowance), and sew off the corner at a diagonal. this will enable to you create a pretty miter on the front of the quilt.

Sew the binding to the quilt

Next, remove the quilt from the machine, rotate it and fold up the next unsewn binding side.
Make sure the edge of the binding matches up to the edge of the quilt as shown in the photo below. This will ensure that everything lines up perfectly.

Notice that a nice diagonal crease will form across the corner.

quilt binding

Fold the binding back down upon itself at the corner. (See photo below.) You want the top of the fold to line up exactly with the top of the sewn quilt. This will ensure a nice crisp corner.

Binding in progress

Continue sewing at the corner. You might need to grasp the starting threads because this will be a thick seam to start. In my image below, I’m using the BERNINA integrated dual feed with the open toe embroidery foot (20D) so that I can see what I’m doing. I recommend using a walking foot if you don’t have the dual feed, so your fabric doesn’t slip or pucker.

Sewing the binding

Continue sewing all four sides and corners the same way. Leave an ending tail of about 5″-6″ that will join up with the starting tail. Trim off the excess binding if needed.

Step 4 – Secure the Binding Ends

To join up the ends, I’ll use some photos from another quilt because I was in such a hurry to finish this one, that I forgot to snap photos, LOL!!

Place the cut angled end (the beginning tail) inside of the ending tail and mark the 45 degree angle where they meet exactly.

Binding Ends

Add 1/2″ to this line for seam allowances and trim off the ending tail at a 45 degree angle, using a small square acrylic ruler with a 45 degree line.

Add the binding

Match up the beginning and ending tails and sew them together with a 1/4″ seam. You’ll notice the triangle tips sticking off at each end. Press the seam open and trim off those tips, also known as “dog ears.”

Join binding edges.

Finish sewing the binding to the back of the quilt. If desired, flip the binding to the front and press away from the quilt to make it easier to fold over to the back.

I secure the entire binding with Clover Wonder Clips so that nothing shifts while I hand sew the binding down on the back.

Secure the binding

Step 5 – Hand Sewing to Finish

I prefer to finish my binding by hand because it gives a nice, clean finish to the quilt. However if you prefer to finish by machine, I suggest using a decorative stitch on your machine so that the binding becomes a decorative element of your quilt.

I like to use a blending thread color to secure my binding. I normally use whatever is leftover in the bobbin after I’ve attached the binding to the quilt. Thread a hand sewing needle with about 16″ of thread and knot one end.

Hand Binding

Notice that I hold the quilt away from me and stitch from right to left. I make each stitch by catching a little bit of the backing and the folded edge of the binding each time. Some people call this a “ladder stitch.”

Hand Stitch the binding

Whenever I run out of thread, I knot the end and hide it underneath the binding, then start with a new length of thread. When I get to the corners, I fold them over in the opposite order of how they are folded on the front to reduce bulk.

Hand stitched binding

I also sew the corner miters closed for a nice finish. It usually takes me about one hour per side when hand stitching a throw sized quilt. That’s a couple of evenings of movies with the family which is a fun way to finish!

Machine Quilting on Dot n Dash

I enjoyed finishing this quilt just before we took a beach vacation earlier this summer, so I have fond memories of working on this quilt!

Share your Finishes!

Be sure to share your progress on instagram #dotndashqal and also in my Christa Quilts Facebook group. Even if you are just starting, I’d love to cheer you on!

Click here for the supply list and start of the quilt along.
Click here to purchase the Dot ‘n’ Dash Quilt Kit or my fabric bundles.

Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along Week 4 – Spray Basting Tutorial

Have you always wondered how I spray baste my quilts? Over on the BERNINA blog at WE All Sew, I’m sharing my spray basting method using my design wall. It’s part of the Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along I’m hosting over there on the blog, so be sure to check it out!

Whether or not you are making the Beaded Lanterns quilt, you can apply this technique to any quilt.

Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along Links

Week 1 – Supply List and Schedule
Week 2 – Sewing the Blocks
Week 3 – Quilt Top Assembly
Week 4 – Backing and Basting

Click here to purchase Fandangle fabric, kits and bundles.

Dot ‘n’ Dash Quilt Along Week 8 – Machine Quilting Part 3: Double L’s

Good news! I’ve restocked the Dot ‘n Dash Kit in the light gray colorway.
Click here to order or visit shop.christaquilts.com.

I’m so glad we spent a little extra time machine quilting this quilt. Making a quilt from start to finish isn’t hard – it just takes a little time to break down the steps into doable chunks of time. This week we are going to finish up the quilting with a fun free-motion variation inspired by one of the quilting designs from my third book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts.

Free Motion quilting on Dot n Dash by Christa Watson

I’m all about perfectly imperfect texture in my quilts!

I like to quilt my quilts densely to add amazing texture and the more they are loved, used and washed, the softer they’ll get!

After quilting the double zig-zags last week, it’s time to tackle the “Double L’s” motif this week. These are based based on the “Cursive L’s” motif as shown in the Arrows quilt on pages 78-85 of the book, and also on the cover.

Free Motion quilting

Arrows is the cover quilt from Piece and Quilt with Precuts.

Sketch it. Then quilt it.

I’ve also used this design in a slightly different way on Twinkling Diamonds found on pages 56-63. So take a look at the quilting plans for those quilts to give you a better understanding of how to form the design.

The first thing I do when figuring out any design is sketch it first on paper. You can see in my rough drawing below, I tried a couple of different versions of the cursive L’s.

Sketch it. Then Quilt it.

Sketch it – then quilt it!

 At first I thought I would quilt the L’s and then echo them, but when I tried that on a practice sample, it didn’t look so good. I also thought of doing a more linear geometric version (in the upper left of my sketch) but that wasn’t right either. So I opted for two rows of cursive L’s, overlapping each other just like I overlapped the modern zig-zags in the gray areas of the quilt.

I tried quilting the L’s both horizontally and vertically and found it much easier to rotate the quilt so that I was quilting them vertically, from top to bottom in each row across the quilt.

Free Motion Quilting on Dot n Dash Quilt

I’ve rotated the quilt so I can quilt each row from top to bottom.

First Pass Across the Quilt

First, I did one pass of Cursive L’s across the quilt, starting on the upper right of the quilt, quilting one row at a time from top to bottom, and working my way toward the center. Once the quilt got too bulky in the middle, I rotated it and started from where I left off (center, top) to the other side of the quilt.

I’m using the same Aurifil gray thread (top and bobbin) that I’ve used for the whole quilt, and it blended in nicely on all the different Fandangle fabrics.

Cursive L's Free-motion quilting

Cursive L’s quilting – 1st pass across the quilt. Notice the gaps between the loops.

I recommend practicing a couple of times on scrap fabric and batting to get the hang of how you’ll form the design.

I’m not at all worried about the spacing of each motif or whether or not all of the loops are perfectly smooth. I’m aiming for texture over perfection. To get from one strip unit to the next, I’ll aim for the corner, or I’ll backtrack in the seam as needed to get to the next section to quilt. Notice that I’m treating the pieced units and the small gray background square as one area to quilt.

Cursive L's Free-Motion quilting

Head for the corners, or backtrack in the seams to get to each new section to quilt.

After the first row of Cursive L’s, I repeated the process, adding another row of L’s on top of the first row, intersecting the lines and quilting the design in opposite directions.

I squeezed in the second set of loops in the gaps between the previous loops. This added more texture and also made the imperfections less noticeable.

Second Pass Across the Quilt

Cursive L's detail quilting

Squeeze the second round of quilting in between the gaps of the first.

The more quilting you add to the quilt, the more thread you’ll use of course. So I would check your bobbin level at the end of a row of quilting and change it out as soon as it looks low (or pay attention to your bobbin indicator light if you have one on your machine).

Don’t play bobbin chicken!! I’d rather have a little leftover bobbin than run out in the middle of the quilt. If you are using cotton thread in your bobbin, you can always use the leftovers when piecing your next quilt.

Cursive L's Dense Quilting

I love using soft 100% cotton thread and natural fiber batting for my quilts.
This allows me to quilt densely while still ensuring a cuddly quilt!

Quilting Homework

Finish quilting the quilt! Feel free to mix and match quilting motifs from my books, or use some of your favorite designs. However you decided to quilt it, please share your quilt in progress in my Facebook group and on instragram #dotndashqal. I love seeing everyone’s work!

Next week, we’ll trim up the quilt and bind it to finish. I can’t wait!

Quilting at the Beach

I love how these surfboards at the beach match the coloring of my quilt!

Click here for the quilt along schedule, supply list, and links to all the tutorials.
Click here to purchase Fandangle precuts and coordinating yardage.

Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along Week 3 – Quilt Top Assembly

Great news for those of you following the BERNINA quilt along to make Beaded Lanterns. More of the kits are back in stock at shop.christaquilts.com.

beaded lanterns

Last Thursday, the lastest installment was shared over at We All Sew. The next step in the process  is to sew the blocks to make the quilt top. Click the links below to catch up on the Quilt Along and feel free to jump in at any time!

Beaded Lanterns

BERNINA Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along Links

Week 1 – Supply List and Schedule
Week 2 – Sewing the Blocks
Week 3 – Quilt Top Assembly

Click here to get the optional Beaded Lanterns quilt kit, while supplies last.

My Quilt in American Patchwork and Quilting – Featuring Fandangle

Today I’m happy to introduce you to my quilt “Out of the Box” that can be found in the December Issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. It’s made from one fat quarter bundle of Fandangle and 4 yards of white background fabric.

Out of the Box by Christa Watson

Image shared with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine.
©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Look closely and you’ll see that I used leftover fabrics to make a scrappy binding. It’s one of my favorite ways to use up leftovers from a fat quarter bundle without having to purchase any more fabric.

Fandangle Fabric + Color Tip

All it takes is one 20 piece fat quarter bundle and a contrasting background to make this quilt. Here’s a tip when working with fabric bundles: pair them with a very light or very dark background, and you’ve got a winning combo, no matter which fabrics you choose!

Click here to purchase a 20 piece fat quarter bundle of Fandangle, while supplies last!

Fandangle fabrics

Fandangle is my second fabric with Benartex Contempo Studio.

Here’s what the cover of the December issue looks like which I believe goes on sale tomorrow. I’ve already received my contributor copy and am in love with several projects in the issue. This is by far one of my favorite magazines because they feature such a wide variety of techniques and styles. (And they pay designers very well for their patterns, too!)

American Patchwork and Quilting DecemberImage shared with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine.
©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Quilting Plan

Here’s the quilting plan I created for Out of the Box, a simple wavy grid. It’s one of my go-to quilting designs that’s fast and easy to do with your walking foot or dual feed. I use the pieced seams of the quilt as a guideline for how far apart to space my lines so I can quilt the entire design without any marking!

Wavy Grid quilting plan.

I always make a quilting plan for my quilts before I quilt them.

Although the pattern includes instructions for the piecing, you can learn how to machine quilt the wavy grid motif in my Craftsy class, the Quilter’s Path, and also in my third book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts. It’s my go-to design when I’m in a hurry, and it looks great on any quilt!

machine quilting detail by christa watsonMachine quilting detail – click the image to enlarge.

Here’s another view of the quilt where you can really see the quilting. My hubby Jason has been helping me photograph quilts in order to showcase the fast, fun, and easy machine quilting designs that I love to teach! For me it’s all about texture over perfection.

machine quilting detail

Learn how to quilt this walking foot design from my book Piece and Quilt with Precuts,
and also in my Craftsy class, The Quilter’s Path.

I really enjoyed making this quilt to showcase my fabrics and the best news is, it will be on display in the American Patchwork and Quilting booth at International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas next month!

When you make this quilt, be sure and tag me @christaquilts on social media so I can see what you’re doing. You can also share pics of your progress with this quilt (and anything else you make from my books, patterns and fabric) in my ChristaQuilts group on facebook!

Out of the Box by Christa Watson for American Patchwork and Quilting using Fandangle fabricOut of the box by Christa Watson, Made from Fandangle Fabric

Quick Links to Items Mentioned Above

American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine
Fandangle Fat Quarters
Online Video Class – The Quilter’s Path
My book Piece and Quilt with Precuts