Color Weave Quilt Along Week 5 – Backing and Basting

One of the secrets to successful machine quilting is basting your quilts properly. So today I will share with you my favorite way to baste a quilt using 505 basting spray and my design wall. You can definitely modify this technique and baste your quilts on a table, but I prefer the design wall because I can get up close to the quilt and make sure it’s nice and flat.

Christa Watson Quilt Studio

Click here for my bonus tutorial – how to build a design wall.
Click here to get the Color Weave pattern shown on the wall.

Pieced Quilt Backing

Before we get to the basting tutorial, let me share how I pieced the backing, from leftover Abstract Garden strips, and 5 yards of Abstract Garden Tracks in pink. (The quilt pattern calls for 5 1/2 yards of backing if it’s all one fabric.)

Abstract Garden Pieced backing

First I put up the finished quilt top on the design wall so I can see how much area to cover. I cut my 5 yards into 2 pieces that are NOT equal because I knew the strips would take up some of the room. One piece was about 94″ and the other piece was about 80″. Then I cut the shorter piece in half to create to rectangles, roughly 40″ x 40″ each. I placed the strips in the center gap between the two pink squares and sewed them together to create a strip set, then joined the two pink pieces on either side.

Abstract Garden Pieced backing

Once the left half of the backing was sewn, I attached it to the long piece, parallel to the selvage to create the finished backing. The important thing is to ensure that the backing is a few inches larger on all four sides for basting.

Abstract Garden Selvage

Because my name was on the selvage, I allowed the selvage to show instead of cutting it off first. And I wrote more info on the white part of the selvage to create a built-in label for the quilt.

WALL BASTING TUTORIAL

Ensure that all 3 layers of your quilt (top, batting, and backing) are nice and flat. The batting and backing should be a few inches larger than the quilt top on all sides.

Give the top and backing a final press and clip any stray threads. Relax the wrinkles in your batting by throwing it in a dryer with a wet towel for a few minutes, unrolling it from the package to “rest” for a few days, or pressing the batting with a hot dry iron. (For delicate batting, use a piece of fabric to cover it while you press.)

Hobbs Batting Cotton/Wool

I’m using Hobbs Cotton/Wool batting and I have a roll of it, so to measure how much I need, I keep the quilt top on the design wall and unroll enough of it so there’s extra around all 4 sides. I cut it with specialty batting shears.

STEP 1 – APPLY ADHESIVE TO BACKING AND QUILT TOP SEPARATELY

Lay a sheet on the ground or a table to protect your quilt and catch any over-spray. Outdoors is best so that the fumes can dissipate, but you can do it inside in a well ventilated room while wearing a dust mask. Be sure to shake the can and spray a few squirts on the sheet to ensure the nozzle is clean and the spray comes out evenly before you start.

Lay out the quilt backing wrong side up and apply a thin coat of 505 spray adhesive evenly across the surface of the quilt. Walk around the quilt backing as needed to reach all areas.

Basting Spray

Repeat the process for the quilt top, using the design of the quilt to help you keep track of which areas you’ve already covered. Don’t worry if the quilt top and backing have some give or are a bit wrinkly from movement. You will smooth it all out later.

Once the backing and quilt top are sprayed, fold them up and bring indoors to assemble the layers on a design wall. It doesn’t matter if you fold them right sides in or out. They will be sticky, but not stuck and you can easily unfold and the layers and peel them apart. You don’t need to baste right away, but I wouldn’t wait more than a few days to prevent the spray from drying out.

STEP 2 – ASSEMBLE THE LAYERS INDOORS

Pin the quilt backing wrong side up to the top of the design wall (mine is made from foam insulation board covered with a white flannel sheet). Let gravity pull the weight of the fabric down.

Wall Basting

Gently un-stick any of the fabric sticking to itself and spend some time smoothing it all out with your hands or a long acrylic ruler. Your hands will get a bit sticky, but the residue easily washes off with soap and water. Spend as much time as you need to straighten the backing so that it’s nice and smooth and flat on the design wall.

Basting Smooth Back

Repeat the process above with the batting. It can take awhile to smooth out all of the lumps and bumps so give yourself time and don’t rush the process.

Quilt Batting for Basting

Notice that I didn’t cut my batting perfectly straight on one edge and that’s okay. As long as the batting is larger than the quilt top, it’s easy to trim off any excess.

Wall basting - batting

Add the quilt top right side up in the same manner as the backing and batting. Pin generously and let gravity pull on the weight of the quilt top to get it to hang straight. This is why it’s so important for the batting and backing to be larger than the quilt top. Then you don’t have to make sure it’s lined up perfectly in the middle – you’ll have a bit of “wiggle room” to maneuver.

Adding the quilt top for basting

Spend a lot of time smoothing out the top layer once it’s on the wall. Use the acrylic ruler to help you work out any bubbles and ensure that the seam lines are nice and straight. Once your basted quilt is flat, smooth and straight, machine quilting it will be a breeze!

Adding the quilt top for basting

After the layers are nice and smooth, I trim off much of the excess batting and batting, leaving only about an inch all the way around. I don’t want a ton of excess around the edges that could flip and get caught under the machine as I quilt. I use the leftover fabric/batting pieces when I’m practicing my machine quilting.

Trim Batting

STEP 3 – IRON THE BASTED QUILT

Here’s where the magic happens! Once the quilt is basted, I take it to the ironing board and press both sides of the quilt. This does two things: (1) it’s a final chance to press out any wrinkles and work out any fullness in the quilt. (2) It sets the glue and ensures that all 3 layers will stay together without shifting, eliminating the need to add any pins. You can still pull apart the layers if needed, but this process will ensure that every inch of the quilt is sticking to every other inch of the quilt.

Iron the basted quilt to set the glue

I use a “big board” which sits on top of my regular ironing board and gives me more room!

If you prefer to use a table, check out my table basting tutorial here, using similar steps.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Click here to get the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – paper version
Click here to get the Color Weave Quilt Pattern – PDF version
Click here to purchase the Abstract Garden Strip Roll
Click here for links to the previous quilt along posts
Click here to share your progress in my Facebook group

Blooming Wallflowers Week 9 – Quilting Inspiration

Can you believe that we are almost at the end of the Blooming Wallflowers quilt along? But not to worry, I have more inspiration coming your way! Next week we will bind our quilts to finish. But in the meantime, check out the fabulous quilts being made and shared in my Facebook group. Everyone featured today wins a free PDF pattern of their choice for sharing!

Gina S Blooming Wallflowers Quilt

I love how Gina S. Chose soft watery batiks for her version and paired it with a black background. She finished it off with a textural allover quilting design and that binding is to die for!!

Abbie B Blooming Wallflowers

Abbie B. recently finished her quilt top and I love her yellow background, don’t you? Remember, you can work on any of my quilt alongs at your own pace, and on your own schedule. 🙂

Free Motion Quilting Practice Lynn L

Lynn L. gets bonus points for practicing her free motion quilting on a test piece before diving into her quilt. This is one of the recommendations I make in all of my classes.

Abstract Garden and Modern Marks pieced backing by Lynn L

Above is Lynn’s fun pieced quilt backing, made from yardage of Modern Marks Navy Herringbone plus Abstract Garden leftovers. I love it!!

Machine Quilting detail by Laina L on Blooming Wallflowers

Laina L. is following the quilting plan as shown in the Blooming Wallflowers quilt pattern. Isn’t she doing a fantastic job on her pebble quilting??

I don’t know about you, but seeing everyone’s progress inspires me to want to quilt today!!!

IMPORTANT LINKS

Blooming Wallflowers Week 6 – Catch up Break & Inspiration

I’m adding in another “catch-up” break so that those of you following along will have plenty of time to work on your quilts. But just remember, you can work on Blooming Wallflowers on your own schedule, too! Scroll to the end for links to all of the previous QAL posts.

Blooming Wallflowers by Christa Watson QuiltCon 2019

Of course I had to match my shoes to my quilt!!
Click here to get a Blooming Wallflowers kit (while supplies last).

It was exciting for me to see Blooming Wallflowers hanging in the show at QuiltCon last week! The biggest comment I got was how much nicer it looked in person (probably due to my inadequate photography skills, LOL!)  and how much everyone loves the Navy Herringbone background from Modern Marks.

Now it’s your turn to show off what ya got so far! Take a look below at these fabulous works in progress being shared on Instagram #bloomingwallflowersquilt and in my Christa Quilts Facebook group. Then be sure to share your progress, too!

Student Work - Sandra C's version of Blooming Wallflowers

Sandra C aka @thebiasedge on Instragram shared her gorgeous quilt top that she’s getting ready to load on her long-arm. I can’t wait to see her quilting in progress!

Michelle H Blooming Wallflowers

I love how Michelle H made hers bigger by adding more blocks. Her print fabrics are fantastic!

Robin P's Blooming Wallflowers quilt

Robin P (aka Palm Beach Quilter) chose a light green background for her version. She made the baby size which is the exact same layout, except the blocks are smaller! I’ve included 3 different sizes in the quilt pattern so you can customize it to fit your needs.

Blooming Wallflowers top by Gayle S

Who says you have to use a dark background? Gayle S is creating a stunning version with white background and a fun polka dot accent fabric. Isn’t it so fun??

Next week I’ll start sharing tips for fun and interesting machine quilting – I can’t wait!

IMPORTANT LINKS

I’m the Guest Curator For February’s Quilty Box!

I have some super fun and exciting news to share: I’ll be the guest curator for February’s Quilty Box. And even better news: click here to get $10 off your first Quilty Box subscription!

Quilty Box February 2019

Here’s the way this fun subscription service works: choose a 1 month, 3 month, 6 month or one year subscription and received a fabulous box of quilt goodies curated by some of your favorite designers. They usually include fabrics, a brand-new pattern, and several awesome notions, all for an amazing lower price over what you would pay for them separately. And the more months you sign up for, the better the deal gets!

February 2019 QuiltyBox with Christa Watson

Click here to get $10 off your first subscription of QuiltyBox.

Each monthly box is like getting a fun surprise in the mail, so be sure to up by Feb 9th! It will ship approximately February 11, and as a special bonus for subscribers of my box, I’ll be offering an exclusive quilt along in March with a brand new pattern that will be revealed in the February box. I can’t wait for you to see it! and I can’t wait for the big reveal, coming soon!!!

Blooming Wallflowers Week 2: Sewing the Blocks

This week it’s time to start sewing our blocks from the pieces we cut out last week. (Be sure to scroll to the end for all of the pertinent QAL links.) And don’t worry if you haven’t started yet; next week will be a catch-up week so you won’t get too far behind!

Anatomy of a Triangle in a square block

Triangle in a Square Block

Designed in EQ8, using Abstract Garden & Modern Marks by Christa Watson for Benartex
Note that this is the FINISHED block, not including seam allowances

The triangle in the middle is called an isosceles triangle which has two sides that are the same length. Many people confuse this with an equilateral triangle because it looks similar, but it’s not. So take care to ensure the triangle is in the correct orientation when sewing it together. Just remember to keep the blunt edge at the top of the block and you’ll be fine.

The triangles on the sides are called “scalene right triangles” because none of the sides are the same length and it has a 90 degree angle. The triangles are similar to each other except that one is a “left-facing” triangle and the other is a “right-facing” triangle. For ease of reference, I refer to them as triangle pairs in the pattern since you need both to complete each block.

(Silent) Video Tutorial

Please bear with me as I’m still learning how to do videos on my own.  So for now, they won’t have sound. As I add videos to the QAL, hopefully they’ll get better each week. Think of it this way: I’m doing this Quilt-Along for YOU, but it’s a YouTube-Learning-Along for ME, LOL!!

Follow along on page 7 of the Blooming Wallflowers quilt pattern for detailed instructions of what I’m doing in the (silent) video below:

Tips to Remember

(1) Notice that the middle triangle has the blunted edge at the top and the two half rectangles have the blunted edge at the bottom. The most common mistake people make is switching the placement of the triangles so be careful not to do that.

(2) Once the placement looks good, pin the units and sew them right sides together. If you are sewing multiple blocks, be sure and chain piece (assembly line sew) all the lefts, then all the rights, etc. I always recommend sewing with a smaller stitch length and pressing the seams open for flatter blocks.

(3) When your blocks are sewn correctly, the top triangle tip will be floating 1/4″ from the the top (for seam allowances) and the bottom triangle tips will go all the way to the edges. Don’t forget to trim off the little dog ears (excess triangles) sticking out beyond the edge of the blocks!

Above is a 20 second video snippet showing how I quickly cut apart my chain pieced units using of of my favorite notions: the Triangle Thread cutter from SunflowerQuilts.

Homework: Sew all of the Blocks

Half of the blocks will be made with the light blue centers while the other half will be made from the assorted colorful prints. See page 7 of the pattern for details.

Blooming Wallflowers QAL by Christa Watson of Christa Quilts

So remember, you’ll have 2 weeks to finish up your blocks. Next week I’ll share a few inspiration images showing the different block combinations that you all are making. Everyone who gets featured will get a free PDF pattern of their choice, so be sure to share your progress in my Facebook group, or on Instagram using the hashtag #bloomingwallflowersquilt.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Blooming Wallflowers Triangle in a Square Blocks

 

Blooming Wallflowers Week 1: Cutting

Are you ready to dive in and make this dynamic looking quilt? All you need is a copy of the Blooming Wallflowers quilt pattern and you can jump in anytime! See the end of this post for all relevant links.

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

Blooming Wallflowers can be made in three sizes: Crib, Throw, or Queen

Cutting the Center Triangles

The triangles used in this pattern are a specific shape and require either the use of the full-size templates included in the pattern, or a specialty ruler. Tri recs is recommended for the smaller sizes or Creative Grids Triangle Squared AND Perfect Rectangle for the larger size. Of course you can use the larger rulers for the smaller blocks, too.

Cut Pieces for Blooming Wallflowers Quilt

These are all of the cut pieces used to make Blooming Wallflowers.
I used my Abstract Garden fabric line for the “flowers.”

Stack and layer the fabric strips for faster cutting. Follow the chart on page 6 of the pattern to cut the center triangles from the colorful prints. Here’s a quick 1 minute video demo showing how I used the specialty ruler. Notice the position of the blunt end on the ruler.

Corresponding diagrams can be found on page 2 of the quilt pattern.

Cutting The Triangle Pairs

The background triangle pairs s are cut in the same way except you will want to make sure to cut one left and right triangle at the same time. The easiest way to do that is to make sure the background fabric strips are folded in half. Then you’ll get one pair per cut. See the step by step cutting diagrams on page 3 of the pattern.

Here’s another short video showing how I cut the triangle pairs. Don’t forget to trim off the little triangle tip at the top to ensure proper matching when sewing them together next week. I used the ruler to trim off the left edge of the fabric strip first, and didn’t worry about the direction of the print while cutting.

The background fabric is Navy Herringbone from my Modern Marks fabric line.

Cutting the rest of the background

The rest of the background is pretty straightforward. Follow the chart in the pattern on page 6 to cut extra background squares that allow the design to float, plus the side and corner triangles and the binding strips. See the diagram on page 3 to cut the corner and side triangles.

Blooming Wallflowers cut pieces

I love a pretty stack of cut pieces, don’t you?

Once everything is cut, you’ll be ready to sew the blocks together next week! Don’t forget to share pics of your progress in my Facebook group, or on Instagram using the hashtag #bloomingwallflowersquilt.

Important Links

Sign up for My Next Quilt Along in January: Blooming Wallflowers

Can I say how much I enjoy doing quilt alongs with you all? It keeps me motivated to design and make new things, and nothing thrills me more than seeing all the variety of quilts that are being made, even when we all start with the same basic pattern. So I’m excited to announce the next quilt along which will start mid January!

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

We will be making my Blooming Wallflowers quilt from start to finish over 12 weeks. Each Friday starting in Janaury, I’ll share a new blog post with inspiration pictures, bonus tips and plenty of cheerleading to keep you motivated. I’ve built in a couple of breaks to the quilt along, so it should be a nice and relaxing pace, and easy to follow along!

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

Get the Pattern

The quilt along itself is free, all you need to purchase is a copy of the pattern:
Click here to purchase the PDF version of Blooming Wallflowers
Click here to purchase the print version of Blooming Wallflowers

Optional Kit

Of course, you can use whichever fabrics you like, but I’ve put together an optional fabric kit which includes all the fabric to make the quilt top and binding as shown above: Fat Eights of 12 different Blooming Roses prints, 1 1/4 yards of light blue Tracks for the accent, and 4 yards of Modern Marks Herringbone Navy for background and binding.

Click here to purchase the Blooming Wallflowers kit – Throw Size

Blooming Wallflowers made with Abstract Garden and Modern Marks

Sign up to Follow Along (Free)

It’s completely free to follow along and you will gain tips and tricks for better quilt making, even if you don’t want to actually make the quilt!

Click here to sign up and be notified each time a new quilt along step has been released.

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Along

I’ll post the complete supply list and schedule on January 4th and will then give everyone a couple of weeks to gather their materials and supplies before we dive into cutting on January 18th. We will wrap up by the end of March and I’ll encourage everyone to post their progress in my ChristaQuilts Facebook group. After all, doing things with friends is a large part of the fun!

So who wants to join me?? Leave a comment if you plan to follow along, either making the quilt – or virtually in your head!!

New Quilt Pattern – Blooming Wallflowers

Are you enjoying seeing all of the new quilts I made from my Abstract Garden collection? I sure had fun making them! Today I’m excited to introduce you to Blooming Wallflowers, an optical illusion type quilt that looks much more complicated than it actually is.

Blooming Wallflowers quilt

Blooming Wallflowers – Throw Size

I paired up the colorful prints from Abstract Garden along with the Navy Herringbone print from Modern Marks, which is still available! I love brightly colored quilts with a rainbow of fabrics and it’s been fun to experiment and use “neutrals” other than black white or gray for this quilt.

Blooming Wallflowers detail

I love the movement in the Navy Herringbone print. I’ve designed all of my fabrics to work with each other so that you can mix and match between the collections.

The Blooming Wallflowers quilt pattern comes with instructions in 3 sizes and the cool thing about this design is that it stays the same for each size. The individual triangles are cut larger or smaller depending on which size you make.

Blooming Wallflowers Pattern CoverClick image above to enlarge.

I recommend using specialty rulers to cut the triangles, but I’ve also included full size templates so that you can get started making this quilt with the tools and supplies you have on hand!

I also include machine quilting suggestions in all of my patterns so that you can actually have success finishing them! Nothing disappoints me more than to see “quilt as desired” at the end of a quilt pattern.

Blooming Wallflowers quilt detail

Quilting detail – all of my patterns include machine quilting suggestions.

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Along

It’s important for me to make all of my own quilts not only to pattern test my designs, but to also go through the entire process so I can better understand any trouble spots that you may run into as you make the quilts. After all, my main goal in designing patterns and fabric and teaching my machine quilting methods is to help you make beautiful quilts and have a fun, stress-free time doing it!

So I’m excited to share quilt along to make this quilt. Be sure to grab a copy of the pattern and click here for quilt along details!

Blooming Wallflowers made with Abstract Garden and Modern Marks

Blooming Wallflowers Quilt Stats

  • Size: 59″ x 76″ (Throw)
  • Completed: October, 2018
  • Machine used: BERNINA 770QE
  • Fabric used: Abstract Garden and Modern Marks
    by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo Studio
  • Batting used: Hobbs Tuscany Cotton/Wool
  • Thread used: Aurifil 50 weight cotton from Pieced and Quilt Collections:
    Colors and Neutrals by Christa Watson
  • Quilting Motifs: straight-line chevrons in the colorful blocks, pebbles in the accent blocks, free-motion chevrons in the background

Quick Links

Dot ‘n Dash Quilt Along Wrap Up and Inspiration Photos

Although my Dot ‘n Dash quilt along wrapped up about a month ago, I wanted to revisit it one final time to share all the links to all the posts for anyone just wanting to get started. I also want to share some gorgeous photos from several in my Facebook Group that made their versions.

Dot n Dash quilt by Christa Watson

Click here to purchase the Dot ‘n Dash quilt kit, while supplies last.

As a reminder, the pattern for Dot’n’Dash can be found in my book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts and it’s easy enough to gather your supplies: just one Jelly Roll of prints and 3 yards of background fabric are all you need to make this fun quilt.

Dot ‘n’ Dash Inspiration

Here are some beautiful finishes and works in progress from others who are making their own versions. Some of them have finished while others are still working at their own pace, so it’s never too late to jump in and start!

Dot n Dash by Lucy Given

Don’t you love this one above in teal by Lucy Given? She did a fabulous job making it super scrappy by mixing up beautiful blue hues for both the blocks and the background. She’s finished the quilt top so far and I can’t wait to see how she quilts it!

Patti Baymiller's Dot n Dash

Here’s another beauty above, pieced and quilted by Patti Baymiller. Didn’t she do a fantastic job on the quilting? The texture is so fantastic! I love it when others show how easy and fun domestic machine quilting can be.

Heather Lofstrom Halloween Dot n Dash

How about this one done in Halloween novelty prints by Heather Lofstrom? She quilted it with a diagonal grid and she shares more of her inspiring quilty life over on her instagram account @aquiltingcowgirl so be sure to check out her feed for more fun!

Lucy's Dot n Dash quilt top in Modern Marks

Of course I might be biased, but I really think Lucy Blum’s quilt top done in Modern Marks looks just as fabulous!! She used up leftovers from other projects, and although the Modern Marks precut strips are sold out, you can still grab a fat quarter bundle and cut your own strips if you are so inclined.

Lisa's Dot n Dash in Yellow

Lisa Tucker created her stunning quilt with a yellow background which really pops! Who says you have to use a neutral background, right??

Abbie Bill Machine Quilting

Here’s another quilt in process, being quilted by Abbie Bill. She’s opting for the original quilting plan as given in the book and she’s making fabulous progress!!

And these are just the tip of the iceberg of the fabulous work being created and shared over in my Christa Quilts Facebook group. Be sure to add pics of your progress there and you can do a quick search of “Dot ‘n Dash” in the group for even more amazing inspiration. 🙂

Quilt Along Posts

Here’s a roundup of links to all of the Dot ‘n’ Dash Quilt Along Posts that were shared. Keep in touch and let me know if you have any questions as you make YOUR version – I’d love to cheer you on!

Week 1 – Quilt Along Complete Supply List
Week 2 – Cutting the Fabric
Week 3 – Sewing the Blocks
Week 4 – Completing the Quilt Top
Week 5 – Backing and Basting
Week 6 – Quilting Part 1 – Stitching in the Ditch
Week 7 – Quilting Part 2 – Quilting Double Zig-Zags
Week 8 – Quilting Part 3 – Free Motion Quilting Double L’s
Week 9 – Binding to finish

Free Motion quilting on Dot n Dash by Christa WatsonQuilting Detail from Dot’n’Dash made from my Fandangle Strip-pie.

Beaded Lanterns QAL Week 7 – Binding

I can’t believe we’ve finally come to the end of the Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along! If you’ve missed any part of it or want to make one later on, be sure and check out the rest of the links at the end of this post.

Beaded Lanterns Finished Quilt

Over on the BERNINA blog at We All Sew, I’m sharing my method for binding my quilts. If you’ve followed any of my quilt alongs before it will look familiar because it’s the same technique I use for all my quilts large or small. One thing I will say is that the more you do it, the faster and better you’ll get!

Click here for the Beaded Lanterns Binding Tutorial

Beaded Lanterns Quilt Along - Trim and Bind

Beaded Lanterns QAL Links

Click here to purchase the Beaded Lanterns Quilt Kit
Click here to get the free Beaded Lanterns Quilt Pattern

Week 1: Supply List
Week 2: Making the Blocks
Week 3: Sewing the Quilt Top
Week 4: Spray Basting Tutorial
Week 5: Walking Foot Quilting & Quilting Plan
Week 6: Free-Motion Quilting
Week 7: Binding to Finish