Modern Triangle Quilts by Rebecca Bryan

I’m so excited to be part of Rebecca Bryan’s blog hop for her brand new book Modern Triangle Quilts. It includes patterns for 70 different triangle blocks set into 11 different samplers.

“Becca” and I first met at QuiltCon in 2013 before either of us had dreams to become authors and we hit it off right away. We got to know each other pretty well since then and solidfied our friendship when we both got the opportunity to film a quilting segment for QNNtv back in 2015. She’s one of those go-to people I can message at any time and she’ll offer a kind word of support when I most need it!

Christa Watson and Becca Bryan

Becca and I enjoying dessert together after QNN taping back in 2015.

Modern Triangle Quilts is actually her second book. (I highly recommend her first book, Modern Rainbow, too!) I was so excited for her when her quilt Equilateral Sampler won 2nd place in the Minimalism category at QuiltCon. This is definitely my favorite quilt in her book, but they are all so fab!

Rebecca Bryan Equilateral Triangle quilt at QuiltCon

Don’t you just love that expression on her face? She was freaking out, just a little!!

I really like this one, too, called “Twilight.” The modern triangle blocks are grouped together into four types: equilateral triangles, right triangles, and isosceles triangles, with a sampler for each.

For the blog hop, Becca asked each of us who participated, to make one of the blocks from her book that she assembled into a beautiful quilt for a charity fundraiser. First, here’s the block that I made:

And here’s the gorgeous quilt that Becca put together will all of our block contributions. Isn’t it just stunning? But wait.. there’s more!!

Modern Triangle Quilt by Becca Bryan

Becca is offering the pattern to make this quilt for a limited time and all proceeds go to the Living Water International charity that focuses on bringing water wells to communities without a safe place to get clean water. If that isn’t reason enough to get the pattern, here’s one more reason: she’ll be giving the quilt away to one lucky person who supports this worthy cause. For complete details on the contest and pattern fundraiser, visit Bryan House Quilts.

And because Becca is so giving, here’s another thing, just for you! She’s also offering a separate freebie for all of her newsletter subscribers! Bright, shown above, was cut from the book due to space limitations, but you can get this pattern free!

Click here to read more about this fabulous design and get the pattern.

Then, be sure to pick up your copy of Modern Triangle Quilts from Amazon, or from your favorite quilt shop or book retailer! And now, for more inspiration be sure to visit the rest of the blog tour participants to see how they were inspired by the book!





Featured Designer and Positive Direction Pattern in Modern Quilts Unlimited

The Summer 2016 issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited goes on sale today and I’m pleased as punch to have two features in it.


First of all, I’m the profiled designer. If you are like me, you may enjoy quilting magazines for the articles as much as you like the unique patterns. Well, imagine my surprise when they asked to interview me for this issue. I was so impressed with Linda Griepentrog who wrote the article. After a nice phone chat, she was able to take my often long answers and rambling thoughts about quilting, and distill them into a concise well-written article. (I always joke around with my workshop students that they get to see me live and unedited when they learn from me in person, LOL!)


When Modern Quilts Unlimited asked to include me in the issue, they also invited me to submit a pattern to go along with it. (In case you were wondering, I got paid for the pattern, and the freelance writer gets paid for her feature article). This was just perfect because I had playing around with a patriotic plus design for awhile, and creating it for the issue was the perfect excuse to make the quilt, which I named Positive Direction.

Postiive Direction Magzine Image

Positive Direction in the Summer 2016 issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited

I’ve always wanted to make a modern patriotic quilt since I’m not as much of a fan as traditional Americana decor. I think adding the aqua and grey punched it up a bit and of course I had to quilt it to death like I usually do. I used Wool batting to give it some loft which really allows the machine quilting to pop!

I designed the quilt in EQ7, like I do all of my quilts and I just love being able to see what the quilt is going to look like before I make it!


My Positive Direction EQ7 sketch – I get all the thinking done before I start sewing!

Update: The PDF pattern is available for purchase in my Craftsy Shop!




Machine Quilting Tips in Modern Patchwork Magazine

I love that more and more people are jumping on the modern quilting bandwagon! I’m a huge fan of quilting magazines and I love that more and more of them are devoted to the modern aesthetic. I’ve been pleased to work with several of them (in between other sewing deadlines) so I’ll be sure and share updates with you whenever I’ve published something new.


My quilting tips are found on page 38 in this issue of Modern Patchwork!

I was recently able to share some of my favorite domestic machine quilting tips in the summer issue of Modern Patchwork Magazine. I’ll share a little bit about how this came about, for those of you who are interested in what goes on “behind the scenes.”

The Modern Quilt Guild put out a call for submissions for QuiltCon magazine last year (for this year’s 2016 issue), so I submitted the idea originally for that magazine. When I heard back, they said they had already selected content for QuiltCon magazine, but would I be willing to write it up for Modern Patchwork, since they are owned by the same company? That was a quick and easy yes.

Then, quite by chance, the editor happened to be in one of my QuiltCon classes earlier this year. I love when stuff like this happens. It makes me feel like we are all friends and associates in this industry, connecting us together in more ways than one.

Christa Watson Books

My books – all about quilting on a domestic machine!!

I wrote up my top 10 tips for domestic machine quilting, then got permission from my publisher to share a few images from my books to go along with the article. That way, the photography would be of the highest quality, and help cross promote the books. Because I’m the type of person who likes to make sure I dot my i’s and cross my t’s (and because I want to make sure I never step on any toes) I always try to keep everyone in the loop of what I’m doing and make sure I never share the same the exact same content word for word.


Credit goes to Angela Walters, my co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting for her version of Swirling Butterflies, the white quilt shown in the title of the article.

Although I write and teach about the art of machine quilting on a regular basis, I always try to present my material in a somewhat different way between books, patterns, and workshops. Besides, it really helps to hear/read the same information in different ways to really let it sink in.

In addition to my article, the current issue of Modern Patchwork has loads of other interesting articles to read as well as a plethora of fabulous machine quilting designs. It’s a little on the pricey side for one issue, but it’s worth it because it has as much content as a book!

Click here to get your hands on a copy of Modern Patchwork, and be sure to let me know what other quilting magazines you enjoy, modern or not!

Illusions Pattern Now Available in Modern Quilts Unlimited Magazine

When I first made my Illusions quilt and shared it at QuiltCon in 2015, right away many of you began asking for a pattern for it. Although I was swamped with writing my first book at the time, I had always planned on coming back and creating a pattern for it.

Christa Watson Illusions

Illusions at QuiltCon in 2015. You can see I have a thing for bold, graphic geometry!

Fortunately, the folks at Modern Quilts Unlimited saw it at QuiltCon and asked me to pattern it for their magazine. In fact they also asked me to pattern my other QuiltCon 2015 entry, Spiraling Out of Control, which was showcased in the Fall 2015 issue.

The quick story behind the design is that it comes from a classic optical illusion called “Cafe Walls.” I saw this image many years ago on the back of a kid’s restaurant menu and knew that one day I would turn it into a quilt.

Illusions MQU

Illusions Quilt in the Spring 2016 issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited

It took a little tweaking to get the design and proportions right in EQ7, but once I did, I knew at once I’d be able to make the quilt while still preserving the illusion.


My EQ7 sketch of Illusions – I like to see what it looks like before I make the quilt!

I quilted illusions with “boxes” – a very simple, yet graphic geometric design and I switched thread colors in the black and white areas so that the design would be more subtle.


I show how to quilt “boxes” in my book Machine Quilting with Style.

If you are interested in making your own version of this graphic quilt, pick up a copy from Modern Quilts Unlimited today. In fact, I would highly recommend subscribing to their magazine. I can’t give away secrets yet, but just know that I’m highly involved with the next issue as well! 🙂

MQU Spring 2016

Quilt Las Vegas – A Nice Showing of Modern Quilts

I had such a great weekend, attending Desert Quilters of Nevada‘s annual quilt show! This is an event I have participated in nearly every year since I joined the guild. This year I entered 4 quilts and was stunned to learn that every single one got a ribbon. It’s the first time that has ever happened! My most validating moment was getting a 1st place ribbon for Pearl Gray, one of the cover quilts from Machine Quilting with Style.


Pearl Gray, 1st Place Single Entrant Category

Judge’s comments: strong representation for modern quilting; good control of value and contrast; machine quilting pattern adds great texture and is simple and effective; very good binding technique.

One of the fun things my traditional guild does is hand out buttons corresponding to the ribbons you win. It’s so cool to walk around the show and bump into other ribbon-winners and congratulate them on a job well done. Everyone can use a little quilt bling, right?

On a whim, I decided to enter Candy Pop, another book quilt into the applique category. I didn’t expect an award for such a simple design, but it really is one of my favorite quilts. In fact, my daughter has already claimed it as hers, once it “retires” from the public circuit.


Candy Pop, from Machine Quilting with Style, 3rd Place – Applique

Judge’s comments: dots and circles create a really dynamic piece; outside pieced binding creates a lovely frame, all techniques are well handled; back art is noted and appreciated.

I love how the judge commented on the back of the quilt, too. I love making pieced backs, especially when I can use up leftover blocks. You can really see the quilting, too:


For the last 3 years there has been a modern category in the show and I think this year’s showing of modern quilts was the best yet! In fact, there were so many entries that the category was split into two – large and small. I had entered two quilts in the modern category and lucked out that each went into a different subcategory!

Illusions – Honorable Mention for Modern, Large

Judge’s comments: piecing is skillfully done; thread color changes are appreciated, causing no distraction from this graphic quilt; machine quilting is well done.

You will be hearing more about Illusions, shortly. It’s been patterned in one of my favorite magazines, and the editor was so kind to ship it back to me quickly, just in time to put it in the show. I’m so glad she did!! Don’t worry – I’ll let you know when and where as soon as it’s published!!

woven_ribbonsWoven Ribbons – 3rd Place Modern, Small

Judge’s comments: masterful use of color; beautiful glow from your use of deep color and contrast; use of variegated thread gives an organic feel to the stripes.

I was especially thrilled to get a ribbon for Woven Ribbons, which I made for Issue 9 of Make Modern Magazine. Most of my quilts are made for publication these days, but I try to do the best job I can while constructing them. The fact that I get to share them at quilt shows is just icing on the cake!

In addition to entering my quilts in the show, I was invited to present a trunk show and lecture on modern quilts. I shared several quilts from both of my books, plus a variety of modern quilts from members of the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild and DQN. It was so fun to see the audiences’ faces light up when they finally realized how amazing modern quilts can be!


I love spreading the word about modern quilting in my little corner of the world! Many of the larger quilts were piled on a full-sized bed and helpers held them up while I spoke.

Here are some of other other fabulous modern quilts from the show:

Modern “strip” quilt by the Las Vegas MQG: 2nd place, group quilt and show chair’s choice.
I contributed 2 blocks and helped with the binding. Quilting by Vicki Ruebel.


My BQF (best quilting friend) Vicki from Orchid Owl Quilts swept the Modern, Small category with 1st and 2nd place! Above left is her version of Color Crystals, from Machine Quilting with Style, and right is Bullseye, an original design that was also hung at QuiltCon this year.


Modern Logs by Suzanne Shull Mayfield, 1st Place Modern Large, quilted by Linda Natale

My friend Suzanne got a blue ribbon with her fabulous rendition of my Modern Logs pattern. She took my class at the quilting retreat last year and I love that she made the largest size! In all the excitement of picture taking, I forgot to get a closeup view of the pink ribbon, but it a special award which means someone behind the scenes really liked it, too!

This is one of my favorite pictures, LVMQG member Melissa standing in between her award winning quilt and a beautiful diamond quilt made by LVMQG member Mandy. I love all that pink!


Glitz Sparkle Punch was Melissa’s QuiltCon reject, but it just goes to show that perseverance and entering quilts in different shows pays off in the end! Now I want to make a pink quilt!

I absolutely loved this design by Jeanne – a longtime traditional quilter who has recently dabbled in making modern quilts. She knocked it out of the park with this one! I love the juxtaposition of the image below – Jeanne’s modern quilt on one row with a very beautiful and very traditional quilt behind it on the next row!


Serenity by Jeanne Spala – 3rd place Modern, Large


Resonate pieced by Margaret Illions and quilted by Cory Allender – 2nd place Modern, Large

Margaret and Cory’s quilt above was a definite crowd pleaser. In my talk I mentioned negative space and asymmetry quite a bit. This effective design incorporates both!

I’ll end with this duo of gorgeous gray quilts made by longtime DQN members Ann P. (left) and Kathy M. (right). One of the best things about being part of a quilt guild community is knowing the makers behind the quilts and being able to celebrate their success!


There were several more fabulous quilts that I didn’t get pictures of, both in the modern category and others. There were a total of over 250 quilts, dolls, and clothing items which made for a very well-rounded show. Although I gravitate towards the modern quilts in any show, I am so thankful for the volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to pull it off. Now I can’t wait for next year’s show!

Lines by Design Quilts by Debbie Grifka – Blog Hop

I’m still recovering from the awesomeness that was QuiltCon 2016 and one of the amazing quilts I fell in love with was Clerestory by Debbie Grifka of Esch House Quilts. FYI I hadn’t heard this word before, so I looked it up. It’s an architectural term that refers to a section of wall that contains windows. Since many modern quilt designs are inspired by architecture, the name makes total sense. 🙂


Clerestory – 64″ x 74″

Well, today, I’m excited to let you know that you can get the pattern for this awesome quilt, plus 16 others in Debbie’s brand new book, Lines by Design Quilts.


Fault Line – 52″ x 52″

I have always admired Debbie’s original quilt designs, and now I really like the premise of her new book book: patterns that explore the clean lines often found in architecture, furniture and clothes.

Lines by Design Quilts is organized into four pattern sections: squares and rectangles, diamonds and hexagons, circles and curves, and pictorial. I think the pictorial section is my favorite! Just look at a couple of the dynamic designs patterned in that part of the book:

deep_blueDeep Blue – 36″ x 45″

In the book Debbie explains how she uses bias tape applique to “draw” some of the shapes in her book. That is such a clever idea for those of us who are lacking certain artistic skills!


Cure-All – 30″ x 30″. I imagine some yummy hot cocoa as a cure-all for myself!

Lines By Designs Quilts has a nice mix of both pieced and applique quilt patterns – something for everyone! I love how Debbie encourages you to either make these quilts as given in the book, or to use them as a jumping off point to create something new and unique.

The book  includes plenty of clear illustrations, full size applique patterns and well written text, along with beautifully styled photography. I can totally imagine each of the quilts from this book in my home!

Your chance to win!

Each of the bloggers on Debbie’s book tour will be featuring  a different quilt (or 3) on their stop, so be sure to view them all. You’ll also be able enter for your chance to win a copy on each stop (hard copy for US winners, digital for non-US).

Wed, Mar 2     Christa Watson         (You are here)
Th, Mar 3        Casey York
Fri, Mar 4        Heather Jones
Mon, Mar 7     Kate Colleran
Tues, Mar 8     Rossie Hutchinson
Wed, Mar 9     Amanda Jean Nyberg
Th, Mar 10      Amy Ellis
Fri, Mar 11      Lynn Krawczyk  
Mon, Mar 14   Debbie Grifka

Then leave a comment below telling me if you’ve ever done bias tape applique before. I haven’t, but now I’m inspired to try! Winners will be chosen on March 14th, at the close of the hop.

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of Lines by Design Quilts!

New around here? Sign up for my email newsletter and get my exclusive PDF pattern for free!

Spiraling Out of Control Pattern Available in MQU Magazine

Here’s some great news for those of you who have been patiently waiting for the pattern for my quilt Spiraling Out of Control. It’s now available in the current issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine (Fall, 2015).


Here’s a quick back-story of the quilt. I originally made it for the MQG/Riley Blake fabric challenge in 2014 and was thrilled when it was selected as one of the 10 finalists out of hundreds of quilts. It then went on to hang at AQS in July 2014 nd then at QuiltCon in 2015 where it caught the eye of the Modern Quilts Unlimited editors. (In fact, they also fell in love with another of my quilts at the show which will be patterned in a future issue, so be sure to subscribe!)


I used EQ7 to design Spiraling Out of Control.

Jason jokingly refers to this issue as “my” issue because in addition to featuring the pattern, they’ve also given my book a nice review, and I’m in an EQ ad, too!


Seeing reviews of my book in national magazines makes me giddy!


Spiraling Out of Control is in the Fall Issue of MQU

Road to California 2014 – Modern Quilt Winners

As promised, here are the pictures I took of all the winning quilts from the modern categories at Road to California.  Special guest Jacquie Gering did a fantastic job judging the modern quilt category and she gave excellent feedback for each entry.

Best Modern Quilt

Best Modern Quilt – Lost in Space by Clare Victor, Palm Springs, CA

I got a chance to chat with Jacquie for a few minutes at the show and she shared with me some excellent tips on how to make your quilts more modern: be sure to emphasize the “hard edges” so prominent in modern design, include a focal point were possible, and make sure the quilting really enhances the geometric quality of the design.

Modern Negative Space, 1st

1st Place – Modern Negative Space – The Long Winter by Catherine Redford, Naperville, IL

As you can see, these winning quilts are all excellent examples of modern design!

Modern Negative Space 2nd

2nd Place – Modern Negative Space – by Alissa Carlton, Las Angeles, CA

There were plenty of other breathtakingly beautiful quilts at the show which I’m sure will be popping up in the latest quilting magazines; I just wanted to give special billing to the modern quilts because they are the ones that really speak to me.

Modern Negative Space 3rd

3rd Place – Modern Negative Space – Modern Alphabet by Gerri Thompson, Happy Valley, OR

I hope you will be inspired to enter your lovely quilts in an an upcoming show (whether they are modern or not). It’s a great way to get feedback, but more importantly, it’s a great way to share your love of quilting with others.

Judges Choice

Judges Choice – Layered Landscape Pieced by Valetta Gyurci, St. Paul, MN; Quilted by Mary Rossi

Best Modern Piecing

Best Modern Piecing – Valley Snapshots by Timna Tarr, South Hadley, MA

Modern Piecing 1st

1st Place, Modern Piecing – Didn’t Get the Memo by Alissa Carlton, Los Angeles, CA

Christa’s Quilt Along 3.4 – Charming Chevrons Block Tutorial

This is the week where our Charming Chevrons quilts really start coming together! We will sew all of the blocks and start laying them out so that the top can get finished by next week. Be sure to scroll to the end of this post for the complete tutorial schedule.

It took me a total of 2 hours, 15 minutes to sew and press all 42 of my Chevron blocks.Chevron Blocks

Step 1 – Sewing the Half-V’s (1 Hour)

Each chevron looks like a V and each half of the block is a mirror image so keep that in mind while assembling your units.

Block UnitsFirst, separate all of your triangle squares from last week  into 4 equal piles, orienting them to form a V.

Note that each half of the V is made from two triangle squares of the same fabric. You should have a total of 42 sewn triangle squares per pile.

Since each half of the block is a mirror image,  I will be sewing one half at a time.

Starting with the left half of the block – the left V – I laid a stack of units next to my sewing machine. They are oriented in the direction I will sew them. Chain piece all left V units.

Chain Piece the VsStacked Units Chain Piecing means sewing pairs of blocks with no stops.

After sewing all of your left V stacks, finger press (or use a wooden seam roller) from the back and then again from the front. Press them all to the same side and repeat for all halves.

Press Front SidePress Back Side

You should have a total of 42 left V units.

Now, repeat the steps above for the other half of the blocks, the right V units. Be sure to press the right halves in the opposite direction so they nestle when sewing the blocks.

Press OppositeRight V Units


Repeat for a total of 42 right V units.

Step 2 – Joining the Halves (1 Hour, 15 Minutes)

Pin the two halves of each block together. If desired, you can flip over any seams so that they will nestle with the other side of the block – look at the pin on the far right below.

Pin the Chevron Halves

The key to sewing crisp points on these blocks  is to hit the “sweet spot” when sewing your seams. Sew from the side where you can see a little “x” made by previous seams. This is right where my pin intersects the block below.

Sew Through the X

When you have sewn all of the blocks together, press or seam-roll them again on both front and back. When finished, you will have a total of 42 blocks.

Finished Chevron BlockPress the Chevrons

Because of the way this quilt is laid out, you will want the major seams in your blocks to alternate. To do this make sure you press 18 blocks in one direction and 24 blocks the opposite direction. You’ll have 3 rows of block seams one way and 4 going the other way.

Seams Pressed Opposite

Once your blocks are complete, you can start laying them out in a pleasing color arrangement on your design wall (watch which way you pressed the seams).

Kona Solids Kit

Kona Solids Kit

You’ll notice that in my original drawings I started with the  Chevrons pointing up first. But now that I’ve laid them out, I think I prefer them as shown in the photo above with the points starting down. It’s your choice! I have kits available for all 3 colorways shown.

American Jane Kit

American Jane Kit

Coquette Kit

Coquette Kit

Sewing Schedule (All links will be active once each step has been completed.)