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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Piece and Quilt with Precuts: Grand Finale Giveaway and Upcoming Quilt Along

Did you enjoy the blog hop for Piece and Quilt with Precuts? I sure enjoyed sharing all 11 quilts from the book plus 30 more variations made by my friends. To wrap up the blog hop, I have a few reminders, a peak of what’s coming next, and an epic giveaway! So be sure and read through to the end of this post so you don’t miss a thing! Thanks to your support, Piece and Quilt with Precuts is on pace to outsell my other two books, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

Click here to get your signed copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts, along with my other books.

Giveaway Winners and Free Bonus Pattern

Today I’ll be notifying all of the winners via email for the giveaways I hosted on my blog. Each of the blog participants will also be notifying their winners over the next few days, or at the conclusion of their giveaway. But not to worry, if you didn’t receive an email notice, you can still click here to get the free Baby Geese Quilt Pattern. Think of it as Quilt #12 from the book!

Baby Geese Bonus Quilt Pattern

Click here to get the free Baby Geese PDF Pattern – Bonus Quilt #12

Baby Geese is made from leftover scraps and “bonus triangles” – those leftovers when you trim off corner triangles. Because we couldn’t fit it in the book, my friends at Martingale have included it on their website as a bonus for anyone following the hop, or purchasing the book (the link to get the PDF is also included in the book.)

Win My Baby Geese Quilt!

And now for the most epic giveaway, one lucky reader (from the US) will actually win this quilt! It measures 43″ x 54″, perfect for a baby gift or lap quilt. Although I love all my quilts and am a little sad whenever I give any of them away, I’d be even happier knowing it went to a good home!

Baby Geese Quilt by Christa Watson

The giveaway is tied in with my next big announcement below, so keep reading!!

Baby Geese Quilt by Christa Watson

I love it when quilts get used – for a picnic on the grass, or for cuddling up!!

Help Me Choose a Quilt for My Next Quilt Along!

And now, for the most fun news, let’s make a quilt together! It’s been awhile since my last quilt-along where I guided you through the complete quilt from start to finish. So don’t you think it’s time for another one?

I want to remake one of the quilts from my book, using my new Modern Marks fabric which will be available in November. You’ll need to purchase a copy of the book to quilt along, but of course you can choose your own fabrics, and change it up however you like.

Modern Marks by Christa WatsonI’ll be working with my new Modern Marks collection from Benartex. I’ll offer bundles & quilt-along kits for pre-order soon, just in case you want to use the same fabrics as me.

Now here’s where I need your help. Please answer these questions in the comments below and I’ll choose one of the answers at random to win the Baby Geese quilt mentioned above! Of course, there’s never any obligation to quit along, and you are welcome to follow along and not even make the quilt! (Or you can pretend to make it virtually in your head!!) But this will help me get started planning the quilt along.

  1. Which of the four quilts below would you like to make along with me? I’m showing them mocked up in Modern Marks, but you can make it in any fabrics you like, of course!
  2. Would you rather start the quilt along in November (when the fabric hits the stores), or in January so we don’t have to worry about running into the holidays? I’m thinking it would be more practical to do it in January, but wanted to give you all the option to choose.

Whichever quilt and time frame gets the most votes (by commenting on THIS post) is the one I’ll choose for the QAL. I’ll leave the giveaway open for a full week (through next Thursday, Sept 7th) so you have enough time to choose. And feel free to share this blog post with your friends, so they can get in on the fun, too!

Which of the 4 Quilts Below Should We Make?

(1) Squiggles

Squiggles Quilt from Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

This is the version from the book, made from 5″ or 10″ squares.

Squiggles recolored in Modern Marks

This is the version recolored in EQ7 using swatches of Modern Marks

(2) Gridwork

Gridwork from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Gridwork is made from one Layer Cake (10″ squares) and one Charm Pack (5″ squares)

Gridwork recolored in EQ using modern marks

Gridwork recolored in Modern Marks

(3) Dot’N’Dash

Dot 'n' Dash by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Dot n Dash from the book (above) – calls for 2 jelly rolls: 1 print, 1 background

Dot n Dash recolored in EQ7

Dot-n-Dash recolored with Modern Marks and Scrappy low volume backgrounds

(4) Arrows

Arrows from Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

Arrows from the book with a scrappy background – it require a specialty ruler so keep that in mind when you choose which one you’d like to vote for the QAL.

Arrows in 4 colors

Arrows with all one background. Which do you like better: red, navy, cream, or aqua?

Whew! I know that’s a lot of information for one post but I wanted to end this party with a fun celebration, just like it began. Thanks so much for following along, and be sure to keep in touch when you are making any of the quilts from the book. I’d love to cheer you on!

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Piece and Quilt with Precuts Quilt 11 – Spools

Can you believe it? Today I’m sharing the last quilt from my book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts. Be sure and stick around for tomorrow’s blog hop wrap-up as I announce an epic giveaway (hint – it’s a QUILT!!!) and something fun to look forward to in the future!

Meet Spools, which is possibly my favorite quilt in the book. (I know – just like children you can’t really have a favorite, right???)

Spools by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Spools Photography courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Brent Kane

Piece It

My favorite thing about this quilt is that it expands on a concept that I introduced in my first book. (Remember Facets from Machine Quilting with Style? Similar piecing concept, totally different design!!)

Spools uses many leftovers from other quilts in the book as well as scraps from my scrap bin. It was so fun to combine any sized pieces to create my own “made” fabric, and then cut them up into recognizable shapes – a process I call “structured improv.”

Original spools design in EQ7

Original EQ7 design concept  for Spools. I made each spool a different color instead.

When I originally designed this quilt I had thought of mixing up a bunch of different scraps to make each of the spool blocks along with a scrappy border. The image above was my original EQ7 design for the quilt. But as I was getting ready to make the quilt I had a last minute stroke of inspiration to make them color blocked instead. And instead of a scrappy border, I made a scrappy binding around the edges that matches the color of the spool blocks!

I much prefer the quilt I ended up making, where each spool is a different color of “thread” – don’t you?? Now after making this quilt, I feel like any scrap can work its way into a future improv-pieced quilt!

Quilt It

Machine Quilting on Spools

I used a combination of two quilting designs. In each of the spool blocks I quilted wavy textured lines using a matching Aurifil thread. Then in the background I combined another fun free-motion technique I teach called “free-motion improv.”

You basically combine several of your favorite free-motion motifs and mash them all up together in the same quilt, changing designs every 2-3 motifs. It’s a fun way to quilt that adds tons of interest and texture to the design.

Free Motion Improv on Spools

Machine quilting details on Spools.

One of the reasons I quilt my quilts so densely is to hide my mistakes. After all, when you quilt one line of imperfect stitches it really stands out like a sore thumb. However, if you surround it with more imperfect quilting, all you notice is the beautiful texture rather than the individual stitches!

More Arrows inspiration

Check out the bloggers below for their takes on Spools, and be on the lookout for giveaways! I hope you’ve enjoyed traveling to all of the stops on the hop for more ideas on how to make any of the quilts in my book!

Sandra Starley: Textile Time Travels

Sandra Starley Halloween Quilt -Spools

Who says you have to make rainbow colored blocks? Sandra decided to make mini-sized Halloween themed spools, complete with spooky background prints. Now this makes me want to make one for all the holidays! I mean, how cool would it look in reds and greens for Christmas, or red, white and blue for a patriotic quilt? This opens up a world of ideas for you to explore!!

Be sure and keep an eye on Sandra’s blog in the future to see how she quilts it!

Jen Shaffer: Patterns by Jen

Spools made by Jen

I love how Jen made her quilt similar to the original, but she totally changed up the quilting. She used a combination of “modern zig-zags” in the sashing which I introduce earlier in the book. Plus she combined it with “triangle texture”, a motif I teach in my first book.

Visit Jen’s blog to see some really great process pics showing how she approached the improv piecing. I’m proud of her for going outside her comfort zone! While there, you’ll even see the coordinating pillow she made with another machine quilting design from the book!

Today’s Gift: Win Scraps of My new fabric

Since we’ve been talking about how to use up your scraps, I thought it would be fun to offer a unique giveaway today. Many of you know I’ve been sharing sneak peeks of my new fabric line, Modern Marks, which releases this November from Benartex. Well, I’ve been working behind the scenes, making a bunch of quilts from the new fabric to show it off a bit later. That means that I’ve accumulated a ton of scraps, so I’ve decided to give them away to one of you!

Modern Marks fabric scraps

This bundle of scraps could be yours! It’s Modern Marks by Christa Watson for Benartex.

This means that one lucky winner will be the first (other than me) to get their hands on my fabric, before anyone can even buy it!!! Now that you know what you can do with scraps, the sky’s the limit when it comes to using them.

To enter, leave me a comment letting me know which quilt from the book is your favorite. If you haven’t had a chance to see them all, click here for the blog hop schedule, with links to each of the quilts. I’ll choose a winner’s name at random on Monday morning and notify them via email. I’m happy to ship your box of scraps anywhere, with the understanding that an international winner will pay shipping (less the cost of shipping it to the US).

Piece and Quilt with Precuts Blog Hop

And finally, if you’ve enjoyed the blog hop, be sure to pick up a signed copy of my book. It’s been a joy to write, and even more satisfying to share all of the quilts with you. Be sure and stop by tomorrow to see what’s coming up next!

Update: Winner Selected and Comments Closed

Congrats to Brandy F.  who has been contacted via email.

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Piece and Quilt with Precuts Quilt 10: Arrows

I’ve been having such a fabulous time sharing all the quilts from my new book Piece and Quilt with Precuts. In fact, once the blog hop ends, I’m going to be at a loss for what to do next! (But not for long I hope!) Take a look at Arrows, one of my favorite designs from the book, which just so happens to be on the cover!!

Arrows from Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

Arrows Photography courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Brent Kane

Piece It

I had two goals when designing this quilt: I wanted to make it with a scrappy background, and I wanted to create a design that would use a fat eighth bundle for the focus design. While designing the quilt in EQ7, I also wanted to see what the quilt would look like if you decided to use just one fabric for the background, rather than going scrappy.

Check it out using a black background – doesn’t it make the colors pop?

Arrows Alternate Colorway designed in eq

Here’s what it would look like with a white print background and bright colors:

Arrows alternate colorway designed in eq7

As you can see, it’s such a versatile design! Whenever I make a quilt, I usually want to remake it using other fabrics because it ends up looking so different!

Quilt It

I actually designed Arrows just so that I’d have lots of negative space to quilt a dense free-motion design I named Arrowheads. I first taught this motif during a class at QuiltCon, and knew I had to use it in a real quilt!

Detail quilting of Arrows Quilt - design is called Arrowheads from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

I quilted a contrasting design called “Cursive L’s” in the arrows blocks. It’s easy to create contrast in the quilting when one of the motifs is a curved design and the other is linear or geometric. Cursive L’s is one of my “go-to” designs because it’s easy to stretch or shrink to fill any space!

More Arrows inspiration

Take a look at two more ideas for how you can change up the fabrics. I’m sure this will get your creative juices flowing to make your own version! And don’t forget to visit each blog looking for more fun giveaways!!

Lynn Kline: Monkey Needle

Arrows made by Lynn

For her version, Lynn used the same Arrowheads and Cursive L’s quilting as taught in the book. I also include a suggestion to echo quilt around the blocks to make the blocks pop even more, and I love how it looks on Lynn’s quilt!

Arrows made by Lynne Kline

Doesn’t Lynn’s version look great with the scrappy white background? Be sure and visit her blog to read more her progress and to find out which fabrics she chose. Plus she’s hosting 2 giveaways!!

Arrows quilting detail by Lynn

Look at all of that scrumptious quilting texture!! In her post, Lynn even mentions how long it took her to quilt – along with more gorgeous pics where you can really see the quilting. I know that if Lynn can do it – so can you!

Click here to read more about Lynn’s version of Arrows and enter her giveaways.

Kathy Bruckman: Kathy’s Kwilts and More

Kathy’s name should seem familiar since she was one of the first stops on the hop when she made Squiggles. After I shared the first quilt, Kathy made a coordinating Squiggles pillow from her leftovers of the first quilt!

Squiggles Pillow made by Kathy

Click here to read more about Kathy’s bonus pillow project.

She had so much fun making that first quilt that she wanted to make another one from the book. So pop on over to her blog to see her version of Arrows in progress.

Arrows in progress by Kathy

Don’t you love the crinkly goodness of a fresh batch of bright batik fabrics?
These will look so good once they are quilted up!

Today’s Gift: A Free PDF Pattern for all, plus Win The Set!

Christa Quilts Patterns

Just a few of the patterns I currently have available through Craftsy.

Although I currently have 6 patterns available in print, I offer a total of 10 PDF patterns in my Craftsy store, including one that’s totally free!! So pop on over there to get the freebie and check out the other 9. I’ll choose two winners at the end of the hop on Aug 31. Because these are delivered electronically, this giveaway is open to everyone around the world!

Click here to get the free Craftsy pattern and see the whole collection.

To enter, leave me a comment about your favorite way to quilt. Do you prefer walking foot, free-motion, or both? Or maybe you like to hand quilt, or even quilt “by check!” I’d love to know. 🙂

Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

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

Click here to see all of the stops on the hop.

Update: Winner Selected and Comments Closed

Congrats to Pat T. and Lynn T. who have been contacted via email.

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Piece and Quilt with Precuts Quilt 9: Kites

Ready for a whopper of a quilt?? The take a look at Kites. It’s the biggest quilt patterned in Piece and Quilt with Precuts, and yes, I totally quilted it on my regular sewing machine!! The key is to only handle a small area of the quilt under the machine at one time. Then “scrunch and smoosh” the rest of the quilt out of the way, however you can!!

Kites Quilt from Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

Kites Photography courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Brent Kane

Piece It

Kites is so big because it’s made from 3 different sized squares: 10″, 5″ and 2 1/2″. They can be all from the same collection as shown in my version, or your can mix them up to create more of a scrappy looking quilt. The background is made from one jelly roll (2 1/2″ x 42″ strips) and layer cake (10″ x 10″ squares) of the same light colored fabric. So this quilt uses up a LOT of precuts!

The blocks look sort of like an abstract representation of Kites (hence the name), but in the book I’ve also included an alternate layout that makes the quilt look completely different!

Quilting on Kites from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Detail of quilting from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Quilt It

The machine quilting is a combination of walking foot and free-motion. It uses my super simple divide and conquer process in 3 steps:

  • Step 1 – stitch in the ditch around the blocks with a walking foot. This will help stabilize the quilt for additional quilting later. It also allows you to jump around the quilt however you like.
  • Step 2 – quilt “something” in the background. And I literally mean any design you like!
  • Step 3 – quilt another “something” in the blocks – any one you choose!

Quilting detail on Kites from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Choose any two free-motion designs you like and quilt them together in this quilt.

My “somethings” for this quilt are a combination of packed flowers and double circles. As long as the two designs you choose have different densities, they’ll look great together!

More Kites inspiration

Check out the inspiring pics below and don’t feel like you have to make the same queen sized quilt that I did (unless of course you want to). This design is so versatile that it looks great in any size! Simply make fewer blocks for a smaller quilt.

Pam Cobb: The Stitch TV Show

If you haven’t yet discovered Pam’s YouTube show, along with her partner in crime Lynn, then you are in for a real treat! Not only do the gals from The Stitch TV Show serve up an entertaining online show twice a month, they are quite prolific pattern designers in their own right!

Closeup of Kites made by Pam Cobb of The Stitch

Check out this closeup of Pam’s beautiful quilting. I think her packed flowers look even better than mine!! Pop on over to The Stitch to see the size of her finished version, and for more about her process.

Oh, and did you know that Pam’s name is really an acronym for how she gets so much sewing done while working full time and taking care of a family? It stands for making  Progress in Achievable Moments so she can actually get things done. Now I’m jealous that I don’t have an acronym for my name!!

Rashida Khanbhai:  No. 3 Quilt Studio

Rashida's version of Kites

Check out this baby-sized version of Kites made by Rashida. Don’t you love the bright colors? I love how she went way back to the beginning of the book to choose one of the walking foot quilting designs to finish her quilt quickly. As I’ve said throughout the hop, you really can mix and match any of the quilting designs on any of the quilts!

Visit Rashida’s blog to read more about her progress and see more inspiring pics. She actually made the quilt twice with two slightly different quilting designs. Check it out to see the variations!

Jen Rosin: A Dream and a Stitch

Kite "flimsy" in progress

Jen agrees with me – the full size pattern is BIG!! I wanted to include at least one queen sized quilt in the book to give you plenty of options to choose from.

I think Jen did a fantastic job making this pretty quilt top. Here’s a peek of just a few of the fabrics she chose. Click here to visit Jen’s blog to see the full quilt top and her work in progress. I love seeing all of the variations!

Today’s Gift:
Win a Bundle of your Choice from The Precut STore!

The Precut Store

My better half, Jason, manages the other part of our business at ThePrecutStore.com. He gets to decide which precuts to carry and how many to buy for the shop, while I’m out traveling and teaching. It works well for our personalities: he loves to stay home and away from social media, while I love getting out in the quilty world and meeting so many of you!!

We carry nearly any precut you can think of along with Aurifil thread in nearly all the colors. In fact, the main catalyst for focusing on precuts in this book was to answer the question we get so often: “What can I make from precuts?”

Precuts

Just a few of the precuts we stock in our store.

The best thing about running our shop is that we do it via Amazon’s storefront. That means Prime customers get 2 day free shipping, and satisfaction is guaranteed!

Today, one lucky winner will win a precut bundle of your choice from anything we stock in our shop. To enter, take a look at The Precut Store and pick out your favorite bundle that you’d like to win (up to $39.99 value). Then leave me a comment on this post letting me know what it is. At the end of the hop, on the morning of Aug. 31st I’ll choose a winner and notify them via email! This giveaway is open to all, as long as international winners are okay with paying shipping.

Free motion quilting jagged stipple

Quilting tip: practice new designs on a scrap of fabric and batting first!

If you’ve been inspired to make any of the quilts from Piece and Quilt with Precuts, be sure and share pics of your progress in my Facebook Group: Quilt with Christa. I’d sure love to see them, and other group members would, too!

Update: Winner Selected and Comments Closed

Congrats to Linda S. Who has been contacted via email.

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Piece and Quilt with Precuts Quilt 8: Windows

There are just a few more quilts to share before I’ve finished showing you all of the designs from Piece and Quilt with Precuts. Today, take a look at Windows, made from Tula Pink True Colors:

Windows from Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa WatsonWindows Photography courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Brent Kane

Piece It

Windows is made from 2 1/2″ strips, 1 1/2″ strips and a lot of background fabric. It uses fewer 2 1/2″ strips, so here’s where a smaller bundle of your favorite prints can be used effectively. And of course it will look dramatically different just by changing up the fabrics. As long as you have a strong contrast between the window frames and the background, you’ll have success with this design!

I always have a hard time naming my quilts and thought of several possibilities for this one. If you rotate the quilt, the blocks look like elevator doors. You could even use the same two fabrics in each block to look like equal signs. I love it when there are so many ideas!!

Windows quilting detail

The book includes my “no-mark” method of machine quilting. It’s all about the texture!

Quilt It

I recommend using a blending 50 weight Aurifil cotton thread with simple quilting for busy fabrics and save the “fancy” quilting for areas of the quilt where it will show. With my detailed diagrams and quilting plan, you’ll be able to quilt  the blocks continuously, with only one start and stop for each row!

More Windows inspiration

Think about other ways you can make Windows – what if you reversed the colors, or made it from solids, or chose a scrappy background? Clink the links below for even more ideas and be on the lookout for some bonus giveaways!!

Suzy Webster – Webster Quilt

Detail of Windows quilting by Suzy

Check out this scrumptious quilting by Suzy Webster. I love how she chose a solid red so that the quilting really shows up in the background. And look how she used “switchbacks” in both the frames and the border. It’s one of my go-to designs that I first introduced in my first book Machine Quilting with Style.

Head over to Suzy’s blog to read more about the making of her quilt and to see her final reveal! She’s hanging her quilt in a place I’d never thought of before, but it sure looks great!

Katie Joy Church – Wild Prairie Studio

Windows quilt in progress

You’ll be jealous when you see Katie’s studio view as she worked on her version of Windows. She’s also thrown in a few inspiration images and other eye candy. You’ll be able to see how large the quilt is when you see it in progress on a bed in a cabin by the sea – which is just lovely!

Be sure to visit her blog too see how she plans to finish.

Terri Vanden Bosch – Meanderings Along Lizard Creek

Windows Table Runner

Look at this beautifully styled photo from Terri. It’s so easy to make the quilts in my book smaller or larger simply be sewing more or fewer blocks. Her soothing color palette is perfect for this pretty room.

Check out more about Terri’s quilt-making process plus more beautiful photos on her blog. She even told me her husband said it looked like “windows” before he even knew the name of the design!

Today’s Gift – Win Goodies from American Patchwork and Quilting

My friends over at American Patchwork and Quilting have been so supportive of my work! I’ve been in their magazines a few times and I’m always inspired by what they have to offer. Plus here’s a fun fact: I discovered modern quilting back in 2012 when I saw a modern quilt in one of the summer issues of American Patchwork and Quilting. I was so excited that I stopped everything to find out more about modern quilting and it totally changed my career path (for the better!!)

American Patchwork and Quilting Giveaway

Today, they are offering up a nice prize pack – a copy of Better Homes and Gardens’ Complete Guide to Quilting, 3 of their latest magazine issues (notice a familiar quilt on the cover of American Patchwork and Quilting? Yep – that’s mine), plus 4 adorable quilting charms (not pictured.)

Due to shipping costs, this one will be open to US residents only. To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me how many magazines you subscribe to. (If you want to answer honestly, that’s totally up to you. I promise I won’t judge, LOL!!)

All Peopl Quilt

More inspiration will be given to one lucky winner at the end of the hop!

Truthfully, I rarely make an quilts from magazine patterns since I’m usually designing my own, but I love flipping through their pages for color and layout inspiration. I especially love reading technique articles, plus what’s happening in the quilty world. I’ll choose a winner the morning of Aug 31, the last day of the hop!!

Books by Christa Watson

If you are just joining me on the hop, click here to see all of the blog hop stops.
Then click here to pick up your signed copy of any of my books.

Update: Winner Selected and Comments Closed

Congrats to Ann O. who has been contacted via email.

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Piece and Quilt with Precuts Quilt 7: Twinkling Diamonds

Wow! We are over halfway through the blog hop and the inspiration keeps on coming! Even though I designed and made all of the quilts from Piece and Quilt with Precuts, there are so many that I want to remake after seeing the beautiful color combinations my friends are making!

Today’s featured quilt is Twinkling Diamonds, made from some beautiful Alison Glass fabric.

Twinkling Diamonds by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with PrecutsTwinkling Diamonds Photography courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Brent Kane.

Piece It

Twinkling Diamonds is made from fat quarters of colorful prints and fat eights of contrasting light fabrics, plus a dark background. The method I use teaches you to trim off the edges to get the nice crisp diamond points and the best part is, all of the leftovers can get turned into the S.W.A.K quilt featured a bit earlier in the book. (Click here for the blog post about S.W.A.K.)

I chose bright saturated prints and a dark navy background it so that it looks like diamonds twinkling in the sky. However, this quilt would look just as great with a lighter background, and softer, less intense prints.

Twinkling Diamonds Detail quilting

I quilted the background using “jagged stipple” one of my favorite new motifs!

Quilt It

I know that all of that negative space can be a bit intimidating to quilt, but here’s my tip: choose an interesting free-motion design. and meander your way around the blocks to add some texture to the quilt.

Twinkling Diamonds from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

I quilted irregular wavy lines in the bright section of the blocks and “cursive L’s” in the white areas. Each quilt includes step by step instructions plus a detailed quilting plan so you can follow along and get the same look!

Twinkling Diamonds Detail

I quilted all of the quilts in the book using my Aurifil thread collection – it’s my favorite!

More Twinkling Diamonds inspiration

Check out more beautiful ways to make Twinkling Diamonds blocks, and be on the lookout for who’s including a giveaway on their stop!!

Anjeanette Klinder

Twinkling Diamonds table runner

Take a look at what Anjeanette decided to do for her version of Twinkling Diamonds. Don’t you love how she fussy cut the centers??

And who says you can’t mix hand and machine quilting in the same quilt! I think she did such a beautiful hob. Be sure to see more inspiring pics and read more about how she made it her own,  over on her blog.

Jessica Caldwell – Desert Bloom Quilting

Twinkling Diamonds Blocks and Aurifil Thread

Don’t you love Jessica’s stunning color combination? I love how orange can be a neutral – don’t you? She picked out a gorgeous selection of Aurifil threads that she plans to quilt with so I’ll be keeping an eye on her blog to see how it turns out!

Head over to her blog for more pretty in-progress pics!

Jessee Maloney: Art School Dropout

Jesse's Twinkling Diamonds Blocks

I’m a sucker for turquoise and gray, and I love how Jesse shows that either solids or prints will work for the diamond centers. Notice how she added extra fabric around each block? Pop on over to her blog to read more about what she plans to do with these beauties!!

Here’s a tip – if you are just getting started with machine quilting, just make a block or two and practice quilting it. Then turn that block into a pillow, wallhanging, or one block mini. It’s also a great way to give a hand made gift that won’t take too long to create!

Today’s Gift – Win My Aurifil Thread

Today’s giveaway is super exciting. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’ll know how much I love piecing and quilting with Aurifil 50 weight cotton thread. I love being able to use one type of thread for everything I do, and then stocking up on ALL the colors!

It was fun to work with Aurifil on a thread collection that includes all of the basic colors I use. Together, we decided to include two groups in the collection – colors and neutrals. All of the quilts in the book were pieced and quilted using my Piece and Quilt Collection, and I included exactly which threads I used AND how much for each quilt in the book!

Piece and Quilt Collection Aurifil Thread by Christa Watson

Click here to see which threads are included in my Aurifil thread collection.

Two lucky winners will win my thread, generously sponsored by Aurifil – one winner for each thread kit. Pop on over to Aurifil’s blog to enter, and good luck!!!

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Piece and Quilt with Precuts Quilt 6: Dot ‘n’ Dash

Are you enjoying seeing the quilts from Piece and Quilt with Precuts so far? I don’t know about you, but I love all of the color options that everyone is sharing! If you are just now joining the hop, click here for the full schedule of bloggers so you don’t miss a thing!

Take a look at Dot ‘n’ Dash, my version of a modern jelly roll quilt!

Dot 'n' Dash by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Dot’n’Dash Photography courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Brent Kane.

Piece It

This quilt is made from two sets of 2 1/2″ strips and I opted to use one Jelly Roll by Franny and Jane for Moda along with a nice contrasting gray background. Although my designs are a bit more on the modern side, hopefully by seeing them in other colorways you’ll be able to apply the techniques I teach to any quilt, no matter the style!

Quilt It

When quilting the majority of my quilts, I like to quilt two or more two different motifs to add interest to the quilt. I’ll usually try to combine a curvy motif with a linear one to create contrast within the quilting. Like all of the patterns in the book, Dot ‘n’ Dash includes a detailed quilting plan for you to follow so you can work your way across the quilt quickly and efficiently.

Dot 'n Dash quilting detail

Try combining two or more quilting designs for texture and contrast.

For the batting, I chose Hobbs Tuscany Wool. It’s light and soft, yet gives a bit more “poof” to the quilt which really helps the quilting stand out a bit more. Wool is one of my favorite battings for show quilts because it won’t show fold lines when it’s displayed vertically. I love it!

More Dot’N’Dash inspiration

You are in for a treat when you check out my friends’ finishes below. Be sure and visit their blogs for more details on the making of the quilts. And be on the lookout for additional giveaways when you visit!

Laura Piland – Slice of Pi Quilts

Laura Dot 'n Dash

The bold colors pop against the crisp white!

I love Laura’s fabric combo for this quilt. It’s fresh and bold and modern! The quilt calls for two full jelly rolls, but gives the option to use leftover strips in the binding. This means you can pick and choose just in case there are a couple of strips in your bundle that don’t contrast well enough in the background.

The patterns are so versatile and easy to follow that you can substitute other precuts as well. Laura actually made her quilt from a fat quarter bundle that she had on hand, and was able to quickly cut all the pieces she needed.

Pieced backing

Laura used her leftovers to create a beautiful pieced backing – I love it!

Pop on over to Laura’s blog to see gorgeous closeup pics of her quilting. She chose one of the designs in the walking foot section and you’ve got to see how she picked which threads to work with!

Can you believe she made this entire quilt in a weekend?? Be sure to read what she has to say about her quilt- making process. It will give you the confidence to tackle any quilt!

Cheryl Brickey – Meadow Mist Designs

Cheryl Brickey Dot n Dash from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

A simple stipple design can be an effective machine quilting choice!

Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs was one of the original bloggers back in 2015 when I did a similar blog hop for my first book. (Click here to see those quilts for even more inspiration!) She was also my roomie at QuiltCon in 2015 and we’ve both come a long way since then. I’m sure you’ll be seeing more great things from her in the future!

Cheryl named her version of the quilt “Morse Code” which is awesome because I nearly named it that myself, LOL!! I love how Cheryl made her quilt a bit smaller and the fabric she chose give an improv vibe to the quilt. My hope is that you will take these designs and really make them your own! Visit Cheryl’s blog to see which Aurifil thread she quilted with (hint – it’s NOT white), and how she was able to achieve the improv look from ONE fabric!!

Jen Frost – Faith and Fabric

Dot 'n Dash by Jen Frost

Check out Jen’s version of Dot ‘n Dash using cheerful novelty prints! She chose a jelly roll from Me + My Sister for Moda, along with a jelly roll of white. She’s still contemplating which design and thread to quilt it with so pop on over to her blog to let her know what you think and see more pretty pics of this fabulous “flimsy” – (aka unquilted top)!

Today’s Gift – Win More batting from Hobbs

Since I used Hobb’s batting in two of the quilts from the book, they’ve been generous enough to provide two giveaways for the hop! Click here to enter their first giveaway being hosted on my blog.

Hobbs batting

Then head over to their blog to enter the second giveaway. It’s double the fun and double your chances to win! People always asking me what my favorite batting is and I have a few. I love Hobbs Tuscany cotton when I want a warm, cuddly, crinkly quilt. It will shrink up a bit when you wash it, giving that soft antique look that’s perfect for hiding any quilting “irregularities!”

Hobbs Wool Batting

For show quilts I love to use Tuscany wool because it will hang well and not show wrinkles. But lately I’ve been using the cotton/wool combo because it’s the best of both worlds!

Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

It’s so exciting to see my book popping up on store shelves. Be sure and drop by your favorite local quilt shop to pick up your copy. Or you can click here to get a signed copy from me!

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Piece and Quilt with Precuts Quilt 5: Starstruck

In my book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts, I teach how to quilt fun motifs using a walking foot, free-motion, or both! Today’s quilt, Starstruck is the first in the free-motion section. Just as in the previous walking foot section, the quilting designs build in complexity allowing you to gain confidence as you go!

Starstruck by Christa Watson from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

Starstruck Photography courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Brent Kane.

Design It

All of the quilts in the book were designed using EQ7 software from The Electric Quilt Company. I’m the type of person who needs to have everything all planned out before I start cutting because I want to know what the final design will look like before I begin. I’ve tried designing on the fly as I create, but my brain just doesn’t work that way, LOL!! So take a look at what I was able to create in EQ7 before I made the quilt:

Starstruck Design in EQ7

Although I didn’t worry about putting the fabrics in the exact same position or rotating the stars the exact same way, I did use the same fabric swatches that were in the quilt. This allows me to really see if the design will work the way I want it to! Of course I could always go back into my EQ7 design and change it to match the finished quilt, but this was good enough for me!

Check out what the same design looks like when I switch out the fabrics for a more colorful palette! I love how easy it is to virtually recolor my quilts in EQ7. You may recognize this as my fabric collection that comes out this fall. Last week on my blog I shared my work in progress, and of course I’ll share the final finish once the fabric is available (in November.)

Starstruck using Modern Marks

The colors for Modern Marks are a little more vibrant on screen than they are in person.

Piece It

Starstruck is made from 24 fat quarters that can be separated into lights and darks like my neutrals version shown below. Or if you want it to be bright and cheerful like the one shown above, you can pair up fat quarters from your favorite colorful bundle to create contrast. Each fat quarter will make one center star, one background of another star, and part of the pieced border, so it’s fun to mix and match the prints!

Quilting Loops on Starstruck from Piece and Quilt with Precuts

An allover edge to edge design is the easiest way to practice free-motion quilting

Quilt It

When you want to learn a new free motion design, the best way to practice is on a real quilt. Start on one side of the quilt and meander your way across the quilt until you’ve covered every inch of it with your free-motion design. You’ll be a pro at that motif by the time you finish!

Machine quilting closeup on Starstruck

I chose Aurifil cotton 50 weight 2326 Sand for the machine quilting. It works well with neutrals.

I quilted a fun loop and star design on Starstruck but you could easily throw in other motifs like hearts, flowers and more. And if your stitches aren’t perfect, that’s ok. The best way to hide imperfect quilting is to surround it with more imperfect quilting, so all you see is the overall texture rather than the individual stitches.

More Starstruck inspiration

Isn’t it great to see the designs presented in different fabrics? Check out these three alternate versions below and be sure and visit each bloggers’ site for more about their process and more giveaways!!

Sherri Noel – Rebecca Mae Designs

Star Struck by Sherri Noel

Sherri Noel of Rebecca Mae Designs chose to go full color with a sprinkling of gold and gray. She was able to create good contrast with the bold busy fabrics, and her pretty picture makes me want to cuddle up on that comfy porch!!

Head over to Sherri’s blog to see more of her process including some closeups of her awesome quilting.

Lissa LaGreca – Lovingly Lissa

Starstruck by Lissa LaGreca

Here’s a view of Lissa’s gorgeous quilt top. I love the soft tan, brown, and gray neutrals she chose. I once heard that the hallmark of a great quilt design is that it will look good, no matter which fabrics you choose!

Hop on over to her blog at Lovingly Lissa to see how she quilted it. It’s a lovely finish!

Sandra Healy Designs

Sandra Healey Starstruck

Sandra of Sandra Healy Designs is working on two different projects using the Starstruck blocks. She’s working on a table runner using the fabrics with a white background above, and a pillow with a pretty pink background below.

In the book I recommend chain piecing all of the blocks at once and then lay them out into a pleasing arrangement. This allows you to finish your tops faster which leaves you more time for fun machine quilting.

Starstruck Pillow

Didn’t she do a fantastic job with the quilting on her cushion? She was able to get over her “fear of free-motion” with a little practice and I think she did an amazing job! Head over to Sandra’s blog to read more about her progress with the book!

Today’s Gift: EQ7 Education + Win Your Own Copy!

Because I’m so busy traveling and teaching machine quilting, I’m not able to share my knowledge of EQ7 in person as much as I’d like. So here’s the next best thing – click the links below to download  two PDF class outlines from my previous live classes.

EQ7

You can also click this link to peruse the EQ site for tons of self-study tutorials. I have to say, the folks at Electric Quilt give the greatest customer support I’ve seen. They’ll help you answer any and all questions you may have.

Then be sure and pop over to the EQ blog for your chance to win your very own copy of EQ7. I have to warn you though – you may spend more time designing than you actually do quilting!

Signed copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts

If you’ve been inspired so far, don’t forget to grab a signed copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts.
I’m here to cheer you on in your quilt making journey, every step of the way!

Click here to view the blog hop schedule

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