Big blog hop! Piecing, quilting, and precuts (and a pincushion) + giveaway!

Piece and Quilt with PrecutsIt’s Martingale’s day on Christa Watson’s blog hop for her new book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts—welcome, everyone! I’m Karen Johnson, Martingale’s director of marketing. I’ll be your blog-hop host for today!

The thing I love most about Christa Watson’s new book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts, is that she gives you a quilt to make AND machine-quilting instructions for each quilt. None of this “quilt as desired” for Christa!

The quilting designs in the book are all very achievable, and Christa breaks them down for you: choose walking-foot quilting, free-motion quilting, or combine both kinds of quilting. You can easily mix and match any of the quilting designs on any of the 11 quilts in the book. Here are just a few of the beautiful quilts (and beautiful quilting):

I volunteered to sew a block from the Frequency quilt (click here to read more about Christa’s version of Frequency at her website). It’s an easy block that calls for 2½" strips, and I took the easy way in choosing fabrics—I picked a Jelly Roll from our office stash (pretty convenient, eh?).


First Crush by Sweetwater—so cute!


Ready, set . . . sew! Chain piecing made the job go fast.


After a bit of improvisational cutting and stitching, I laid out the strips to decide on placement. That’ll do!


Some trimming . . .


Ready for quilting!

Now, I’ve done my fair share of machine quilting, but I need to PRACTICE more! Yes, I shouted PRACTICE!

To get ready, I did something I rarely do—I changed my throat plate to a single-hole plate. I’m always concerned about using a single-hole plate because I’m sure I’m going to forget to switch things back and I’ll set my machine to a zigzag stitch and . . . oops! But lo and behold, my machine has a feature that allows me to lock it to straight stitching only. It’s mistake proof!

I chose a thread that would look good on all of the light and dark fabrics so I wouldn’t have to change threads partway through. Aurifil 2600 Dove looked like it would do the job nicely.

Since this was a small piece, 18″ square, I secured the layers with straight pins to prepare for stitching in the ditch. Did I mention I like shortcuts?

After stitching in the ditch, I removed the straight pins and chose the Squiggles walking-foot quilting pattern from Piece and Quilt with Precuts. I let the lines overlap to create interesting designs. The quilting was fun and oh-so easy!

Now for the scarier part: free-motion quilting. I haven’t done free-motion quilting for quite awhile, and I desperately needed to PRACTICE! But lazy girl that I am, I used this block to practice the Crazy Eights free-motion quilting pattern from the book. I thought it would be easy, and it was, after I got the feel for it.



I think you can see the results from the back a little better—not bad!

I won’t be entering any quilt shows next week, but I’m happy. I just need to do this more often to keep in PRACTICE!

This was so much fun, and I had lots of scraps leftover, so I couldn’t resist whipping together a cute little matching pincushion. The pattern isn’t in the book, but I followed the same basic instructions for improvisational cutting. Every block needs a matching pincushion, right?

Christa Watson booksToday we have an epic giveaway for you: eBook editions of ALL SEVEN Martingale books that Christa has either written or contributed to! They include:

Piece and Quilt with Precuts

The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

Machine Quilting with Style

Rock Solid

180 Doodle Quilting Designs

Block-Buster Quilts: I Love House Blocks

Block-Buster Quilts: I Love Churn Dashes

To enter the giveaway, tell us in the comments:

How often do you practice your machine quilting?

  • Every day!
  • At least once a week.
  • Every once in a while.
  • Um . . . nope. Not yet.

We’ll choose three random winners one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck! And remember, when you buy Piece and Quilt with Precuts at ShopMartingale.com, you can instantly download the eBook for free.

Have you missed any of the stops on Christa’s blog hop? You can still visit them—here’s the full schedule:

Friday, August 18
Kathy Bruckman blog: Kathy’s Kwilts and More
Instagram: @kathyskwiltsandmore

Kate Colleran blog: Seams Like a Dream
Instagram: @seamslikeadreamquilts

Sharon Parcel blog: Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Instagram: @punkydoodle53

Saturday, August 19
Sandy Maxfield blog: Sandy Star Designs
Instagram: @sandystardesigns

Joanne Harris blog: Quilts by Joanne
Instagram: @turtlequilterjo

Teresa Mairal-Barreu blog: Sewn Up
Instagram: @teresadownunder

Monday, August 21
Nancy Scott blog: Masterpiece Quilting
Instagram: @masterpiecequilting

Martingale blog: Stitch This!
Instagram: @martingaletpp

Lorinda Davis blog: Laurel Poppy & Pine
Instagram: @laurelpoppyandpine

Tuesday, August 22
Sherry Shish blog: Powered by Quilting
Instagram: @poweredbyquilting

Michelle Bartholomew blog: Michelle Bartholomew
Instagram: @michellebartholomew

Allison Dutton blog: Allison Sews
Instagram: @allisonsews

Wednesday, August 23
Lissa LaGreca blog: Lovingly Lissa
Instagram: @lovinglylissa

Sherri Noel blog: Rebecca Mae Designs
Instagram: @rebeccamaedesigns

Sandra Healy blog: Sandra Healy Designs
Instagram: @sandrahealydesigns

Thursday, August 24
Laura Piland blog: Slice of Pi Quilts
Instagram: @sliceofpiquilts

Cheryl Brickey blog: Meadow Mist Designs
Instagram: @meadowmistdesigns

Jen Frost blog: Faith and Fabric
Instagram: @faithandfabric

Friday, August 25
Jessee Maloney blog: Art School Dropout
Instagram: @jessee_artschooldropout

Jessica Caldwell blog: Desert Bloom Quilting
Instagram: @desertbloomquilting

Anjeanette Klinder blog: Anjeanette Klinder
Instagram: @anjeanetteklinder

Saturday, August 26
Terri Vanden Bosch blog: Meanderings Along Lizard Creek
Instagram: @lizardcreekquilter

Suzy Webster blog: Webster Quilt
Instagram: @websterquilt

Katie Joy Church blog: Wild Prairie Studio
Instagram: @katie_joyquilts

Monday, August 28
Pam Cobb blog: The Stitch TV Show
Instagram: @thestitchtvshow

Jen Rosin blog: A Dream and a Stitch:
Instagram: @adreamandastitch

Rashida Khanbhai blog: No. 3 Quilt Studio
Instagram: @no3quiltstudio

Tuesday, August 29
Lynn Kline blog: Monkey Needle
Instagram: @monkeyneedle

Kathy Bruckman blog: Kathy’s Kwilts and More
Instagram: @kathyskwiltsandmore

Wednesday, August 30
Jen Shaffer blog: Patterns by Jen
Instagram: @patternsbyjen

Sandra Starley blog: Textile Time Travels
Instagram: @textiletimetravels

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