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:

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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

It’s Release Day for The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting!

The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting ships today and I am so excited!!! When you purchase it from me or Angela Walters you will get an autographed copy with both of our signatures!

Ultimate_Guide_Cover

All book photography beautifully taken by Brent Kane for Martingale/That Patchwork Place.

I thought it would be fun to share each of the 10 projects from the book, once a week over the next 10 weeks. The concept is simple: Angela and I each made our own versions of the same quilt, with our own choice of fabrics and quilting designs.

I counted, and there are over 50 different machine quilting motifs for you to choose from! Whether you quilt on a sit-down or a domestic, a stand-up long arm, or even if you quilt by check, our book is packed full of machine quilting ideas, plus 10 complete pieced patterns!

Choosing Colors by Christa Watson

My version of Choosing Colors – I love the rainbow colors and textural quilting.

It’s kind of funny, but I was reading through some reviews of my first book recently and one reader said this after going on about how much she loved it, “my only complaint is – I want more patterns and more designs!” Well, that lucky reader’s wish has now been granted with publication of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting!!

Choosing Colors made by Angela Walters

Angela’s version – she used her whole “quilting toolbox” of motifs and added a scrappy binding!

I enjoyed every step of making each of the quilts in the book, and I hope you will, too. Maybe you’ll take an idea from one project and combine it with another to make it your own. As you work through the projects in this book, or even if you apply the quilting motifs to completely different patterns, I’d love to see them! Be sure to share your progress with me in my Facebook group: Quilt with Christa or on instagram @christaquilts and #quiltwithchrista

Stay tuned next week when I share the next pair of quilts from the book, or you can skip the wait, and pick up your signed copy of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting right now!

Christa Watson and Angela Walters

Angela and I first met at QuiltCon in 2013. We instantly bonded over Machine Quilting.

Angela and I thank you for your patronage from the bottom of our hearts. We couldn’t do what we do without the support of friends like you!!

Book Review – Stash Lab by Tonya Alexander

I’m wrapping up my slew of book reviews (for now) with Stash Lab – Simple Solutions for Scrap Quilts by Tonya Alexander. If you are a scrapaholic, then this is the book for you!

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Stash Lab images courtesy of Martingale. Photography by Brent Kane.

Stash Lab opens with a wonderful introduction on using your stash, with an easy to understand simplified color theory and explanation of Tonya’s 3 “equations” for scrappy success!

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Tonya’s Stash Lab Equations – so clever!

The thing I love about any Martingale/That Patchwork Place book is that the quilts are beautifully photographed from a straight on angle so that you can see the whole quilt. The illustrations are in full color and the book is laid out so that it is very easy to read and follow.

sample_illustrations

Sample page with step by step, clear illustrations to follow.

Each quilt in Stash Lab lists dimensions and finished block sizes along with a complete materials list with plenty of helpful tips sprinkled throughout each pattern. The book also includes a very thorough techniques section before you get started making the quilts.

Let’s dive in and take a peek at some of my favorite quilts from the book!

FINALS B1335.indd

Kaffe’s Garden at Night, 52″ x 65″

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Sunny Side Up, 76″ x 78″

FINALS B1335.indd

Loose Change 48″ x 64″

Stash Lab includes a range of styles from traditional to modern, showcasing a variety of techniques from traditional piecing to paper piecing to  applique. I recently learned a rule of thumb in the publishing industry – if you like at least 3 quilts in any book, it’s worth it to purchase. Well, I can say without a doubt that I could see myself making all 11 quilts from the book!

I recently heard an interview with Tonya on the American Patchwork and Quilting podcast. It was so fun to hear her story about how she fell into quilting. Give it a listen the next time you are quilting, and be sure to pick up your copy of Stash Lab today!

 

Book Review – Desert to Sea

Let me tell you about my friend talented Jane Davidson, aka Quilt Jane. I’m sure may of you already know her. She’s the brilliant designer of the Nested Churn Dash pattern that has helped fuel the current Churn Dash block craze. She’s also launching a brand new community project with Pat Sloan – The Splendid Sampler Sew Along. (More about my involvement with that later!)

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Well today I want to tell you about Jane’s fabulous book. It’s called Desert to Sea, a collection of 10 fabulous modern and contemporary quilts from Australian designers.

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The really cool thing about this book (other than the awesome quilt patterns) is that fact that she’s professionally self-published it and it’s easily available through Amazon, although Jane lives in Australia. Let’s take a look at a few of the lovely quilts:

CaloundraBeachQuilts

Some of the scenic photography from the book.

RockPoolsPatternPhoto

Rock Pools by Jane Davidson

DesertSands_Art1

Desert Sands by Jane Davidson

LLQuiltHanging

Love Letters by Jeannette Bruce

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Opal Essence detail, by Lorena Uriarte

The projects themselves are beautiful and so is the photography. The book is really easy to follow, too. Each pattern includes the overall quilt size and block size (if applicable) which makes it super easy to change the dimensions of the quilt if desired. Materials requirements are given in both imperial and metric units and the instructions are written in inches, with a handy conversion chart in the beginning of the book.

Complete step-by-step instructions are included as are enough illustrations and templates so that you can successfully make any of the quilts. I also enjoyed the tips and closeup details that are sprinkled throughout the book.

Although I rarely tend to make quilts from other people’s patterns, I sure enjoy collecting quilting books purely for their inspiration and aesthetic value.

Be sure to grab a copy of Desert to Sea today!

My Stop on the Sister Sampler Quilts Blog Hop

Welcome everyone, to my stop on the Sister Sampler Quilts blog hop tour! If you are new around here, be sure to sign up for my email newsletter, and get a free PDF quilt pattern. 🙂

Today I get to share my thoughts and sample blocks from AnneMarie Chany’s brand new book, Sister Sampler Quilts.

Sister Sampler Quilts Book Cover
Sister Sampler Quilts: 3 Modern Sampler Quilts with Paired Sister Blocks
By AnneMarie Chany
Fons & Porter/F+W; $19.99
http://www.sistersamplerquilts.com

So what are sister sampler blocks you ask? They are two of the same block within a quilt that make a visually interesting design when they are arranged within the sampler setting. Each time you make a block, you learn about color and fabric placement, value, tone, scale, etc.  By making two of each block, you can play, improve upon your selections, or try out something different.

Here are a few examples from the book:

Susannah

grandmother's frame

schoolgirlpuzzle

Sister Sampler Quilts contains 3 samplers of 25 interchangeable blocks given in 2 finished sizes. All sampler blocks are made in pairs so that you make 2 of each block instead of just one. The block pairs can be the same or different, allowing you to explore different ideas within the same block!

My favorite sampler from the book is the modern Vice Versa Sampler shown below. I’m not usually a big fan of traditional sampler quilts which is why Sister Sampler Quilts really appeals to me. All blocks are traditional blocks with fun modern layouts.

ViceVersa

My favorite sampler from the book – Vice Versa

I chose to make a pair of Rising Star blocks because I love the inverse design that’s created when you swap the fabric placement. I used some scraps from my  Kona designer palette to make my blocks and I loved being able to whip up two blocks at the same time!

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9″ finished Rising Star blocks – these were so fun to make!

I simply love the fact that AnneMarie also chose to include plenty of quilting suggestions and closeup details of her machine quilting. I don’t know about you – but I when I spend my money on a book, I want to think about finishing the darn thing, not just making another top, LOL!! This book is a great value because it’s 126 pages long and priced under twenty bucks (or less when you buy it from Amazon).

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Win a copy of Sister Sampler Quilts

Have you ever made a sampler quilt? Leave a comment below and tell me all about it. Plus, you can share pics of your sampler quilts, or blocks made from this book in my facebook group: Quilt With Christa. I’d love to see!

Be sure to stop by all of the stops below for additional chances to win a copy of Sister Sampler Quilts. Winners will be chosen at the end of the hop.

Sister Sampler Quilts Blog Hop Schedule
Monday, January 18  
AnneMarie Chany / Gen X Quilters – Introduction
Sara Lawsom / Sew Sweetness
Tuesday, January 19 
Leah Day / Free Motion Project
Brenda Ratliff / Just A Bit Frayed
Wednesday, January 20
Faith Jones / Fresh Lemons Quilts
Angela Pingel / Cut To Pieces
Thursday, January 21
Lynne Goldsworthy / Lily’s Quilts
Amy Friend / During Quiet Time
Friday, January 22
Christa Watson / Christa Quilts — You are here!
Violet Craft
Monday, January 25
Lee Heinrich / Freshly Pieced
Melissa Corry / Happy Quilting
Tuesday, January 26
Karen Lewis / Karen Lewis Textiles
Wednesday, January 27
Sherri McConnell / A Quilting Life
Melissa Mortensen / Polka Dot Chair
Thursday, January 28
Heather Valentine / The Sewing Loft
Friday, January 29
Cindy Wiens / Live A Colorful Life
AnneMarie Chany / Gen X Quilters – Wrap Up

 

Book Review – Every Last Piece by Lynn Harris

I’m working my way through my new stash of quilt books and am excited to share Every Last Piece by Lynn Harris from The Little Red Hen.

Every Last Piece Cover

Lynn and I have known each other for awhile online but we got to meet in person at QuiltCon last year, and then got a chance to be roommates at the BERNINA ambassador reunion in December.

BERNINA_reunion

BERNINA ambassador friends: Nancy Mahoney, Lynn Harris, Me, Mandy Leins, Kari Carr.

I love Lynn’s concept for the book: using the tiniest pieces and scraps to create unique, fabulous designs. The cool thing about scrap quilts is that no two quilts are ever alike! Let’s take a look at just a few of the beautiful quilts in this book (images courtesy of Lynn and F&W)):

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The Nancy Quilt – definitely my favorite. That green!! Those feathers!!

Wind farm

Wind Farm – I love it when a quilt can use teal as a neutral!!

circular_reasoning

Circular Reasoning is such a clever name for this quilt!

The quilts range in style from traditional to contemporary to modern, so there truly is something for everyone in this book!

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Detail of the quilting on Bar Scene – I love it!

Lynn gets bonus points from me for quilting all of the quilts in her book, and there are tons of gorgeous closeup photos so you can see what she did!

The book includes patterns for 12 beautiful designs, plus a fabulous gallery of scrap quilts Lynn has made over the years – perfect inspiration for creating your own unique quilt! Templates, where needed, are given in full size and there are plenty of alternate layouts given to show you multiple options.

beach_balls

I love the combination of piecing, applique and quilting on Beach Balls!

Every Last Piece is a scrap quilter’s dream, and I highly recommend it for your bookshelf.  I’ll leave you with this final beauty shot – a closeup of the cover quilt that Lynn slept under during our ambassador reunion stay. I love it when quilts get used!!

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Stardust detail – those stars are so tiny at just 2″ each!!

What quilting books are you currently reading?

Book Review – Sew Sweet Baby Quilts

Yay – it’s time for another book review! Probably one of the things I love most about being an author with Martingale/That Patchwork Place is getting to know many of their other fabulous authors, like Kristin Roylance, author of Sew Sweet Baby Quilts.

Sew Sweet Cover

Sew Sweet Baby Quilts is a fun little 48 page book, packed with 7 adorable quilts that are fun to make and simple to sew! The book includes plenty of shortcuts including using precuts and utilizing strip piecing methods for several of the quilts.

Here are a few of my favorites (all photography courtesy of Martingale and Brent Kane):

B1349 FINALS.indd

I love the striking simplicity of Fast and Frilly.

B1349 FINALS.inddThis quilt is perfectly named – Sweet as Can Bee!

B1349 FINALS.inddHook, Line and Sinker is too adorable!

Kristin’s quilts are simply fresh and fun and totally something I would make! Sew Sweet Baby Quilts is quite a deal at less than $20 for 7 unique designs. Just think how much it would cost if you purchased each pattern individually!

cutequilts

Kristin has made her book super easy to use. She includes full-sized pattern pieces for each of the applique pieces, plus there’s a section on quiltmaking basics. And, if you like her style (like I do), you can still get your hands on her first book, Cute Quilts for Kids!

Learn more about Kristin at her site: CuteQuiltPatterns.com.