Preorder Good Vibes Paper Quilt Patterns: Buy 2, Get 1 Free

I am so excited about my two newest patterns, Charming Chevrons and Modern Logs. I’ll be doing quilt alongs for both later this year, and I can’t wait!!

Charming Chevrons by Christa Watson

Lap-size Charming Chevrons in Good Vibes fabric by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo Studio

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.

Charming Chevrons by Christa Watson

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!

Charming Chevrons by Christa Watson

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.

Click here to browse Good Vibes modern prints. 

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.

Charming Chevrons by Christa Watson

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!

Click here to get Good Vibes fat quarter bundles.

Modern Logs by Christa Watson

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!

Modern Logs Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson

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!

Modern Logs by Christa Watson

Remember…

  • Patterns include multiple sizes
  • Step-by-step easy to follow instructions
  • Machine quilting suggestions
  • A great deal when you preorder!
  • I’ll host Quilt Alongs for both designs later this year.

I’m offering a special preorder bargain through the end of June for paper patterns of Charming Chevrons and Modern Logs. Buy two, get one free! Here’s how it works:

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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. 

Thanks so much for being here!

How to Sew Optical Illusion Quilt Top – Quilt Along Part 3

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!

Do you need a kit? The black, white and gray version is still available!
(Pattern is included with the kit.)
Do you need the pattern?
Get the paper pattern. 
Get the pattern instantly as a pdf.

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.

Optical Illusion Quilt Detail

Get the quilt kit for Optical Illusion. while supplies last!

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.

Optical Illusion LayoutI 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.

Optical Illusion Pattern Cover spread

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!

Optical Illusion Detail

WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFO ABOUT THIS QAL?

Win It Wednesday From Benartex – Your Chance to Win my Fabric and Patterns!

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.

Gridwork by Christa WatsonClick here to get fat quarter bundles or yardage of Gridwork.

3 lucky winners will each win one of the color ways: Amethyst, Breeze, or Citron along with my Block Chain and Terrace Tiles quilt patterns.

Christa Quilts Patterns

Click here to get my quilt patterns – printed paper version.
Click here tog et my quilt patterns – PDF download version.

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.

Good luck and happy sewing!

New Quilt Patterns – Block Chain and Terrace Tiles

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!

Block Chain – Charm Pack Friendly

Block Chain Quilt Pattern

Block Chain Quilt Pattern

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

Geometric Chains Quilting

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.

Geometric Chains

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 – Made From Fat Quarters

Terrace Tiles Quilt Pattern

Terrace Tiles Quilt Pattern

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

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

Terrace Tiles 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

Terrace Tiles 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.

If you are a teacher or quilt shop who wants to carry my patterns, please shoot me an email to christa@christaquilts.com for wholesale order info. As always, thanks for your support!

Etsy Summer Sale: Buy 3 PDF Patterns – Get 1 Free!

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!

Christa Quilts Patterns

 Click here to buy 3 get 1 free on all PDF patterns!

The fine print: This applies to instant downloads only purchased through my Etsy shop, not paper patterns purchased on other sites. So stock up on your faves, now!

Happy Independence Day – Celebrate with a Pattern Sale!

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.

Positive Direction Quilt Pattern

Click here to my Positive Direction quilt pattern for just $6.95.

Positive Direction Pattern Cover by Christa Quilts

Here’s a quick rundown of the rest of the quilt patterns that are on sale. Stock up on your favorites, because once they’re gone – they’re gone!

Click here to get my Modern Logs quilt pattern for just $6.95

Modern Logs Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson of Christa Quilts

Click here to get my String of Peals quilt pattern for just $6.95

String of Pearls Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson of Christa Quilts

Click here to get my Stepping Stones quilt pattern for just $6.95

Stepping Stones Quilt Pattern in 4 Sizes

Click here to get my Modern X quilt pattern for just $6.95

Modern X Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson of Christa Quilts

Click here to get my Charming Chevrons quilt pattern for just $6.95

Charming Chevrons Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson of Christa Quilts

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 christa@christaquilts.com

Positive Direction Quilt Pattern by Christa Quilts

Machine quilting detail from Positive Direction.

Enjoy your day and I hope you get some time to quilt!!

ChristaQuilts Patterns are Now Available on Etsy

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!

Click here to visit my Etsy store.

Christa Quilts Patterns

Click here to visit my Etsy store.

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.

My Etsy shop name is ChristaQuilts and the url is:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/ChristaQuilts

As a recap, here are some beauty shots of a few of my favorites:

Positive Direction

Positive Direction quilt pattern by Christa Quilts

Sparkling Stars

Sparkling Stars Quilt by Christa Watson

Blooming Wallflowers

Blooming Wallflowers Modern Marks

Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones by Christa Watson

Surplus Strips

Surplus Strips quilts made from Fandangle by Christa Watson

Modern Logs

Modern Logs by Christa Watson

Improv Squares

Improv Squares Quilt Pattern using Modern Marks Fabric

Click here to purchase my PDF patterns (instant digital download) on Etsy.

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!

More patterns are coming soon – so stay tuned!!

Tips for Making Geese in the Garden – Part 1 of 2

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.

Geese in the Garden Quilt Pattern

Click here to get the print version of Geese in the Garden pattern.
Click here to get the PDF version of Geese in the Garden pattern.

The “Geese” Design

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).

Geese in the Garden Sketch

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

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.

45 degree angle cutting

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 Diamond Units

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.

Abstract Garden UnitsClick here to get the Geese in the Garden Kit – in warm or cool.

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.

Geese in the Garden Units

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.

Geese in the Garden Rows

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:

Geese Triangle Tips

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.)

Sewing Diamond Units

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.

Sewn Diamond Units

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.

Sewing 45 degree angles

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??

seams pressed open

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!!

Geese in the Garden quilt featuring Abstract Garden by Christa Watson

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!

Moving Update Week 5 – Buy 2 patterns, get 1 free!!

Yep – we’re still moving, LOL!! On the one hand it feels like this process is taking forever. But then I realized that most people take months to pack or even make a decision about purchasing a home. From the time we decided to purchase until we started moving was less than a month, so there really hasn’t been much time for dilly-dallying, much less planning and packing ahead of time! We’re getting as much ready in the new house as possible, moving a bunch of stuff and then immediately putting things away – no living out of boxes!

Our dining room (above, right) is nearly finished. I really love color in my home, but I fear the teal is a bit too intense for the softer seafoam green couches in the living room (in progress on the left). Some accent chairs are coming soon, and then I’ll make a final decision as to whether or not I’ll need to repaint.

We’ve gotten in most of the new furniture we ordered, and have moved in most of the essentials (except my sewing room – that will be the last thing to get organized!) We are living in the new house now while we work between both houses.

My daughter is thrilled with her finished room. Since this pic was taken, she’s arranged all of her collectibles and keepsakes on the shelves and it looks great! Now all she needs are a few final accent pieces – a mirror on the wall above her dresser, and a comfy bean bag chair under the window. (Thank goodness for Ikea assembly or we never would have gotten it finished!!)

Since we are self-employed, we can’t shut down work during the transition so that always makes things a bit tricky. I’m processing and printing labels for shop.christaquilts.com at the old house, while cutting and filling orders at the new place. Jason is keeping things running smoothly for ThePrecutStore during the transition, and of course my email in box is about a mile long. So thanks for your patience to anyone who’s reached out to me this month. I’m slowly working my way back down to “inbox zero!”

Fabric Storage

In the guest room next to my sewing studio we added shelving in the corner to hold bolts of my fabric yardage for sale. There’s plenty of room for a bed, dresser and desk. Plus, there’s lots of storage space in the walk-in closet. My son is currently living in this room until he leaves for his mission in China next month, so he took over some of the empty shelf space in the meantime.

This week’s sale: save on all printed patterns

We got a lot done this past week, but we haven’t moved over the printed patterns yet. you’d be surprised at how heavy a box of patterns can be! And with 14 patterns under my belt (with more to come) that’s a LOT of boxes!!

So do a girl a favor and scoop up your favorites with this great deal:

Use code MOVE5 during checkout at shop.christaquilts.com to buy 2 patterns and get 1 free.

Christa Quilts Patterns

Click here and use code MOVE5 at checkout for the pattern discount.

My kids will thank you as this means less for them to pack up!!

Don’t worry, even with all of the moving craziness, my Blooming Wallflowers QAL still starts on Friday, so watch for the first post. If you haven’t purchased the Blooming Wallflowers quilt pattern yet, now is a great time to grab it, along with 2 more of your faves.

Now it’s time to pack up more stuff!!