Christmas 2015 – Viking Style

I got so many responses about my extended family’s Christmas tradition that I wanted to share this year’s fun as soon as possible. The scavenger hunt theme for 2015 was How to Train Your Dragon, so we all dressed up like vikings and went on our quest!


We started out with a large box to open, full of costumes and supplies. My mother-in-law is a madwoman with a sewing machine so she made bearskin vests for us (out of fake fur of course) and gathered plenty of props and accessories for us to look our best!

2014-Swenson-VikingsCloseup of my sister-in-law and her husband – what a perfect pair of Vikings!

We navigated some rough terrain, used our collective wisdom to solve riddles, and looked for clues on where to go next. At the conclusion of our quest, we were handsomely rewarded – with a family trip to Hawaii! We usually go on a trip with the in-laws each year, and the creative delivery is always a fun surprise!

2014-12-25 15.17.15

We are looking forward to a fun and festive 2015. 🙂


To Mom With Love on Mother’s Day

The following is an essay I submitted to Quilter’s Newsletter’s writing contest, “300 Words about Quilting – The Person I Taught to Love Quilting”. They have selected it for publication on their website coming up in August/September as part of their “Web Extras”. (You can see my previously published essay here.)

I’ve chosen to dedicate this post to my mom for Mother’s Day – Love ya Mom!

Mom and Me

Mom and Me

Quilting Bridges The Generations, by Christa Watson

When I was little, my mom taught me to sew. When I became an adult, I taught her to quilt. As a child, Mom fueled my desire to be an artist. Growing up, we participated in all sorts of community crafts classes together like candy making, chocolate molding, needlepoint, and even a short stint with ceramics. One of my fondest memories was picking out brightly colored cloth bands and making piles of woven potholders. (You can guess what everyone got for Christmas that year.) Mom taught me how to make clothes for my Barbie dolls and how to stuff a pincushion. To this day, she has kept my very first project.

As I grew older and life got in the way, I buried my inner artist. Mom divorced, I survived my teenage years, and we really didn’t have that much to talk about for awhile. Then, about a year after I married, Mom decided to give me a sewing machine for Christmas, thinking I could put it to good use. Before long, I stumbled upon quilting. (How did we miss that before?) All of a sudden, I could create again.

Three Generations of Fabric Lovers

Three Generations of Fabric-Lovers

Soon after, I became the teacher, and Mom signed up for every one of my quilting classes. She was my number one fan, and I don’t know which she loved more: learning how to quilt, or spending time with me. We joined a guild, started attending quilting retreats, and drooled over colorful new fabrics together. We found something in common once again. The joy I felt in teaching this exciting craft was even more meaningful with Mom as one of my students.

Now that we are both a little older with quite a few quilts under our belts, Mom spends a lot of time these days taking care of her mom and keeping her warm and cozy with quilts we’ve made together. I now have my own young daughter who’s old enough to sew and has just completed her first quilt. I’m beginning to see that spark of desire that my mom first kindled in me, and I look forward to the time my daughter is old enough to attend her first quilting retreat with Mom and me!

My Mother's Day Shirt

My Mother’s Day Shirt From My Daughter

Holiday Highlights and a Happy New (Quilt) Year!

We had a fantastic Christmas this year with family and friends. I finally felt like I was ahead of the game so I was able to be a bit more relaxed and indulge in a little creative fun.

Each year, one of our family’s traditions is to dress up on Christmas day and go on a scavenger hunt for our gifts. This year we went as superheros and villains. Our “grand prize” is a trip to Universal Studios in Florida with the in-laws. We just may go dressed this way…..

Superhero Christmas For a link to past holiday silliness, click here.

We also had a wonderful visit with two sets of friends that came to town. We usually make friends with couples who then move! I guess absence makes the friendship grow stronger…

Janice has a crafty side and she loves jewelry and cross-stitch. I was very happy when she told me that now she wants to make a quilt! Being the good friend that I am, I let her raid my stash as an extra little holiday treat. We have the same taste in fabric, so that was pretty fun.

Janice's Stash

Jessica's Pearl BraceletsJessica is the friend that I credit for turning me on to Modern Quilting.

She’s very trendy and hip and has been making and enjoying modern quilts even before she knew that’s what they were called.

Jessica talked me into ordering the entire Pearl Bracelets line so she could get some of every color for Christmas.

You just can’t put a price on a smile like that  – well actually her husband could when he got the bill, LOL!!

(Thank goodness I gave them a pretty hefty discount. 🙂 )

Playing with all of this wonderful fabric makes me really excited for the new year.

I have loads of ideas for quilts I want to make, as I’m sure you do, too.

Here’s to a happy new year of quilts!

You can read my list of quilting goals for 2013 here.