Charisma Horton is a prolific designer. A longarmer by trade, Charisma got into quilt pattern design and hasn’t looked back! Associate Editor Anissa Arnold followed up with Charisma to learn more about her recent star quilt design for McCall’s Quick Quilts and to learn more of her story.
Hi, I am Charisma Horton.
I am new to pattern design, although I have been in the quilting business for 10 years as a longarm quilter. I have a passion for quilting as a hobby and business but I am most passionate about the quilting community.
I decided on a whim last summer to submit a design to The Quilting Company. You know how you hover the cursor over the send button, biting your lip, and doubting yourself? Yes, that was me. But I thought, “Now or never!” and I hit the send button. My quilt was accepted. I was over the moon excited!
“Marbles,” one of the quilts is featured in the McCall’s Quick Quilts April/May 2019 edition. This quilt is a personal favorite because it’s a classic star quilt. The stars and the colors are patriotic, and with the mix of fabrics and patterns it’s very comfortable and cozy. This could be used as a great design for a Quilts of Valor piece or a classic scrappy quilt; it’s a very versatile design.
What I love most about this particular design is the use of scale. The big star in the center is a great focal point. It’s a good way to display some fancy quilting in the background. As a longarm quilter, I love negative space. The smaller stars frame the focal point and gave me an opportunity to use several types of patterned fabric. I used plaids, stripes, florals, and dots. All of my favorite things! This line is called Oxford and it’s by Sweetwater for Moda. My personal preference is to always use a lot of patterns. That philosophy has also infiltrated my longarm quilting. If I have my choice, I will always mix several designs to create tons of textures and interest in a quilt, as I did with this quilt. There are several designs quilted into this quilt.
I like to mix it up with my quilt designs. I really like taking a traditional style, block, or pattern and putting a modern spin on it, or mixing up different elements in the same quilt. You just never know what kind of magic you can create when you throw out all of the rules and just use your imagination. I did that with my quilt design, “Cross Section,” which is featured in the Spring 2019 edition of Easy Quilts. This quilt is two traditional blocks but with the use of color and solid fabrics it looks more modern. The fact that it doesn’t have borders also fits into a more modern aesthetic.
You can see that in “Twinkle, Twinkle,” featured in McCall’s Quilting January/February 2019, that I created a design using traditional blocks. The blocks are set in an asymmetrical pattern and there is a lot of negative space. Be still my heart, negative space is my fave! I filled that negative space with little twinkling stars and loops. I quilted outlines of the pieced blocks in the background. I also created an outer border with swirls and pebbles to break up the textures.
There is a consistent theme in my work of mixing several different textures, designs, and techniques. That helps keep my interest while working but also helps give my eye interest when I am looking at each quilt. You will find if you take each one of these quilts and add your own voice and talents to it; it will be your design. I challenge you to break all of the rules and make your own magic. I hope to be able to inspire and create many more designs. I feel like I have so many ideas swirling around in my head. I really love to help, inspire, and work within the best community I have ever known. Thank you for taking a little journey with me.
For more info about Charisma check out her website.
Do you love Charisma’s patterns? Grab the May/June 2019 issue of McCall’s Quilting for more great patterns and endless inspiration!