Moving Sale Week 2 – Save Big on My Books and Thread!

Did you take advantage of last week’s inaugural moving sale? I’m overlapping the sales a little each week, so you can still get all PDF patterns for just $5.95 through 12/31/18.

House Update

I hope you had a wonderful holiday! We are knee deep in preparations to move and as you can imagine, many of our Christmas presents involved trips to Ikea and gift cards to the home improvement store! Our closing date is set for Jan 2nd and reality is now beginning to set in.

New Furniture from Ikea

My daughter chose a new Ikea bedroom set for Christmas and said she’s never too old for pink.
Thank goodness it will be my husband’s job to assemble it when we move!

So now it’s time for furniture shopping, picking out paint colors and figuring out where the current furnishings will fit. During my non-sewing time I’ve been doing quite a bit of planning and measuring. I’m approaching our upcoming move very similar to how I plan a quilt: sketch out ideas, play with colors, and get the layout finalized before the big project commences.

Floor plan sketch

For each room, I’ve sketched out a floor-plan to scale using graph paper. This is helping me figure out where the furniture will fit and is very similar to how I plan a quilt!

Fortunately we have a month or two to fix up the new place and move in before we need to sell our current home, but I know that time will fly by quicker than I’d like.

Moving Sale – NO Coupon REquired!

So each week I’ll be having a different sale on my Christa Quilts branded products. Not only will this give us a little extra $$ for moving expenses, but it will also reduce the amount of physical inventory we will need to move. So think of your purchase as doing double duty: you can pick up something great for yourself AND help out our family at the same time!

Click here to get signed copies of my  books for just $19.99 each!

My Books Are on Sale Through January 4, 2019

Books by Christa Watson

Now is a great time to stock you library with all of my books.
If you have all 3, you can pick up an extra copy for a friend.

The regular retail price of my books is between $26.99 to $29.99 so this is one heck of a deal! I have several boxes full of each title so that I always have plenty to bring with me to teaching events. But each one weighs over 50 pounds and that’s a lot to move. I’d rather ship them to you instead!

Save Big on My Thread Collections

Click here to get my Aurfil thread sets for less than $100 shipped!!

All 3 of my Aurifil thread sets include 12 spools of 50 weight 100% cotton, that are perfect for piecing and quilting. They retail for $130 or more for the set. Each individual spool sells for $12-$14 so this is probably the biggest deal of the year!! Get them from me for 1 week only for just $94.95 each + $5 us shipping. I’m happy to ship internationally, too!

Variegated collection by Christa Watson

Variegated collection by Christa Watson

Colors included in my new Variegated Collection:
3660 Bubblegum, 3770 Stone Washed Denim, 3817 Marrakesh, 3840 French Lilac, 3852 Liberty, 3910 Lemon Ice, 4150 Crème Brule, 4250 Flamingo, 4650 Leaves, 4652 Licorice Twist , 4654 Turquoise Foam , 4667 Nutty Nougat

Piece and Quilt Neutrals by Christa Watson

Colors included in my Neutrals Collection
2311 Muslin, 5021 Bamboo, 1246 Dark Grey, 5007 Light Grey Blue, 2326 Sand, 2372 Dark Antique Gold, 2315 Pale Flesh, 2405 Oyster, 2024 White, 2615 Aluminium, 2605 Grey, 4241 Very Dark Grey

Piece and Quilt Colors by Christa Watson

Threads included in my Colors Collection:
2425 Bright Pink, 2250 Red, 4020 Fuchsia, 2520 Violet, 2130 Medium Butter, 1133 Bright Orange, 2920 Light Brass, 2884 Green Yellow, 2886 Light Avocado, 1148 Light Jade, 2725 Light Wedgewood, 2783 Medium Delft Blue

Thanks so much for helping me out! I’lll keep you updated on our progress along with a new sale each week!

Writing Book 4 – Part 2: Contract Accepted, Work Begins

If you are new to my blog, I’ve begun documenting my progress as I write a book from start to finish. In my last post, I discussed the book proposal process, so be sure to check that out! I’m currently working on my fourth book, and kinda maybe sorta know more about what I’m doing this time around. Just kidding about the “sorta” part, but it’s always a learning process, for sure!!

Christa Watson Books

I’ve written 3 books on my own and have been featured in numerous collaborations with my publisher Martingale/That Patchwork Place, a few of which are shown here.

So here’s what’s happened so far. After I submitted my proposal back in April of this year, I met with my publisher in person in May at Spring Quilt Market 2018 in Portland, OR. I had an in-depth meeting with the acquisitions editor and content editor to nail down the specifics of what the new book will be about (machine quilting – duh!!)

I had originally wanted to go in one direction with the book, but when they pointed out that some of the content I wanted to include was already covered in my first three books, they helped me narrow down my focus and solidify the overall direction for this new book.

Martingale Collaboration Books

Two new Martingale titles that debuted at Spring Quilt Market include Fat Quarter Favorites, featuring my quilt on the cover, and Lunch Hour Patchwork which includes my modern mini.

A couple of months after our meeting at market, Martingale offered me the formal contract in writing, which of course I accepted, and I made myself a time line/to do list of all the steps I’ll need to finish on time.

The first section of the book isn’t due until the next February and the final manuscript, instructions, and samples are due by the end of summer 2019. I’m thrilled because this will give me plenty of time to create the book along with other new and exciting projects I have in the works.

The most wonderful part about working with a publisher is that although I create all of the content, including “placeholder” photos and illustrations, Martingale has a team of professionals who photograph and illustrate everything based on my images. I love it when they take what I create and make it look even more beautiful!

Publishing Agreement for my Next Book

Happy mail! Getting the contract in the mail is always an exciting day!

Book 4 (as I will be calling it until the cover art is finalized) is slated to be 96 pages which is the same length as my most recent book Piece and Quilt with Precuts. Of course that can change depending on final editing, and it’s due to be published in September of 2020 (also subject to change). I have a working title for the book, but even that can be tweaked.

As an example, for my first three books, the publisher named the first two while I titled the third. I have a feeling that the title for Book 4 is something we both are in agreement on! (Sorry for all the teases, but I’m giving away only as much as I can at this point.)

I can’t say enough about how excited I am to work on this new book. It’s actually something that many of my students have been asking for, so I love being able to meet their needs. And the best thing about machine quilting is that it’s timeless: the ideas I create now will be just as relevant in two years when the book is available for sale. Even though that seems like a long way off right now, I know that time is going to fly!

Christa at Quilt Market 2015

Doing a demo for my first book at quilt market in 2015

While I can’t discuss the specifics of my contract, I can tell you that royalties are based on the wholesale price of the book, and I will also have the opportunity to purchase them wholesale myself. In fact, most authors who sell their own books make more from direct sales of their books than they do in royalties, so it’s something to keep in mind if you are considering writing a book, or purchasing a book directly from the author.

Now the real work begins. The toughest part for me is balancing out my workdays so that I work on my book a little each week, rather than trying to cram in everything right before the deadline. I’m currently planning in detail everything that needs to be done, and my publisher was fabulous to work with on the timing, since I let them know I wouldn’t really be able to start on it in earnest until after Fall Market later this year.

Machine Quilting Demo

Machine quilting demo to promote my latest fabric and book at Spring Quilt Market 2018. I will be doing lots and lots and lots of quilting over the next few months. I can’t wait!

I have to be honest and say it’s been nice to have a two year break from book writing, since work on my previous book was completed in 2016, a full year before the publish date. But now I feel refreshed, re-energized, and excited to dive into the new work! I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my progress, and will share a few sneak peeks as I can, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, if you have questions about the book writing process, please ask away in the comments below. If there’s enough interest, I’ll be glad to do a separate blog post devoted to answering your questions about anything I haven’t covered so far. I love sharing what I know and inspiring others to reach their goals, no matter how big or small!

Writing Book 4 – Part 1: The Book Proposal

Guess what? I’ll soon be writing another machine quilting book! I thought it would be fun to take you behind the scenes of book creation from start to finish because I get a lot of questions about what it takes to write one. I figured the best way to answer that was to document my process in real time as it happens. My only caveat is you’ll have to be patient as I blog about my journey because it can take a long time from concept to publish date. But sharing this journey with you in real time will definitely make the months (and years) pass more quickly.
Books by Christa Watson

The 3 books I’ve written will be joined by a 4th (but not till 2020)!!

The first step is to submit a very thorough book proposal. Book publishers have their proposal submission forms on their website and most are very similar: they want to know the gist of the book, what makes it special or different, why it will sell (and how you plan to market it) along with what you envision the book to look like.

If it’s a project based book, they’ll want to see sketches of all the proposed projects including the fabrics you plan to use. They may request to see one or more finished quilts and a sample chapter from the book so they know that you can write and express yourself clearly.

They’ll also want a timeline of how long it will take you to complete the manuscript and make all the projects so they can assign it a production team and release date. FYI, most books take about 1 1/2 to 2 years to produce from the initial spark of an idea to publication.

Before a publisher is ready to give the thumbs up, they’ll do a thorough review, usually with an acquisitions committee. They’ll conduct a cost projection & market analysis to make sure that producing the book will be profitable. A publisher spends a lot of time and resources on any one book including a whole team of people to copy edit, tech edit, photograph, lay out, illustrate, and of course market it. To get an idea, open up any book you have from a major publisher and count the list of names that were involved in producing it.

Editing Machine Quilting with Style

Editing my first book, Machine Quilting with Style, back in 2015

The proposal for my first book, Machine Quilting with Style, took about 5 months to solidify my idea and then another 4 months to actually write the proposal which was over 40 pages in length. I first thought about the idea in February of 2013 after returning home from QuiltCon but didn’t submit the proposal until November of 2013. I completed the quilts and manuscript in August of 2014, and it was published in September of 2015, nearly 2 years later after I proposed it.

My current proposal was about 30 pages and took me 3 months to thoroughly think through my ideas – then another month to design the content and create the structure, outline and table of contents. Even after writing multiple books, getting the green light for the next one is never a guarantee and I had to complete a thorough submission each time.

Angela Walters and Christa Watson at Quilt Market

Promoting my 2nd book The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting with Angela Walters at Quilt Market in 2016. (Check out long my hair grew out in a year from writing to publication!)

I submitted the proposal for my 4th book to Martingale/That Patchwork Place in early April of this year, and just received the unofficial word that they want to go forward with my idea, after a bit of tweaking. (I waited to start writing this series in the off chance that they weren’t interested because then there’d be nothing to document, LOL!!)

Once my publisher received my submission, they discussed it at their monthly submission meeting, and came back with a “yes we want to publish it, but let’s tweak it a bit more before we give the official approval.” I’m always open to suggestions, and one of the keys to getting your book successfully published is flexibility.

I originally had two ideas for book #4 and pre-pitched them on both before I submitted the complete proposal, to make sure they were interested in seeing them. Although I incorporated both ideas into the current proposal, I emphasized that I wanted to go in one direction with it more than the other. However, my publisher felt that the second direction I had offered had a better chance of being successful, so I’m heeding their advice. After all, they know the market and their customers better than I do!

Box of Books - Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

It was such an exciting day when copies of my 3rd book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts arrived!

So the next step is to edit the proposal by emphasizing idea 2 over idea 1 and present the changes to them in person when we meet up at Spring Quilt Market. Because we are working as a team here, they’ll help me craft it in such a way that it will get the official approval when the committee meets again next month. We just need to get the final concept that we both agreed on written down into words and graphics that will illustrate exactly what the book will be about.

We also discussed timing. At first I thought I wanted it to come out in fall of 2019 but in order to do that, everything would have to be in turned in this August (of 2018) and with my current travel schedule, there’s no way I could manage that. So we are tentatively looking at Spring of 2020 which will give me the time I need to actually get everything done. Although that seems like a long way off from now, it will be here before we know it!!

Although I won’t really be able to discuss the specific content of the book, I’ll gladly take you along my journey as I write the manuscript and create the content. I’ll write another update once I get the official word, so stay tuned!

Tiny Trees in Lunch Hour Patchwork

Check out my smallest quilt finish in the brand new book, Lunch Hour Patchwork!

Tiny Trees

My quilt features small paper pieced trees set into a modern-tree layout. I had fun digging through my pile of green fabrics to get a wide variety of mint and green colored trees. My personal challenge to myself was to use print fabrics that worked together without being “Christmassy.”

Green fabrics

I had so much fun quilting this one, using a combination of two free motion textures: stippling for the background and “cursive L’s” for the trees. Because I used one light green Aurifil thread for all of the quilting, I was able start stipple quilting the background, and then wiggle in and out of each tree as I got to it, switching quilting motifs, but not thread colors.

Machine Quilting Detail on Tiny Trees

The book Lunch Hour Patchwork has a bunch of fun projects that are quick and easy to make. You can work on them during your lunch hour, or other small chunks of time throughout your day!

Lunch Hour Patchwork

My friends at Martingale are even giving away a free copy of the book! Head over to Stitch This!  (their blog) to see more projects from the book and enter for your chance to win.

Two Fun New Books To Share – I Have Quilts in Both

Like many of you I love making quilts! But what you may not know is that one of the reasons I love writing patterns and books is that the deadlines for completion motivate me to finish things! I’m excited to be part of two brand new books coming out in June, published by my favorite publisher, Martingale/That Patchwork Place.

I Love House Blocks from Martingale/That Patchwork Place

The first is called I Love House Blocks, and it’s part of Martingale’s “Block Buster Quilts” series where a ton of different designers each make their own interpretation of a quilt based on a traditional block. (Click here to see the last one I was a part of – I Love Churn Dashes.”)

I’m thrilled to have my house quilt shown on the cover! It’s the one on the left and it’s called “My Hometown.” I used bright and cheery by Moda fabric from Pat Sloan in my version, but think it would be just as cute your favorite fabric collection!

Click here to preorder I Love House Blocks.

Rock Solid book using Kona Solids

The second book I am thrilled about is called Rock Solid and it’s a collaboration between Martingale and Robert Kaufman. All 13 quilts in the book are made from Kona Cotton solids. I haven’t even seen the rest of them yet, but I can already tell I’m gonna love this book!

I’m excited to be a cover girl on this one, too. My quilt “Lanterns” is shown on the left, using my exclusive Christa Watson designer palette in 28 vivid shades of red, orange, yellow and green. My quilt is made from just two jelly rolls – My designer palette and Kona Coal.

Click here to preorder Rock Solid.

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My Quilt From I Love Churn Dashes

I’m so excited to finally reveal a secret sewing project I made last year! If you followe me on instagram  (@christaquilts), you can check out the hashtag #secretsewingchrista to see sneak peeks of my progress while working on this quilt, plus several others that I can’t reveal quite yet. Makers gotta make and sharers gotta share!

So without further ado, I’d like to introduce Churn Dash Slide, my contribution to I Love Churn Dashes, the latest book in the Block Buster Quilts series by Martingale/That Patchwork Place.

churn-dash-slide-by-christa-watson

Churn Dash Slide, by Christa Watson, 72″ x 78″. Photography by Brent Kane.

Although this book is more about the pieced design of the quilts rather than the machine quilting, I still loved quilting the heck out of it! I used a simple elongated swirl, quilted edge to edge across the quilt.

Here’s a machine quilting tip: when working with busy prints, where your quilting is NOT the star of the show, choose a simple quilting design that adds texture, but is relatively quick and easy to do. I used a light green from my Piece and Quilt thread collection from Aurifil to quilt it.

machine-quilting

I love adding texture to my quilts with lot of machine quilting!

So here’s a bit of trivia I learned when reading I Love Churn Dashes: The term comes from the design’s resemblance to the staff or pole (referred to as the dash) that’s used in a traditional wooden butter churn. I’ve also heard the block called by other names such as Monkey Wrench, or Hole in the Barn Door, but I think Churn Dash is the cutest name, don’t you??

i-love-churn-dashes

Partial quilts on the cover (clockwise) are from Amy Ellis, Me, Jo Morton, and Carol Hopkins.

I Love Churn Dashes include 15 fabulous designs from 15 well-known quilters (plus a bonus quilt in one of the patterns – so really, 16 quilts)! Plus it includes detailed instructions on making a basic churn dash block right at the beginning of the book. Once you have this block down, the variations are endless! In addition to the eye catching designs shown on the cover, here are a few more of my personal favorites:

block-party-by-jackie-white

Block party by Jackie White – I love those white solids and the modern design!

in-reverse-by-kate-henderson

In reverse by Kate Henderson – the book includes intrucctions to make two quilts at once – this version, and an inverted version with a pieced background and solid block!

wavy-churn-by-gina-reddinWavy Churn by Gina Reddin – this one is all machine applique!summer-dash-by-april-rosenthalSummer Dash by April Rosenthal – so fresh and sweet!

I tend to go for the lighter brighter versions, but the book is so versatile. It includes several more traditional-looking Churn Dash designs, too. There’s truly something for everyone! Be sure to follow Martingale/That Patchwork Place’s blog for more fun announcements and new releases.

FYI, here’s the complete list of designers included in the book:

  • Tanya Alexander
  • Laura Beohnke
  • Kim Brackett
  • Kari Carr
  • Kim Diehl
  • Amy Ellis
  • Kate Henderson
  • Carol Hopkins
  • Kimberly Jolly
  • Jo Morton
  • Gina Redin
  • April Rosenthal
  • Tammy Vondershmidt
  • Jackie White
  • And ME!

Click here to pre-order your copy of Churn Dash Slide using my affiliate link. Thanks!

Meet my friend Annie Smith

Vegas friends! My good friend and fellow BERNINA ambassador Annie Smith is coming to town! She’s made up a flyer below with all the details, and my good friends at Sew Yeah Quilting have offered up a special discount! code. Use the code COLOR to get $20 off her two day class. Plus, her Thursday night lecture and trunk show is free. How cool is that?
Annie Smtih Ad-for-Color-Sense-class

If you’ve never met Annie before, she’s such a fun person! She hosts a long-running fun podcast called Annie’s Quilting Stash which is the first podcast ever for quilters. In fact I was a guest on her show back in February of this year. Click here to listen.

Annie also the author of The Ultimate Applique Guidebook which I think is such a definitive work on the subject!

applique_guidebook

Click here to learn more about Annie’s Free Trunk Show

Click here to register for Annie’s 2-day class

If you don’t get a chance to catch her live  in person, she has online videos, too. Click here to go to her blog and find out more about it. Happy quilting, friends!

Check out 180 Doodle Quilting Designs – Free Motion Ideas for Blocks, Borders, and Beyond

I’m so excited to tell you about a brand new machine quilting book that I am privileged to be a part of. It’s called 180 Doodle Quilting Designs and it features a plethora of free motion quilting ideas for blocks, setting triangles, and borders. The book has been published by my friends at Martingale/That Patchwork Place (who published both of my machine quilting books.)

b1381_cover

This book is different from most machine quilting books out there, in that it is more of a reference book rather than a how-to book with patterns. This clever idea was the brainchild of acquisitions editor Karen Burns, and it features 60 different motifs from 9 talented designers. Each motif is shown how it would work 3 different ways, for a total of 180 possible designs. Check out fun free-motion quilting ideas from:

  • Yours truly – I’m so inspired by seeing my fellow contributors’ designs!
  • Vicki Ruebel – One of my super talented BQF’s (best quilting friends).
  • Karen Burns – Be on the lookout for more collaborations you are sure to love!
  • Melissa Corry – This girl can finish more quilts in a week than most can do in a month!
  • Lori Kennedy – Shh, don’t tell – I have a quilter’s crush on her!!
  • Maddie Kertay – Irreverent and awesome founder of the BAQS (you’ll need to google it… :-))
  • April Rosenthal – I want to be her when I grow up.
  • Sheila Sinclair Snyder – Amazing award winning quilter.
  • Angela Walters – Need I say anything more??

Here’s an example of how the information is laid out for each design:

2page_spread

Plus there’s some handy-dandy info at the front of the book with tips on how to use it, such as tracing over the motifs to get a feel for how each design will flow. I love adding books like this to my reference library. They are great to look through whenever I’m stumped for a machine quilting idea!

As of this writing, 180 Doodle Quilting Designs was ranked #1 new release on Amazon in quilting. To help it stay there, click here to purchase your copy and then be sure to leave an Amazon review. You’ll be glad you did. 🙂 Now I’m off to a do a little more doodle quilting of my own…..

Update – Video Tutorial

Check out this clever video that my friends at Martingale made, showing how to use the book. Simply trace, doodle and quilt! You’ll gain confidence in no time! (Press the play icon to view. )

Local Trunk Show and Book Signing Events

If you are in or near the Las Vegas area, be sure to catch my trunk show and book signing events coming up at these two fabulous locations below.

  • Saturday, May 14th, Sew Yeah Quilting, located at 3690 N. Rancho Drive, Las Vegas NV 89130.
  • Thursday, May 26th, at Quiltique, located at 213 N. Stephanie Ste. E, Henderson NV 89074.

Christa Watson Books

My books – The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting and Machine Quilting with Style will be available from both shops. I’ll be happy to personally sign them for you!

At Sew Yeah, I’ll be sharing quilts from both books and what makes them modern. Stick around afterward for a fun and free sew-in. Sign up online or call (702) 586-8687.

At Quiltique, I’ll be sharing my quilts along with a hands on free-motion quilting demonstration. Plus, I’m happy to answer your most pressing questions about machine quilting.

I hope to see you there!

The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting – Swirling Butterflies Quilt

Each week I’m sharing a different quilt design from my new book The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting. Now, although I really prefer modern designs, sometimes it’s fun to mix it up and try something different. This week, meet Swirling Butterflies, a totally doable wholecloth quilt.

Note: all photography credit goes to Brent Kane and Martingale.

Swirling Butterflies Wholecloth Quilt

My version of Swirling Butterflies – just divide and conquer to get the job done!

Although the design looks very complex, it’s easier once you break it down. I only marked the medallion and border. The rest of the background was filled in with what I like to call “improv machine quilting.” For this quilt, I did something I rarely do: used a contrasting Aurifil thread. I tell you, it was scary while I was quilting it, but I’m pleased with the end result.

Detail free-motion_quilting

Detail of free-motion quilting on Swirling Butterflies

I chose to make a black wholecloth version with highly contrasting thread while Angela made her beautiful version more traditional on white fabric with more of a blending thread. Look closely for a few other differences in the details.

Swirling Butterflies Angela Walters

Angela Walters’ version of Swirling Butterflies – isn’t it just stunning?

Click here to purchase an autographed copy of Machine Quilting with Style, signed by us both.

Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting