Sew and Tell – More Quilty Love and My Latest Feature Article

I wanted to share a little more Quilty magazine love today and give a little plug for my latest article in the hopes that you will check it out and pick up a copy for yourself!

The Quilty team did such a fantabulous job editing and presenting my latest feature article called “Digital Printing – an Evolution in Fabric.” It’s on pages 86-88 in the March/April 2014 issue. It was a fun topic to write about and I actually learned a lot in the process.

Quilty March 2014

Quilty March 2014

I think Quilty is one of the best quilting magazines ever. (No they are NOT paying me to say that, I just think it’s true.) Editor Mary Fons is super high energy – even more than me – and if you’ve never seen her live, be sure to check out her lecture from QuiltCon in 2013 to see what I mean.

QuiltyIt was super fun to pick out the pictures to along with the article, and I had a chance to interview several folks in the fabric industry who are the movers and shakers, so that was enlightening, too. Many fabric companies you recognize and buy from are represented in the article as well as a fantastic new-to-me company who burst onto the scene last year- Modern Yardage.

20140228_modernyardageIn the article, I basically talk about some of the history of the digital fabric industry and a few of the pros and cons – for sure more pros! It will be fun to see where this technology leads us and to see what kind of impact it makes on future quilt design.

Fabulous Fabric Reps!

Fabulous Fabric Reps – Elliot and Janet of JEH

I have to give a shout out to my fabulous Robert Kaufman sales reps for putting me in touch with many of the right people to interview for this article. It was serendipity when I was meeting with them one day and they happened to mention these new digital fabrics. I was like, “Hey I’m writing an article about that – tell me everything you know!” So it’s always fun to be in the right place at the right time, talking to the right people!

In case you missed it, you can read about my previous Quilty appearances here and here.

Quilty Article – January/February 2014

This year is getting off to a great start! The January/February issue of Quilty includes my first feature article. To see my name listed among these other amazing quilting celebrities is a little surreal to say the least. (I’m just glad they shared a decent picture of me!)

Quilty January 2014

Quilty January/February 2014 Issue

Quilty is one of my favorite magazines, so when Mary Fons asked me to write an article about online quilting classes I jumped at the chance! It was interesting to see how they took my words and edited it to fit their magazine style and voice.

Quilty Article by Christa Watson

I hope you get a chance to read it and let me know what you think. For anyone new to Quilty, you can subscribe to the magazine here and you can read more about my cover quilt from last month’s issue here.

For a girl who absolutely hated writing papers in college, I guess you can say I’ve come a long way. I just needed to find the right topic! πŸ™‚

I’m not at Quilt Market but my Chevron Quilt Is

I didn’t get a chance to attend Fall Quilt Market in Houston this weekend because I’m home judiciously revamping my sewing room. However, I just found out a little piece of me is there. πŸ™‚

Thanks so much to my BQF (best quilting friend) Stacy who snapped this picture of my Chevron Quilt while she was there and emailed it to me. (Can we say jealous?) I had no idea it would be on display so this is a pleasant surprise! I was kind of wondering when they’d mail it back to me after the issue was published, but now I’m completely happy to wait a few more days, knowing it’s getting a little more exposure.

Quilty Chevrons

Quilty Chevrons at Market

Seeing it paired up next to the blown up cover shot gives me a thought – is it ok to change the name of one’s quilt after it’s been “christened”? I originally named it Colorful Chevrons, but lately I’ve been referring to it as Quilty Chevrons in honor of the magazine, and to help me keep track of which chevron design I’m referring to.

I plan on entering this quilt into shows in the future and using it as teaching sample, so the name Quilty Chevrons is kind of growing on me. What do you think?

By the way, for those of you who are new to my blog, you can read more about the quilting of this quilt here, and enter my giveaway to win a free copy of the magazine here.

You can be sure I’m not missing market next time around, and you can quote me on that!

Quilt MarketUpdated – I have to give a big shout out to another of my BQF’s Denise, who talked the gals from the booth into sending me the poster sized cover shot. Won’t that look great in my new sewing room?!

Cover Girl!

I am over the moon about this. I am a cover girl. Well, really my quilt is, and it looks much better closely cropped than I do. πŸ™‚ My Chevrons quilt is on the cover of the Nov./Dec. 2013 issue of Quilty Magazine.

Quilty Cover

I was beside myself when the folks at Quilty accepted my submission many months ago. I set to work diligently cutting and piecing this labor of love and giving little hints whenever I could. I was thrilled that someone wanted to publish it. Not that I don’t take pride in my work. It’s just that seeing it in print is somehow a validation of everything I work for.

Quilting Practice I pieced it on my older Bernina 1630 and quilted it on my brand new Bernina 710 . (Buying a new machine mid-deadline can be a pretty stressful experience, LOL!)

I practiced on a bunch of scrap pieces before I was happy with the quilt design. I basted my quilt with lots of pins and anchored the rows by stitching in the ditch. I quilted straight lines about 1/4 away from the seams, using painter’s tape to help keep them straight.

SITDHere’s a closeup of the back after all the rows were quilted. This is technically enough quilting for this quilt, but since I tend to go a little crazy when it comes to machine quilting, I decided to add quite a bit more.

Chervrons BackI filled in all the Chevrons with straight lines using a blending thread. I added pebbles and echoed lines in the background, leaving some un-quilted areas to create a textural “relief”.

Chevrons DetailI was unsure how this would turn out, but once I flipped the quilt over to the back side, I was happy with how the texture was looking.

Chevrons BackingI’m still learning how to photograph my quilts so that the quilting can show, but it’s a work in progress. For some reason, I get better details when the quilt is flat on a table rather than a straight shot. I know it has something to do with the lighting.

Closeup QuiltingThe down side is that since I can’t get a straight on shot, you get to see my messy sewing room with ugly chairs, plastic bins, and cords sticking out everywhere, LOL!

Finished Chevrons

Chevrons Front

It took me several years to get the quilting part down. It may be several more before my photography skills catch up to my quilting skills. Be sure to pick up your copy of Quilty so you can see it professionally patterned, styled, and photographed. πŸ™‚

I almost forgot – I owe a huge thanks to the folks over at Micheal Miller who supplied their gorgeous Cotton Couture Solids to me to make this quilt. I simply adore solids!

Chevrons Back

Chevrons Back

Here’s a shot of the back. I’ve written up a separate tutorial on how to make your own colorful strippy backing here.

Favorite Tools – Happy Bernina Birthday To Me!

You don’t just turn 40 and let it idly pass you by! Although my birthday is not until later this summer, I got an early present last weekend. πŸ™‚

Christa's BerninaI love my new Bernina! It’s the model 710 and it has a whopping 10 inches of space to the right of the needle (compared to my old machine which is less than 7 inches). Look at the size difference of the two. It’s like mama sewing machine and baby sewing machine. πŸ™‚

Bernina Sizes

Big Mama vs. Baby Bernina

I’m just glad it still fits in my sewing table. All I need is a new insert and I’m good to go.

Bernina BobbinsThe funny thing is that the manual kept referring to it as a “sewing computer” rather than a “machine”. It’s a whopper! And check out the bobbin. It’s nearly twice as big – size really does matter. πŸ™‚

When the new bigger Berninas (8 series) first came out a few years ago, they were being offered for nearly the same price as a long-arm machine. So although my machine quilting was starting to take off, I knew I would need to stick with my trusty model 1630 (16 years old and counting) for a few more years.

But last week I just happened to be at the dealer getting a tune-up and they just happened to be having a great financing deal going on. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to afford any of the 8 series, I crossed off all the extras I could live without. No, I don’t need the BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator). No I don’t need a machine that’s too big for my table. No, I don’t need the embroidery capability.

Test Drive

My “Test Drive” Sample

I just wanted a good working machine with a bigger arm – and a larger bobbin would be nice, too.Β  Plus all the standard features of my old machine: snap on feet, needle up/down, knee lift, etc. Oh and the new automatic duel feed is nice too – no more clunky walking foot! The brand new 7 series, introduced just this year has all this at about half the cost of the original 8 series.

Bernina Boxes

Andrea Rolls Out My New Dream Machine

I’d been telling my hubby for awhile that I was ready for a new machine, but after taking an absence from quilting for awhile he said it needed to earn its keep. He suggested once I started entering quilt shows and earning awards again, we could justify the expense.

Wouldn’t you know – I just happened to win a viewer’s choice award in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival last month? It was a sewing miracle! So I earned my Bernina. πŸ™‚

Andrea, a fellow Vegas Modern Quilter works for Quiltique, my favorite local shop which also happens to be a Bernina dealer. (Andrea taught at the Riley Blake Fabric Fest so that’s pretty cool, too!) I laughed when she brought it out to me. It came in 2 boxes!

So you may ask, why Bernina? Simply put, because when I was first learning to quilt, mostΒ  of the award winning quilts I fell in love with were sewn and quilted on Berninas.

When I tried one for the first time nearly 20 years ago it was love at first stitch. Over the years I’ve tried different machines. I really even tried like long arm quilting too, but every time I tried one I just knew it wasn’t for me.

So I’ve been in heaven all week long as I’ve been quilting my project that will be featured in Quilty later this year. (Be sure to sign up for a Quilty Magazine Subscription here so you don’t miss it!) This is the back side so far. I can’t wait to show you the front!

Quilty Quilt

Hey Quilty! New Project Start with Cotton Couture Solids

I am so thrilled I could hardly keep this to myself!

This bundle of gorgeous Cotton Couture solids just arrived in the mail from Michael Miller. I am going to turn them into an original quilt which will be featured in an upcoming issue of Quilty magazine!

Michael Miller Couture Solids

Michael Miller Cotton Couture Solids

Have you seen Quilty yet? Edited by Mary Fons, it’s an amazing new magazine geared toward beginning contemporary and modern quilters which has quickly become one of my favorites. (Be sure to catch her fabulous QuiltCon lecture for free on Craftsy!)

Quilty May/June 2013Quilty Winter 2012Quilty March/April 2013

When I first met New Track Media publisher Kristi Loeffelholz at QuiltCon back in February, I immediately knew I wanted to work with them. While I’m chatting with Kristi, who walks up to us but none other than Mary Fons? So of course I quickly got a picture with my camera phone, even though it was pretty dark in the room. (Sorry for the fuzzy pics!)


Mary Fons, Christa Watson, Kristi Loeffelholz (New Track Media Publisher)

The next day at QuiltCon, I ran into Mary’s mom Marianne Fons checking out the quilts! We had a fun little conversation where I was able to tell her what an influence she and Liz Porter have been on my quilting over the years. Their book, The Quilter’s Complete Guide was the first quilting book I ever purchased way back in 1995!

Marianne Fons

Marianne Fons and Christa Watson at QuiltCon

Now, some 18 years later as I am ready to take my quilting to the next level, I think it’s wonderful kharma that it’s Marianne’s daughter’s magazine that will have my first published quilt. Hmmm, I wonder if it’s too late to be adopted into the Fons quilt mafia family???

Stay tuned for updates on this quilt!

Michael Miller Couture Solids

Michael Miller Cotton Couture Solids