Machine Quilting with Style: Rain Re-Imagined

Welcome back to week 2 of the 12 week celebration for Machine Quilting with Style! This week I’m excited to again share “Rain,” which I think is one of the most modern quilts I’ve ever made. My husband Jason was actually the one who inspired the design. He was doodling on his iPad one day and I thought his design would make an awesome quilt! So I translated his scribbles into this minimalist modern quilt:


Rain 60″ x 80″ by Christa Watson. Photography by Brent Kane.

Jason and I went back and forth with ideas for naming this quilt (meteor shower, streaks of color colored rain, etc.), and the colorful strips for some reason brought to mind streaks of rain. Wouldn’t it be nice if rain really was colorful like this? Then I had the idea to quilt with heavier weight colorful threads matching each of the strips and extending the quilting lines off the ends, creating a streaked effect.


When you look closely, you can see that the parallel straight-line quilting isn’t exactly perfect and that’s okay. I truly believe that “perfectly imperfect” quilting adds to the beauty and hand-crafted look of the piece!

Purple Rain

I’ve been wanting to explore different colorways with this design and of course the first variation I thought of was Purple Rain. When Prince died earlier this year, the design became even that much more meaningful to me.


I think the light gray sets off the purple strips nicely, don’t you agree?

How about this black and gray version? It’s the same design but tweaked by using just two colors and letting the stripes go all the way across the quilt. The graphic movement it creates is very striking, and I love exploring design possibilities like this!


Although I used solids for these versions, I’ve seen several of you remake this quilt using prints, which looks just as fabulous! In fact, when you click the link below to view all of the quilts from my book, you’ll see another variation of each finished quilt made by my friends. This should get the ideas flowing!

Click here to see all of the quilts from Machine Quilting with Style.

Weekly Giveaway

For this week’s celebration, I’m giving away a signed copy of my second book, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting, co-authored with Angela Walters. One US reader will receive a hard-copy, signed by both of us, and one international friend will get an e-copy from my friends at Martingale/That Patchwork Place.

Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

To enter, leave a comment below letting me know if you’ve ever made a modern quilt before. For an extra bonus entry, you can share a picture of your favorite modern quilt in my Facebook group: Quilt with Christa. And just to clarify – what’s modern to you is modern to me. 🙂

Last Week’s WinnerS:

Congratulations to Lori M. and Jill B. who each won a copy of Machine Quilting with Style! I’ve sent message to both. I’ll pick this week’s winner next Thursday and post it with the next re-imagined quilt next Friday!

Machine Quilting With Style

Click here to purchase signed copies of either of my books.

148 thoughts on “Machine Quilting with Style: Rain Re-Imagined

  1. Debbie says:

    I’ve made a few modern quilts, small wall hanging size. I don’t do Facebook, so can’t post a picture there. I do have an old blog where I’ve shown things, but when I tried to post a link in this comment, it seems it didn’t accept the comment. I have a NJ mailing address, so wouldn’t mind winning a hard copy! Thanks, Christa!

  2. Diane says:

    I love modern quilts! Have made modern table runners & placemats. Can’t wait to come to Savannah in February and really get inspired!

    • Jane Russell says:

      I have never made a modern quilt-I am a beginner. I have taken 1 quilting class, during which I completed a table topper. Next up, I am going to tackle your online tutorial for the Baby Bricks crib quilt, using colorful fabric from a well-known designer. Love modern quilts-recently toured the Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY & was blown away. *Please excuse if this is a duplication-I typed a comment & posted it, but I don’t see it.

  3. Evelyn Wonner says:

    I have never made a modern quilt yet but they interest me and I am sure soon I will be jumping in with both feet. I love the purple rain look and have a few ideas after taking a look at the quilt pictures from your new book.

  4. Karen H says:

    I haven’t made a modern quilt as of yet but would love to try. I’ve been quilting for many years, mostly traditional blocks but have been admiring the modern ones. And I love the Rain quilt you made.

  5. Jane R. says:

    I have never made a Modern Quilt-I am a beginner! Took one quilt lesson, making a table topper in a day. Have purchased colorful fabric by a famous designer, & am going to tackle your Baby Bricks pattern next as a wall hanging for our Great Room. So in love with modern quilting. Toured Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY recently & was blown away.

  6. Carol says:

    I love your Rain quilt! I think I could call the quilt I made for a new granddaughter a modern quilt–it was circles appliqued onto a solid background. That’s as close as I have come to a modern quilt, but I would like to make more–I like so many that I see!

  7. Beth Morasse says:

    I love modern quilts, the clean, simple lines and have made a few. The Rochester Modern Quilt Guild will have a special exhibit at the Genesee Valley Quilt Club’s (oldest continually meeting guild) biennial show. Very excited for this.

  8. Gail Kelly says:

    Haven’t made a modern quilt yet – though I have materials for 2 bed quilts! So much fabric, so little time! And so many design ideas to pick from 🙂

  9. csynteacher says:

    Yes, I have made a modern quilt. I designed it myself in EQ7 and exhibited in a show in August. I even quilted it myself. I was pleased with it but the quilt police weren’t so thrilled!! I can take that.
    judybarr at iearn dot org dot au

  10. Denise says:

    I have made many modern quilts. This year I challenged myself to give solids a try and made two modern quilt tops with just solids. I would love to win an autographed copy of your book.

  11. Sally Heath says:

    I have never made a modern quilt — yet! I loved your original Rain quilt but am absolutely in love with the Purple Rain version!! I think it has inspired me to take the plunge into the pool! ; )

  12. Sue says:

    I really want to make a ‘modern’ quilt but I’m still finding all that negative space a bit intimidating as my machine quilting skills aren’t too good yet!!

  13. Sally H says:

    I have not done a modern quilt — yet. : )) I loved your original Rain quilt but am absolutely in love with the Purple Rain version. I think that is going to make me jump into the pool of modern quilting! : )) I so appreciate all your communications!

  14. Dorie E says:

    I’ve made modern quilts for my godson. He’s about the music, so I pulled some cherrywoods for the notes and musical symbols on black. I’d like to make him one with lighter background- but his dog sleeps with him.

  15. Cecilia says:

    My idea of a modern quilt is using bright modern fabrics with a traditional block. With that in mind, I have designed a few modern quilts. I really like your Rain quilt, especially in the black and gray.

  16. Cathy Wilson says:

    I’ve made a modern-ish baby quilt that I quilted with a continuous spiral. I really loved how the quilting turned out! I’d love to win your book and try some of the ideas!

  17. d says:

    I hand quilt and have a very modern looking quilt on the frame right now. I made it in the 1980s and made another one using the same basic divisions but in totally different colours. It’s hanging up in my hall.

  18. Marg finnimore says:

    Seeing this quilt design was a definite “wow”” moment for me. I am a newby to quilting and still trying to decide where I feel I “fit”. I love to see the traditional quilts and can appreciate the skillfull workmanship but they are not my style. Seeing your purple rain design just struck a chord – simple design with clean lines but also really clever use of colour and texture. Thank you for this brilliant design and inspiration

  19. Wendy Steele says:

    I made a version of your optical illusion quilt. Everyone who sees it loves it. It’s hanging on a wall in one of the bedrooms in my house and I enjoy seeing it when I pass by the door.

  20. Kathy E. says:

    Yes, I have made a few modern quilts! Modern is my favorite category of quilt making. I love improv and doing my own “thing” when it comes to design. One thing a modern quilter is sure of…no one else will ever make the same quilt!

  21. Julie says:

    I would love to win this! I love Rain re-imagined in the purple. What a fitting tribute!

    I did do one sort of modern quilt. I did really like how it turned out. Would like to venture out much further!

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