This week I’m running a special sale on all of my instant downloadable digital patterns in my Etsy shop. This is a great time to stock up on those patterns on your wish list. Or grab the PDF versions of your favorite print patterns. Then you’ll always have access them to them right on your computer!
The lap and throw sizes of Charming Chevrons are made from 5″ charm packs. (The thinking is done—so you just relax and sew!) This design has a lot of movement for great visual interest.
Twin-size Charming Chevrons in Good Vibes fabric by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo Studio
The larger sizes of Charming Chevrons (twin and king) are made from 10″ precut squares, also called Layer Cakes or Ten by Tens.
Watch for Good Vibes 5×5 and 10×10 packs coming in July!
Right now, I’m taking pre-orders for the paper patterns of Charming Chevrons and Modern Logs, and I have a special offer for you. Please read on!
The cover quilts were made with my new Good Vibes line for Benartex Contempo Studio. I’m really pleased by the interplay of the modern low-volumes and the saturated bright prints. It’s just the look I was after! More thoughts on Good Vibes coming soon.
All of my patterns include step-by-step instructions and machine quilting suggestions so you’re never stumped when it’s time to finish. We have it covered!
Choose from four handy sizes in Charming Chevrons: Lap, Throw, Twin or King! See the pattern’s back cover below for the dimensions.
Maybe you have some charm packs around just waiting for the right project. Or have you been looking for the perfect quilt to use a special layer cake? Look no further than Charming Chevrons!
Maybe Modern Logs will suit your fancy! It’s made from 1, 2 or 3 fat quarter bundles, depending on the size you want to make. The pattern gives instructions for making crib, throw and queen sizes, but the improvisational technique means you can adjust the size of your quilt by making more or fewer blocks. That’s a great design bonus!
Maybe you’d want to get some Good Vibes and then supplement from your stash for a unique project that’s totally you! You can go with a coordinated look or be super scrappy. I think you’ll really have fun with the improv nature of these blocks!
I’m putting the finishing touches on both of these quilts now and I can’t wait to share them with you!
Seeing your excitement when you like my fabric or fall in love with a quilt design is a real boost for me. And I always meet some wonderful people during a quilt along, so I’m really looking forward to that, too!
Use code PATTERN to get a free paper pattern of your choice when you preorder both Modern Logs and Charming Chevrons paper patterns. Add three patterns to your cart, enter the code in the coupon box and then remember to hit the + to make sure the discount is applied. Offer expires end of day June 30, 2020.
Welcome to Part 3 of the Optical Illusion Quilt Along! I hope you are enjoying your fabric choices and feel confident in your cutting and sewing skills. Now I’m excited for you to start sewing the quilt top. It’s easy and fun!
If you haven’t already, please go through your pattern and highlight or circle the number of units to make for your size on pages 3 and 4. You’ll be so glad you did.
Begin with Step 1 on page 3 of your Optical Illusion pattern. Remember to sew with the gray on top for each sashed square. If you do, you’ll automatically alternate the direction in which you’re sewing, which helps prevent your strips from warping.
I press all of the seams open on this quilt. Whether you press seams open, to the side or toward a specific fabric is up to you. The seams don’t have to match up with anything, which is one of my favorite things about this design.
Continue with each Step as given in the pattern, referring carefully to the diagrams in the pattern for each unit. I use sticky notes to label each little pile of units as I finish them.
When you’ve completed all the Steps, move on to Sewing the Rows on page 5.
Sewing the Rows
As I am making the rows, I keep them oriented horizontally so they match the diagrams. Be sure and notice that there are different diagrams for the Lap Size than for the Twin and Queen size. It will help to circle the diagram for your size!
Label the rows with their letters to help you stay organized.
When your rows are finished, give yourself a high five!! Great job!
Quilt Top Assembly
Moving on to Quilt Top Assembly: In last week’s post, I mentioned alternating your sewing direction by keeping the long skinny strips on top. This will be helpful as you assemble the top.
The layout diagram below is included in the pattern. Refer to pages 6 and 7 of the pattern for more info as you assemble, including a method for trimming. Use your design wall to stay organized, or snap a quick picture on your phone for a helpful reference point as you progress.
I pin generously during this process. I match and pin at each end, at the middle and at several points between. Remember to sew with the skinny strip on top each time so that your sewing direction will automatically alternate.
TIP: If you have a row or a sashing strip that is longer than its neighbors, sew with the longer strip on the bottom, next to the feed dogs. This helps to ease in the fullness.
Press the quilt top gently to wrap up the piecing.
SEW A VICTORY LAP!
When the quilt top is complete, you’ll want to “stay-stitch” the edges by sewing across the top and bottom of the quilt. Do this about 1/8″ away from the edge on the top and the bottom so it will be hidden when you add the binding. Just a note: When you make a quilt with borders, you can skip this step since the borders will stabilize the edges instead.
Congratulations! Your Piecing is complete.
Next week we’ll cover how to prepare your backing and batting, and how I baste a quilt. Here is the back of the pattern with info that you’ll need. Click the image for an enlarged view.
You know how much I enjoy machine quilting. Just a few more weeks and we will quilt walking foot spirals—I can’t wait!! Being able to finish your quilt on your own sewing machine because you’ve built the skills to do it is a great feeling. You’re going to love it!
This week, Benartex is promoting my new Gridwork fabric on their social media channels. Along with that, they run a weekly Win-it Wednesday promotion. Today is your chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Gridwork + 2 of my quilt patterns made from it.
To enter, head over to @benartex_fabrics on instagram and leave a comment there. You must follow both Benartex and me @christaquilts on instagram to win. Contest is open until Tuesday, February 18th at 11:59 pm EST. Three winners will be announced on Wednesday, February 19th on the Benartex social media account.
I’m excited to announce two fun new quilt patterns to go along with my next fabric line that I will be showing at Fall 2019 Quilt Market. Although they patterns feature prints I designed, they will look fabulous with any fabrics you choose to work with!
This pattern is based on a design I came out with years ago before precuts were popular. So I redesigned it, tinkered with the math, and came up with a fun way to use up your favorite charm packs! For the throw size shown, it takes 1 regular sized charm pack, or 36 squares.
Most charm packs are 40-42 squares so this gives you some flexibility to pull out any of the prints that are too light or too dark. Pair it up with contrasting black and gray, and you’ve got a dynamic looking design that’s perfect for showing off your favorite prints!
Quilting Suggestions Included
My biggest pet peeve about quilt patterns is when you get to the end and it says “quilt as desired.” If you’ve purchased any of my patterns before, you’ll know that I include quilting suggestions and diagrams with every single one! I want you to have a great time with the piecing AND the quilting and I’m always here to guide you through every step of the process.
For Block Chain, I quilted a series of funky, geometric shapes with 50 weight multi-color cotton thread from my Aurifil Variegated Collection. It was a super fun and fast way to get this quilt done in a hurry. And the best part about my “perfectly imperfect” quilting method, is that it looks great every time.
My secret to successful machine is to hide my imperfections with dense machine quilting. I used Hobbs 80/20 cotton/poly batting for a soft, drapey feel that didn’t get stiff no matter how much I quilted it!
Terrace Tiles is also a remake of one of my earlier designs from a magazine. I’ve come a long way since I first started publishing quilt patterns and I’ve tweaked this design so that it’s completely made from fat quarters, including the binding!
This quilt is literally one of the fastest and easiest designs you can make and I loved it so much I just had to make three of them!! I whipped up each quilt top in just a few hours and quilted them each with a different allover quilting design. Terrace Tiles is a great stash buster, and you can go as scrappy as you like with this design. It will look good no matter what!
Check out each of the three versions I made, all using fat quarter bundles of my Gridwork fabric organized by colorway:
Terrace Tiles in Amethyst
I quilted this pink & purple version using a fun swirly design and thread from my Aurifil Variegated collection in pink/purple/blue. I love how it adds yummy texture to the fun geometric prints!
Terrace Tiles in Breeze
For this colorway, I quilted an allover boxes design – one of my faves that looks great on modern and contemporary quilts with a strong geometric vibe. I used the aqua/teal combo from my Varieated thread collection for this one.
Terrace Tiles in Citron
I went a bit out of my comfort zone with this blue/citron/gray colorway, but I love the results! I quilted it with one of my all-time fave designs, “jagged stipple” which is a perfect quilting motif for a guy’s quilt with its edgy geometric angles. It’s quilted using black/white thread from my Variegated Collection.
I’ve included diagrams for all 3 machine quilting designs in the pattern as well as 3 different sizes so you can customize this quilt to suit your needs.
Where to Buy My Patterns
My patterns are slowly but surely making their way to quilt shops across the country and around the globe. However, if you can’t find them locally, you can always order direct from me. I offer full-color versions in printed paper versions, or downloadable digital PDF’s.
Click the links below to see my entire pattern line and stock up on your faves! The PDFs are great if you want instant access on your computer, and the paper versions ship free to anywhere in the US.
I’ve been selling PDF/digital patterns on Etsy for a few months now and have been very pleased with the results so far. Now it’s time for me to test out the coupon/sale functionality. So for one week only (through 7/22) I’m offering a super summer sale: buy any 3 PDF patterns and automatically get one free. It applies to all 18 of my patterns in my Etsy shop, with no coupon required!
Happy 4th of July! I made my “Positive Direction” quilt several years ago to be a modern patriotic quilt that was suitable for year-round use. Today you can celebrate with me by getting the paper pattern at an incredible price – just $6.95 plus free US shipping. The regular price of my paper patterns is $10.95, but I’ve decided to clear out some of my older designs that were created before I started designing my own fabric. So they will remain on sale until all remaining stock is gone.
I want you to enjoy making these quilts as much as I do so I’ve made it easy by including full color step-by step diagrams AND machine quilting suggestions in each one. Plus, if you ever have a question about making any of my patterns, I’m happy to help! Just drop me an email anytime to firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve finally jumped on the Etsy bandwagon!! I set up an account many years ago before we had The Precut Store but didn’t do much with it. I’ve also purchased a few items here and there. But I finally made the push to get my quilt patterns (PDF versions) on the site so you could access them quickly and easily!
Although I still have my print patterns available for sale at shop.ChristaQuilts.com, AND the PDF versions are still available to purchase through Craftsy (Bluprint), with the recent changes they’ve made, I can’t add any new ones. (Instructors were supposed to be able to continue adding new patterns but I haven’t figured out how to do that…) Since I have a bunch of new patterns coming out this spring, I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss out on getting my patterns in the hands of those who needed them.
So will you do me a favor? If you’ve had your eye on a pattern or two of mine, will you go ahead and place your order and leave some feedback? That will allow me to make sure everything is running smoothly and that I can grow my presence on the site.
Just a reminder – to access your PDF pattern once you’ve purchased it, be sure to save it to your computer and then open it up with your favorite PDF reader. Then be sure and keep me posted during your progress. My favorite thing is to see what you make and the fun fabrics you choose!
Welcome to my new series where I explain a little more in depth about how I made a recent quilt and share tips to make your sewing and quilting faster and more fun! Today we’ll focus on my Geese in the Garden Quilts made from my Abstract Garden line with Benartex/Contempo.
When I designed Geese in the Garden with it’s radiating diamond-like shapes, my first instinct was to write the pattern by making all of the blocks from Half Square Triangles. However, that would have left a seam in the middle of each block which would have disrupted the fabric print.
I knew I could eliminate some of the seams using the “flip and sew” method but there would still be some seams I didn’t like, and it would have created a lot of waste. Here’s an early sketch of it in Electric Quilt with those unsightly seams (in the yellow seeds fabric and the pink roses fabric).
So then I researched how to sew diamond shapes and discovered that these shapes are NOT true diamonds, but are rather “squished” or “elongated” diamonds. However, the traditional technique to make the diamonds would still work, but I’d have to recalculate the math.
Diamond cutting in process.
After a bit of testing I figured out an easy way to cut these elongated diamonds with a simple acrylic ruler that has a 45 degree line – no specialty ruler required! It’s all about the width that you cut them, and that information is included in detail in the pattern.
You’ll get a chance to use the 45 degree line on your ruler when cutting these diamonds.
Because these are not true diamonds, they have a definite left and right side. You can create some really cool designs with “mirror image” units. Here’s a tip to cut them correctly: Cut at least 2 stacked strips at a time. Make sure one strip is right side up, while the other is wrong side up. Or fold the strip in half and you’ll automatically get mirror image pairs.
Mirror image units – and no pesky seams in the middle of the fabric!
Abstract Garden Fabric Choices
My Abstract Garden collection includes a total of 20 fabrics arranged into warm and cool colorways. However, I wanted fabric selection to be easy for this quilt pattern, so that you could use any fabrics you like. So it only takes a total of 5 prints to create the design.
Since I was making two quilts (warm and cool), I decided to cut and piece them both at the same time. I starched the fabrics ahead of time before I cut, to help control the diagonal bias edges.
The fun part about choosing fabrics is creating a radiating, glowing look with your color choices. Because the center diamonds of the design are interchangeable, I played around with them to make sure I was happy with the color arrangement.
I love pretty stacks of cut units – don’t you?
Sewing the Geese Rows
Technically, this is a “row” quilt, meaning it’s sewn together into rows, rather than blocks. The super easy thing about this pattern is that each row is exactly the same! To make sewing go even easier, I recommend laying out all of the units, and sewing them into pairs on either side of the center triangle.
Although these are for 2 separate quilts, how fun would it be to alternate the rows?
My tip for sewing units with a 45 degree angle is that you need to offset the triangle tips by the same amount on both sides as you sew. The triangle tip will stick out about 1/4″ inch on either side. Notice the tips sticking out in the image below when the fabrics are matched up, right sides together:
Sew an accurate 1/4″ seam, using the point where the two fabrics intersect in the corner. This detail image below shows the sewn seam (stitched with my favorite 50 weight Aurifil thread). Notice it’s been rotated to show the angle at which I sew each unit under the machine. (Make sure to chain piece all the units at once for speed and efficiency.)
You’ll know you’ve sewn them correctly when you’ve created a nice smooth edge along both pieces. Don’t forget to trim the triangle tips! I also press all of my seams open so that my blocks will lie nice and flat.
Remember, this technique works for ANY units with a 45 degree angle. Below is what the center triangle looks like when I lined it up with the rest of the sewn pairs. It looks a little awkward, but notice how both tips are sticking out about 1/4″. Once the pieces are flipped over right sides together and sewn, everything will come out even, just like the diamond pairs.
I often get asked how I press seams open without burning my fingers. The answer is that I open them up with my fingers ahead of the iron, and I never use steam. Here’s a 20 second video clip showing how I press my seam open, once I’ve sewn my rows:
Here’s the backside of the cool version with all of the rows sewn and those nice, flat, pressed open seams. Doesn’t it look just as pretty as the front??
Although the pattern comes in 3 sizes, I chose to make the smallest size. But the best thing about this pattern is that it’s the same number of pieces to cut and sew, no matter which size you make. They just get larger as the quilt gets bigger. It only took me a few hours to piece each quit top, so it’s a great design to make when you are in a hurry, and it’s fun to show off your favorite fabrics in the diamonds.
One final tip to share today: don’t stress too much about perfection. Do your best to line up the seams as you sew the quilt, but notice the lower left corner of the image below. The turquoise and blue corners don’t match up perfectly in all the rows, but that’s ok. Once the quilt is quilted – you won’t even notice it!!
Very few of my points line up perfectly – but it still looks great!!
If you found this post helpful, you can help support my blogging efforts by purchasing my Geese in the Garden pattern or any of my other quilt patterns or fabrics at shop.ChristaQuilts.com. They’ll come infused with a little “Christa Quilts” magic, ensuring your success while I cheer you on!
In the next post, I’ll share tips on how I quilted each quilt with two quick and easy walking foot designs, so stay tuned!