Saturday, August 03, 2013

Quilting with Christa Smith, Owner of Cotton Berry Quilts

Professional Quilter and owner of Cotton Berry Quilts Christa Smith, took time away from her busy shop to show me the secrets to creating her perfectly designed and constructed quilts, something I have always wanted to know and do well. Now that I am nearly finished with one basic project, a baby quilt, I can see why what she has to offer is becoming increasingly popular. I can honestly say she's not charging enough now that I have seen her work and why it's so perfect compared to what is out there. You might consider snagging one of her quilts before prices go up.

I am absolutely amazed at the results of what she's taught me. There's no way I could have produced such straight seams, perfect corners, a square quilt top, once assembled, and tight neat boarders without all the secrets within her work flow.

Now, I have quilted before, but Christa knows quilting inside and out, she's no hobbyist, she's an artisan preserving the principles and detailed attention of professional craftsmanship. What she's taught me in these brief few hours I never discovered researching my quilt books, tutorials and such.

Years ago when started learning the craft, quilting was one of those things that I didn't intend to do unless I could do it excellently. (Unlike grammar, punctuation and doing my hair on most days) Hours of researching out the best tools, fabrics, and machine I set out to design a complicated quilt that was, well, far beyond my skill level, though in theory I am sure it was amazing. Inevitably I never finished it because honestly, I didn't know what Christa knows and it showed.

I didn't have to wonder, fret or spend any time deciding which fabrics to choose because we started out with one of her new pre-cut , pre-designed 5"x5" charm packs called, "Scrumptious" from Moda fabrics, a design by Bonnie & Camille. I spread them out too see what it had to offer and the variety was delightful, not a single block disappointed me. We added 7 more blocks from another design that matched really well so that I would have a total of 49 blocks which makes for a nice sized baby quilt.

And this is where the designer in me gets really excited. Layout, rearrange, until there's no competition between design weights, colors, and contrast. Ah, harmony. Not hard to achieve when using a collection that was meant to perfectly compliment each other. Just a note, my photos don't do justice to the beautiful colors in the design pack. Christa's shop maintains color accuracy if you want to see what each block will really look like in the completed project.

Here's one of her secrets, look at that foot. Pfaff makes a 1/4" quilting foot that produces perfect seams, no guess work, and no troublesome stretching, realigning, or the drudgery of seam ripping. 

Construction went by so fast, I was ready to start another before I was done. And how rewarding to have the fruits of my labor be worth the investment. Quilting with Christa was so easy, stress free and a real joy, knowing I could achieve a professional level of craftsmanship. And here we have it, one quilt nearly ready to snuggle a brand new baby.

Visit her shop to see some of the other masterful pieces she has to offer, and be sure to follow her on pintrest. Also, later on, I'll post the results of Christa's long arm quilting technique on this darling little charmer. Until then!

Recommended Resources:
OLFA 9891 RM-MG 24-Inch x 36-Inch Self-Healing Double-Sided Rotary Mat
OLFA 9654 RTY-2/DX 45mm Ergonomic Rotary Cutter
Omnigrid Ruler Value Pack 1, Package of Four
Cotton Berry Charm Packs - So many designs to choose from.

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