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!




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