Happy Thanksgiving and a Blogiversary Sale!

Happy Turkey Day everyone! I started my blog on Thanksgiving Day in 2010 and I have so much to be thankful for over the past 5 years. You can check out that first blog post here.

Christa Quilts Family Thanksgiving Race 2010


My first blog picture, from 2010. We’ve all gotten a bit older since then (and hopefully wiser.)

In celebration of this blog-i-versary and to ring in the official holiday shopping season, I’m offering free US shipping on signed copies of my book (with reduced int’l shipping) and 25% or more off of all PDF patterns. This sale will last through Monday, November 30th.

Machine Quilting With Style



Thanks for your continued support!

Click here for more information about my patterns and books.

To Market, To Market…

Later this week kicks off the semi-annual International Quit Market for the quilting industry. It’s a place to see the latest and greatest in quilting fabric, supplies, books and patterns and it’s also an excellent source of what’s happening world of quilting!
I am excited because I get to share sneak peeks of my new book (it doesn’t release until September), and share a little machine quilting love with whomever stops by the Martingale booth. If you are there on Friday – why don’t you pop by and say hi! Details below:
ย MachineQuiltingwithStyle_FB_Demo
If you can sketch it, you can quilt it!
Martingale Booth (#325)
Friday, May 15th, 4:30-5:30 PM

And guess what? There will also be some pin-trading going on at this market!


A few industry friends and I teamed up to get the word out about each other’s pins. Look for these signs throughout market and grab a souvenir pin! I’m sure plenty of other exhibitors and attendees will have them, too, so it will be a like a little treasure hunt!

If you can’t be at quilt market in person, be sure to follow along virtually on instagram with the hashtag #quiltmarket. And I’m sure there will be lots of fun pics shared with #notgoingtomarket or #vitrualquiltmarket, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

My Book is Now Available for Pre-Order!!

It’s real – it’s really real! My book is now available for pre-order on Amazon! So before I faint with excitement, please allow me to tell you a little something about it… ๐Ÿ™‚


My book is called Machine Quilting With Style: From Walking-Foot Wonders to Free-Motion Favorites. That’s quite a mouthful, but I couldn’t be more thrilled! As many others have said, it really is like birthing another child, complete with restlessness, anxiety and weight gain, LOL! ๐Ÿ™‚ The “due” date is mid-September, about a month after my own birthday, so I really couldn’t ask for a better present.

It’s been a dream of mine to write a book since I began quilting many years ago, and the perfect opportunity came at just the right time. I had returned home from the first QuiltCon on fire with the desire to share my passion for quilting with a many people as possible. Coupled with my new-found love of the modern aesthetic, all the stars aligned in the best possible way to create this book.


Promotional information by the incredibly talented marketing team at Martingale.

Machine Quilting With Styleย includes patterns for 12 quilts with step-by-step instructions on how to machine quilt them. It also includes a large section on setting yourself up for successful machine quilting, with plenty of motifs to practice. There are a total of 112 pages, and I’m so grateful to Martingale (aka That Patchwork Place) for believing in my vision and allowing me to write the book I was meant to write.

Now that the hurdle of writing and editing is over, I get to engage in the fun part: promoting the book, talking to shop owners about it, creating classes around it, and getting to share it with as many people as possible. I’m pretty sure I enjoy the “social” aspect of quilting just as much as the actual making. ๐Ÿ™‚

book-editingThis is what book editing looks like!

Machine Quilting With Styleย is available for pre-order on Amazon at a discount off the cover price, which is always nice. You can also purchase it from your local quilt shop or favorite bookstore later this summer, or ask them to preorder you a copy when they attend quilt market this spring.

If you’d like to pre-order a signed copy directly from me, it’s just a few dollars more, and I’ll ship mid-September as soon as they come in.

Ok – I’d best get started on the next one, now! (Kidding-not-kidding!)

Book Review – Urban and Amish by Myra Harder

Since I’m away at Quilt Market this weekend, I thought it would be fun to share a book review with you! This is a tiny taste of what it’s like to be at market: checking out the new books, meeting some of the authors, and getting inspired to come home and sew. ๐Ÿ™‚


Urban and Amish: Classic Quilts and Modern Updates is written by Myra Harder and published by Martingale/That Patchwork Place. (Yes, I’m a little bit biased towards Martingale since they are my publisher, too, so expect to see me sharing more of their awesome quilting books!)

All images are courtesy of Martingale. The beautiful photography is by Brent Kane.

The premise of the book is that the author starts with 8 traditional Amish designs and reinterprets them into a modern urban aesthetic, resulting in a total of 16 designs you will love to make. Here is just a sampling:

storm_at_seaOcean Waves, 71 1/2″ x 71 1/2″ – the Amish Version

modern_stormSouth Pacific, 88 1/2″ x 96 1/2″ – a Fresh Interpretation

In the two quilts above, I love how the block design is the same, yet the borders and choices of fabrics create a dramatically different result!

In the two quilts below, Myra has chosen to reinterpret one of the most traditional and beloved blocks into something a little more urban.

nine_patchAmish Nine Patch, 54 1/2″ x 65 1/2″

modern_9patchSouthern Comfort, 86″ x 107″

I think my favorite paring from the book is the classic trip around the world and a re-imagined trip to New York. The quilts are dramatically different, yet they share similar construction techniques.

trip_around_the_worldTrip Around the World, 60 1/2″ x 72 1/2″

new_yorkTrip to New York, 50 1/2″ x 71 1/2″

I think the possibilities with these quilts can go even further. I can just imagine making the “Amish” versions in print fabrics, and the “Urban” ones in more traditional colors. As with any Martingale book, Urban and Amish includes clear, concise directions with plenty of color diagrams to keep you organized.

Myra has even included a section about Amish vs. urban fabrics, plus snippets of inspiration for each quilt and a section on finishing in the back of the book. Urban and Amish runs a total of 80 pages and can be found on line from Amazon or Martingale, and hopefully at your favorite local quilt shop. Enjoy the eye candy!

Book Review – A Quilter’s Mixology by Angela Pingel

I just finished reading Angela Pingel’s book, A Quilter’s Mixology, so now it’s time to share it with you guys! I first met Angela when I took a curved piecing class from her at Sewing Summit last year. I love that she is so enamored with curved piecing that she’s been able to put a fresh spin on a classic technique.

Curves BlockMy version of Angela’s curves – she is a great teacher!

During class, I made this block which I think is way more interesting than a classic Drunkard’s path block (thought Angela is pretty good about teaching that method, too). The trick is in trimming up the pieces in such a way as to make part of the seams disappear, leading to a sleeker smoother look which I instantly fell in love with.

20140628_quilters_mixologyAngela’s book is chock full of fresh and fun quilts to make. She includes extra sections on choosing colors and fabrics, step-by-step curved piecing instructions with nicely illustrated diagrams, and tons of fabulous photography throughout.

20140628_qm_loosely_curvedLoosely Curved Wallhanging by Angela Pingel. Photo courtesy of Interweave.

Hands down, her Loosely Curved Wallhanging is my favorite quilt in the book. I love the graphic design, the bold colors, and the fact that she even quilted it herself. ๐Ÿ™‚ I still haven’t tried the super-popular woodgrain machine quilting design, but it sure looks great on this quilt!

20140628_qm_flower_powerFlower Power Quilt by Angela Pingel. Photo courtesy of Interweave.

I love Angela’s Flower Power quilt for much the same reason. I’m drawn to quilts with a lot of negative space and blocks shown in different scales. I think the allover stippling complements the art-deco vibe of this quilt without over-powering it.

I can recommend this book for those who are into curved piecing as well as those that aren’t. There’s plenty of eye-candy in the way of color combinations and quilting designs that are sure to delight.

20140628_qm_detailDetail Shot of Orange Twist Quilt, Courtesy of Angela Pingel. Quilted by Krista Withers.

A Quilter’s Mixologyย includes a total of 16 projects spread over 143 pages, complete with full-size templates. I’m pretty sure you can also use die cut machines for several projects, too!

What other quilting books are on your summer reading list?

Book Review – Fabulously Fast Quilts by Amy Smart

I want to give a quick thanks to Amy Smart and Martingale for giving me a review copy of Fabulously Fast Quilts so I can tell you all about it. First – a quick background: I got to know Amy when I used to sponsor blogs to advertise my online store (before I decided to switch hats from store owner to pattern designer).

I love Amy’s blog style, the content she shares, and her genuinely friendly manner. I finally got to meet her in person at Sewing Summit last year and appreciate how down to earth and “real” she is!

faboulously_fast_quiltsAll images courtesy of Martingale. Photography by Brent Kane.

When I found out Amy was writing a book, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it because I knew it would be chock full of quilty goodness! Let me tell you – it does not disappoint!

Fabulously Fast Quilts is an easily digestible 48 page book full of 12 fresh and fun patterns, all designed by Amy. The designs are simple, yet striking, and I can honestly say I would enjoy making each one!

crossing_guardCrossing Guard, shown above is my favorite design from the book. It’s very clean looking and modern. Plus it includes one of my favorite color combinations – green and yellow! I also really like the scrappy goodness of Fast Four Patch, shown below.

fast_four_patchI love how Amy is able to add depth and dimension in a relatively low volume quilt, as shown in Floating Shoefly, below. That pop of orange really sparkles against all the scrappy neutrals, and the border treatment makes for a very effective design.

Floating ShoeflyThe number one thing I’ve been learning about what makes a successful pattern designer is being able to create effective, interesting combinations with enough contrast to really make the design pop. Amy has nailed that with her book!

Although it’s a quick read (yes, I do enjoy “reading” patterns, LOL!), there is enough introductory information in the book to get you started on making these fabulous quilts in a hurry. The book is divided up into four sections: Strip Piecing, Quick Corners, Slick Slicing, and Stack, Slice & Shuffle. Each section gives patterns for 3 different quilts showing you how to utilize each of these techniques.

Butterfly Effect, shown below, is an example of using Slick Slicing to make an exciting scrappy quilt. Just think of how you can plow through your stash with this one!

butterfly_effectThroughout the book, Amy has included tips and tricks for quicker cutting, piecing, and assembly. She’s even included size options on several of the quilts, which is always nice to have. I appreciate well-written instructions with good illustrations and this book has plenty of those, too.

So be sure to pick up your copy of Fabulously Fast Quilts by Amy Smart. You’ll be glad you did!

Book Review – Quilting With a Modern Slant

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a book review but I’m excited to tell you about a new book I recently got my hands on. It’s titled, “Quilting With a Modern Slant” by Rachel May, and it includes interviews, summaries or patterns from over 70 modern quilters! Many of those profiled in the book are familiar names, while several of those featured are new to me.

To sum up, this book is one huge dose of inspiration! I love reading quilting books and spent several trips to the park and weekend vacations pouring over this book in detail.

modern_slant_book_origAt over 200 pages in length, with literally hundreds of fabulous pictures to look at, this book is quite a bargain! Here are just a few of my favorite quilt images from the book:

Quilt (1995) by Anna Williams, 76" x 61"

Quilt (1995) by Anna Williams, 76″ x 61″

Cartwheels by Lee Hinerich 48" x 54"

Cartwheels by Lee Heinrich 48″ x 54″

Spin Cycle by Debbie Grifka, 63" x 79"

Spin Cycle by Debbie Grifka, 63″ x 79″

Seattle Star pieced by Katie Pedersen, machine quilted by Krista Withers, 60" x 60"

Seattle Star pieced by Katie Pedersen, machine quilted by Krista Withers, 60″ x 60″

Dropping a Stone by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, 54" x 54"

Dropping a Stone by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, 54″ x 54″

And these are just a few of the beauties shown in this fabulous book!ย Quilting With a Modern Slant is like your own little personal modern quilt show, and I think it’s a fabulous reference for anyone and everyone who appreciates modern quilts.


I will leave you with a quote from author Rachel May, “Itโ€™s my hope that the book functions as an exploration of the connections between all quilters and the stories we have to tell through what we make.

“No matter how we define ourselves, quilters forge powerful communities, in which we rely on each other for friendship, feedback, and inspiration. Iโ€™m excited about that sense of community, and what we can accomplish together.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Book Review – Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting by Natalia Bonner

I’m back with another fun book review today. I recently finished reading Natalia Bonner’s Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting. I ordered it from Amazon a couple of months ago (yay free shipping!) and finally had some time this weekend to sit down and finish reading it!

Guide to FMQ

First let me tell you something special about Natalia if you haven’t made it over to her blog Piece N Quilt yet. She’s an amazing long-arm quilter and she’s teaming up with some very smart organized people to put on the Small Town Quilt Show in Utah next June. I can’t wait!

Small Town Quilt Show

But back to her book…ย  It includes over 50 different visual tutorials to get you started, like this one shown below:

FMQ BookIt’s extremely helpful for me to know where to start and stop stitching and how to form the shapes whenever I tackle a new quilting design. The back of the book is filled with pages of quilting motifs that you can use to copy the design onto your quilt with a water soluble marker (and a light box).

FMQ Practice Pages

They are also wonderful to trace around with a pen or pencil to get a feel for the movement of the design. Once you’ve done that a few times, you can try quilting these motifs without marking. I personally enjoy collecting a library of machine quilting designs to try!

After you read though all the excellent information on the basics of free-motion quilting, the book includes 6 quilt projects to try. Each has a little bit of a modern flair and 5 of the 6 quilts feature machine applique (another one of my passions).

Natalia Bonner's Quilts

Quilts from Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting

The book also includes a few basics talking about batting, basting and some useful tools (which I recommend also). There are some helpful pictures on getting those pesky ending strips to line up while binding so that’s an added bonus. ๐Ÿ™‚

No matter which type of machine someone quilts on, I get really excited when they encourage others to jump in and give it a try.

Click here to see my other reviews and start building up your quilting book library!

Book Review – Simply Retro by Camille Roskelley

Simply RetroI’m excited to share another book review with you today: Simply Retro with Camille Roskelley – Fresh Quilts from Classic Blocks.

Building on the popularity of her amazing Swoon quilt, Camille has created 13 fabulous new quilts for this book, all based on traditional blocks with an updated twist.

Most of these delectable delights can be made from precuts (a favorite “treat” we both agree on), but Camille includes instructions for cutting from yardage, too!

In the book, Camille utilizes quick piecing methods such as chain piecing and she demos my favorite way of making HST’s (half-square triangles). She also scores bonus points from me for quilting a few of the quilts herself using Aurifil thread (my favorite).

My personal favorite quilt from Simply Retro is Baby Love – the large one block version shown below. Camille’s geometric chevron quilting is the perfect complement to such a bold modern design! (The pattern for a smaller block version is included, too!)

Baby Love

Baby Love by Camille Roskelley

Throughout the book there are plenty of detailed diagrams and yummy style shots to drool over. (Many times when I collect quilt books I don’t actually make the projects – I just love reading them and looking at the pictures for inspiration!)

One of the really fun things about this book is seeing Camille’s sense of style and color come through. Although she is an amazing fabric designer, she uses a wide variety of prints in the quilts presented in this book. She combines fabrics from her stash with prints from her lines as well as those of other designers for the most wonderful fabric combinations.

Dwell Quilt

Dwell by Camille Roskelley. Aren’t the houses so sweet?

I love Camille’s philosophy of “making it fit”. She will often make several different versions of the same quilt, but each one is unique in its own way. Sometimes she’ll change up the block size, quilt size, or add or subtract borders. In Simply Retro, Camille walks you through the basics on how to adjust any quilt pattern to the size you want. She also includes steps on how to calculate quilt backings and bindings.

Camille includes quiltmaking basics at the end of the book and actually shows some ideas and process steps for machine quilting (yay!). If this book sounds interesting to you, it’s available for purchase on Amazon or your favorite local quilt shop. ๐Ÿ™‚


Framed by Camille Roskelley. I love this one!

A Little Light Summer Reading….

My prize for being a Blogger’s Quilt Festival viewer’s choice winner was $100 worth of quilting books from Martingale/That Patchwork Place. Whoo hoo! I had fun picking out these four books below:

Modern NeutralsModern Neutrals: A Fresh Look at Neutral Quilt Patterns by Amy Ellis.

She’s the host of the semi-annual blogger’s quilt fest and a fantastic quilt designer, too!

Modern BabyModern Baby: Easy, Fresh, and Fun Quilt Designs, a compilation book featuring 14 projects including one from fellow blogging buddy Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting.

Other contributing designers whose names I recognize are Amy Smart, Carolyn Friedlander, and Victoria Findlay Wolfe.

Skip the BordersSkip the Borders: Easy Patterns for Modern Quilts by Julie Herman.

Perhaps my favorite design aspect of modern quilting is borderless quilts!

It includes 15 stunning quilts pieced by Julie, 14 of which are machine quilted by Angela Walters. This is eye candy indeed!

Modern Quilts from the Blogging UniverseModern Quilts from the Blogging Universe, a compilation of 19 beautiful unique quilts with a modern aesthetic.

Some bloggers from the book I follow are Amy Ellis, Natalia Bonner, Jeni Baker, Heather Jones, Megan Jimenez, Kati Spencer, Jennifer Mathis, and Lee Heinrich.

Now I’m sort hoping they’ll come out with a sequel. ๐Ÿ™‚

It was barely a year ago that I first discovered modern quilting and brought along the first modern book I ever purchased to read while relaxing at the beach.

Beach Book

Modern Books at the Beach 2012

I plan on diving into my new stash of books during this summer’s trip. Plus I want to catch up on all of the Craftsy Classes I’ve signed up for! So stay tuned for updates. ๐Ÿ™‚