Charming Chevrons Pattern Makeover – Now Available in 4 Sizes

Exciting news! I’m updating all of my patterns, and I just finished the first one! Charming Chevrons is now available in 4 sizes: Lap, Throw, Twin, and Queen.

CharmingChevronsCover

 Purchase the PDF version of Charming Chevrons here.

 Thanks to the fabulous graphic design work of Design by Lindsie, I’ve checked off something that has been on my to-do list for literally 10 years!!

Charming Chevrons is currently available as a PDF, but as we speak, I’m also getting them professionally printed so that quilt shops can carry them, too! (Just email me for wholesale pricing if you are a shop interested in carrying my patterns.)

I had a certain look I wanted for my patterns, and Lindsie knocked it out the park! She’s busy working on updating my other patterns, too, and I can’t wait! They will all be full-color with plenty of diagrams to help you out. After doing a little research on what others wanted in their patterns, I decided to offer each of my patterns in 4 different sizes. Where possible, I’ve also included extra tips for machine quilting or additional layouts.

Here’s the back cover with the fabric requirements for Charming Chevrons:

CharmingChevronsDigital_back

So, what do you think of the new look?

Just for fun-sies, you compare the new pattern with all of my older ones here.

Sew and Tell – Do You EQ? I Do!

It’s no secret I love designing and making quilts.

Since discovering the modern quilting movement, I’ve been inspired to create more original designs in the last 2 years than I have in the last 10 years combined! All it took was finding my niche and discovering the right motivation.

I’m pleased to announce that the folks over at Electric Quilt are enjoying my passion for design, too!

I’ve recently been invited to become an “official” EQ Artist and am now featured on their Do You EQ? site along with plenty of other well-known quilters in the industry. I have to tell you, it’s a little bit intimidating to be featured alongside so many amazing quilters who also design in EQ. I keep waiting for them to tell me, “not really – we were just kidding!”

But lots of good has come out of this. For starters, it has encouraged me to do all of my designing in EQ7 so that I can practice becoming comfortable with more aspects of the software.

Modern Log Cabin Rough SketchMy latest EQ7 design – This quilt will do double duty as my entry into the next MQG fabric challenge, and as a future class sample. Stay tuned for more!

Also, I’ve finally taken the plunge and have started publishing my own patterns, integrating images from EQ7 along with good old basic word processing software. So far I’ve only finished one pattern, but the next one will launch soon, and I’ve got more coming. Be sure to keep an eye on my Craftsy Pattern Store for more.

Charming Chevrons – my first officially “published” pattern. You’ve seen this one before!

Finally, I’ve decided I will start teaching some introduction to EQ7 classes later this year. I’ve had several requests to teach about the software, but it will take me awhile to develop a class. My favorite local quilt shop is in need of new teacher so the timing is right. I’ll keep you posted in case any of you are in the mood for a road trip to Vegas later in the fall.

And now, on to the next design!

Christa’s Quilt Along 2.7 – Binding Baby Bricks

To finish off both the girl and boy versions of Baby Bricks, I am finishing my bindings by hand. I’m always needing a hand project that I can stitch while watching TV with the family!

A limited number of Baby Bricks Quilt Kits are available, using these exact fabrics shown.

Girl Baby Bricks My quilts are trimmed and ready for binding. I think that binding by hand gives a tidy finish which helps the quilt to lie flat and straight; very important when being hung in a show!

Boy Baby Bricks

Step 1 – Securing the Binding to the Front of the Quilt by Machine

Please review my Jolly Jelly Roll quilt tutorial for step-by-step photos of this process. I show how to sew continuous binding strips using my favorite method called double fold, French binding. I also demonstrate how to complete it by machine, for a faster finish.

Step 2 – Pin Basting and Preparing Needles and Thread

I enjoy binding by hand if I am not rushed and everything is prepared ahead of time. I chose a heavier weight cotton thread that matches the binding. I like to thread several needles onto my spool so I can cut off a new length of thread and not have to worry about re-threading so many needles.

Thread Several Needles

Next, I use pins and Pinmoors to secure the edges while sewing. I usually pin one large section at a time (enough for one length of sewing thread). Then I repin and move onto the next section as I go.

Pinmoor Basting

Step 3 – Sewing by Hand

Cut off about 18 inches of thread and knot it on one end. Then slip the needle between the backing fabric and the binding. The knot will be hidden under the binding.

Beginning StitchHand SewingMake one stitch at a time, backtracking slightly as you enter the needle for each new stitch.

This is very similar to hand applique or a blind hem stitch.

Be sure to stitch the corners closed on front and back.

Corner FrontCorner BackYou can click on any of the smaller photos to see more detailed closeups of the sewing.

It takes longer to sew by hand, but it’s a very relaxing and enjoyable process!

Smaller needles make a tiny stitch.

When I get near the end of my thread, I simply make a knot, take a last stitch and pop the knot into the binding. Then I start the process again until the entire binding is finished.

Knot the Thread

I will finish up the binding on both of my quilts, then post photos of the finished quilts next week. I have decided to add on a bonus week to this project so that I can talk about blocking and labeling your quilt.

Here is the complete tutorial schedule below:

If you enjoyed these tutorials, please join me when I begin the next quilt-along series, called Charming Chevrons! I will post the supply list next week. Here’s a hint: it’s made from charm packs! (4 charm packs total – 2 of the same light/background and 2 of the same dark/print)

Christa’s Quilt Along 2.6 – Baby Bricks Option 2 FMQ

I love adding free-motion quilting to my quilts whenever I can. That is why I chose to enhance my girl version of Baby Bricks with some decorative double loops.

Baby Bricks - Girl VersionStep 1 – Securing the Blocks

Before getting to the fun part, the quilt needs to be secured with a little stitching in the ditch between all of the rows. This anchors the piece for more decorative quilting later.

Beginning the RowsStitch in the DitchWhen stitching to the end of a row, pivot and sew along the side to get to the start of the next row. I used my walking foot with an “open” toe so that I could clearly see where I was quilting.

Step 2 – Quilting the Loops

I quilted all of the white “negative space” with random double loops. To do this design, first quilt a row of single loops. I changed the direction of each loop for interest – think of stitching e’s & o’s in an alternating fashion.

Single LoopsWhen I reached the end of the row, without stopping, I went back the other direction, echoing the flowing lines between the loops and filling the inside of the circles with another loop. This created a ribbon look which I really like.

Double LoopsFor the FMQ, I used Isacord polyester thread in a Vanilla color which I bought from Leah Day. This was the first time trying that thread and I really like it. I need to get more colors!

Step 3 – Quilting the Blocks

At first I had planned on adding more free-motion quilting to the rectangular blocks, but then decided the quilt needed some geometric looking quilting instead. So I got out my ruler and washable marking pen and added registration marks, crisscrossing the blocks.

Add Registration MarksHad I planned this out more, I would have marked the quilt before I basted and probably quilted the straight lines first. But it just goes to show it’s ok to change your plans during quilting and it will still turn out great!

Straight Line Echo

With my walking foot and pink thread, I quilted lines 1/4″ away from either side of the marked lines. Then I spritzed the lines with water. (I will completely soak the quilt later.)

I marked an “x” design going in both directions on the center row of the quilt. Then each of the rows to the left and right accentuated the direction of the straight line quilting.

Quilting Detail

I pieced the back using some pink and green scraps from my stash. I like how much the quilting shows up on the back. (I used wool batting to give the quilting some body.)

Pieced Back

Here is the schedule of tutorial posts for my Baby Bricks do-it-yourself quilt along:

Christa’s Quilt Along 2.5 – Baby Bricks Option 1 Straight Line Quilting

I finished up the quilting on my boy version of Baby Bricks while I was at a quilting retreat last weekend.  I brought along a few items to sell so the weekend paid for itself!

Christa Quilts!

Step 1 – Quilt the Marked Lines

This quilt was so easy to machine quilt. It was just a matter of following the marked lines! I timed myself and it took less than 2 hours to machine quilt the top. Start with a large area for quilting so you have room for the quilt. A drop in table is best but as you can see here, I quilted this just using the surface available on the bed of my machine.

Gripping the Quilt SandwichI started on the very edge of the quilt with the first marked line. I scrunched up the quilt under the arm of the machine and used Machingers quilting gloves to grip the quilt making it easier to push through the machine.

I used a walking foot to quilt the straight lines with my feed dogs engaged. I set my stitch to a longer length (4 out of a max of 5), and quilted with 50 weight variegated light blue cotton thread on both top and bobbin. I used a new Topstitch needle, size 80/12 for the quilting.

Quilting Straight LinesI quilted about half of the quilt from one direction, turned it around and then quilted the other half. Because my marked lines ran from one edge to the other, I did not have to tie off or bury my threads. The ends will be covered by the binding so they will be secure. I left the basting pins and Pinmoors in the quilt and removed them one at a time as I quilted.

Step 2 – Remove the Markings

I used a spray bottle to remove all of the marked lines. I will soak the quilt after binding to block it and remove any excess marks. (I advocate prewashing all the fabrics first to be sure they don’t bleed. This gives me piece of mind when I completely soak it later.)

Spritzing the Quilt

It’s all quilted now and ready for binding. Next week I will show how I quilted the pink and green girl version using more advanced free-motion quilting techniques. You can use either option on your quilt, or combine them!

Finished Quilting

Here is the schedule of tutorial posts for my Baby Bricks do-it-yourself quilt along:

Sew and Tell Friday – Finished Jelly Roll Quilts

I am so excited to see that people are finishing their Jolly Jelly Roll quilts. This was my first ever quilting tutorial and it gives me great satisfaction to see that it was a success! You can click here to see all the tutorials. (I still have a few Jolly Jelly Roll kits available, too!)

First, we have Joanne P. who made her quilt from fabric she got from me plus scraps from her stash. She picked a bright white inner border for a little “pop” and then bound it in blue.

Joanne's Jelly Roll Quilt

Joanne quilted a wavy grid effect by starting the quilting in her piano keys borders and continuing across the surface of the quilt  from top to bottom and side to side. You can see the neat effect it gave on the back of the quilt. I am so glad she “did-it herself!”

Quilting CloseupQuilted Grid

Kathleen W. was also very productive and finished her quilt, too. I just love the aboriginal prints, don’t you?

Kathleen's Jelly Roll QuiltKathleen’s favorite part of the quilt is her pieced backing. I concur! She did a nice job on the serpentine stitching,  and she even added a label, too. Way to go, Kathleen!

Kathleen's Quilt Back

Christa’s Quilt Along 2.4 – Marking and Basting Baby Bricks

I finished the pretty pink version of Baby Bricks this week to go along with the baby blue top that I will be basting today.  (Kits are available for both colors for a limited time.)

Before I get to the most fun part of making a quilt in my opinion – the machine quilting – I’ve got to get them marked and basted! Today’s demo will be shown on the blue version.

Girl Baby Bricks

Step 1 – Marking Diagonal Lines

For the boy version of Baby Bricks I am going to quilt straight lines with a walking foot.  I used a water soluble blue marking pen to draw the quilting  lines. (If you are afraid of fabric bleeding or do not want to mark your quilt, you can use low-adhesive painter’s tape instead.)

Straight Lines

Using my longest ruler, I marked straight lines across the surface of the quilt. I started in one corner and drew a line from corner to corner of a rectangle brick. I extended the line so that it goes across the entire quilt including the borders. I spaced them 3 1/2 inches apart.

Additional Marked Lines

I added an additional line half-way in between so that the spacing of the lines is now 1 3/4″.  It took a total of 45 minutes to completely mark the top. Now the quilt is ready to baste.

Step 2 – Piecing the Backing

I enjoy pieced backs much more than plain ones. This satisfies my urge to go a little “wonky” with some improvisational piecing on the back. It took about 1/2 hour to sew together.

Pieced Backing

I put the back together sort of like a puzzle, adding chunks of fabric until I had a large enough piece. For this quilt I used up my the rest of my light blue solid, a few leftover bricks, and some pieces from my stash. It took about 2 yards total.

For more detail on sewing a pieced back, refer to my previous tutorial here.

Step 3 – Basting With Pinmoors

My preferred basting tools are Pinmoors and straight pins. It took about 1 hour and 100 Pinmoors to baste this baby sized quilt. You can read my previous basting tutorial here.

Basted with Pinmoors

I get better results when I use lots of pins and am careful not to pin through any quilting lines. It’s easier to stick the pin in the quilt and cap it with a Pinmoor, than it is to open and close lots of  safety pins. The Pinmoors are easy take out while quilting, but they stay in place until I’m ready to remove them.

I am going to take this quilt with me to my guild’s quilting retreat this weekend. With any luck, I’ll get it finished quickly and can start on the pink one.

Here is the schedule of tutorial posts for my Baby Bricks do-it-yourself quilt along:

Christa’s Quilt Along 2.3 – Sewing Your Baby Bricks Together

This week we will sew together the complete Baby Bricks quilt top. Kits are available if you would like to quilt-along, or scroll down to the end for a link to the supply list.

I am making two quilts at the same time so it’s double the fun! I finished the boy version just before we left on our vacation and it literally took me 2 hours to sew the whole top. We were just in time to catch our flight! (I’ll finish the girl version when I get back!)

Baby Bricks Quilt Top

Step 1 – Sewing the Rows

The quilt consists of 7 rows of bricks with alternating 1/2 bricks at either end. There are solid strips in between each of the rows. Watch your fabric placement if you are using directional fabrics. I used cotton thread, size 50 and a new needle, size 80/12 for piecing.

It’s easiest to sew together 14 pairs of two bricks first. I grabbed them at random.

Brick PairsNext, double up your pairs so that you have 7 rows of 4 bricks each.

Sets of 4 BricksAdd 1 full brick and 1/2 brick to the top and bottom of each row, alternating placement. (The half bricks are slightly longer than 1/2 of a brick to account for seam allowances.)

Finished RowsEach row has a total of 6 pieces.

Step 2 – Adding the Background Strips

Measure the length of your rows. Mathematically they should measure 44 1/2″ at this point.
Fold a row in half to make it easier to measure. The half-measurement is 22 1/4.”

Measure Each RowTrim up 8 of your background strips to this measurement. Pin one strip to the right side of each row and sew. The first row will have a strip on the left side, too. Because the strips were cut parallel to the selvedge, they will have less give and there is less chance for distortion.

Pin the Background StripsAfter the background strips are sewn on, sew the top into wider rows, joining 2 at a time. This time, sew with the bricks on the top side and the background strips underneath. This will help ease any distortion that occurs when sewing long strips together. Again, pin well.

Bricks and BackgroundOnce all the rows are joined, measure across the width of your quilt.  Finished Quilt Top

Mathematically it should be around 44 1/2″ wide (the same as the length of each row).

Trim your last two background strips this length and join to the top and bottom.

Give it a nice press and your top is done! This quilt will be a nice canvas for some fun geometric machine quilting. I can’t wait to get to that step in 2 weeks.

Be sure to email me pictures of your progress and any questions you have!

The full tutorial schedule is shown below, with links to each completed step as I finish:

Christa’s Quilt Along 2.2 – Cutting the Baby Bricks

I’m so excited to start on a new quilt! Perhaps the best thing I love about creating these tutorials is that it forces me to quilt. I work well with deadlines. 🙂 It was also very fun to put together quilt kits for this project and even more gratifying that they are selling!

This week we will cut out all of the pieces for our Baby Bricks Quilt. Scroll to the end of this post for the complete schedule. For those of you needing a quick refresher on rotary cutting, Alyssa from Pile O’Fabric has an excellent rotary cutting tutorial on her blog.

Before you begin, make sure to read the instructions thoroughly and heed this advice: measure twice, cut once! You need 17″ x 18″ of useable fabric from each fat quarter.

Step 1 – Cutting the Bricks

Start with a sharp rotary cutting blade, and stack 5 of your 6 fat quarters together.

Stack of Fat Quarters

Cut each fat quarter into two 8 1/2″ x 21″ strips. Then subcut them into 4 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ bricks. With careful cutting, you can get 8 bricks per block. Repeat for a total of 40 bricks.

Two 8.5 Inch Strips

8 Bricks Per Fat Quarter

For this quilt, You only need 35 bricks, so 5 of them will be extra.

You can use the leftovers either on the back of the quilt, or use them to make a quilt label, or small throw pillow. Or swap some of them out with your 1/2 bricks shown below for variety.

Step 2 – Cutting the “Half”-Bricks

With your remaining fat quarter, cut out three 4 1/2″ strips. It doesn’t matter which direction this fat quarter is going because you will subcut them into squares.

Cut 3 Strips for Half Bricks

Cut the 3 strips into nine 4 1/2″ squares. These squares are actually a little longer than half of one brick so cut carefully! You only need 7 “half”-bricks, so 2 of these will be extra.

Cut Nine 4.5 Inch Squares

Step 3 – Cutting the Background and Binding Strips

Fold your background fabric “the long way” as I call it, parallel to the selvedge. Fold the fabric into 4 layers and use a longer acrylic ruler for cutting.

Fold Parallel to Selvedge

Trim the selvedge and cut ten strips that measure 2 1/2″ wide by the length of the fabric (about 54 inches).  These are for your background strips and your borders.

Cut 10 long strips by 2.5 Inches

Cut 4 more  strips 2 1/4″ x 54″. These will be your binding strips. Set them aside for now.

Cut 4 Binding Strips 2.25 Inches

That’s it for this week! Wasn’t that easy? It was so easy that I am actually making two quilts at the same time. You can see both my boy version and girl version below.

Boy BricksGirl Bricks

If you have any questions about this tutorial you can post them here on the blog. If you want to share pictures of your quilts in progress from any of my tutorials, just email me at Christa@ChristaQuilts.com. I’ll share pictures and answers next Friday.

Here is the complete tutorial schedule. Each link will be active once I’ve finished that step:

Christa’s Quilt Along 2.1 – Baby Bricks Supply List

Free Quilt Pattern

New to my blog? Be sure to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free pattern!

Baby Bricks

Welcome to my second Quilt Along! (Click Here for the first one). What makes my quilt alongs different and exciting? We will make the complete quilt from start to finish including machine quilting. I love to encourage do-it-yourselfers – no quilting by check here. 🙂

We will be making this Modern Baby Bricks Quilt measuring approximately 44″ x 48″.

Baby Bricks Boy Blue

I’m making this quilt in two color options, using the fabrics shown below:

Girl Baby BricksBoy Baby Bricks


These  colorways are Pretty in Pink and Baby Boy Blue and am going to make one of each! Have fun choose your fabrics using the supply list below and quilt along with me!

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

Supply List

  • 6 Fat Quarters of coordinating fabrics – use a variety of values and scales for interest
  • 1 1/2 yards of neutral background fabric; includes enough for binding
  • 2 yards of fabric for the backing; will be pieced
  • Rotary cutter with a sharp new blade for cutting through multiple layers.
  • General sewing supplies: machine in good working order, rulers, cutting mat, etc.
  • Neutral cotton thread for piecing (sewing the quilt blocks together)
  • Matching cotton or polyester thread for machine quilting
  • Walking foot for straight line quilting
  • Brand new sewing machine needles
  • Piece of batting at least 50″x55″
  • Tape or washable marking pen (test first and be sure to prewash your fabrics!)
  • Optional: Darning foot for free-motion quilting; supreme slider, quilting gloves, for FMQ

Note about washing your fabrics – I always prewash to make sure there are no surprises. If you are using small pieces like fat quarters, either wash them by hand in your sink, or use a mesh bag and machine wash on a gentle or hand-wash cycle. Wash light and dark colors separately until water runs clear and consider using a color catcher sheet with each load.

So take this week to gather your supplies and I’ll meet you back here next week for cutting!

Sharing is Caring

Please share your work in progress in my facebook group: Quilt With Christa . 🙂