Lanterns Quilt – My Contribution to Rock Solid

Have you seen the awesome new collaborative book from Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Robert Kaufman? It’s called Rock Solid, featuring 13 different quilt designs made from Kona Solids. My contribution, Lanterns, made the cover, so I thought it would be fun to tell you a little bit more about my quilt. But first, look at all that yummy solid goodness on the cover!

Rock Solid Cover

My quilt, Lanterns, was made from one roll-up (jelly roll) of my Christa Watson designer palette for Robert Kaufman, along with one roll-up of Kona coal. Aren’t they a smashing combination??

Lanterns by Christa Watson

I came up with the design while I was playing around in EQ7 (Electric Quilt software) on my Mac. I’m always designing and playing around with shapes and colors. I’ll usually start with a seed of an idea and then it branches off into a design on its own. The fun thing about my process is that I usually end up with at least 4-5 different variations in different stages of completion. Whenever I’m ready to finalize a new design, I start by looking through my “virtual sketchbook” first!

EQ7 design sketch for lanterns

As you can see, my virtual EQ7 sketch is very similar to the final quilt. Usually when I’m playing around, I’ll randomly color the quilt but I don’t worry about whether or not the colors end up in the exact same spot as designed. Just using the same swatches of color is good enough for me to get an idea of how the quilt will look.

Lanterns Quilt Path step 1

Step 1 – Stitch in the Ditch

When it’s time to plan out the quilting, I’ll print off the EQ7 sketch on paper and then start drawing possible quilting ideas. I know that you can actually draw quilting designs in the program, but it’s usually just faster and easier for me to draw it out by hand. 🙂

Lanterns Quilt Path step 2

Step 2 – Echo the Ditch

I usually make a quilting plan for each quilt I make because it’s much faster to draw out several ideas on paper, than try to dive into the quilt with no plan and then not like the results! I finally put a name to this process of  “finding your path” when my first Craftsy class came out earlier this year.

Lanterns Quilt Path step 3

Step 3 – quilt one design in the background between the blocks.

For the actual quilting I use another process I call “divide and conquer” where I break up the quilting into different segments and just attack one segment at a time. I teach this in my in-person workshops and I love seeing other students get it and start applying it to their own quilts!

Lanterns Quilt Path step 4

Step 4 – quilt a contrasting design in the blocks.

As you can see, my drawing lines are pretty wonky, but that’s okay – it’s the actual stitching that counts! Of course, I draw the designs on paper with contrasting ink so I can see them, but when I do the actual quilting, I use a blending 50 wt. Aurifil cotton thread. For this quilt I used just two thread colors – yellow for the blocks and gray for the background (both from my Piece and Quilt Collection).

Machine Quilting Detail from Lanterns by Christa Watson

Machine quilting detail – I can quilt better than I can draw!

I sure had a great time making my solid colored quilt.
Click here to see all of the quilts from the book and grab your copy!

Giveaway!! If you’d like to win an e-copy of this book, just leave me a comment letting me know if you’ve ever made a completely solid quilt before. If so – how did you like it? I’ll choose a random winner at 6 PM Pacific Time on Saturday, June 17th

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It’s Fabric Friday, Friends, and I am in Love with Solids

Can I just say I am in love with solids? When I first got into quilting nearly 2 decades ago, solid fabrics did not catch my eye. Sure, I appreciated Amish quilts in all their simplistic beauty and I loved the value of a good tone-one-tone blender; but I was not ready for solids – or maybe they just weren’t ready for me…

20140809_modern_solids_swatchAt any rate, I’ve fallen in love with them over the last few years, partly due to the fact that I love how quilting really shows up on them. Also, when working with solids, the design of the quilt is much more important and makes a much bigger impact.

So it’s no wonder that I jumped at the chance to carry the motherload of solid precuts: Denyse Schmidt’s Modern Solids bundle from Free Spirit. It’s a box full of 75 tantalizing solids in every color you could imagine!

20140809_modern_solidsI mean just look at all of these pretties!! I could seriously ditch my stash and work with only solids if given the chance… (but don’t worry – I have no plans to take such a drastic step!)

I only have a limited number of these boxes, since they are pretty hefty. But hopefully FreeSpirit will keep them around for awhile and maybe, if we are lucky, add to the collection as time goes by!

Click here to shop my entire line of solid precuts.

Are you a solids-lover like I am? Or do you prefer prints?

 

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!)

Quilty

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