Blooming Wallflowers Week 1: Cutting

Are you ready to dive in and make this dynamic looking quilt? All you need is a copy of the Blooming Wallflowers quilt pattern and you can jump in anytime! See the end of this post for all relevant links.

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

Blooming Wallflowers can be made in three sizes: Crib, Throw, or Queen

Cutting the Center Triangles

The triangles used in this pattern are a specific shape and require either the use of the full-size templates included in the pattern, or a specialty ruler. Tri recs is recommended for the smaller sizes or Creative Grids Triangle Squared AND Perfect Rectangle for the larger size. Of course you can use the larger rulers for the smaller blocks, too.

Cut Pieces for Blooming Wallflowers Quilt

These are all of the cut pieces used to make Blooming Wallflowers.
I used my Abstract Garden fabric line for the “flowers.”

Stack and layer the fabric strips for faster cutting. Follow the chart on page 6 of the pattern to cut the center triangles from the colorful prints. Here’s a quick 1 minute video demo showing how I used the specialty ruler. Notice the position of the blunt end on the ruler.

Corresponding diagrams can be found on page 2 of the quilt pattern.

Cutting The Triangle Pairs

The background triangle pairs s are cut in the same way except you will want to make sure to cut one left and right triangle at the same time. The easiest way to do that is to make sure the background fabric strips are folded in half. Then you’ll get one pair per cut. See the step by step cutting diagrams on page 3 of the pattern.

Here’s another short video showing how I cut the triangle pairs. Don’t forget to trim off the little triangle tip at the top to ensure proper matching when sewing them together next week. I used the ruler to trim off the left edge of the fabric strip first, and didn’t worry about the direction of the print while cutting.

The background fabric is Navy Herringbone from my Modern Marks fabric line.

Cutting the rest of the background

The rest of the background is pretty straightforward. Follow the chart in the pattern on page 6 to cut extra background squares that allow the design to float, plus the side and corner triangles and the binding strips. See the diagram on page 3 to cut the corner and side triangles.

Blooming Wallflowers cut pieces

I love a pretty stack of cut pieces, don’t you?

Once everything is cut, you’ll be ready to sew the blocks together next week! Don’t forget to share pics of your progress in my Facebook group, or on Instagram using the hashtag #bloomingwallflowersquilt.

Important Links

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Along Supply List and Schedule

All you need to get started is a copy of the quilt pattern and a few supplies listed below:

Click here to receive quilt along updates via email.

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

Supply List

(1) Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Pattern

(2) Fabric Needs – see materials list in the image below. I will be making the throw size.

Blooming Wallflowers Supply List

(3) A set of Tri Recs rulers for the Crib or Throw Size.

Please get these exact tools. Anything else won’t be the correct angle for cutting. Tri Recs makes blocks up to 6″ finished. For the Queen size quilt, you will need the Creative Grids Triangle Squared AND Perfect Rectangle rulers that make up to 9″ finished size blocks.

If you don’t have access to these rulers, you can use the full-size templates included in the quilt pattern.

Tri Recs Tools

(4) Batting for your quilt size
(5) Basic rotary cutting equipment – mat and rulers, and cutter with new sharp blade.
(6) Basting supplies – either safety pins or 505 basting spray. (I will spray baste)
(7) A “can-do” attitude and willingness to share – this is going to be fun!!

Quilt Along Schedule

The quilt along will run for a total for a total of 10 weeks which includes 3 scheduled breaks to catch up. If you follow along each week, you’ll have a completely finished quilt at the end!!
Once each post has been published, the links below will become clickable so you can navigate to any post you need as you follow along.

  • Week 1: January 18 – Cutting
  • Week 2: Jan 25 – Sewing the blocks
  • Week 3: February 1 – Catch-up break
  • Week 4: February 8 – Sewing the quilt top
  • Week 5: February 15 – Basting the quilt
  • Week 6: February 22 – Catch-up break and QuiltCon!!
  • Week 7: March 1 – Machine Quilting Part 1
  • Week 8: March 8 – Machine Quilting Part 2
  • Week 9: March 14 – Catch-up break
  • Week 10: March 22 – Binding to finish

Sharing is Caring

As you are gathering your supplies and getting ready to start, please share pics of the fabrics you’ll use – I’d love to see! Also, anytime during the quilt along, I encourage you to share your progress in any of these ways:

  1. On Your own blog – share links in the comments section of any of the QAL posts
  2. On Instagram – use hashtag #bloomingwallflowersquilt so others can see your progress
  3. In my Christa Quilts Facebook group – this is also a great place to ask questions and interact with other quilt along participants.

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Along

I’m so excited to get started!! Who’s with me?? As always, it’s totally OK to follow along virtually, or save the blog posts for later and make this quilt any time, on YOUR schedule.

My QuiltCon Entries for 2019 and a Plea for Kindness Online

I love this time of year. Not only for the holidays, but also to see what quilts everyone has entered for next year’s QuiltCon show. So far, I’ve been to every show since it began in 2013 and I’ve also had at least one quilt accepted for each show which is always fun to see. I just received word that one of three of my entries got in this year and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Blooming Wallflowers Accepted

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

Click here to get the PDF pattern for Blooming Wallflowers
Click here to get the print pattern for Blooming Wallflowers
Kits available – while supplies last

It’s really special to me that this quilt was accepted, because I had originally made a slightly different version (shown below) for a magazine (using my first line, Modern Marks). I entered the first version into the show last year and it was rejected then. I know that the jury changes from year to year and the group of quilts to choose from is always different, so that just goes to show that it’s always worth trying again if you think you have a really great design.

In the updated version (seen above), I still used the same dark Navy from Modern Marks, but paired it with coordinates from Abstract Garden.

Earlier Version – Made from Modern Marks

star Shadow by Christa WatsonThis version was a “reject” for QuiltCon 2018

Out of the Box Declined

This quilt was such fun to make and I’ll for sure be entering it into other shows. One thing I’ve learned is that my commercial quilt designs I make for patterns and books tend to be a little more on the more “modern traditionalism” side of things which usually has a ton of entries, so I’m never disappointed when one of them doesn’t make the cut. I’ve actually designed a super-modern version of this quilt with much more negative space that I may try to make and enter for next year, so we’ll see what happens!

Out of the Box by Christa Watson for American Patchwork and Quilting using Fandangle fabric

This quilt was originally made for a magazine to showcase Fandangle Fat Quarters.
I plan to remake it in an upcoming fabric line and re-release the pattern, so stay tuned!

Beaded Lanterns Declined

This one didn’t surprise me at all because all though it’s a dynamic design, it’s still very traditional in the layout and setting. But I still love it since it was easy to pattern and teach. This is the first year that I didn’t have time to make a quilt specifically for the show, but I’m still glad I entered. It’s always fun to be part of the process!!

Beaded Lanterns Finished Quilt

Beaded Lanterns was made to showcase Fandangle precut strips.
Kits available while supplies last.
Get the free pattern here.

A Plea for Kindness

Before you leave comments online saying “I can’t believe so and so’s quilt didn’t get in” or “what were those jurors thinking, they are crazy!” or anything of that nature, please remember to be kind.

I know that emotions tend to run a little high when everyone gets their notices that their quilts weren’t accepted. However, I always remind myself, it’s just simple math. There were 1750 quilts entered this year, and the show usually only had room for 400. So that means that less than 1 in 4 will get in on average. In other words, 75% of the quilts entered will not make it into the show. But that doesn’t make them “rejects.”  I’m sure that if QuiltCon had the room, they’d take as many quilts as they could.

I enter a lot of national shows, most of which are much larger than QuiltCon in terms of numbers of quilts on display. However, they don’t get nearly the amount of entries as QuiltCon does and I never hear negative comments about quilts that don’t make it in. I think it’s because QuiltCon and the MQG have such a large internet presence and we all know how easy it is to make an off-handed comment online. My one request would be to keep things as positive as you can, even if you didn’t get in. I know that the folks working behind the scenes put in untold numbers of hours to make a great show and I’m so thankful for the hard work they do!

In fact, if you’d like to treat yourself to a really inspiring “virtual” quilt show online, be sure to check out the hashtag “quiltconreject” on instagram. It’s a visual feast for sure!

Other Quilt Show Venues

And if you are thinking about entering your quilt into a large national show, here’s a few more that I’d highly recommend:

Blooming Wallflowers made with Abstract Garden and Modern Marks

Now it’s time to add a hanging sleeve and label to this quilt so it’s ready to ship!

New Quilt Pattern – Blooming Wallflowers

Are you enjoying seeing all of the new quilts I made from my Abstract Garden collection? I sure had fun making them! Today I’m excited to introduce you to Blooming Wallflowers, an optical illusion type quilt that looks much more complicated than it actually is.

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

Blooming Wallflowers – Throw Size

I paired up the colorful prints from Abstract Garden along with the Navy Herringbone print from Modern Marks, which is still available! I love brightly colored quilts with a rainbow of fabrics and it’s been fun to experiment and use “neutrals” other than black white or gray for this quilt.

Blooming Wallflowers detail

I love the movement in the Navy Herringbone print. I’ve designed all of my fabrics to work with each other so that you can mix and match between the collections.

The Blooming Wallflowers quilt pattern comes with instructions in 3 sizes and the cool thing about this design is that it stays the same for each size. The individual triangles are cut larger or smaller depending on which size you make.

Blooming Wallflowers Pattern CoverClick image above to enlarge.

I recommend using specialty rulers to cut the triangles, but I’ve also included full size templates so that you can get started making this quilt with the tools and supplies you have on hand!

I also include machine quilting suggestions in all of my patterns so that you can actually have success finishing them! Nothing disappoints me more than to see “quilt as desired” at the end of a quilt pattern.

Blooming Wallflowers quilt detail

Quilting detail – all of my patterns include machine quilting suggestions.

Quilt Along Coming in January

It’s important for me to make all of my own quilts not only to pattern test my designs, but to also go through the entire process so I can better understand any trouble spots that you may run into as you make the quilts. After all, my main goal in designing patterns and fabric and teaching my machine quilting methods is to help you make beautiful quilts and have a fun, stress-free time doing it!

So I’m excited to announce that I’ll be hosting a quilt along in January to make this quilt! Be sure to grab a copy of the pattern and stay tuned for details – I can’t wait!!

Blooming Wallflowers made with Abstract Garden and Modern Marks

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Stats

  • Size: 59″ x 76″ (Throw)
  • Completed: October, 2018
  • Machine used: BERNINA 770QE
  • Fabric used: Abstract Garden and Modern Marks
    by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo Studio
  • Batting used: Hobbs Tuscany Cotton/Wool
  • Thread used: Aurifil 50 weight cotton from Pieced and Quilt Collections:
    Colors and Neutrals by Christa Watson
  • Quilting Motifs: straight-line chevrons in the colorful blocks, pebbles in the accent blocks, free-motion chevrons in the background

Quick Links

Quilt Shops that Carry Fandangle Fabric

Great news to share! I’m starting to update my list of quilt shops that have ordered Fandangle so far (see below). If you are a shop out there that carries my fabrics, or know of a shop who stocks it who’s NOT on this list, please let me know in the comments and I’ll be glad to add them.

Fandangle fabric by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo

Click here to read more about each design from Fandangle.

Shops that Carry My Fabric

This is by no means a complete list as many shops purchase through a distributor (rather than from the manufacturer) and many shops will receive their orders over the next several months, so I’ ll update this list as needed!

Shops listed with ** carry both of my fabric lines: Modern Marks and Fandangle.
Underlined shops carry the full line (but may sell out quickly so check for availability.)

Links to Shops Selling Online
Click each link below to purchase
Additional Shops located in the US
Contact them for availability in store
International Shops
Distributors

Quilt shops may contact these companies directly for ordering information

Fandangle Fabric and Matching Shoes

Fandangle by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo Studio
Click here to purchase patterns featuring Fandangle Fabric

Quilt Shops that Carry Modern Marks

Here’s a list of stores that purchased  Modern Marks.

Modern Marks by Christa Watson

Modern Marks by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo Studio

Please know that there are many, many more stores that carry my fabric – these are just the shops that I personally know about. Also, since the line has now been out for about a year, some shops may be sold out – so check with them for current availability.

If you see my fabric at any shop not listed below, please leave a note in the comments and I’ll be glad to update the list!

If the shop sells online, their name below will be a clickable link.
Copy and paste each shop name into google for additional contact info and/or website.

Modern Marks by Christa Watson for Benartex

Click here for free patterns using my fabrics.

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Last Call for Modern Marks Fabric Yardage

It’s so fun to think it was just a year ago that I released my first fabric line and my second one is in stores now. It’s been wonderful to work with Benartex (Contempo Studio) and they’ve given me wide latitude to design what I want – fabrics that I would actually put in my quilts!

Modern Marks by Christa Watson

Click here to grab some Modern Marks by the yard.

I recently got the notice that Modern Marks is on its last print run which means that once Benartex sells out of their current stock, that’s it. So I went ahead and grabbed a bit of everything left in stock to share with you all in 2 yard increments for just $18 each (plus shipping.)

I also grabbed enough for my personal stash so that I’ll be able to use it in future quilts, too!

Modern Marks Fabrics Available for Purchase

As of today, here’s a list of prints that are still available, first come first served.

Modern Marks Main Print by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo Studio

Click here to purchase Modern Marks in Red or Lime.

Modern Marks by Christa Watson

Click here to purchase Half Ovals in Fuchsia, Orange, Turquoise, or Teal

Modern Marks by Christa Watson

Click here to purchase Herringbone in Red, Lime, Jade, or Navy

Modern Marks by Christa Watson

Click here to purchase Quirky Triangles in Pink/Orange, Green, or Blue

Modern Marks by Christa Watson

Click here to purchase Crosshatch in Lime or Blue

Modern Marks by Christa Watson

Click here to purchase Crossmarks in Pink, Jade, or Turquoise

Modern Marks by Christa Watson

Click here to purchase Boxes in Light Blue, Cream, or Orange

I’m happy to ship internationally and can fit up to 8 yards in a priority mail flat rate envelope. (Just leave me a note on your order to refund any excess shipping charge if applicable.)

Click here to see everything left in stock.

Modern Marks fabric scraps

What will you make with Modern Marks???

Modern Marks Fabric Swatches Archive

Modern Marks was my first fabric line that I designed for the Contempo division of Benartex Fabrics. They released in September of 2017, and because Benartex reprints fabrics as long as they are selling, most of them are still available. Although I’m now promoting my second fabric line, Fandangle, (which ships to stores this month), I realized that I need to archive all of the Modern Marks prints in one place so that I can link back to them as needed.

Modern Marks Fabric by Christa Watson

Fat Quarter bundles of Modern Marks are available while supplies last.
Click here for Modern Marks Precuts.
Read my blog post about the fabric design process and fabric rejects.

Modern marks was inspired by many of the marks I like to make – whether by hand or machine. Several of them are based on machine quilting designs and they all incorporate graphic geometry which I love so much! I wanted them to work well when cut up into quilts and add a spark of color to any project.

Modern Marks

Modern Marks by Christa Watson

The main print comes in four colors: Red, Orange, Lime, and Turquoise

The namesake print is mashup of many of the coordinates, and even includes a few motifs which didn’t make the final cut of the collection. I’m definitely revisiting some of the shapes in future fabric lines as my goal is for all of my fabrics to work seamlessly between collections.

Half Ovals

Modern Marks Fabrics Half Ovals Print by Christa Watson

Half Ovals comes in four colors: Dark Fuchsia, Orange, Light Turquoise and Teal

I knew I wanted to include a “dot” print in this line but wanted it to be more interesting than the standard polka dot. I also wanted to make sure that with this coordinate, it would cut up nicely no matter which way you rotated the print.

Herringbone

Modern Marks Fabric Herringbone Print by Christa Watson

Herringbone comes in four colors: Red, Lime, Jade, and Navy

This print is one of the blenders in the line that’s based on one of my machine quilting designs – a simple zig-zag. The beauty of fabric design is that the lines don’t have to be continuous like my machine quilting is!

Boxes

Modern Marks Fabric Boxes Print by Christa Watson

Boxes comes in three colors: Light Blue, Cream/Lime, and Light Orange

Boxes is based on one of my favorite modern machine quilting motifs of the same name. The quilting design is a continuous/allover design, but I wanted the print to not be so obvious that it was a quilting design, so the squares are less dense than the quilting design with just a few of them overlapping. These fabrics also read a little lighter so that they can provide contrast to the darker, bolder prints.

Crossmarks

Modern Marks Fabric Crossmarks Print by Christa Watson

Crossmarks comes in five colors: Pink, Gold, Green, Turquoise and Jade.

This is the simplest print of the bunch but very effective. It serves as the blender, basic, or tone-one-tone of the group.

Quirky Triangles

Modern Marks Fabric Quirky Triangles Print by Christa Watson

Quirky Triangles comes in three colors: Pink/Orange, Green/Blue, and Navy/Blue

I knew I wanted to include a triangle print but something a little more unexpected than the usual tossed triangles. Adding a pop of color emphasizes the asymmetry and irregularity of the print which I really like.

Crosshatch

Modern Marks Fabric Crosshatch Print by Christa Watson

Crosshatch comes in three colors: Tangerine, Light Lime, and Royal

Crosshatch is another basic/blender print. Adding the random pops of filled in squares gives it a little more quirkiness and originality to your basic crosshatch/plaid design.

Modern Marks with Color Weave

The full Modern Marks line includes the 26 prints I designed above, plus 5 coordinating Color Weave basics in Cobalt Blue, Fuchsia, Citrus, Kelly Green, and Electric Blue.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane for my first collection. Click here to see current list of shops that carry my fabric and feel free to email me if you know of a store that carries it that’s not on the list. I’ll be glad to add them!

Simple Strips Quilt Along Revisited – Make a Quilt from Start to Finish

Last year I hosted a really fun quilt along as part of my BERNINA Ambassador obligations. (It’s a fun gig by the way – I travel the country letting folks know how much I love my machine which is something I did anyway before I became it became “official.”) So today I thought it would be fun to revisit the quilt along for those of you who are new to my blog, or missed it the first time around.

Simple Strips Quilt Along

Links to the Simple Strips Quilt Along

The quilt tutorials are all hosted on the BERNINA blog at We All Sew and they’ll be there indefinitely, so you can make this quilt on your own schedule, any time you want. Just click the hotlinks below to get each set of instructions for this quick and easy quilt!

Week 1 – Materials List and Cutting
Week 2 – Pieced Quilt Top Tutorial
Week 3 – Wall Basting Tutorial
Week 4 – Decorative Stitch Machine Quilting
Week 5 – Machine Binding Tutorial

I made this quilt before I started designing fabric and it works well with any fabrics you choose, whether coordinated or scrappy. Fabric selection is super simple too – it just requires 20 strips (or 1/2 of a jelly roll) of print fabric and the same amount of background/light fabric.

Simple Strips – Modern Marks

Simple strips recolored with Modern Marks

And just for fun, I wanted to see what it would look like recolored in MY fabric – because as a fabric designer, I wish I had time to make ALL the quilts in my prints, LOL!! The recoloring shown above uses a bundle of the Modern Marks prints plus 1 1/2 yards of the cream/lime Boxes print for background and 1/2 yard of the Navy Herringbone for binding.

Here’s what it looks like recolored in Fandangle, my newest fabric collection. I thought it would be fun to separate the warms and cools for a more curated look:

Simple Strips – Fandangle Warm and Cool

Simple Strips in Warm colorway of Fandangle

This coloring can be made from a fat quarter bundle of Fandangle in warm plus 2 yards of Confetti Crosshatch dark gray for the background and binding.

Simple Strips Fandangle Cool

This coloring can be made from a fat quarter bundle of Fandangle in cool plus 2 yards of Confetti Crosshatch light gray for the background and binding.

Although the instructions for Simple Strips are written using precut 2 1/2″ strips, you can totally make your own bundles from your stash, scraps, or even fat quarters.

Do You EQ? (Bonus Download)

Here’s a bonus for those of you who like to work with Electric Quilt software:

Click here to get the Simple Strips EQ download file to resize or recolor this quilt. (It only works if you have the software installed on your computer.) Because I don’t have all the time in the world to make all the quilts, recoloring them virtually gives me the satisfaction of seeing what it would look like “in the cloth!”

Sharing is Caring

Remember, if you make this quilt or any of my designs for that matter, I’d love to see them! You can email me pics to christa@christaquilts.com, include a link to your own blog or social media in the comments, share pics in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group or tag me @christaquilts and #christaquilts on Instagram.

I hope you enjoy making this quilt!!

Improv Squares Finish with Machine Quilting Details

Now that I’ve been blogging again on a regular basis, I’ve realized I haven’t shared about some quilts I made from Modern Marks. And since I’ll soon be starting on quilts from my next line of fabric, I want to make sure I’ve documented my recent finishes!

Improv Squares by Christa Watson, made from Modern Marks

I recently shared a spray basting tutorial for Improv Squares, but here are some beauty shots of the finished quilt, taken in the desert behind our home in Las Vegas.

The inspiration for Improv Squares was a broken wooden fence that I drove by several years ago. I snapped a picture of the fence and kept it in my phone for a long time, until I was ready to do something with it.

Improv Squares Inspiration

The holes in the fence made an interesting pattern that I though would be fun to do something with. I also wanted to further explore the concept of “Structured Improv” – a technique I’ve been playing around with for several years now.

Improv Squares by Christa Watson

The improv part is that you sew a bunch of fabric together randomly. The structured part is that all of the block units are a similar shape  – rectangles. All of the blocks finish the same size so they can be placed randomly in the design, yet no two are the same.

Machine Quilting Tips

Aurifil Vareigated thread

When I’m working with busy prints and I want the fabric to be the star of the show, I’ll try to choose a thread that blends in. Because Modern Marks is so colorful and I wanted to use all of the prints in this quilt, I chose a variegated thread that would add fun layer of texture to the busy prints

My favorite variegated thread is 50 weight Aurifil #3817 Marrakech. It’s fun to see the color changes while I’m quilting, and I love quirkiness that it gives the quilt! It also seems to match any rainbow-colored quilt I make!

Machine Quilting Jagged Stipple

Because I was in a hurry to get this quilt finished, I quilted an allover/edge to edge design on a rather large scale. The quilting is still very dense, but by quilting larger shapes, I was able to cover more area very quickly.

I used one of my favorite designs – a  geometric, jagged stipple rather than a smooth curvy stipple. I was able to complete the quilting on this throw size quilt in an afternoon, rather than several days whenever I do more intricate custom quilting.

Jagged stipple quilting

I love this texture so much, it inspired one of the fabric prints in my second fabric line!
More about that later…….stay tuned!!

Incidentally, whenever I teach machine quilting, I always have the students practice quilting both angular shapes, and curved designs. Some people find it easier to quilt one vesus another, so it’s a good exercise to try and see which type of design you prefer!

As you can see in the detail picture below, the jagged motif gives some interesting texture to the quilt, without overpowering the overall design.

Allover jagged stipple

Improv squares is now available as a pattern, either as a printed version, or a PDF download.
If you make one, I’d love to see it! After all, the fun of designing quilts for others to make is seeing the variety!

Improv Squares quilt

Share your progress wtih me on social media with the hashtage #improvsquaresquilt. You can also share images of any projects you make from my books, patterns or fabric in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group.

Click here to get the Imrpov Squares Quilt Pattern – printed version shipped to you.

Click here to get  the Improv Squares Quilt Pattern – instant PDF download.

Improv Squares Quilt Pattern using Modern Marks Fabric

Improv Squares STATS:

  • Finished Size: 66″ x 80″
  • Fabric: Modern Marks by Christa Watson for Benartex
  • Batting: Hobbs 100% Cotton
  • Thread: Aurifil 50 weight cotton #3817 Marrakech
  • Machine Quilting Design: Jagged Stipple
  • Completed: October, 2017

Improv Squares quilt