FriYAY Friends

FriYAY Friends: A Joint Interview with Angela Walters and Christa Watson

Angela's quilting on a piece for Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts

Angela's quilting on a piece for Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts

Good morning!

Surprise! I know I said there may not be a FriYAY Friends this week, but when I got these answers back, I just couldn't wait to share them with you! If you've been following along with the Machine Quilting Blog Hop, then you know that Angela Walters, Longarm Guru, and Christa Watson, Domestic Diva, co-authored The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting which teaches about techniques and motifs for working on both types of machines. I've already had the privilege of interviewing them separately, but now, as we approach the halfway point of the #MachineQuiltingBlogHop, here's a very quilty interview with both of these fabulous ladies

(above: Christa is on the left, and Angela is on the right)

1) (To Both) Whose idea was it to write the book/ how did the book come to be? What was your favorite part about writing this book?

Angela: Like Christa said, we were a match made in heaven. My favorite part of the book was seeing her versions of the quilts. It was fun to see how the same patterns could look so different with different fabric choices and quilting designs. 

Christa: Angela and I originally met at QuiltCon in 2013 and became instant friends, so when the publisher invited us to both be a part of this book, it was easy to say yes! I have to say my favorite part was collaborating with Angela because she was so easy to work with. I'm a little OCD and worry about all the nit-picky details. Angela is much more laid back than me, so our personalities really complimented each other. Whenever I wanted to make any changes or run any ideas by Angela, she quickly and easily agreed, so there were never any problems while working together. It was such a fun experience!

These echoed plumes of Angela's are definitely on my to-practice list!

These echoed plumes of Angela's are definitely on my to-practice list!

2) (To Angela from Vicki): How do you keep your quilting fresh for long time customers?

Angela: It's a hard thing to do! Especially when some of them send different versions of the same quilt....for instance, pattern designers. One main thing that I do is to use the same basic designs in different ways. For instance, quilting a basic straight line can look more complex when it creates a unique geometric design.

Christa's gorgeous wonky squares

Christa's gorgeous wonky squares

3) (To both from Kristin): What quilting trends have you observed over the years? Are there any motifs that used to be very popular that have all but vanished? 

Angela: Hmmm....good question! I would have to have the same answer as Christa. Meandering over a whole quilt used to be the go-to design, but more and more variations have become the norm.

Christa: I've really enjoyed watching the DIY trend take hold and it applies to quilting, too. People are becoming less afraid of doing it themselves when it comes to machine quilting and they are FINALLY realizing that it doesn't have to be perfect to be functional and beautiful! Stippling was super popular in the 90's when I started quilting. Lately it's been going by the wayside in exchange for other more fun modern motifs. But it's still a classic I like to use.

Christa's Positive Direction Quilt at Spring Quilt Market 2017

Christa's Positive Direction Quilt at Spring Quilt Market 2017

4) (To Christa): What tips do you have for minimizing the physical challenges of quilting a large quilt on a domestic machine? 

I use a process I call divide and conquer when dealing with a quilt on a domestic machine. First, I stitch in the ditch between the rows to anchor or secure it. Then I break down the rest of the quilting and only concentrate on one area of the quilt at a time. I remind my students while teaching that they only have to scrunch about 1/4 of the quilt under the machine at any time. The rest of the quilt can stick out a round the sides. And it's okay to stop and reposition the quilt a lot!!

Angela added stitching echoing around the "O" to add emphasis before adding background filler

Angela added stitching echoing around the "O" to add emphasis before adding background filler

5) (To Both): Other than practicing, what is the single thing that a beginner can do to "level up" his or her quilting? (i.e.: is there a finishing technique, etc that contributes to the appearance of the quilting but may not be directly quilting related)

Angela: Echo, echo, echo. I always say that echoing is a quilters best friend. It helps you move around an area, it helps hide mistakes and adds a elegant touch to motifs. 

Christa: Try to quilt to your abilities. In other words, if you are a beginner, don't start off trying to quilt feathers. Do something simpler like loops that it easier to get the hang of quickly. Then quilt the quilt to death! When you have a lot of texture on a quilt, no one notices the individual stitches or if they are even and regular. And if free-motion isn't your thing, there's a LOT of cool tricks you can do with the walking foot that are just as effective!

I've been quilting so much, that I have all the heart eyes for this bright collection of threads that Christa curated. 

I've been quilting so much, that I have all the heart eyes for this bright collection of threads that Christa curated. 

6) (To Both) Confession time: What quilting motif drives you up the wall? 

Angela: I have lots of friends that don't like feathers......I still love them, lol. I am not a fan of anything heart shaped. Probably because it is hard to get them to look symmetrical.

Christa: Angela may refuse to talk to me after writing this, but I just don't dig feathers, LOL!!! They are beautiful and I can quilt the heck out of them, but they just aren't my aesthetic. :-) I'm also not into super intricate motifs that have to be symmetrical or marked with stencils. I prefer irregular, assymetrical motifs so that I can hide the fact that that my quilting isn't perfect

More gorgeous squares and a yummy scrappy binding

More gorgeous squares and a yummy scrappy binding

7) (To Both) Write a pep talk for the folks who may join in on the upcoming blog hop. Extra points if it rhymes or gets silly. 

Angela: I'm trying to brainstorm a rhyme....I'll get back to you with this later.

Christa: I encourage everyone to dive in and give it a try. Don't get hung up on perfection and enjoy the process! If you don't like how it turns out, give it away because the recipient will think it's the best thing ever!

Angular straight lines next to organic wavy lines for textural contrast

Angular straight lines next to organic wavy lines for textural contrast

Thank you, ladies! You are both talented and generous with your talents and time! 

All of these gorgeous photos are from Angela's and Christa's Instagrams which you can find at @angelafmq and @christaquilts. To read the earlier interviews I've done with each of them, click here. You can find me on Instagram as well @stringandstory, where I post nearly daily pictures and videos of what I'm working on, and where I'd love to hear from you about what you're making. 

See you Monday!

HollyAnne

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