October 09, 2018

Everything Colorful

I realize it's been a while since I blogged. When it's summer how can you do anything but, well, summer? It was a great season for my family, lots of journeying and playing together but we are settling into the routines of school and fall without much fuss at all. 

The joyous colors of summer are still with me, though, so it's time to share some photos! In no particular order: 

I have a book coming out early next year! Step-by-Step Texture Quilting

It's got all the stuff that I love teaching right now: how to get glorious texture from not-too-hard quilting, plus lots of grids! It's available right now for preorder. I'll also probably take preorders here on the website once we get closer to the release date, if you're in the market for a signed copy. 

Next in the color line up: zip pouches ("Eco Pouches", because they're made from recycled plastic sacks), with my quilts on them!

C&T Publishing just made my year by putting two quilts from my book Wedge Quilt Workshop on these gifty bags. Quilters at my in-person classes have been loving them. I'm already out of my first order and need more! What's so delightful to me is that earlier this year I asked you all to vote on which quilts were your favorite, and the two quilts that C&T picked for the bags were the very same ones that you, my readers, voted as your favorite. You all are on the same scrappy happy colorful wavelength!  The pouches are for sale online at C&T, AQS and even Walmart (online only, don't head over there!!). I love that the little one says "hello gorgeous" on it, and every time you use that bag please know that's directly from me to you, gorgeous

And finally, I've been doing a lot of teaching this month. Here's a photo from my trip to Spokane to visit the Inland Northwest Modern Quilt Guild. I loved the color happening in this photo with everyone's different projects. It's so inspiring to see how each quilter takes the concepts in their own unique direction. 

I just looked ahead to my 2019 schedule. Next year is quite full with traveling for quilting, but I do have two spots left to offer: March 26-30 (Phoenix, Arizona area only) and Sept 6, 7 and 8, 2019 (anywhere!). If you think your quilt guild could use some free-motion or wedge love, send me an email and we can figure it out! Until next time, stay colorful!

May 24, 2018

Dreaming little dreams

The last 6 months felt like one big project after another. But at the beginning of April I turned in my next book, and for the past month I've been in creativity mode (where all good ideas are born). Creativity mode is a lot of playing with fabric, or sketching like crazy, thinking new thoughts and trying new things...

Here is some improvisationally cut foundation that's then improvisationally pieced and joined back together. I want to do this x1000. Big and over the top scrappy. This is my "fabric sketch". Right now I'm appliquéing the edges down but I bet with some practice I could do this all on the machine.

Spring is making the world bright and lovely. I've been thinking about fabric design and how I love shapes and color and so I made an entry into a recent Spoonflower challenge. It's gotten a lot of love over at Spoonflower which felt really good! I have plenty of sketches of other design ideas, it's just a matter of time at the computer to get the repeats and colors right.

Getting everything to fit just right is an interesting (sometimes frustrating and slow!) challenge. But I've enjoyed learning more. And it turns out the same skills are applicable elsewhere too: I was invited to turn some of my quilting designs into pantograph patterns! These are quilting designs that can be followed by long arm quilters manually or used digitally to finish quilts. I've made 5 so far, and hope to be able to show one on an actual quilt soon! (I don't own a long arm! Minor inconvenience...) If you have a long arm though, the designs are available through Willow Leaf Studio and I'd love to see what you quilt with them!

It's fun to see how much there is to show for the last couple of months from playing around and following my curiosity. I'm looking forward to exploring and experimenting a bit more before I dive into my next big project, whatever that ends up being! Are you trying new things right now too? Spring seems to be full of that kind of energy!


May 15, 2018

Star Lattice

For the record: I'm still in love with wedges. I'm having a geometry moment in my life right now I think. 

This quilt is made with a 10 degree ruler! It's pretty simple construction: just a Magic Triangle block with the triangle point and the outer wedges the same color. You can really do so much with that block!  This pattern is called Star Lattice. It's all written and it should be available after this week. More details here when I have them! 

I'd really like to do this quilt again all scrappy. That's a funny thing about writing patterns. I like improvising and using scraps, but the less systematic I am in my construction, the harder it is to write a pattern for another quilter to follow. I'd like to get better at including scrappy construction in my patterns. My nod to improvisation in this pattern is that I substituted 1/4 yard of the yellow solid for a nearly the same yellow print. I didn't even put that in the pattern instructions but you can see it in the close up. 

I quilted this quilt with the grid quilting technique I so love right now (GEOMETRY!!). I teach all about it in my Craftsy class, Quilting the Grid.  Oh, and do you see the facing on the back? I really didn't like any of the bindings I auditioned for the quilt and I just needed it done, so I jumped at a facing instead. I like the crisp edges and I also like that it was made with the extra backing fabric I trimmed away after quilting. I might do more of that in the future because it's so straightforward and resourceful. 

You can see the quilting better from the back, naturally. The play between the navy and the aqua is my favorite part of this quilt. It looks kind of sparkly. I feel like navy is making itself present in my color sense a lot these days. Am I the only one or is this a color trend thing? Happy stitching!


March 05, 2018

How to decide on a Wedge Quilting Ruler

Q: Christina, which wedge ruler should I get?
A: All of them!

Just kidding, I know we aren't made of money. So that's why I wrote this post!

You don't need a wedge ruler of course. But they sure are nice. All the quilts in my book Wedge Quilt Workshop can be made with just TWO wedge rulers:

The 9 degree ruler from Doheny Publications

And the 10 degree ruler from Phillips Fiber Art

I fell in love with these rulers one at a time. I started with the 9 degree ruler ruler and I think that's an excellent choice for anyone new to wedges. The nice thing about a 9 degree angle is that when you put 5 of them together you have 45 degrees. That is a magic number that can be easily squared up on the angled line on most of our cutting mats. So if you are new to wedges, this would be a great ruler to start with.

The 10 degree ruler ruler caught my eye when I started to get interested in the repeats that are possible. Because when you put 6 of these wedges together you get 60 degrees. And 60 degrees is a magic number for equilateral triangles, diamonds and hexagons. The possibilities! If you've ever seen my Magic Triangle Tutorial you'll know what I mean.

The repeats possible with a  9 degree ruler  are: 2, 4, 5, 8, 10
The repeats possible with a 10 degree ruler are: 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12

Still wondering? Here's my one question approach: Do you like to follow patterns? If so, the 9 degree ruler has 6 patterns in the book to make with it. Get the 9 degree and you'll have the most options. Like these!

However, most of the things you can do with a 9 degree you can also do with a 10 degree (except for the squaring up at 45 degrees thing.) So if you like going your own way, and you're not too worried about that squaring up thing, or if you just LOVE the 60 degree angle, then you'll probably be happier with the 10 degree ruler. The quilt below, from the book, was easy to make with the 10 degree ruler and extension.

If you're like me, you'll fall in love with one of these rulers, and then need the other one in your life too! Until then, if you don't have budget for a ruler you can use the printed templates in the back of the book to make the patterns using your regular quilting ruler.

Feel free to ask questions, I love sharing the wedge magic!

February 13, 2018

I heard you! Giveaway here on the blog!

Quilt #1: Hello Gorgeous

OK my lovely blog subscribers, a number of you entered my Facebook and Instagram giveaways but I also heard from some of you that you aren't on those sites and were feeling a little...left out! I can't have that, I like my blog to be a welcoming place, a happy place! So....one more giveaway? Problem solved!

Quilt #2: Good Night, Good Morning

Today I'm hosting a drawing for my new book Wedge Quilt Workshop and a 25" 9 degree Wedge Ruler from Doheny Publications. Marilyn Doheny generously offered this ruler for a giveaway to my readers! This ruler is great whether you want to make the quits in the book (6 of the patterns can be made with this ruler) or if you want to design your own quilts. This 9 degree ruler is the one I got started with and it's so fun to play around with. The packaging alone has SO MUCH info about working with wedges!

Quilt #3: The Three of Us

The rules (follow the rules so you can win!)
1) All entries must be on my blog post (that means you enter on my website. Replying to my emailed blog post doesn't count! Click the link!)
2) To enter, leave a comment telling me which quilt in this post is most your style (by name or number). I'm curious what speaks to you!
3) I will post anywhere in the world, so you can enter no matter where you live.
4) The giveaway will be open until February 17. I will choose a winner at random and email them for their address.

Quilt #4: Pop Art

I'm busy getting ready for a week away at QuiltCon. I'll be teaching 5 classes there, lots of work that doesn't feel like work at all! Really looking forward to connecting with far flung quilt folk and soaking up some sunshine. The first buds are on the magnolias and the Daphne is blooming on my front porch, I'm so invigorated that spring is on the way!

UPDATE: Comments are now closed and a winner has been drawn by random number generator, and it's Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting! Thank you for the entries everyone!

February 01, 2018

Your Free-Motion Weekend

It's winter. We all need our vitamin D. And how about your vitamin FMQ? Are you getting your recommended daily allowance? As your quilty health care provider I'd like to remind you that almost everyone tests low on FMQ intake, so I'm going to prescribe you a little free-motion quilting video therapy.

In all seriousness, Craftsy has launched a new option for online learning. It's called Craftsy Unlimited and it means you can watch as many Craftsy classes as you want! And everyone can try it out FREE with a 7 day free trial. (this is my affiliate link). So which free-motion class will you start with? 

Craftsy tells me how many minutes are being watched of my classes on their Unlimited service, so I can tell you that the far and away winner is my newest class, Quilting the Grid. This class has a lot of sweet reviews (thank you!). People are really liking how easy it is to use the free motion foot inside the walking foot grid!

After that it's a tie between Free-Motion Quilting Essentials (best for absolute beginners)

and The Secrets of Free Motion Quilting (for people who want to learn lots of new designs)

Coming in last is Wild Quilting. I know, it looks intimidating. That's why I made the class, so it wouldn't be intimidating anymore!

So if your weekend has some spare time in it, go ahead and start your 7 day free trial! Using this affiliate link to sign up helps me and you too. Get your recommended daily allowance of FMQ! And please say hi in the class, I'd love to hear from you. Happy stitching!

January 16, 2018

More giveaways: The Creative Grids 10 degree ruler!

This has been a great week! I got to send off two copies of my book Wedge Quilt Workshop to lucky winners.  On Thursday I'll be sharing my book, the quilts and the rulers at my home guild, the Portland Modern Quilt Guild.  and now I've got more great rulers to give away along with book copies! I just want you all trying wedges so much I can't stop giving the book away. Well, I can, I guess, because I'm probably gonna run out of books on Thursday! I'll make sure to set these two aside.

That blue quilt at the top of this post? It's so easy to make! The book includes a full size pattern for the wedge shape. Even better than using the paper pattern would be if you have this awesome new 10 degree ruler from Creative Grids! You know that great grippy texture on the bottom of their rulers? I've never appreciated it more than I have on this ruler. Wedge rulers tend to twist as you cut due to their shape, the grip texture stops all that. What I also appreciate about this ruler is that it goes narrower than most other wedge rulers, so it has a lot of design potential if you want to try some of the other ideas in the book your own way.

Because Creative Grids generously gave me two of this ruler I'm giving away one on Instagram, and one on Facebook. Head on over to like and follow me to get your chance! Happy stitching!

January 04, 2018

Giveaways going on now!

Would you like to win a signed copy of my new book? And how about a fancy new wedge ruler? I guess I'm not quite done going to the post office, because I can't wait to send these prizes to my two winners!

That's right: TWO! I have two Wedge Quilt Workshop giveaways going on right now: one on Instagram and one on Facebook!

These giveaways are co-hosted by Phillips Fiber Art. Each giveaway includes a Ten Degree Wedge Tool. These quilting rulers are designed by fellow wedge lover Cheryl Phillips, who has taught me so much about working with wedges and been incredibly supportive of my drive to share more about how to work with this versatile shape. If you're looking for a wedge to make the 10 degree quilts in my book, Cheryl's tools will do the trick!

Entries for the giveaways will be open until Monday. Enter for yourself (or a friend, if you already have a copy!) by clicking on over to Instagram and/or Facebook. Entry is super simple: follow me and like the post. That's it!

If you're thinking you might be interested in playing with wedges but not feeling certain about which wedge ruler to get, I'll have some posts coming up with my thoughts on that in the next week or two. For now, enter the giveaways and maybe luck will pick your wedge ruler for you!

January 02, 2018

Wedge Quilt Workshop is here!

It's here! Wedge Quilt Workshop is shipping to happy quilters everywhere!

Those who preordered from the USA should get it in the mail today if you haven't already!

I'm delighted that more quilters who like this shape can start using it. Did I already mention you don't have to have a wedge ruler? I made sure to mention it in my "trailer": here's that video including quilts you haven't seen yet...

And you can see a flip-through of the book over on my Instagram or Facebook page! To celebrate I have some wedge ruler giveaways coming THIS WEEK and you'll want to follow me on those channels to participate! 

Those of you who have seen the book, I can't wait to hear what you think. For all the encouraging words sent my way already, thank you! I'm getting a little better about this process of publishing, about trusting that I've done my work and it deserves to be out in the world. But it always feels a bit tender and vulnerable to release something so big and so personal for public consumption, so finding a joyful reception for this new project is quite comforting.

Thanks to Brenda who asked below about e-books for this book. The ebook is available now at C & T Publishing's website and I think it will also be available on Amazon on the "release" date of January 7th!

Happy new year and happy stitching everyone!