Piece and Quilt Hop Along Week 3 and 4

My friends Kristin, Vicki, and HollyAnne are doing such an amazing job remaking quilts from my book Piece and Quilt with Precuts. Let’s check out what’s been happening with them the last couple of weeks:

Kristin Esser

Squiggles by Kristin Esser, from Christa Watson's book Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Kristin created a fabulous finish with her version of Squiggles from the book. Her walking foot quilting looks fantastic and she also shares a bit of free-motion quilting practice she did as she gets ready to create a second quilt from the book! You’ll need to hop over to her blog to see which one she’s going to make next!!

Click here to see Kristin’s Week 3 Progress
Click here to see Kristin’s Week 4 Progress

Vicki from My Creative Corner 3

Vicki Quilting Gridwork

Vicki finished up her Gridwork quilt top last week and has started quilting it this week. I just love the texture that quilting adds to a quilt!! She also shares more practice blocks she’s creating to make her own sampler from the book.

Click here to see Vicki’s Week 3 Progress
Click here to see Vicki’s Week 4 Progress

HollyAnne from STring and Story

Improv quilting

HollyAnne is adding some fabulous “free-motion improv” to her Spools quilt. She’s utilizing a technique that I first introduced in the book I wrote with Angela Walters which I call “improvisational” machine quilting. I revisited the idea with Spools because I thought that some improv piecing deserved a bit of improv quilting to go right along with it!!

Click here to see HollyAnne’s Week 3 Progress
Click here to see HollyAnne’s Week 4 Progress

If you are enjoying watching their progress, be sure and check out the earlier blog hop they did from The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting. These gals are proof positive that “Practice Makes Progress!!”

Click here for the Machine Quilting Blog Hop

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Bonus Blog Hop for Piece and Quilt With Precuts!

Remember the gals who did the Machine Quilting Blog Hop for my book with Angela Walters, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting? Well, they are at it again, blog hopping their way through Piece and Quilt with Precuts over the next 5 weeks!

Piece and Quilt with Precuts

My fabric will make an appearance in several of the quilts my friends are re-making!

Be sure to hop on over to Kristin, Vicki, and HollyAnne’s blogs below for their first posts! Then join them each weeks as they continue their progress. I’m sure you’ll be inspired and learn a few things along the way!

Kristin Esser From Kristin Esser.Com

Squiggles WIP by Kristin

Check out Kristin’s post this week as she works on her version of Squiggles. I love the fabrics she chose and her in-process photography is pretty inspiring, too! When I wrote the book, I wanted the piecing designs to look good with any fabrics you choose, and seeing alternate colorways makes me want to remake ALL the quilts!!

Kristin's quilting practice

Click here to see more of Kristin’s progress with Squiggles.

Kristin is taking my advice about practice to heart. She’s trying out a few possible quilting motifs on scraps of fabric and batting before she decides how she wants to quilt it. The two designs shown above are actually quilted on different quilts in the book, but I wanted the quilting designs to be interchangeable, no matter which quilt you are working on!

Vicki Holloway from My Creative Corner 3

Vicki Gridwork in progress

Vicki is creating her favorite quilt from the book, Gridwork, using my Modern Marks fabric collection. Yes, I have to admit she was a bit special to get some of it before it’s available in stores. Benartex so generously printed up a bit of fabric early to share with a few quiltmakers so that they could play with it and share about it online before it hits the stores in November!

I’m really excited to see her remake this quilt because so many of you voted for it as your choice for my quilt along coming up in January. So even though it came in second place in the voting, you can still virtually quilt along with Vicki as she makes the quilt! (And don’t worry, soon I’ll offer kits so you can make one of your own from my fabric!)

Vicki Gridwork in progress

I love how Vicki is arranging the fabrics so that each block has enough contrast between the two fabrics. This is super important when working from one line of fabric without adding any extra background.

Click here to follow along with Vicki’s progress on Gridwork from start to finish!

HollyAnne Knight from String and Story

HollyAnne Spools Sketch

Click here to see more of HollyAnne’s WIP (work-in-progress.)

I absolutely love HollyAnne’s creative take on Spools. She’s planning on reversing the color placement of the blocks, placing color in the background rather than the spool blocks themselves. I love it!

HollyAnne Spools in Progress

HollyAnne is also using my Modern Marks fabric. Don’t you think her first block is looking great so far? Click on over to her blog to see more blocks in progress, and follow her journey. I know it’s going to be epic!

Watching these gals quilt along and encourage each other in their progress is so gratifying! If you are currently working on your own version of any of the quilts from my book, please share pics of your progress, too! Head over to my Facebook group, Quilt with Christa to share! I’d love to see and get excited all over again!!

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New Craftsy Class: Angela Walters’ Dot to Dot

As a Craftsy instructor, one of the privileges that I get is being able to watch any of the Craftsy classes from my fellow instructors. Of course, I don’t have time to watch all of the classes I’d like, but I’m always on the lookout for new classes that I think you all would benefit from. So when Angela Walters released her latest class, Dot to Dot: Quilting With Piecing as Your Guide, I knew I had to watch it as soon as I could.

Angela Walters Dot to Dot

Get Dot to Dot quilting for 50% off, through Friday September 8th.

I was even pleasantly surprised when she included one of the quilts from our book as an example, and even gave me a shoutout in class!! (Now you’ll really have to watch the class to see which quilt it is, LOL!!)

This class is fantastic and I found myself watching the entire thing in one setting. Although Angela uses specialty rulers to achieve the straight lines when quilting dot to dot, she also shows you a couple of other ways to accomplish the same task. I love it when there are options! The class includes a free pattern so that you can make the same quilt she’s working on, or you can practice her methods on your own quilt or practice blocks.

Angela Walters class quilt

Make this quilt to practice your dot to dot quilting. Free pattern included in class!

Here’s a quick breakdown of the class lessons, including the length of each segment:

1. Dot-to-Dot Quilting Overview (10:36)

Meet your instructor, stitch whisperer Angela Walters, and start class by finding the ‘dots’ on your quilt using the quilt top’s piecing. See how to stitch consistent straight lines whether you’re using a walking foot, free-motion foot or ruler foot and ruler.

2. Triangles (22:21)

Ready to try some basic dot-to-dot designs? Follow along with Angela as she stitches the simple V, triangle wedge and arrowhead in triangular shapes, showing variations along the way.

3. Squares (23:50)

Build on the designs you learned in the previous lesson with three more motifs that are perfect for square blocks, the most common shape in quilting. Watch as Angela reveals the square spiral, double V and double diamond designs. Then she shows you where to use them on your quilt to add the most impact.

4. Diamonds & Hexagons (15:35)

See how to quilt diamonds and hexagons as Angela shares three designs and variations: the spin wheels, alternating V’s and tumbling diamonds. You’ll learn how to find diamond shapes in your quilt, even if it wasn’t pieced with diamonds!

Angela Walters Quilting
 As Angela says – close enough is good enough!!

5. Uniquely Shaped Blocks (16:07)

Discover three ways to quilt uniquely shaped blocks such as polygons. Angela then shows you how to modify your designs, stitch a shape within a shape, and combine blocks so you know what to stitch next!

6. Borders & Corners (21:30)

Once you’ve gotten a handle on quilting within defined areas, you’ll tackle the borders. In this lesson, see how to quilt designs in areas with more negative space. Plus learn three ways to turn the corner without losing your design flow.

7. Dot to Dot Around the Blocks (17:50)

Finally, think outside the piecing and find out how to use dot-to-dot designs in any style of quilt. Angela demonstrates how to use the quilting to frame blocks, create secondary patterns and use wedge shapes as fillers to quickly quilt any space efficiently.

Dot to Dot: Quilting With Piecing as Your Guide really is a fabulous class. What I’ve really noticed in this class compared to her previous classes is that she’s really letting her personality show. If you are a fan of her Midnight Quit Show, you’ll see that she brings the same warmth and humor into her class. Even if you don’t even care to quilt, it’s just fun to watch and be entertained!
Dot to Dot Quilting with Angela Walters

This one is my favorite!!

Save 50% on This Class!

The best part about this class is that it’s on sale now, through Sept. 8th for 50% off the regular price. I love it that Craftsy makes their classes affordable and once you buy them, you own them forever!

Click here to get Dot to Dot quilting for 50% off the regular price.

Now, I’d better go practice my ruler work – it really is a fun way to quilt, once you get the hang of it!

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Binge Watch Craftsy for Free Today – 24 Hours Only

Many of you know I’ve long been a fan of Craftsy’s online learning format even before I became an instructor for them. So I’m excited to share the news about something they’ve never done before – 24 hours of free video watching today only!!

The free day is now over – but you can get both of my classes for 50% off the regular price!

Click here to get access to your free 24 hours of Craftsy Viewing!

The Quilter's Path by Christa WatsonMy first class: The Quilter’s Path
2+ hours of machine quilting instruction using your walking foot, free motion or both.

The Fine Print

Today only from 12:01 AM through 11:59 PM (Monday, September 4, 2017) Craftsy is allowing streaming access to their site to check out their library of over 1200+ online classes. You’ll have access to any class for 24 hours, but you won’t be able to download or save them. And you won’t have access to the Q&A instructor forum or the class materials.

Christa Watson Startup Library QuiltingMy second class: Startup Library – Quilting
Nearly 6 hours of lessons that teach you how to make a quilt from start to finish!

This is such a fabulous way to “try out” a new class you’ve been thinking about, with no obligation. If you like the class, you can of course purchase it right there on the spot, and you’ll own it forever. If you haven’t seen my classes yet, I encourage you to check them out, but be warned – it’s over 8 hours of viewing between them both! And if you already own my classes, check out Craftsy’s lineup of quilting classes – it’s the most popular subject!

So click here to head over to Craftsy and let the binge watching begin!!

The free day is now over – but you can get both of my classes for 50% off the regular price!

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Piece and Quilt with Precuts Quilt 10: Arrows

I’ve been having such a fabulous time sharing all the quilts from my new book Piece and Quilt with Precuts. In fact, once the blog hop ends, I’m going to be at a loss for what to do next! (But not for long I hope!) Take a look at Arrows, one of my favorite designs from the book, which just so happens to be on the cover!!

Arrows from Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

Arrows Photography courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Brent Kane

Piece It

I had two goals when designing this quilt: I wanted to make it with a scrappy background, and I wanted to create a design that would use a fat eighth bundle for the focus design. While designing the quilt in EQ7, I also wanted to see what the quilt would look like if you decided to use just one fabric for the background, rather than going scrappy.

Check it out using a black background – doesn’t it make the colors pop?

Arrows Alternate Colorway designed in eq

Here’s what it would look like with a white print background and bright colors:

Arrows alternate colorway designed in eq7

As you can see, it’s such a versatile design! Whenever I make a quilt, I usually want to remake it using other fabrics because it ends up looking so different!

Quilt It

I actually designed Arrows just so that I’d have lots of negative space to quilt a dense free-motion design I named Arrowheads. I first taught this motif during a class at QuiltCon, and knew I had to use it in a real quilt!

Detail quilting of Arrows Quilt - design is called Arrowheads from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

I quilted a contrasting design called “Cursive L’s” in the arrows blocks. It’s easy to create contrast in the quilting when one of the motifs is a curved design and the other is linear or geometric. Cursive L’s is one of my “go-to” designs because it’s easy to stretch or shrink to fill any space!

More Arrows inspiration

Take a look at two more ideas for how you can change up the fabrics. I’m sure this will get your creative juices flowing to make your own version! And don’t forget to visit each blog looking for more fun giveaways!!

Lynn Kline: Monkey Needle

Arrows made by Lynn

For her version, Lynn used the same Arrowheads and Cursive L’s quilting as taught in the book. I also include a suggestion to echo quilt around the blocks to make the blocks pop even more, and I love how it looks on Lynn’s quilt!

Arrows made by Lynne Kline

Doesn’t Lynn’s version look great with the scrappy white background? Be sure and visit her blog to read more her progress and to find out which fabrics she chose. Plus she’s hosting 2 giveaways!!

Arrows quilting detail by Lynn

Look at all of that scrumptious quilting texture!! In her post, Lynn even mentions how long it took her to quilt – along with more gorgeous pics where you can really see the quilting. I know that if Lynn can do it – so can you!

Click here to read more about Lynn’s version of Arrows and enter her giveaways.

Kathy Bruckman: Kathy’s Kwilts and More

Kathy’s name should seem familiar since she was one of the first stops on the hop when she made Squiggles. After I shared the first quilt, Kathy made a coordinating Squiggles pillow from her leftovers of the first quilt!

Squiggles Pillow made by Kathy

Click here to read more about Kathy’s bonus pillow project.

She had so much fun making that first quilt that she wanted to make another one from the book. So pop on over to her blog to see her version of Arrows in progress.

Arrows in progress by Kathy

Don’t you love the crinkly goodness of a fresh batch of bright batik fabrics?
These will look so good once they are quilted up!

Today’s Gift: A Free PDF Pattern for all, plus Win The Set!

Christa Quilts Patterns

Just a few of the patterns I currently have available through Craftsy.

Although I currently have 6 patterns available in print, I offer a total of 10 PDF patterns in my Craftsy store, including one that’s totally free!! So pop on over there to get the freebie and check out the other 9. I’ll choose two winners at the end of the hop on Aug 31. Because these are delivered electronically, this giveaway is open to everyone around the world!

Click here to get the free Craftsy pattern and see the whole collection.

To enter, leave me a comment about your favorite way to quilt. Do you prefer walking foot, free-motion, or both? Or maybe you like to hand quilt, or even quilt “by check!” I’d love to know. 🙂

Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

Click here to get your signed copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts.

Click here to see all of the stops on the hop.

Update: Winner Selected and Comments Closed

Congrats to Pat T. and Lynn T. who have been contacted via email.

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Piece and Quilt with Precuts Quilt 7: Twinkling Diamonds

Wow! We are over halfway through the blog hop and the inspiration keeps on coming! Even though I designed and made all of the quilts from Piece and Quilt with Precuts, there are so many that I want to remake after seeing the beautiful color combinations my friends are making!

Today’s featured quilt is Twinkling Diamonds, made from some beautiful Alison Glass fabric.

Twinkling Diamonds by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with PrecutsTwinkling Diamonds Photography courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Brent Kane.

Piece It

Twinkling Diamonds is made from fat quarters of colorful prints and fat eights of contrasting light fabrics, plus a dark background. The method I use teaches you to trim off the edges to get the nice crisp diamond points and the best part is, all of the leftovers can get turned into the S.W.A.K quilt featured a bit earlier in the book. (Click here for the blog post about S.W.A.K.)

I chose bright saturated prints and a dark navy background it so that it looks like diamonds twinkling in the sky. However, this quilt would look just as great with a lighter background, and softer, less intense prints.

Twinkling Diamonds Detail quilting

I quilted the background using “jagged stipple” one of my favorite new motifs!

Quilt It

I know that all of that negative space can be a bit intimidating to quilt, but here’s my tip: choose an interesting free-motion design. and meander your way around the blocks to add some texture to the quilt.

Twinkling Diamonds from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

I quilted irregular wavy lines in the bright section of the blocks and “cursive L’s” in the white areas. Each quilt includes step by step instructions plus a detailed quilting plan so you can follow along and get the same look!

Twinkling Diamonds Detail

I quilted all of the quilts in the book using my Aurifil thread collection – it’s my favorite!

More Twinkling Diamonds inspiration

Check out more beautiful ways to make Twinkling Diamonds blocks, and be on the lookout for who’s including a giveaway on their stop!!

Anjeanette Klinder

Twinkling Diamonds table runner

Take a look at what Anjeanette decided to do for her version of Twinkling Diamonds. Don’t you love how she fussy cut the centers??

And who says you can’t mix hand and machine quilting in the same quilt! I think she did such a beautiful hob. Be sure to see more inspiring pics and read more about how she made it her own,  over on her blog.

Jessica Caldwell – Desert Bloom Quilting

Twinkling Diamonds Blocks and Aurifil Thread

Don’t you love Jessica’s stunning color combination? I love how orange can be a neutral – don’t you? She picked out a gorgeous selection of Aurifil threads that she plans to quilt with so I’ll be keeping an eye on her blog to see how it turns out!

Head over to her blog for more pretty in-progress pics!

Jessee Maloney: Art School Dropout

Jesse's Twinkling Diamonds Blocks

I’m a sucker for turquoise and gray, and I love how Jesse shows that either solids or prints will work for the diamond centers. Notice how she added extra fabric around each block? Pop on over to her blog to read more about what she plans to do with these beauties!!

Here’s a tip – if you are just getting started with machine quilting, just make a block or two and practice quilting it. Then turn that block into a pillow, wallhanging, or one block mini. It’s also a great way to give a hand made gift that won’t take too long to create!

Today’s Gift – Win My Aurifil Thread

Today’s giveaway is super exciting. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’ll know how much I love piecing and quilting with Aurifil 50 weight cotton thread. I love being able to use one type of thread for everything I do, and then stocking up on ALL the colors!

It was fun to work with Aurifil on a thread collection that includes all of the basic colors I use. Together, we decided to include two groups in the collection – colors and neutrals. All of the quilts in the book were pieced and quilted using my Piece and Quilt Collection, and I included exactly which threads I used AND how much for each quilt in the book!

Piece and Quilt Collection Aurifil Thread by Christa Watson

Click here to see which threads are included in my Aurifil thread collection.

Two lucky winners will win my thread, generously sponsored by Aurifil – one winner for each thread kit. Pop on over to Aurifil’s blog to enter, and good luck!!!

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Piece and Quilt with Precuts Quilt 6: Dot ‘n’ Dash

Are you enjoying seeing the quilts from Piece and Quilt with Precuts so far? I don’t know about you, but I love all of the color options that everyone is sharing! If you are just now joining the hop, click here for the full schedule of bloggers so you don’t miss a thing!

Take a look at Dot ‘n’ Dash, my version of a modern jelly roll quilt!

Dot 'n' Dash by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Dot’n’Dash Photography courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Brent Kane.

Piece It

This quilt is made from two sets of 2 1/2″ strips and I opted to use one Jelly Roll by Franny and Jane for Moda along with a nice contrasting gray background. Although my designs are a bit more on the modern side, hopefully by seeing them in other colorways you’ll be able to apply the techniques I teach to any quilt, no matter the style!

Quilt It

When quilting the majority of my quilts, I like to quilt two or more two different motifs to add interest to the quilt. I’ll usually try to combine a curvy motif with a linear one to create contrast within the quilting. Like all of the patterns in the book, Dot ‘n’ Dash includes a detailed quilting plan for you to follow so you can work your way across the quilt quickly and efficiently.

Dot 'n Dash quilting detail

Try combining two or more quilting designs for texture and contrast.

For the batting, I chose Hobbs Tuscany Wool. It’s light and soft, yet gives a bit more “poof” to the quilt which really helps the quilting stand out a bit more. Wool is one of my favorite battings for show quilts because it won’t show fold lines when it’s displayed vertically. I love it!

More Dot’N’Dash inspiration

You are in for a treat when you check out my friends’ finishes below. Be sure and visit their blogs for more details on the making of the quilts. And be on the lookout for additional giveaways when you visit!

Laura Piland – Slice of Pi Quilts

Laura Dot 'n Dash

The bold colors pop against the crisp white!

I love Laura’s fabric combo for this quilt. It’s fresh and bold and modern! The quilt calls for two full jelly rolls, but gives the option to use leftover strips in the binding. This means you can pick and choose just in case there are a couple of strips in your bundle that don’t contrast well enough in the background.

The patterns are so versatile and easy to follow that you can substitute other precuts as well. Laura actually made her quilt from a fat quarter bundle that she had on hand, and was able to quickly cut all the pieces she needed.

Pieced backing

Laura used her leftovers to create a beautiful pieced backing – I love it!

Pop on over to Laura’s blog to see gorgeous closeup pics of her quilting. She chose one of the designs in the walking foot section and you’ve got to see how she picked which threads to work with!

Can you believe she made this entire quilt in a weekend?? Be sure to read what she has to say about her quilt- making process. It will give you the confidence to tackle any quilt!

Cheryl Brickey – Meadow Mist Designs

Cheryl Brickey Dot n Dash from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

A simple stipple design can be an effective machine quilting choice!

Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs was one of the original bloggers back in 2015 when I did a similar blog hop for my first book. (Click here to see those quilts for even more inspiration!) She was also my roomie at QuiltCon in 2015 and we’ve both come a long way since then. I’m sure you’ll be seeing more great things from her in the future!

Cheryl named her version of the quilt “Morse Code” which is awesome because I nearly named it that myself, LOL!! I love how Cheryl made her quilt a bit smaller and the fabric she chose give an improv vibe to the quilt. My hope is that you will take these designs and really make them your own! Visit Cheryl’s blog to see which Aurifil thread she quilted with (hint – it’s NOT white), and how she was able to achieve the improv look from ONE fabric!!

Jen Frost – Faith and Fabric

Dot 'n Dash by Jen Frost

Check out Jen’s version of Dot ‘n Dash using cheerful novelty prints! She chose a jelly roll from Me + My Sister for Moda, along with a jelly roll of white. She’s still contemplating which design and thread to quilt it with so pop on over to her blog to let her know what you think and see more pretty pics of this fabulous “flimsy” – (aka unquilted top)!

Today’s Gift – Win More batting from Hobbs

Since I used Hobb’s batting in two of the quilts from the book, they’ve been generous enough to provide two giveaways for the hop! Click here to enter their first giveaway being hosted on my blog.

Hobbs batting

Then head over to their blog to enter the second giveaway. It’s double the fun and double your chances to win! People always asking me what my favorite batting is and I have a few. I love Hobbs Tuscany cotton when I want a warm, cuddly, crinkly quilt. It will shrink up a bit when you wash it, giving that soft antique look that’s perfect for hiding any quilting “irregularities!”

Hobbs Wool Batting

For show quilts I love to use Tuscany wool because it will hang well and not show wrinkles. But lately I’ve been using the cotton/wool combo because it’s the best of both worlds!

Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

It’s so exciting to see my book popping up on store shelves. Be sure and drop by your favorite local quilt shop to pick up your copy. Or you can click here to get a signed copy from me!

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Piece and Quilt with Precuts Quilt 5: Starstruck

In my book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts, I teach how to quilt fun motifs using a walking foot, free-motion, or both! Today’s quilt, Starstruck is the first in the free-motion section. Just as in the previous walking foot section, the quilting designs build in complexity allowing you to gain confidence as you go!

Starstruck by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Starstruck Photography courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Brent Kane.

Design It

All of the quilts in the book were designed using EQ7 software from The Electric Quilt Company. I’m the type of person who needs to have everything all planned out before I start cutting because I want to know what the final design will look like before I begin. I’ve tried designing on the fly as I create, but my brain just doesn’t work that way, LOL!! So take a look at what I was able to create in EQ7 before I made the quilt:

Starstruck Design in EQ7

Although I didn’t worry about putting the fabrics in the exact same position or rotating the stars the exact same way, I did use the same fabric swatches that were in the quilt. This allows me to really see if the design will work the way I want it to! Of course I could always go back into my EQ7 design and change it to match the finished quilt, but this was good enough for me!

Check out what the same design looks like when I switch out the fabrics for a more colorful palette! I love how easy it is to virtually recolor my quilts in EQ7. You may recognize this as my fabric collection that comes out this fall. Last week on my blog I shared my work in progress, and of course I’ll share the final finish once the fabric is available (in November.)

Starstruck using Modern Marks

The colors for Modern Marks are a little more vibrant on screen than they are in person.

Piece It

Starstruck is made from 24 fat quarters that can be separated into lights and darks like my neutrals version shown below. Or if you want it to be bright and cheerful like the one shown above, you can pair up fat quarters from your favorite colorful bundle to create contrast. Each fat quarter will make one center star, one background of another star, and part of the pieced border, so it’s fun to mix and match the prints!

Quilting Loops on Starstruck from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

An allover edge to edge design is the easiest way to practice free-motion quilting

Quilt It

When you want to learn a new free motion design, the best way to practice is on a real quilt. Start on one side of the quilt and meander your way across the quilt until you’ve covered every inch of it with your free-motion design. You’ll be a pro at that motif by the time you finish!

Machine quilting closeup on Starstruck

I chose Aurifil cotton 50 weight 2326 Sand for the machine quilting. It works well with neutrals.

I quilted a fun loop and star design on Starstruck but you could easily throw in other motifs like hearts, flowers and more. And if your stitches aren’t perfect, that’s ok. The best way to hide imperfect quilting is to surround it with more imperfect quilting, so all you see is the overall texture rather than the individual stitches.

More Starstruck inspiration

Isn’t it great to see the designs presented in different fabrics? Check out these three alternate versions below and be sure and visit each bloggers’ site for more about their process and more giveaways!!

Sherri Noel – Rebecca Mae Designs

Star Struck by Sherri Noel

Sherri Noel of Rebecca Mae Designs chose to go full color with a sprinkling of gold and gray. She was able to create good contrast with the bold busy fabrics, and her pretty picture makes me want to cuddle up on that comfy porch!!

Head over to Sherri’s blog to see more of her process including some closeups of her awesome quilting.

Lissa LaGreca – Lovingly Lissa

Starstruck by Lissa LaGreca

Here’s a view of Lissa’s gorgeous quilt top. I love the soft tan, brown, and gray neutrals she chose. I once heard that the hallmark of a great quilt design is that it will look good, no matter which fabrics you choose!

Hop on over to her blog at Lovingly Lissa to see how she quilted it. It’s a lovely finish!

Sandra Healy Designs

Sandra Healey Starstruck

Sandra of Sandra Healy Designs is working on two different projects using the Starstruck blocks. She’s working on a table runner using the fabrics with a white background above, and a pillow with a pretty pink background below.

In the book I recommend chain piecing all of the blocks at once and then lay them out into a pleasing arrangement. This allows you to finish your tops faster which leaves you more time for fun machine quilting.

Starstruck Pillow

Didn’t she do a fantastic job with the quilting on her cushion? She was able to get over her “fear of free-motion” with a little practice and I think she did an amazing job! Head over to Sandra’s blog to read more about her progress with the book!

Today’s Gift: EQ7 Education + Win Your Own Copy!

Because I’m so busy traveling and teaching machine quilting, I’m not able to share my knowledge of EQ7 in person as much as I’d like. So here’s the next best thing – click the links below to download  two PDF class outlines from my previous live classes.

EQ7

You can also click this link to peruse the EQ site for tons of self-study tutorials. I have to say, the folks at Electric Quilt give the greatest customer support I’ve seen. They’ll help you answer any and all questions you may have.

Then be sure and pop over to the EQ blog for your chance to win your very own copy of EQ7. I have to warn you though – you may spend more time designing than you actually do quilting!

Signed copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts

If you’ve been inspired so far, don’t forget to grab a signed copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts.
I’m here to cheer you on in your quilt making journey, every step of the way!

Click here to view the blog hop schedule

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Piece and Quilt with Precuts Quilt 4: S.W.A.K.

Today it’s time to share the fourth quilt that’s presented in my book Piece and Quilt with Precuts. Here’s, “S.W.A.K.” featuring a colorful X+O themed design. This is the last quilt in the first section of the book that’s all walking-foot quilted. Of course you can mix and match any of the pieced and quilted designs in the book, and there’s tons of options for you to choose from!

SWAK from Piece and Quilt with PrecutsS.W.A.K Photography courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Brent Kane.

Piece It

Of course if you look closely, you’ll see that this quilt is constructed entirely from one of my favorite units – the half-square triangle (or HST for short). I could literally design a book full of quilts based on this versatile building block!

The trick that makes this design work is the color placement of the blocks. The pattern actually includes two sizes for the quilt. You can start with fresh fabrics, or you can do what I did and use leftovers from another quilt in the book (coming up later on the hop). Whichever way you choose to make it, I’m sure you’ll have as much fun with it as I did!

Machine quilting on S.W.A.K from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

For the thread, I chose a shade of blue from my Aurifil Piece and Quilt Collection It’s just the right shade that blends into all of the fabrics, but you can still see it on the navy print. The stitches sink in nicely to the quilt because I’m using one of my favorite battings from Hobbs – 80/20 cotton/poly.
See the end of the post below for a fabulous batting giveaway!

Quilt It

In each of my books so far, I’ve taught different ways to quilt spirals with your walking foot (or dual feed). For S.W.A.K. I figured out how to quilt a continuous square spiral. The secret is to count your stitches when you quilt the starting square! Of course I go into a much more detailed explanation in the book and include plenty of diagrams and closeup photography so you can follow along. I also include which fabrics and precuts I chose, along with which batting and thread I used for each quilt. I wanted you to have all the details for each quilt!

More S.W.A.K inspiration

Check out the amazing color options below. Head to each blog to read more about their fabric and quilting choices and be on the lookout for more giveaways! Whether you like to piece, or quilt, or both, we’ve got you covered with loads of inspiration!

Michelle Bartholomew

SWAK made by Michelle

Who says you have to make the quilt exactly as shown in the book? I love how Michelle Bartholomew made fewer blocks and turned them into this lovely table runner. And her straight line quilting adds incredible texture to the piece. Visit her blog to see more stunning pics and read what she has to say about her version of S.W.A.K.

If you plan to attend at QuiltCon next year, you’ll definitely want to take her photography workshop. Isn’t her picture so fab?? I always admire those who can style and shoot a beautiful beautiful image!

Sherry Shish – Powered by quilting

SWAK by Sherry

Sherry from Powered by Quilting chose stunning black, white and gray prints with a pop of blue and red. Here’s a bonus tip: If you want to skip all the triangle trimming, you can, as long as all of your blocks are the same size. It will make your quilt slightly bigger but since it’s made from the same unit throughout, they’ll all fit together.

If you do choose to trim, here’s any idea on what to do with the waste: stuff them all into a pillowcase. When it’s full, simply stitch the end closed and donate it to an animal shelter to use as a pet bed. It’s an eco-friendly way to recycle even the tiniest of scraps!

SWAK by Sherry Shish

Didn’t Sherry do such a fantastic job with her version of S.W.A.K? The color scheme gives it a sort of modern patriotic vibe and she did an amazing job with her quilting! Head over to Sherry’s blog to see more gorgeous pics and read about her interaction with the book.

Allison Dutton – Allison Sews

SWAK by Allison sews

As you can see by all of these examples including Allison from Allison Sews, this is such a fun design to make from your favorite scraps or coordinated precut bundle!

SWAK by Allison Sews

Look at all that yummy texture!!

I’ve enjoyed watching Allison share her in-progress videos on Instagram. Now you can pop over to her blog to see how she chose to quilt this beauty, along with her fabulous finish!

Today’s Gift – Win Batting from Hobbs

In the book I made nearly each quilt from a different batting so I could try them out, and I listed which batting was used so you can try them out, too. My #1 piece of advice when choosing batting is to use a different batting on your next few quilts and see which ones you like best!

My preference is for natural fiber battings and I love that Hobbs offers such a wide assortment. Today’s lucky winner will receive a Hobbs batting of your choice, so you can experiment, too!

Hobbs Batting

Natural fiber battings cling to the quilt, helping you to prevent shifting and puckers!

To enter, leave me a comment on this blog post letting me know how you prefer to buy batting – do you like to get it by the yard, in pre-sized packages, by the bolt, or some other way? I’m curious to know! This giveaway is open to all, and a winner will be chosen at the end of the hop.

Box of Books - Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson
If you haven’t yet purchased your copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts,
I have a fresh box of them waiting to ship, and I’m happy to sign one for you!

Update: Winner Selected and Comments Closed

Congrats to Peggy P. who has been notified via email.

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Piece and Quilt with Precuts Quilt 3: Frequency

I got a really nice comment on Instagram earlier this week saying “I love how you show real life ordinary quilting that doesn’t require a super fancy machine.” That made me happy because my goal in writing and teaching is to empower you to be able to quilt your own quilts, no matter what type of machine you use!

Without further ado, here’s quilt #3 from Piece and Quilt with Precuts. It’s called “Frequency” because it reminds me of those pulsing lines you see on your electronic device while your music is playing. Yes, I’m easily amused…

Frequency by Christa Watson for Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Frequency Photography courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Brent Kane.

Piece It

Frequency is made from 2 1/2″ strips of lights and darks. You could either use one bundle if it’s split up evenly, or a smaller 20-strip bundle of each. Or use up leftover strips from other projects!  This design is a good one to get your feet wet with improvisational piecing because your strips don’t have to look exactly like mine. There’s a lot of variety in how you can trim the length and join the strips. Part of the fun of making this quilt is arranging the strips, which you can do randomly or with intent.

For a completely different look, rotate the blocks so that the strips are stacked horizontally. Now it kind of looks like stacked books, don’t you think??

Frquenecy Rotated

Quilt It

I used my “divide and conquer” method to easily quilt Frequency with a walking foot (or dual feed). The pattern includes step by step instructions and diagrams, but here’s the simple version: Step 1: Stitch in the ditch between each of the rows to stabilize the quilt. Step 2. Quilt a fun zig-zag design in each of the strips.

I personally prefer to quilt my lines randomly, rather than trying to be too “matchy-matchy.” It’s a LOT easier to do and I think makes for a much more interesting design! Although I quilted them using walking foot techniques in the book, you could totally free-motion quilt them instead!

Frequency Quilting

Thread tip: When quilting with one thread color over a variety of contrasting fabrics, a lighter thread color looks better on darker fabrics, rather than darker thread on lighter fabrics.

More Frequency inspiration

Check out some amazing work in progress using different fabrics and quilting designs. Click on each blogger’s site for their their in-progress photos, awesome giveaways, and more!

Nancy Scott – MasterPiece Quilting

Nancy Scott's Version of Frequency

Isn’t it amazing how different a quilt can look by just changing the fabrics? Nancy from Masterpiece Quilting created a warm, earthy version of Frequency using cheerful red and green Christmas prints. I just love how those pops of gold really add some sparkle to her quilt!

Visit her blog to read more about her process in making this quilt. Nancy was able to easily quilt the same design I did, but she did it on her long arm machine instead of a domestic and it looks just as great!

Martingale/That Patchwork Place

Frequency Progress

Karen Johnson is heading of marketing over at my fabulous publisher, Martingale/That Patchwork Place and she decided to take on the challenge of recreating a mini-Frequency along with a matching pincushion that you just have to see! I love how she chose some of the other quilting designs presented later in the book and applied them to her project. It just goes to show how versatile the quilting motifs are!

 Check out this fun blog post all about Karen’s process, with tons of step-by-step photos, plus sneak peeks of some of the quilts coming up later on the hop. Plus, you won’t believe the fabulous giveaway s they are hosting!!

Christa's book, signed by Martingale

A priceless copy of my book, signed the awesome team at Martingale that helped produce it.

I have to tell you, after writing three books with Martingale, they’ve really become like family to me. I’m sure you can imagine how much work it takes to write a book, and I couldn’t have done it without a fantastic team of people! And what’s even better is that most of them are quilters who love making projects from the books they help produce. No wonder their books are so well loved!! 🙂

Lorinda Davis – Laurel Poppy and Pine

Frequency Quilting by Lorinda

Just look at all that yummy texture quilted by Lorinda of Laurel Poppy and Pine!! I love seeing closeup shots where you can really see the quilting. Lorinda chose a modern fall palette for her quilt and it always amazes me how different a quilt can look just by changing up the fabrics. Just remember, you can either use a precut bundle to make this quilt, or you can create your own custom bundle just like Lorinda did!

Head over to her blog to see the entire quilt, and read more about her process. My hope is that by seeing all of these fabulous finishes, you’ll feel inspired that you, too can achieve amazing results with my simple techniques!

Today’s Gift – Win All of My Books

Yes, you read that right, ALL of my books!! Today’s giveaway is being generously sponsored by my friends over at Martingale/That Patchwork Place and they are going to send them to 3 lucky winners!!

Christa Watson Books

Now, here’s the fine print – not only are they giving away a copy of all three books authored by me, they are also throwing in a copy of every book I’ve ever collaborated on with them. If I counted correctly, it’s a total of 7 so far, enough to keep you stocked with plenty of projects on your “have-to-make” list!

And here’s a hint, I’ll be in at least two more books they are curating coming up next year. So be sure to keep an eye on all the fun inspiration Martingale has to offer! Head over to their blog now for your chance to win.

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