Christa Watson is one of our great individual members. She is very active on our Community site sharing projects, engaging with others, and spreading her knowledge. Christa is also one of 12 pattern designers chosen to design a quilt pattern just for MQG members! (This is a new benefit just released to our members yesterday.) Join us in celebrating her talents and skills!
Tell us a bit about your self.
I live in Las Vegas with my hubby and 3 kids. Although I’ve called myself a quilter for nearly 20 years, I feel like I’ve just started! The modern movement has rekindled my excitement for the art of quilting and has helped me re-focus and finally find my niche.
Charming Chevrons, my first “modern quilt” and my entry into QuiltCon. It was later awarded a ribbon in my traditional guild’s quilt show for their modern category.
When did you become a MQG member? Do you belong to a guild or are you an individual member?
I joined my local group, the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild, in February as soon as I returned home from QuiltCon. Once I realized how amazing it was to connect with other modern quilters in person, I sought them out as soon as I could. While they are currently debating joining the MQG, I decided to sign up as an individual member so that I wouldn’t miss out on any of the fun!
String of Pearls, one of my blog Quilt Alongs. It was awarded an honorable mention for “Machine Quilting the Modern Way” at MQX Pacific Northwest in October.
When did you first find modern quilting?
I first discovered the modern movement several years ago when browsing online looking for ideas on how to promote some Amy Butler fabrics I was selling in my store. For some weird reason, I had it in my mind that hip, swanky sewers were only into making totes, clothing and accessories (which I love to use but don’t enjoy making myself). I didn’t realize at the time that they were quilters, too, so I quickly put it out of my mind (much to my regret now).
It wasn’t until years later with the announcement of QuiltCon that I finally started paying attention to Modern Quilting. Not knowing a soul, I immediately signed up to go, knowing it would somehow all work out. That’s probably the best decision I made because while there, I met so many like minds that are now dear friends. I also made several important industry connections that are starting to open up additional career opportunities for me.
Colorful Chevrons, (a larger remake of Charming Chevrons), which appeared on the November cover of Quilty Magazine.
What is your favorite part of the quilt making process?
Hands-down, my favorite part making a quilt is the machine quilting. I love the texture that quilting adds to the surface, and I enjoy the freedom of quilting organic looking, modern designs without marking.
In fact, one of the things I love most about the modern quilting movement is the renewed emphasis on making an entire quilt from start to finish! No matter our skill levels, we can all make something both beautiful and functional with our own hands.
Free Motion Quilting Modern Trees, my latest blog Quilt Along.
How do you educate yourself on new techniques?
I read as many quilting magazines and books as I can, take as many classes as I have time for, (both in person and online), and follow as many blogs as possible. Everyone has something unique to share and I love the feeling of community I get when associating with like-minded souls.
Where do you find inspiration?
I’m drawn to simple geometric shapes with clean lines. I love the possibilities of how they can be re-combined to create new graphic images with bright colors in bold forms. Whenever I get an idea in my head, I quickly sketch it out it EQ7 and start playing around with all of the possibilities. Before I know it, I have a plethora of designs that I’ll probably never get around to making!
Computerized sketch of an optical illusion quilt I designed, based on a game found on the back of a kids’ menu at a restaurant. I hope to make this quilt… someday!
What is your most used and favorite quilting tool?
My most important tool is my drop-in sewing table. It allows me enough room to spread out my quilts and go to town with the machine quilting. The window I sew under lets in lots of natural light during the afternoon which is my favorite time to sew.
My drop-in sewing table. I’ve had it for about 15 years and it accommodates whatever machine I’m using at the time.
What is the funniest mistake you’ve made while sewing?
I can’t think of a funny story to share but I can think of a painful one – I’ve free-motion quilted through my finger before when I wasn’t paying attention. Ouch! I’m not repeating that mistake, that’s for sure!
Show us your sewing space!
I sew in our upstairs loft area. It’s a nice big open room with plenty of floor space to set up basting tables and my oversized ironing board. The wooden railings are the perfect place to display my quilt tops that are waiting to be quilted.
Overview of my sewing room in action. That’s my daughter’s sewing desk under the smaller window.
At the end of the day, I like having everything put away, behind closed doors and tucked into corners. If there’s too much visual clutter, it really stresses me out. I guess that’s why I love negative space in quilts so much, too. It gives the eyes a place to rest.
Everything put away and tidied up.
What sewing machine do you sew on?
I recently upgraded to a Bernina 710 which has about 3.5 more inches of throat space than my older machine. It’s wonderful for free-motion quilting! I also enjoy using my singer featherweight for piecing when I take classes or go to retreats.
If you could take a class from anyone in the quilting world who would it be?
Angela Walters – I got to fulfill that wish earlier in the year when I took her machine quilting class at QuiltCon. Another on my list is Jacquie Gering, from whom I’m going to take a class at Road to California in January. I’d also enjoy learning from Alissa Haight Carlton. I love her minimalist aesthetic.
Angela Walters scrunched down so as to not make me appear so short!
Modern Trees was part of a quilt along series I host on my blog where I write step by step tutorials on how to make a complete quilt from start to finish.
Machine quilting is my passion and this quilt allowed me to have lots of fun quilting all that negative space!
Stay up to date with Christa:
Blog: Christa Quilts Blog
Flickr: Christas Quilt Along
Store: Christa Quilts