The Making of Surplus Strips Part 2 – The Quilt Top and Basting

As I prepare for International Quilt Market, which is an industry trade show held this spring in Portland, Oregon (May 18-20), I’m sewing like a madwoman, finishing up samples to promote my new quilt patterns and Fandangle fabric line. I’m currently working on two versions of my Surplus Strips Quilt Pattern – in warm and cool colors. Click here to read my previous post about making the blocks.

Color Arrangement

Surplus Strips Blocks in Cool Fandangle

Arranging tiny blocks was much faster than using my design wall!

Although I designed both colorways in EQ8, I didn’t finalize the exact color placement for each block. Instead, I did something very low tech. I printed out a version of the quilt with the same number of blocks that I made and then cut out all of the tiny paper blocks to arrange on my work table. It actually went a lot faster than putting up the blocks on my design wall and arranging them there.

Surplus Strips Paper Blocks - Warm Fandangle

I like being able to rearrange the blocks until I’m happy with their color placement.
These paper blocks are only about 1″ wide!

Once I was happy with the color arrangement, I printed out the final layout in color, and organized the blocks on my work table by color. In other words, the printed out layout served as a “virtual” design wall that takes up a lot less space!

Surplus Strips Blocks Fandangle Warm Colorway

I printed out the layout in EQ8 which serves as my “virtual” design wall.

It was super fast to sew the blocks into rows using my printed out layout as a guideline. This quilt goes together in vertical columns, rather than horizontal rows, so I just had to make sure I kept everything in the correct orientation as I sewed.

Surplus Strips blocks Fandangle Fabric warm colorway

I sewed the blocks and sashing in order according to my printed out layout.

Pressing Seams Open

I used this process for both the warm and cool colorway, and it went super fast! Pressing all of my seams open really helped the quilt top lie flat when I gave it a final press. It also made it soooo much easier to line up the seams accurately! Because there’s no nesting, it’s important to pin generously while joining the blocks and rows. But I actually get better results and perfect seam joins when I press seams open & use pins, so it’s worth it to take the extra time.

Seams Pressed Open - Cool Colorway, Fandangle Fabric, Surplus Strips Quilt

Seams pressed open ensures a nice flat top, with no lumps and bumps!

When pressing seams open, be sure to use a shorter stitch length (like 2 instead of 2.5) to secure the seams. A shorter stitch also makes it less likely that you’ll see thread poking through the seams, too!

Bonus Measuring Tip

Measuring long borders

Use a ruler to extend the cutting length on your mat for long borders: place the folded end on the ruler, and cut on the mat. If I needed more length, I’d rotate the ruler longways.

Here’s a bonus tip when working with borders that are longer than your mat. When cutting, I fold the border fabric in half and use an “extend a ruler” – my phrase for extending the cutting length by using a ruler, lined up at the edge of the mat. I’ll use as many extra inches as needed to get a nice precise measurement when cutting. Just divide the needed length in half and count over that many inches on the extension ruler and mat.

More Pressing

Press the quilt on both sides

Speaking of pressing, once the quilt top is finished, I give it a final press on the front, too. It seems to make the quilt nice, flat and crisp, so it’s ready to baste! Whenever I press anything on my quilt, I always use a dry iron. I don’t like steam because it can burn your fingers and distort the fabric. Also, if the iron leaks or spits, you can get a nasty mess! If I need a bit of water for an unruly seam, I’ll just use a spray bottle filled with water instead.

Virtual Home and Studio Tour

Surplus Strips Quilt Tops Warm and Cool

Look closely and you can see 2 quilt tops waiting underneath the warm colorway. Plus there’s some yardage of Fandangle peeking out underneath the cool colorway.

When my quilt top(s) are finished and pressed, I hang them over the stair railing on the upper floor of my home so they don’t get wrinkled. Upstairs is my husband’s office, my daughter’s room, our bedroom and my sewing loft. Downstairs is my son’s room, work area for The Precut Store, living room, dining area, and kitchen. It’s a comfy home and we use every square foot!!

Here’s an image of my studio space, across from the stair railing where I hang my quilts in progress. This picture was taken back in 2014 for a magazine profile. It’s pretty much still the same!

Christa's Sewing Room

Image of my sewing studio 2014 – with 3 quilt tops that are still unfinished LOL!!

Our backyard is just off the kitchen downstairs, and is where I keep a plastic table set up on the patio for spray basting. I don’t spend nearly enough time in my yard as I do my sewing room, so it needs a little work, LOL!!

Spray Basting

Basting Outside

Click here for my spray basting tutorial using a design wall.
Click here for my spray basting tutorial using a table.

Once the backing and top are sprayed outside, I then bring them inside and assemble them on my design wall indoors.

Surplus Strips Batting

Take a picture of the batting with the quilt, and take note of what you like/don’t like.
I’m using Hobbs cotton batting for the cool colorway.

To keep track of which batting I use, I take a picture of the batting with the quilt top so I can remember. For these quilts, I used Hobbs cotton for the cool colorway and Hobbs silk for the warm. I used those particular battings because they are what I had on hand and didn’t have time to order anything else, LOL!!

But I love using natural fiber battings like cotton, wool, or silk because they cling to the quilt, provide good stitch definition, and allow the quilt to breathe and hang well.

Surplus Strips Warm Colorway backing

I’m using Hobbs Silk batting for the warm colorway.

Although the quilt pattern calls for all of one fabric for the backing, I had fun and made some bonus blocks with some of the leftover strips. Because I only have a limited amount of Fandangle yardage right now, I got creative with my piecing and used three different warm prints instead.

Surplus Strips Warm basting

Click here for a tutorial on how I made my design wall – back in 2013.

I like to make sure I have several inches of extra batting and backing beyond the quilt top. That way I don’t have to line things up perfectly, and the extra will get cut off when it’s time to bind.

Once it’s basted, I’ll trim down the backing and batting so that there’s only 1-2 inches sticking out. This prevents them from flipping backwards under the quilt, causing you to accidentally stitch through them while quilting. Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s done that!!

Pressing the Quilt After Basting

Notice how closely I trimmed the layers, with only about an inch or two of batting/backing sticking out beyond the quilt top. This prevents quilting the quilt to itself!

The final step is to press the quilt – yet again!! After it’s basted, I’ll press the quilt, first on the back, and then again on the front. This helps set the glue so the layers don’t shift. But more importantly, it allows me to work out any creases or bubbles on either side of the quilt. One the quilt is nice and flat, it’s sooo much easier to machine quilt!

Surplus Strips Quilt Pattern by Christa WatsonClick here to preorder the Surplus Strips quilt pattern – print version.
Click here to preorder Fandangle fabric bundles + background.

I hope you are enjoying seeing my progress as I make these quilts. Once they’re finished and photographed, I’ll release the patterns in both PDF and print. For now, you can pre-order the print version over at Shop.ChristaQuilts.com along with fabric to make them. (FYI the Fandangle 1/2 yard bundle + 5 yards of gray will be enough to make either quilt top.)

Now it’s time to quilt them – so stay tuned for part 3!!

The Making of Surplus Strips Part 1 – the Blocks

I sure have enjoyed documenting more of my real-time progress as I create quilts to help promote my patterns, books and fabric. It’s so much more enjoyable to write about my process as I go, rather than trying to recapture the excitement months later!

Surplus Strips Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson

Click here to pre-order my Surplus Strips Quilt Pattern.

I’m currently making two versions of Surplus Strips – both in warm and cool colorways of my newest fabric line, Fandangle, which will be shown at Spring Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon, May 18-20. The pattern cover art above is shown using my digitally created images from EQ8 as a placeholder until the quilts are finished and photographed.

Once that’s done, I’ll send it off to the printer and release a PDF pattern, too. For now, you are welcome to preorder the print version which will ship on or before June 1, 2018.

Fandangle Fabrics Cool Colorway

Fandangle Fabric in the Cool Colorway

Although my timeline is tight, I’m still going through the regular process I use to create a well-made quilt. I like to prewash and starch all of my fabrics for two reasons: (1) it gets rid of the excess dye so there’s no chance of bleeding or ruining the quilt and (2) the starch makes the fabric stiffer so there’s less stretch while piecing.

My number 1 starching tip is to spray starch on one side of the fabric, then flip it over and iron the other side. Then repeat – starch the side you just ironed, flip it over again and press from the other side. The prevents the iron from burning the starch so you don’t get flakes! Starching and pressing both sides makes the fabric more crisp so it’s easier to work with. Also – I just use cheap starch from the grocery store and I’ve never had a problem with it.

Fandangle Fabrics Warm Colorway

Fandangle Fabric in the Warm Colorway

My Surplus Strips pattern is written for either precut 2 1/2″ strips or yardage. You can go super scrappy with a single jellyroll + background, or do a color blocked quilt like I’m doing. For yardage, It takes about 1/3 yard of 9 different fabrics plus 4 3/4 yards background + binding.

Surplus Strips Quilt Warm Colorway of Fandangle

I like stacking my pieces so they look pretty!

I paired up the darker gray confetti crosshatch print with the warm colorway of Fandangle, and the lighter gray with the cool colorway. If you are interested in using the same fabrics as me, you can preorder 1/2 yard bundles of Fandangle + 5 yards of either gray and you’ll be set, with a little leftover fabric.

Seams Pressed Open

Pressing seams open ensures flat blocks, and a flat quilt top.

I started cutting out the fabrics for both quilts while I was away on my last teaching trip. When I returned home, I finished cutting all of the pieces for the warm colorway and made all of the blocks in about two days. I used a shorter stitch length for piecing (1.8 instead of the default 2.0) and pressed all of my seams open (with a dry iron, no steam). This will allow the blocks to lie flat for domestic machine quilting.

Surplus Strips Quilt Block Warm Colorway of Fandangle

Surplus Strips Blocks in the Warm Colorway of Fandangle

After piecing the blocks in the warm colorway, I jumped into making the blocks in the cool colorway. I like making two quilts at a time, so I can assembly line the process as much as possible.

Surplus Strips Fandangle Fabric Cool

Units are cut and stacked and ready to sew!

Here are a couple more piecing tips that make the blocks go together smoothly and stay square: when sewing, I pieced with the gray units on top to ensure that I switched sewing directions each time I joined the units. When you join two seams in opposite directions, it helps prevent block distortion. It’s not a huge deal on smaller units, but if you are sewing long strips together, it can be more noticeable.

Lining up block seams

Step 1 for proper alignment – match up the fabric seams.

Also, in order to get the top and bottom of each plus block to line up correctly, I placed the top unit right sides together on top of the partially sewn block to see exactly where things needed to line up to keep the seams in alignment. The pressed open seams really help me see this part.

Aligning units for quilt blocks

Step 2 for proper alignment – fold back to make sure lines are straight.

Then, I folded it back up partially to make sure it’s in the proper position before sewing. I didn’t actually need to use any pins because the blocks were small enough and I used my fingers to keep the edges lined up at all times.

Surplus Strips Blocks Fandangle Fabric cool colorway

Click here to preorder bundles of Fandangle fabric by colorway + background fabric.
Click here to preorder the Surplus Strips quilt Pattern.

The blocks went together even faster this time around and I love the color distribution! Now it’s time to sew the blocks together and finish up the quilt top. I’ll make both tops and then have a little basting party to make that chore a little less painful, lol!! I’ll be using my spray basting method that you can read about here (wall basting) or here (table basting).

Stay tuned for the next update!

My Pattern Writing Process and Sneak Peeks of Upcoming Quilt Patterns

In an effort to share more of what I’m working on in real time – and to answer to the question – how do I get it all done?? – I’m excited to let you know what I’ve been working on the last few weeks. I’m currently writing and editing the next round of quilt patterns that will be released along with my next fabric line, and I couldn’t be more excited!!

Pattern Writing in Process

I’ve been posing the question to my friends and social media followers, asking if they’d like me to share real time updates, or wait until everything is polished and ready for purchase. I got a resounding “share now!” as the answer which made me sooo happy! I have a hard time suppressing my excitement for what I’m currently working on and I feel like I can be more genuine when I’m sharing in real time.

I also just got word that my fabric samples should arrive some time in the next week or two so I can actually start sewing the designs you see above. I’m also excited to collaborate with my friend Heather Black on one of them because she has the most amazing design sense!!

Pearl Pendants by Heather Black and Christa Watson

Pearl Pendants pattern coming soon – click here to preorder.

So here’s a bit of my pattern writing process for those that are curious. First, I design the patterns in EQ8, using digital swatches of the fabrics I plan to use. Next, I write the instructions while I’m waiting for the fabrics to arrive.

While editing the patterns, I use digital images as placeholders for the pattern covers until the quilts are made and can be photographed. Then it’s very easy to swap out the digital images with the photography, without altering the pattern layout. I send the rough draft of the pattern to my graphic designer to lay out and make everything look pretty, and then a technical editor checks all the math to make sure I haven’t missed anything.

Sparkling Stars front Cover

Sparkling Stars pattern coming soon – click here to preorder.

Once the fabric arrives, I make the quilts following my own instructions so that I can pattern test and see if there are any steps I missed. While I’m making the quilts, digital images of the covers are sent off to the distributors (companies who sell patterns on a mass-scale to quilt shops) so they can get them in their system in time for shops to pre-order.

Once the quilts are finished, they are photographed and cover images swapped out with the real ones, and I do once last round of editing to make sure everything looks right. Then patterns are sent off to the printer for physical copies, and PDF downloads are uploaded to my Craftsy shop for sale.

Surplus Strips Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson

Surplus Strips pattern coming soon – click here to preorder.

As you can imagine, the timing is critical to make sure everything happens in the right order. My process is probably a bit different than pattern designers who aren’t working with a specific fabric line. But I like the challenge of making all the parts fit together.

You can see sneak peeks of the fabric line in the quilt pattern covers above, but I’ll be happy to tell you more about the fabric when my samples arrive in the next few weeks. Quilt shops will be able to order it later this spring, usually around quilt market in May – and I’ll be there in person showing off these quilts and more “in the cloth.” Then the fabric will arrive in shops around mid summer – sometime in June or July. I can’t wait!!

Newest Quilt Patterns Now in Print

I have fun news to share today. In between unpacking for one trip and getting ready for the next, I managed to get my latest two patterns printed for those of you who like working from a physical copy. To make it easier to buy them directly from me, I also set up a store at shop.christaquilts.com where you can pay with a credit card or paypal and I can ship anywhere in the world! I’ve also set a flat US shipping rate for the patterns so you only pay one small fee, no matter how many patterns you order. 🙂

Christa Quilts Patterns

Click here to order a printed pattern of Positive Direction or Stepping Stones.

In both quilt patterns I’ve included 4 sizes along with machine quilting suggestions. After all, I want to help you beyond “Quilt as Desired!”

Positive Direction Quilt Pattern by Christa Quilts

If you are a shop looking to order wholesale, please email me at christa@christaquilts.com and I’ll help you access the wholesale section of my site.

Stepping Stones by Christa Watson

Outdoor photography take by my husband Jason in the desert behind our home.

Click here to order any of the 6 print patterns I currently have in stock.
Now it’s time to go work on the next one!

New Pattern Release – Stepping Stones

After the success of my most recent pattern launch for Positive Direction, I’m back again with my second new release of the year. I’d like to introduce you to Stepping Stones, available as an instant PDF download through my Craftsy pattern shop.

Click here to purchase the print version of Stepping Stones.

Stepping Stones quilt pattern by Christa Watson of Christa QuiltsClick here to get Stepping Stones via PDF

Stepping Stones was originally patterned as “Easy Going” in Quilts and More magazine and available in one size only. Now I have expanded the pattern to include 4 sizes from Crib to Queen. It’s super fast to make and is perfect to use up that favorite fat quarter bundle you’ve been hoarding. Or bust your stash by cutting each block from 2 different fabrics!

Stepping Stones Quilt Pattern in 4 Sizes

Make Stepping Stones in 4 sizes: Crib, Throw, Twin or Queen!

Stepping Stones fabric requiremenets

Stepping Stones Fabric Requirements – It’s Fat Quarter Friendly!

I used Me + You Hoffman batiks which gives it a bit of a modern vibe. I chose cool colors of teals, blues, and greens with a bit of yellow and tan to create some warm pops of color. I used leftovers to make a whimsical scrappy binding.

Machine Quilting Boxes on Stepping Stones

I also include quilting suggestions so that you can quilt it the same way I did, if you are so inclined. I quilted Stepping Stones using one of my favorite geometric motifs – boxes. This quilting motif looks great on both modern and traditional quilts.

Machine Quilting Plan for Boxes

I love including quilting plans and machine quilting suggestions in my patterns!

Machine Quilting Detail

I used Aurifil 50 wt. 100% cotton thread from my Piece and Quilt Collection to make the quilt from start to finish. I’ve curated a rainbow of color that allows me to piece, quilt and bind any quilt I wish to make!

Stepping Stones Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson of Christa Quilts

Jason and I had a great time taking pics out in the desert behind our home. I enjoy making the quits, and he enjoys photographing them so you can really see the details!

The key to making this quilt sparkle is by choosing several very light fabrics for the skinny strips between the blocks. Then, when it comes to choosing colors for this quilt, anything goes!

Stepping Stones by Christa Watson

Click here to view my PDF pattern shop and stock up on your favorites!
Click here to purchase print versions of my patterns.

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New Pattern Release – Nested Pinwheel

One of my goals for the next year is to release a series of new quilt patterns that have I’ve been dying to complete. Over the last couple of years  I’ve written 4 print patterns, 7 PDF patterns, 2 books (with a third coming next fall), and created numerous quilts for magazines and compilation books. Now that the rights are beginning to revert back to me for the one-off publications, I can finally start releasing them on their own. It’s a big task to be sure, but one I’m looking forward to.

Without further ado, here’s the first of hopefully many patterns – Nested Pinwheel!

nested_pinhweels_finished_large

Nested Pinwheel designed and made by Christa Watson, 27″ x 27″

I originally created this design as part of a larger designer bundle of smaller projects. It finishes at 27″ x 27″, perfect to use as a mini quilt, table topper, wall-hanging, or newborn quilt. In the 2 page pattern, I’ve also included a diagram showing what it would look like if you wanted to create a larger, 4 block 54″ x 54″ size.

I’m experimenting with an idea I saw another blogger do recently. When I first release an individual quilt pattern I’ll offer it as a PDF only, for a super low price. This will allow early adopters to get the best deal, and it will help fund the printing process, if I choose to take it to print later. This will also help me gauge the interest of a particular pattern before I introduce it to the masses via the quilt shop distribution network.

photo-3

Right now I don’t have a set schedule for when I’ll release patterns, but the more often I do it, the easier the process will become. In every pattern, I’ll include some hints or tips on how I did the machine quilting, such as the photo above. After all, my goal with releasing patterns and teaching machine quilting is to help others finish their quilts quickly, and have fun doing it!

Click here to grab your copy of Nested Pinwheel, just $2.95 through the end of the month!

Share your progress while making this quilt, or anything else from my books and patterns in my Facebook group: Quilt with Christa. I’d love to see your progress, and offer support and encouragement while you create!

Work in Progress – Feathered Chevrons Quilt Top

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to share a work in progress quilt. I’ve been mostly working on behind the scenes projects for upcoming magazine and book projects. However, I’m excited to let you know that I’ve been working on a new quilt called Feathered Chevrons.

feathered chevrons

Feathered Chevrons Quilt top – 64″ x 80″ shown on my design wall

This is an updated version of my Charming Chevrons quilt which was my first modern quilt and published pattern. I’ve included the layout (shown as an EQ7 illustration) for Feathered Chevrons in the Charming Chevrons Pattern because I knew I would eventually get around to making it!

feathered_chevrons_precuts

I used 4 charm packs of my Christa Watson Palette of Kona Solids for Robert Kaufman, along with 4 charm packs of Kona Coal for this version. You could easily make it from a layer cake (ten square) pack of each fabric as well.

hsts

To make the triangle trimming process go more quickly, I used the quilt in a day triangle square up ruler. It allows you to trim up the triangles while they are still folded, and then press.

sewing_blocks

I enjoyed mindless chain piecing while sewing the blocks together, listening to audio books and quilting podcasts as I sewed. I try to assembly line the process as much as possible when working on my quilts: I trim all the blocks, do all the pressing and then all the sewing again. The hardest part is not getting distracted by other projects!!

batting

I used my design wall to help measure out the amount of batting I would need. I’m actually going to quilt this with a double layer of batting: 100% Cotton on the bottom layer to provide stability and drape, then Wool for the top layer (shown above) to add loft and really allow the machine quilting to pop.

In the next post, I’ll share my machine quilting process. I’m going to apply the principles of domestic machine quilting that I teach in both of my books. I use the same processes no matter how big the quilt is, or what the final design will be. 🙂

CharmingChevronsCover

Click her to purchase a print pattern of Charming Chevrons.
Click here to purchase a PDF pattern of Charming Chevrons pattern.

Pattern Writing Series – Hiring a Graphic Designer

I am enjoying being part of Cheryl Brickey’s Pattern Writing Blog Series over at Meadow Mist Designs. Today I wanted to include an extra post as part of the series, on the subject of hiring a graphic designer to help create patterns. In a nutshell, this is the one step that allowed me to make pattern design a reality rather than just a “someday” dream. I previously blogged about hiring Lindsie to do my branding redesign and now I consider her a very valuable member of my team!

patternwriting

To decide whether you want to enlist in the help of a graphic designer, ask yourself these two questions: How good are your graphic design skills? What is your time worth?

If you are comfortable with graphic design, and enjoy that aspect of pattern design, you may want to go ahead and do it yourself. Likewise, if you want to invest in the time it takes to learn or if you plan to do graphic design for others, it may be worth it to learn.

However, if you are like me and your time is limited, it may be more cost effective to hire that part out.  My graphic designer Lindsie can get done in an hour what I would struggle with for about 4-5 hours, and I can definitely say that her one hour rate is cheaper than my 5 hour rate! (Contact her if you are interested and she can work up a reasonable quote for you.)

DBLlogo2016In fact, here’s a rule of thumb for any aspect of your business – hire out what you don’t like or what someone else can do more efficiently, and save the work that only YOU can do, or that you WANT to do.

Here’s how it works: I send over a rough sketch of what I want, called a “transcript” and Lindsie sends back proofs. We may do several rounds of proofs until everything is just right, then I sign off on it and she sends me the finals, formatted per my printer’s specifications.

Since I’ve now been published in books and magazines as well as self-publishing my own patterns, I’ve learned the pattern process is basically the same: you create 3 separate “piles” – (1) a pile of words, (2) a pile of pictures, and (3) a pile of rough illustrations. Then the graphic designer magically pulls them all together into a beautiful finish!

book-editing

Proofing the first set of “piles” for my book Machine Quilting With Style

When I am working with a magazine or book publisher, they edit and publish the work in addition to the graphic design and layout. However, when I am producing my own patterns, I act as editor and publisher. The simplest way to show the graphic design and layout that Lindsie does for me is to show you a few examples of before and after pics.

Here’s the “before” of the very first pattern I designed, Charming Chevrons. With my non-existent graphic design skills, I simply copied and pasted the picture of the quilt onto a blank white piece of paper for the cover. It’s utilitarian but not very exciting, the fonts are boring, and there’s no branding to speak of.

original_cover

Here’s the cover that Lindsie designed for me which includes both versions of the quilt I’ve made. Notice the logo, fonts and colors all look great and work with the quilts. It’s much more dynamic and exciting to look at. When we finalized this first pattern, I literally had tears in my eyes!

CharmingChevronsCover

Graphic designers usually charge by the hour and it took about 10 hours for her to create the first pattern because we had to establish a template and a cohesive look. However, now that we know what we are doing, my current patterns only take her about 4-5 hours to knock out. It would probably be even quicker, except that I like to see more in-process drafts, and I tend to make a lot of changes as we go. It’s how I roll. 🙂

Here’s my draft of the back cover of Puzzle Box (my free quilt pattern). Notice that it’s very bare bones, with a few notes about formatting. I’ll send over drafts of the images I want to include as a separate file, and we use dropbox to share the files back and forth.

puzzlebox_transcript

Here’s the final, jazzed up version:

PuzzleBoxBackCover

Doesn’t this look so much nicer than what I did?? Worth. Every. Penny!

Here are a couple of pages from my Modern Logs pattern. For the piles of “rough” illustrations, I will either send over a jpeg I drew in EQ7, a chicken-scratch drawing on paper, or a photograph.  Lindsie works her magic, explodes diagrams when needed and generally pretties them up so what I envision in my head comes out perfect on paper! Again, notice the cohesive fonts and colors – all part of my branding!

page 2 proof

In addition to creating graphic design and layout for my patterns, Lindsie also helps me whenever I need a logo or any illustration. She recently created the image for my Facets Quilt Along from these instructions: use the photo of my quilt and put the words Facets Quilt Along on it. I liked the first image below, but told her it wasn’t quite right – I wanted to see more of the quilt.

FacetsQAL1

Below is the final image I am using, and it only took her 15 minutes to create both!

FacetsQALbig

I’m just barely scratching the surface with this topic, but I hope it’s enough to at least get your feet wet and to assure you that it is well worth the effort to hire the services of a professional, especially if that’s the only thing standing in your way.

Currently I have self-published 4 printed quilt patterns and 6 PDF’s. I have plans to do more, but I have a couple of book projects I need to finalize and get out of the way first!

Christa’s Quilts – Woven Ribbons

Woven Ribbons and is quickly and easily made from just two Kona Solids Skinny Strips. I used the 2014 Kona Colors and Black, but it would look fantastic in your favorite solids or prints.

woven ribbons

 

Woven Ribbons by Christa Watson, 45″ x 63″

I created Woven Ribbons to go along with my profile feature in Issue 9 of Make Modern Magazine. I wanted to create a modern design with a very minimalist, graphic feel that was easy to make from precuts.

photo3

I quilted wavy lines (seaweed) with switchbacks. These are two free-motion designs from my book Machine Quilting With Style. It’s fun to combine designs together in other quilts!

Although I love to quilt the heck out of my quilts, I prefer to choose designs that are simple to execute, don’t need marking, and do NOT require perfection to look great!

wavy lines quilting

Tip for quilting with bright colorful fabrics – use a variegated thread!

I quilt all of my quilts with Aurifil cotton thread and chose 50 weight black #2962 and 50 weight Marrekesh #3817 for this quilt. These colors allowed the design to shine, without overpowering the quilt. I used a cotton/poly batting in black since it’s such a dark quilt.

woven ribbons

I love how the black background causes the other colors to pop!

Woven Ribbons Stats

  • Made by Christa Watson; designed in EQ7
  • Finished size 45″ x 64″; completed November 2015
  • Pieced and quilted on my BERNINA 770
  • Materials: Kona Skinny Strips – 2014 Colors and Black; Hobbs 80/20 black batting
  • Aurifil Thread: 50 weight #3817 Marrekesh and #4241 Very Dark Grey
  • Quilting design – Seaweed (wavy lines) and Switchbacks (back and forth curves)
  • Received 3rd place ribbon in Modern, Small category at DQN 2016 Quilt Show.

3rd place modern

You can find Woven Ribbons, along with 14 other fabulous projects in the current issue of Make Modern Magazine. It’s a digital download which means you can save it on your computer forever!

issue9_cover

This is my second pattern with Make Modern, and I’m sure it won’t be my last!

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

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Thanks for your continued support!

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