Squiggles Quilt Along Week 2 – Making the Blocks

I sure have enjoyed seeing pictures of the fabrics everyone is using so far to make their Squiggles quilts. (Check out my facebook group and #squigglesqal on Instragram.) One of my favorite parts of any Quilt Along is seeing how different fabric choices affect the look of a quilt made from the same pattern. Even those who purchased Squiggles quilt kits will end up looking different because of the fabric placement.

Squiggles from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

I’m remaking Squiggles from my book using my Modern Marks Fabric.
Click here to purchase a kit with black or white background.

Making the Quilt Blocks

This week it’s time to make the Squiggles blocks! Turn to page 16-17 of Piece and Quilt with Precuts for instructions on making the individual units and sewing them into quilt blocks.

Squiggles Unit – See the book for how many to make and what size squares to  use.

Once the units are complete, randomly sew them together to make pairs of “C” blocks:

Squiggles Block from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

C is for Christa, right?? Just kidding!!

Bonus Piecing Tips

In order to get my quilt top really flat for easier domestic machine quilting, I prefer to press all of my seams open while sewing the blocks. Contrary to popular myth this will not weaken the seams.

Because I’m using bold prints with a black background, I pieced them together using a darker thread – Aurifl 50 weight cotton #4241 Very Dark Gray. This makes it less likely that thread will show through the seams when they are pressed open.

 

 

I’m using very dark gray from my Aurifil Piece and Quilt Collection – Neutrals

I also used a shorter stitch length to help secure the seams. For example, the default stitch length on my BERNINA is set to 2.5. I turn it all the way down to 2.0 while piecing so that the seams ends don’t come apart. Smaller stitches also helps ensure that you don’t see the thread peaking through the seams. If you don’t want to use a shorter stitch length, you can instead back stitch each set of units at the start and end of each unit while chain piecing.

Sharing is Caring

Next week it will be time to sew the blocks into the quilt top! In the meantime be sure and post pictures of your progress in my facebook group, and share them on instagram using the hashtag #squigglesqal. (You can also tag me on instagram @christaquilts). I love it when we all cheer each other on!

In fact, check out this fun mini quilt that Leslie Frost made from the corners that are leftover when you make the blocks. Isn’t it cute??

Squiggles Leftovers

Use up the leftover corners in a mini quilt or throw them in your scrap pile.

For a limited time I have Modern Marks Squiggles Kits available with a black or white background. But once they’re gone – they’re gone!!

Suiggles with Modern Marks

If you are just joining the quilt along, click here for the complete schedule.

 

 

Squiggles Quilt Along Week 1 – Fabrics and Cutting

Are you excited to make Squiggles? It’s a super easy precut quilt made from your favorite 5″ charm packs. As mentioned previously, I’m making my version using my Modern Marks fabric line with Benartex, but it will look great with any fabrics you choose, as long as you have a very strong contrast for the background. I’m using black, but it would also look fabulous with white or gray!

Squiggles recolored in Modern Marks

As of this writing I have 3 Squiggles Kits left for sale. Click here to purchase.

If you are just hearing about the Quilt Along, not to worry. Just grab the fabrics you need as listed below and join in anytime! This Quilt Along is totally free to follow (you just need a copy of my latest book), and you can post your progress on social media with the hashtag #squigglesquilt. You can also join my Facebook Group: Christa Quilts to share as many photos as you like and get additional help!

Supply List

Piece and Quilt with Precuts

  • Copy of my book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts for the piecing instructions
  • Two – 5″ charm packs of background solid or tonal fabric (or a total of 77 squares)
  • Four – 5″ charm packs of print fabric (or a total of 154 squares)
    • (Note – you can also substitute one 10″ square pack if needed, and cut to size)
  • 1/2 yard of fabric for binding
  • 3 1/4 yards of fabric for backing
  • 56″ x 70″ piece of batting (I recommend Hobbs batting)
  • Approx. 1200 yards (or one large spool) of fabric for quilting (I recommend Aurifil)
  • Sewing Machine with new needle and basic sewing supplies
  • Rotary cutting equipment (6″ acrylic ruler, mat, standard cutter with new blade)

Cutting the Fabric

Modern Marks Charm Pack

Click here to purchase Modern Marks Charm packs and precuts.

The super easy thing about making this quilt from precuts is that most of the cutting has already been done for you! If you are using 10″ squares, cut them into 5″ squares. If you are using 5″ squares, you’ve already saved yourself a huge step!

Benartex Basics precuts
Click here to purchase Benartex Basics in black or white.

Then follow the cutting instructions in the book on page 15 to cut out the background squares and you’re ready to start piecing the blocks next week!

Click here for links to all of the Quilt Along blog posts and schedule.

Click here to share pictures of your fabrics + progress in my Facebook group.

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Happy New Year 2018 – Word of the Year – Squiggles Quilt Along

Happy Quilty New Year 2018! My words for this year are “simplify and focus.” I got caught up in the social media rat race last year, and near the end of the year I decided to scale down my social media presence so I could simplify my life and focus on what’s important. You can read my about my decision on a previous blog post here.

My Pride and Joy – Watson Family, November 2017

My oldest heads off to college this week (at BYU Idaho), and I’ve got a full year of teaching and creating lined up. I’m also excited to be blogging on a regular basis again where I can share indepth tutorials and lots of inspiring quilt images.

After a couple year break, I’m super excited to be hosting my next quilt along, featuring Squiggles from my book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts.

Squiggles recolored in Modern Marks

I’m remaking Squiggles using my Modern Marks fabric line from Benartex.
Click here to get Modern Marks charm packs to make a similar version!

The Squiggles quilt along will run each Monday for 6 weeks, starting January 15.

Click here for the Squiggles Quilt Along Supply List and Schedule

I hope you’ll share pictures of your quilt along progress, so I can cheer you on! Use the hashtag #squigglesquilt on Instagram, and post pictures of your progress directly to my Christa Quilts Facebook Group. I’m excited to start the fun in 2 weeks!!

Squiggles Quilt Along Schedule – Grab Your Fabric and Get Ready!

Let’s kick off the next year in quilty style, with a Quilt Along!! If you remember the launch of my newest book last summer, I teased the idea of remaking one of the quilts from the book in my new fabric. Readers were able to vote on their favorite quilt, and when to start the Quilt Along.

Well guess what? We’re going to start the Quilt Along on Monday, January 15 and it will run for 6 weeks, going through every step you need to make the Squiggles quilt below, from start to finish!

Suiggles with Modern Marks

Squiggles Quilt Kits are available for a limited time, with black or white background.

I’ll be remaking my version of Squiggles using my Modern Marks fabric + black background, but of course, you can choose any fabrics you like!

Here’s the Quilt Along Schedule and Supply List. Each week as I write create each step, I’ll update the links below so that this post can serve as a landing page for the quilt along.

2018 Quilt Along Schedule

Click the hotlinks below to get to each blog post.

Modern Marks Fabric

Supply List

  • Copy of my book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts
  • Two – 5″ charm packs of background solid or tonal fabric (or a total of 77 squares)
  • Four – 5″ charm packs of print fabric (or a total of 154 squares)
    • (Note – you can also substitute one 10″ square pack if needed, and cut to size)Piece and Quilt with Precuts
  • 1/2 yard of fabric for binding
  • 3 1/4 yards of fabric for backing
  • 56″ x 70″ piece of batting (I recommend Hobbs batting)
  • Approx. 1200 yards (or one large spool) of thread for quilting (I recommend Aurifil)
  • Sewing Machine with new needle and basic sewing supplies
  • Rotary cutting equipment (6″ acrylic ruler, mat, standard cutter with new blade)

So gather your fabrics, your copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts, and start sharing on social media (#squigglesquilt and Christa Quilts on Facebook).

The original version of Squiggles, as shown in the book:

Squiggles from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

We’re just a month away from a quiltin’ good time!!

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Finished Quilt: Modern Starstruck + Quilting Details

Meet “Modern Starstruck” – a remake of my “Starstruck” quilt pattern included in my book Piece and Quilt with Precuts. The original quilt from the book was made in black and white, but as soon as I released my new fabric line, I knew I had to remake this design to showcase the bold bright colors of Modern Marks.

Modern Starstuck by Christa Watson

Modern Starstruck, designed, pieced and quilted by Christa Watson

Starstruck is a fun fat-quarter quilt made from 24 different fabrics, one for each star in the quilt. Each fabric is used in the quilt twice – once for the star and once for the background. However, since there are 26 prints in Modern Marks, I wanted to showcase them all, so two of the fabrics are only included once.

Modern Starstruck

Click here to grab a fat quarter bundle of Modern Marks (while supplies last.)
Click here to get your signed copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts.

I had a LOT of fun quilting this one!! I quilted a different free-motion design in each of the stars and backgrounds. There are a total of 24 blocks which means I quilted 48 unique designs in this quilt. I think of it as a “machine quilting sampler” of sorts.

Machine Quilting Detail

You can really see the quilting when the light hits it just right. I tried lots of different swirl combinations in some of the blocks, and echoed each star a couple of times to separate it from the background quilting.

Modern Starstruck closeup

Modern Starstruck drapes really well due to the cotton batting I used, and the dense quilting gives it plenty of yummy texture.

In each block I quilted a combination of geometric and curvy lines to play around with different ideas. To minimize my starts and stops, I free motion echo quilted around each star shape, then traveled over a previous stitching line to get to the star. I filled in each star with a different design and then traveled back out of the top of the star to continue quilting the additional echo and background areas.

Machine quilting in progress

Here are a couple of closeups of the block quilting:

quilting detail

I quilted a geometric meander in the star above, with curvy woodgrain in the background. Many of the designs came from my books, while others were brand new experiments which may show up as stand-alone motifs in future quilts!

free motion quilting

In this star I quilted a dense echoed diamond design with curvy flowers in the background. I used a light yellow thread for the entire quilt. It blended in to most of the fabrics so I didn’t have to switch thread colors.

Pattern on pattern

In some of the blocks, I quilted a dense pattern on pattern design to add extra depth and dimension to the quilt.

Modern Starstruck detail

It was fun to choose fabric combinations for each block. Because this was a busy quilt with no unifying background fabric, it was important that each pairing allowed the stars to pop!

Modern Starstruck Stats:

Modern Starstuck by Christa Watson

Squiggles Quilt Along Schedule, Supply List + Get Your Kit!

I’ve been a busy bee planning for our quilt along next year. It will kick off January 8, 2017 and we will be making the Squiggles quilt from Piece and Quilt with Precuts (book required). See below for the QAL schedule:

Squiggles by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Original Squiggles Quilt from the Book – 50″ x 63″

2018 Quilt Along Schedule

  • Week 1 – January 15: Gathering Fabrics and Cutting
  • Week 2 – January 22: Making the Blocks
  • Week 3 – January 29: Assembling the Quilt Top
  • Week 4 – February 5: Backing and Basting
  • Week 5 – February 12: Machine Quilting
  • Week 6 – February 19: Binding

Supply List

  • Two – 5″ charm packs of background solid or tonal fabric (or a total of 77 squares)
  • Four – 5″ charm packs of print fabric (or a total of 154 squares)
    • (Note – you can also substitute one 10″ square pack if needed, and cut to size)
  • 1/2 yard of fabric for binding
  • 3 1/4 yards of fabric for backing
  • 56″ x 70″ piece of batting (I recommend Hobbs batting)
  • Approx. 1200 yards (or one large spool) of fabric for quilting (I recommend Aurifil)
  • Sewing Machine with new needle and basic sewing supplies
  • Rotary cutting equipment (6″ acrylic ruler, mat, standard cutter with new blade)

Piece and Quilt Collection Aurifil Thread by Christa Watson

I’ll be using my Aurifil thread collection to piece and quilt my version of Squiggles!

Pre-Order Your Squiggles Quilt Kit With Black or White

The kit includes everything you need for the quilt top including fabrics + binding. By popular request, I’m offering it in two choices of backgrounds: either black or white. I’m making mine in black just to change things up, but I think it looks great in either choice!

Click here to preorder your squiggles quilt kit. On the item description, you’ll be given the option to select which background you’d prefer. These will ship Approximately Nov 3rd (after I return home from quilt market.)

Squiggles recolored in Modern Marks

I’m remaking my version using my Modern Marks collection with Black.

Squiggles from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

 

I’m also offering a kit with a white background.

Modern Marks Collection

Take a look at all the prints included in the Modern Marks precuts that are coming soon! It includes the 26 Modern Marks Prints, plus 5 Color Weave coordinates. (Shout-out to my hubby Jason for taking the digital images and arranging them into a pretty grid!!)

Modern Marks Fabric

26 Modern Marks and 5 Color Weave coordinates are included in the precuts that are coming soon!

Optional Backing Kits Available for a Limited Time

For a limited time, I’m also offering a kit of coordinating backing fabric to go with the quilt top. It will include a total of 3 1/4 yards of quirky triangles in Navy/blue.

Click here to preorder the Squiggles backing kit.

Note: This fabric is sold out, but you can click the link above for a couple of other choices, sold as 2 yard pieces (while supplies last.)

Modern Marks Quirky Triangles Navy Blue

Sharing is Caring

Be sure to join my Facebook group:  Christa Quilts. It’s a great community of fun folks like you who would love to see your progress during the quilt along and cheer you on! You’ll be able to share pics of your progress during the quilt along as well as anything else you are working on.

I can’t wait for the quilt along – it’s going to be fun!!

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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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Piece and Quilt Hop Along Week 2 with Vicki, HollyAnne and Kristin

Vicki, HollyAnne and Kristin are back for week 2 of their blog hop from my new book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts. Each of these talented gals is making a different quilt from the book and sharing tips and videos about their progress over a 5 week period.

Piece and Quilt with Precuts

So let’s check out what they’ve been up to this week!

Vicki Holloway from My Creative Corner 3

Gridwork blocks

Vicki is making progress on her version of Gridwork using my Modern Marks fabric. For the finished quilt she’s going to make it completely out of my fabric. However, in her blog post, she’s made a few bonus blocks incorporating some solids to show how that can change up the look.

Modern Marks Frequency blockVicki took some of her leftover scraps and pieced a Frequency block (also from the book). Her plan is to make one block from each of the quilts in the book to make a sampler quilt. I think that’s such a clever idea and can’t wait to see it!

Click here to read more about Vicki’s progress this week.

HollyAnne Knight from String and Story

For her version of Spools, HollyAnne is doing something I recommend in all of my books and classes – make a quilting plan to audition possible design ideas. I love how she’s combined different quilting designs from all three of my books for the spool blocks:

Quilting Design Ideas for Spools

Here’s her finished quilt top, also made from my Modern Marks fabric.  Don’t you just love how she reversed the color placement? Now they look like empty spools!

Spools from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Compare it to the original version that’s in the book, to see how different a quilt can look when you switch the color placement. I really love it when quilters take my ideas and make them their own!!

Spools by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Spools quilt, made by Christa Watson, from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Click here to read more about HollyAnn’s progress this week.

Kristin Esser From Kristin Esser.Com

Kristin whipped up her Squiggles quilt top in record time. It’s easy when you start with most of the cutting already done for you!

Squiggles from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

She quilted the wavy lines as shown in the book, using my “divide and conquer” process. In a nutshell, you quilt wavy lines “near” the ditch (rather than in the ditch) and then you subdivide each section, adding more lines until you are happy with the spacing. It’s organic, liberating, and adds lots of yummy texture to the quilt!

Squiggles quilting

Kristin also quilted several of the free-motion quilting motifs on practice blocks.
Click here to see her progress this week, plus bonus free-motion inspiration.

Remember – if you are working on any of the quilts from my books and patterns, please share them in my Facebook group: Quilt with Christa. I’d love to see!

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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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Quilt Along Announcement – See the Winning Quilt Design!

Thanks so much to all of you who voted for which quilt along you wanted to make from my new book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts. And without further ado, the design with this most votes is:

Squiggles Starting in January!!

Squiggles recolored in Modern Marks

EQ7 design of Squiggles, recolored in my Modern Marks Fabric

Gridwork was the second most popular, followed by Dot ‘n Dash and then Arrows. I really wish I had time to make them all!!

Coming up soon, I’ll announce the blog hop schedule (starting in January) but here’s what you can expect. It will run for several weeks, giving you plenty of time to complete your quilt while I’m cheering you on. I’ll be remaking the quilt, too, so I’ll include some extra hints and tips along the way.

I’ll do a blog post for every step of the quilt-making process, including basting, machine quilting and binding. So even though you need to purchase the book to quilt along with me, you’ll get even more valuable bonus content, just by following along!

Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

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

Kits coming soon!

And now for the most exciting news (at least for me anyway), is that for the first time in my history of quilt alongs, I’m going to offer kits, made from my Modern Marks fabric! The beautiful thing about a kit is that although the fabric is the same in each kit, no two quilts will be alike because of your choice of color placement for the blocks. I love designs that work that way.

The fabric won’t arrive in stores until November, but once I get an idea of the pricing and delivery dates, I’ll offer Squiggles kits for pre-order.  Watch the blog for that announcement soon!

Modern Marks Kit Options from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Other kit possibilities – Gridwork, Dot’n’Dash, Arrows (Navy or Aqua)

That brings me to my next idea. Please let me know if you are interested in kits for any of the other 3 quilts: Gridwork, Dot’n’Dash and Arrows (Navy or Aqua). There’s no obligation of course, but if I can get a rough idea of the interest, I may be able to offer kits for those, too. Just leave me a comment letting me know which kit you might be interested in, or you can always shoot me a private email at christa@christaquilts.com.

And just to reiterate, you can still quilt along with any fabrics you want to use! The kits are just a convenience for those who are interested. I’ll be selling them through my store at shop.christaquilts.com and I’ll be able to ship them internationally, too. I’ll make another announcement once they are available for preorder.

Summary Thoughts

So just to recap, I’ll be posting the Squiggles quilt along schedule later this month and will offer kits for 4 different quilts if there’s interest. And remember – there’s nothing that says you can’t make one of the others while we are making Squiggles. I love seeing your progress on any quilt you make!

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