Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Piece and Quilt With Precuts by Christa Watson

Christa Watson is back with 11 quilt patterns using precuts and 18 machine quilting designs that will help quilters master the art of machine quilting.
Christa is the author of two books on machine quilting, Machine Quilting with Style and The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting. 

Her new book Piece and Quilt with Precuts will ensure 'start to finish success'.

Christa likes precuts because they make the construction of the quilt top quick and easy so she can focus on her favorite part, the machine quilting.  Precuts are available from fabric companies in 5" or 10" squares, strips, and in fat eighths (9" x 21") and fat quarters (18" x 21").

Quilters have been told to prewash fabric to remove excess dye and to preshrink. Precuts will ravel and warp if pre-washed, so Christa washes her quilt after completion, using Shout Color Catchers.

The key to successful scrap quilts is contrast. Neutral backgrounds are usually white, off-white, or black but you can use color as well. Sometimes using the back side of a fabric will give you the color needed.

She offers tips for organization, chain piecing, pressing, basting, thread choice, sewing machines, and how to choose quilt designs. Then she includes step-by-step instructions on the general process of machine quilting. Every pattern includes loads of illustrations.

The first quilt projects use machine walking foot quilting. Then she offers projects using free-motion designs to inspire confidence. Then quilters can graduate to combining the two techniques.

"...remember that finished is better than perfect!" Christa reminds us.

Here are some of my favorite projects in the book.

The first project is easy but has a lot of visual interest and motion, using a traditional block in a scrappy look. Squiggles is quilted with a walking foot but one moves the quilt under the foot to create undulating lines.
Squiggles, 50"  63 1/2" uses two Charm Packs
The super-easy Frequency is structured and modern. It uses 2 1/2" strip packs and is quilted in a zig-zag pattern.
Frequency, 54 1/2" x 54 1/2"
The first free motion quilting project is Starstruck, a traditional pattern given a modern look with a neutral, high contrast palette in grays, black, and white. I loved her hint on how not to lose the star points! Christa used fat quarters and a 'loop and stars' quilting pattern.
Starstruck, 54 1/2" x 78 1/2"
Dot 'N' Dash uses 2 2/1" strips in another super easy pattern with a real modern vibe. Christa used the walking foot to 'stitch in the ditch' and then free motion quilted. She also offers a hint for making a scrappy binding.
Dot 'N' Dash, 60 1/2" x 72 1/2" 
Arrows is another modern quilt using fat quarters and fat eighths. She includes detailed layout patterns for the fabrics so there is little waste. The construction is beautifully illustrated, a big help for this trickier pattern. She also shows how to use specialty triangle rulers. The quilting is free motion "arrows" and quilt in the ditch.
Arrows, 78 1/2" x 84 1/2"
Spools is a modern update on a traditional pattern that offers a great use for scraps! She used fat quarters, strips, and squares. Christa shows how to construct the 'crazy quilt' pieces that are cut into shape. She used both stitch in the ditch and free motion quilting.
Spools, 44 1/2" x 44 1/2"
I'm getting ready to learn machine quilting; after 26 years of hand quilting, my stitches are not what they used to be. This is a great book to inspire me!

I received a free ebook from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Piece and Quilt with Precuts
by Christa Watson
ISBN: 9781604688702

Learn easy, efficient tricks for piecing irresistible quilt tops with precuts and leftover fabric scraps, and discover 18 machine-quilting motifs you can mix and match. Award-winning quilter and designer Christa Watson guides you through 11 skill-building projects with quilting designs in three categories: walking-foot, free-motion, and a combination of the two techniques. Christa is here to help you start and finish strong! from the publisher

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