MQWS Blog Hop Day 9 – Rain

As you are perusing the blog hop each day, don’t forget to vote for your favorite quilt over at Survey Monkey. (Yes, you can totally sneak peeks of all the designs from Machine Quilting With Stile on the Martingale site to help you choose!) Whichever quilt gets the most votes, is the quilt along I will lead next year.

Be sure to grab your copy of the book and join the QAL fun in January!

Rain – The Background Story

As I was contemplating designing a series of quilts for a book back in 2013, my husband thought he’d help me brainstorm a few ideas. So he whipped out is iPad and sketched out this design in about 5 minutes. I fell instantly in love (with him again, and this design)!


Jason’s original iPad doodle. I like his ideas!!

He originally called his design Meteor Shower, but for some reason, I wanted to call it Rain. I love the stark simplicity of this design, and tweaked it just a bit – making my lines completely straight and parallel for easier construction. I also added in 3 extra rain strips. Can you spot them?


Rain 60″ x 80″ by Christa Watson. Design inspiration by Jason Watson.

Rain is the only quilt in the book where I worked backwards to create the pattern. I estimated how long I wanted each piece to be and used a design wall to start laying out the pieces in order, filling in with background fabric to get the spacing just right. I sewed up the top first, then I went back and calculated all of the math afterward.

Rainstrips_wipWorking on Rain prompted me to build a larger design wall for my studio. And get better lighting.

The cool thing about this design, is that even though I’ve given exact pattern directions in the book, you really can change it up to make it your own by using thinner or thicker width strips, changing the number and length of the strips, and varying their placement.

I went out of my comfort zone, choosing highly contrasting thicker weight Aurifil thread to extend the streaks of rain in the colored strips.

rain-closeupSometimes contrasting thread can be used as a design element to great effect.

A Bit more

I’m super excited that Rain was recently juried into the Modern Quilt Guild Exhibit at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this fall. This means it automatically gets entered into QuiltCon 2016 to hang with all of the other amazing quilts. I think Rain is the most modern quilt I’ve made and Jason is very proud – he’s always encouraging me to “go more modern!”


What makes this quilt modern – simplicity of form; lots of negative space; bold geometry, flat solid colors with high contrast; minimalist design; organic, imperfect machine quilting.

Time to complete – 29 hours from start to finish (including some thinking time…)

Optional Colorway from Cheryl Brickey


Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs is another fantastic pattern designer and online friend. We met in person at QuiltCon in 2015, starting off as roommates and becoming BQF’s (Best Quilting Friends) by the end of the show.

My deadline to get the last book edit in the mail was the Monday after QuiltCon, so Cheryl got to watch me frantically finish it up after show hours. This meant she also got an early sneak peek of the quilts, and right away, she knew she wanted to recreate Rain in her own way. I love the colors she chose, and her quilting is just too cool. She included a bit of hand quilting along with machine quilting for a stunning combination.

Head over to Cheryl’s Blog to see her awesome version and enter her giveaway.

More from Rebecca Bryan


Rebecca Bryan from Bryan House Quilts is another BQF who I keep running into! We first met at a Pile O’ Fabric meetup at QuiltCon 2013, got to hang out and have dinner again at QuiltCon 2015 and recently met up in Salt Lake City to film machine quilting segments for QNNtv. I told her each time we meet, there must be food involved! Becca (as I lovingly call her) released her first book, Modern Rainbow earlier this year, and I think it’s pretty fab.

Pop on over to Becca’s blog and she what she has to say about my book!

Click here for the complete blog hop schedule.

Click here purchase your autographed copy of Machine Quilting With Style.


8 thoughts on “MQWS Blog Hop Day 9 – Rain

  1. kthurn says:

    So wonderful to read that your husband helps you not only with some creative ideas but supporting your love of quilting. Mine has some ideas too but I don’t take him seriously…perhaps I should.

  2. Pam White says:

    These blog hops have been so great!!! I just love this quilt! I can’t wait to see it in Houston. You are so inspiring, Christa. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

  3. Susan says:

    Christa, I got my signed copy of your book and love it. I also enjoy looking at these blog hops and have been signing up for other people’s newsletters or emails because I’ve been so inspired by their versions of your quilts. From your book I decided to try the continuous spiral quilting on a quilt I have been working on. It doesn’t look all neat and doesn’t have evenly spaced spirals, and some have little points, but I’m loving it.

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