Introducing Benartex’ Newest Fabric Designer + 3 Free Patterns

Hi all! It’s Christa Watson here, a loyal BERNINA ambassador and brand new fabric designer for Benartex!

Christa Watson BERNINA

I’ve always been a fan of both BERNINA and Benartex, and when they joined forces several years ago, I thought it was a match made in heaven. When I got the opportunity to start designing fabric for Benartex, I was thrilled beyond words! Today I’d like to share with you the story of how that happened, the inspiration behind my debut line (Modern Marks), some free patterns for you to enjoy, and a chance to win a Pinwheel of the Modern Marks collection!

Christa Watson Machine Quilting BooksMy Machine Quilting Books – I piece and quilt everything on my beloved BERNINA 770 QE

I’ve been a quilter for over 20 years and have written several books on machine quilting. I travel nationally to teach for BERNINA dealers and other fun places where quilters gather. It has long been on my bucket list to try my hand at fabric design, but I knew I had to get all of my ducks in a row before I even thought about submitting my designs.

One stop along my journey was attending an industry conference in 2016 to learn what it takes to become a fabric designer. Presenters at this conference included other talented designers such as fellow BERNINA ambassadors Tula Pink and Alison Glass. I came home from the conference with a firm decision that yes, I was ready to enter the world of fabric design. I set a plan in place, knowing it could take years to succeed and I was willing to put in the work.

Modern Marks Fabric by Christa Watson

Modern Marks fabric by Christa Watson features a rainbow of Saturated Color.

As luck would have it, Benartex came calling literally two days after I returned home from that conference. They mentioned that they really liked my style and asked if I’d like to join their Contempo fabric division, which focuses on creating contemporary and modern fabrics with a fresh, clean aesthetic. It took me about two seconds to say, “yes!” and join the ranks of their other amazing trend-setting designers.

I knew right away what I wanted to create: a colorful collection full of modern, geometric prints in saturated hues. I’m inspired by mid-century modern art and bold, clean graphic design. I’ve always loved bright colors, but when I began quilting back in the early 1990’s the only brights that were readily available were novelty kids prints. I collected them eagerly, all the while yearning for something a bit more sophisticated.

Modern Marks by Christa WatsonModern Marks includes 26 prints from the line plus 5 coordinating Color Weave tonals.

Modern Marks is now available in quilt shops worldwide, and I’ve been having a blast creating fun, cozy quilts and seeing what other quilters and sewists have made. For more inspiration, check out the hashtag #modernmarksfabric to see what others are creating from my fabric!

Benartex and I have teamed up to offer three free patterns for you to enjoy. Of course they would look great in any fabrics you choose, but I think they are extra special when you use Modern Marks. 🙂

Rainbow Taffy

Rainbow Taffy by Christa Watson

Click here to download the free Rainbow Taffy Quilt Pattern

Rainbow Taffy was so fun to design and make. I love a good rainbow quilt and this design can be made in rainbow order as shown, or mix up your favorite prints for a super scrappy look!

Rainbow Taffy Quilting Detail, quilting on the B770 QE

I free-motion quilted a “boxes” design using the BERNINA Stitch Regulator and my B 770 QE.

I had fun quilting an allover “boxes” design on this one. It’s a nod to one of the prints of the same name, and a super easy and forgiving free motion design to stitch out. You can practice the design by sketching a series of random overlapping squares on paper. Once you get the hang of it, apply that same design to your quilt from edge to edge.

Modern Puzzle

Modern Puzzle Free Quilt Pattern by Christa Watson

Click here to download the free Modern Puzzle Quilt Pattern

I designed Modern Puzzle to be made entirely from 2 1/2″ precut strips. Benartex calls the “Pinwheels” and they are so fun to sew! You can use one pinwheel of Modern Marks + one pinwheel of neutral backgrounds to make this design pop!

Wavy LInes quilted with the BERNINA dual feed

Quilt overlapping wavy lines without marking using seam lines as a guideline for spacing.

I love using the BERNINA dual feed which comes standard on the B 770 QE to quilt overlapping wavy lines. I use the open toe #20D foot to see what I’m doing and then move the quilt from side to side to create wonky wavy lines. Stitch as few or as many lines as you wish to add texture to your quilt!

On Your Mark

On Your Mark Free Pattern by Benartex Studio

Click here to download the free On Your Mark Quilt Pattern

The savvy folks at Benartex created this free digital design for you to make. Pair up your favorite brights from the line with a contrasting background and you’ll whip up this graphic modern quilt in no time!

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my new colorful fabric collection, Modern Marks. As for it by name at your favorite quilt shop!

Christa Watson Modern Marks

Additional quilts shown in this image are “Gridwork” and “Starstruck.”
Patterns for both available in my book Piece and Quilt with Precuts from Martingale/That Patchwork Place.

Win a fabric Pinwheel (40 2-1/2″ strips cut width of fabric) of my Modern Marks collection!

You could be the Lucky WeAllSew winner of one Modern Marks Pinwheel!

All you have to do is post a comment below and answer the question, “What would you make with Modern Marks fabrics?” The the giveaway is open through Thursday, January 11th!

The giveaway is open to residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. One comment per fan. Comment must be submitted to the blog by Thursday, January 11th at 11:59 PM Central Time. Winner will be chosen randomly. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to contact to claim the prize.

261 thoughts on “Introducing Benartex’ Newest Fabric Designer + 3 Free Patterns

  1. Christa’s fabric collection is just gorgeous! I am a modern fabric lover and would make Modern Puzzle with this line. Congrats Christa on your next achievement!

    1. Much as I like Rainbow Taffy. For the strips I would have to do 2 Quilts for Kids with the Modern Puzzle pattern. I will find a pack for Rainbow Taffy. Thanks for several fun patterns.

    2. I love this fabric and would like to make a fabric wrapped rug!
      Congratulations Christa, I know what time, energy and revisions you put into this fabulous fabric design!

    3. My eyes popped when I saw the new fabric! I would make the Rainbow Taffy Quilt! I love the free motion quilting suggested for it too! It would make my bedroom a happy place!

  2. I would use the fabric for an English paper piecing project either Millifoire or any of the other quilt patterns that are available. I enjoy paper piecing and find it relaxing.

  3. I love the bright colors for a child’s quilt, but I love the patterns that would show off nicely in a log cabin or other larger square designed quilt.

  4. Very happy to see bright, clear colors. I too remember all to well the hunt for color in the early days. My first quilt was burgundy and maroon Eleanor Burns log cabin. Think I’d like to mix these with some of my vintage brights (animals and bugs) in a sampler.

  5. In the midst of this cold, cold winter, I would like to make a work tote that would brighten my day every day! The fabric would be lovely for SO many projects – it just makes me smile!!

  6. Rainbow Taffy would be my choice to assemble and quilt! It’s winter and freezing cold and a rainbow makes me think of sunshine and cool rain – no snow ! Love the bright colors!

  7. Hello, I would use the fabric to make a Rainbow Taffy lap quilt for our Motor Home. RVs have a tendency to be all “blah” beiges (ours included) and the vivid colors of Modern Marks would sure brighten up the RV living room!

  8. Love the brightness of the fabric, and has a modern look to it. I would use to make a pineapple quilt, all the bright colors would really look happy . You could use all of them in a pineapple quilt. Love bright quilts.

  9. Sweet, sweet fabric designs and colors!! I’m going to have to make a quilt for my granddaughter this year. I’d definitely love these fabrics because they’d be “timeless”. And colorful.

  10. Would love to make “on Your Mark” with my 14 year old granddaughter for her bedroom. Quilting is such a wonderful bonding activity! I love the bold colors and patterns of your fabric. It would really add that pop of color any bedroom could use!!

  11. I would love to make the Rainbow Taffy Quilt. This is a beautiful fabric line. I have the ultimate guide to machine quilting and use a Pfaff Quilt Expressions 4.2…..but am seriously dreaming of trading that in on a 770 QE!!!! Though I’d have to quit my day job and sew all day if I did that ha ha!

    Thanks for the contest!

  12. Would love to make one of these quilts. I specially like the “On Your Mark” quilt. Makes me want to make and using a lot of fabric that I would like to use up!!!

    I have so much fabric!!! Thanks, Christa!

  13. Krista, I love the new fabric line. It matches your bright personality, it was a pleasure meeting you at Quilt Nebraska. I also feel fortunate to have also meet Tula Pink when they had the brick and mortar store in Missouri just East of St. Joseph. With this bright happy fabric I would like to make some baby items for several young ladies who attend some of my workout classes at the local YMCA. They are living in a group home situation and it would be a wonderful way to show them that they are loved and encourage them to share that love with their new babies when they arrive.

  14. I just love this fabric. I have one of Christa’s quilting books. Now waiting to rcv in the mail another of Christa books. Can’t wait to start on the quilt along. Also to work on other quilts & to learn to quikt them. Christa Watson rocks

  15. I really like chevrons and arrows, so the “On Your Mark” pattern appeals to me. However, given some of the elements in the fabric line, a tumbler pattern would be most appropriate as well.

  16. This is the brightest, happiest fabric line I’ve seen in a long time. It screams BABY QUILT to me! Have a friend that’s going to be a grandmother, AGAIN, in July! Would LOVE to receive your fabrics!!! Good luck everyone!

  17. This beautiful fabric would look great in a wall art quilt for my daughters new home. She is an interior designer and loves modern mixed with mid century

  18. My daughter is graduating this Spring. Would like to have some fabrics she would like to make her quilt – these are her types of fabrics. Love them. Thanks.

  19. I absolutely love the saturated colors in this line! I think it would be fun to do a jelly roll race quilt and just let all those yummy colors mash together and shine!

  20. Love the new color line! Am planning on updating table runners and bedroom dressers and side tables with a fresh “zing” of color – would be perfect!

  21. Christa’s fabric is just beautiful! I think it would make a great quilt for a teenage girl. I love all the quilts in her book. Thank for the opportunity to win.

  22. “What would you make with Modern Marks fabrics?”

    I love them all! I just ordered your book 😉

    I downloaded the Rainbow Taffy and have fabric pulled to start but if I had Modern Marks fabric, most def it would be used for Starstruck.

    Happy New Year!

  23. I love the bright colors! I have a 1.5 year old great nephew I haven’t met yet and i think these bright colors would be perfect for a little boy so I would make him a strip quilt.

  24. Beautiful fabric line. I have really enjoyed your book on machine quilting. If I were to make a quilt with the fabric bundle, it would be On your Mark.

  25. The RainbowTaffy pattern is awesome! And your colors!!! WOW!! I can see my 11 year old granddaughter helping me arrange the colors and making a new quilt. She & I would probably either have to make 2 quilts or take turns sleeping under one!!

  26. I would use these beautiful fabrics to make a modern take on a race quilt! I think it would be a great way to show off bothe the colors and designs!!

  27. What a beautiful, colorful collection of fabrics. My first make would be the Rainbow Taffy quilt. Actually, all three of the quilt patterns are beautiful and I would eventually make the other two. What talent it takes to be such a fantastic designer. Thanks.

  28. Your fabric is gorgeous! I would use it to make the Rainbow Taffy quilt. It would look fantastic with your fabric and I just love that quilt design. .

  29. I am getting ready to retire and plan to take up some quilting at that time. I would love to make quilts for my grandchildren and the Modern Marks looks like a great place to start.

  30. The colors & designs are wonderful. I think I’d make the Modern Puzzle quilt. It’s my birthday today so it would be a present to myself as I am always making quilts for others.

  31. I have loved Christa Watson for who she is as a person from the moment I “met” her online. Her teaching style, her love of quilting, her patterns and NOW her fabrics!!
    If I win this pinwheel I would make the Rainbow Taffy quilt pattern!

  32. We have to decide on just ONE thing to make with this?!? I love this line, and I’m excited to have more option with bright colors and geometric designs. I would love to do the modern puzzle quilt you have featured here with a black or dark grey background.

  33. Christa, you did a great job designing this line. It is beautiful. I would make Starstruck first and then move on to your other patterns. Thanks for all of the free pattern downloads.

  34. Oh boy! No kidding, if I won a Modern Marks Pinwheel, I would start the day I received the fabric making the Rainbow Taffy quilt! It is an attractive pattern and SO pretty in the Modern Marks fabric by Christa Watson!

  35. I would love to make an “On Your Mark” Modern Marks lap quilt. Last year I managed to finish a quilt a month and met my New Years resolution. I also had the privilege of taking a machine quilting class from Christa. I’m looking forward to another great year and using Benartex fabric.

  36. I just downloaded your “On Your Mark” free pattern. I had been searching for just the right quilt pattern for my teenage grandson. With the Modern Marks fabrics, it would be a great combination. Thank you so much!

  37. I really like the Modern Puzzle design and it would look great in Christa’s fabrics and draped over the couch in my family room.

  38. I loved your presentation at Sew Yeah Quilting in Las Vegas! I would love to win this jelly roll and will make a large tote for quilting supplies following your “On Your Mark “ pattern!

  39. I’d have to say my first choice would be your Modern Starstruck pattern, but I’m ready to start up the Squiggles with black background QAL.
    So it looks like it might have to be more than one!

  40. I have always admired quilts in rainbow colors and would make your “Rainbow Taffy” quilt with this collection. They are all beautiful patterns, but this one speaks to me. Thank you for sharing them. :o)

  41. I rarely get excited about any collection, but I love this one, and could see using it instead of one I was planning to make with a Kaffe F collection I already have…..with a white background!

  42. I love bright rainbow colors for quilts and your designs are very “modern”, I would love to make a rainbow wall hanging out of them when I win the free fabric!!!

  43. I’ve been sewing along with Christa from her first sew along. I love all her patterns and this new fabric is wonderful. I’d use it to probably make one of the many of her quilt patterns I have.

  44. OMG I love the colors and the designs. I downloaded Rainbow Taffy, but I can never just stay with the pattern I find. I have to make changes as I go. I love designing and these colors just make me ” a happy girl “!! Love the new fabric collection.

  45. Love the colors, I would like to make Rainbow Taffy quilt for our 5th Wheel. It needs some color changes and this would be it. Thank you for the opportunity, Hope I win!

  46. I love the bright colors and thinking I would love to make the On The Mark with them! Kick off the spring with the bright colors and start the new year with it! Thank you for the inspiration!

  47. I would love to make a baby quilt for my 2nd grandchild, Baby C, who is due 3/1/18!
    What a bright and cheerful quilt “world” to snuggle “my” ha,ha, baby in.

  48. I just love the bright cheery colors in this new line.
    I would make the “On Your Mark” quilt that I just downloaded.
    Thanks so much for your wonderful work.

  49. I would absolutely make the Rainbow Taffy. My granddaughter would just love to have the quilt I would make out of all the bright colors! Thanks for the opportunity.

  50. What a cherry line! Love the colors. I also love the on the mark pattern. Would love to make it! Will look for the fabric line at my Bernina Center-Aurora Sewing Center

  51. Modern Puzzle would be a great project to use this jelly roll on. I have a number of other quilt patterns using jelly rolls and any one of them would finish nicely with this collection!

  52. “What would you make with Modern Marks fabrics?”

    Me?! I’m going to kiss goodbye the here and now and make curtains, a table runner and accessories for a kitchen to bring me back to when it all began in the 1950s.

  53. I think I would have to go with the modern puzzle, but it’s a toss up with the rainbow taffy. All nice patterns that don’t look too complicated

  54. COLOR, COLOR, COLOR, WOW, I love it. It’s about time someone came up with some modern designs! All three designs are great but the modern puzzle quilt is my favorite. I like to show off what I like so making a quilted bag is my idea to showcase this color and design. Thank you for the patterns, they will be put to good use.

  55. I like the Rainbow Puzzle quilt – looks like something to make quickly to bring some brightness into the dreary winter! Love all the colors, but the purples are quite special.

  56. I’d buy a second roll and make a Two Plus Two quilt with the pattern by Colleen Blackwood. It would be a grand way to display your fabrics. I think the weave fabrics would be great in the setting triangles of this quilt.

  57. Well…. fabric is my favorite thing! I would make a quilt using my great grandmothers hand drawn patterns. There is no measurements just drawings. I’ve wanted to attempt this for a long time. I think this fabric would inspire me.

  58. I love the virbrant colors. I love modern quilts and would love to make a geometric quilt or perhaps use them to make a modern art quilt. They sky is the limit.

  59. I love making quilts for the children section of the library!!! Rainbow Taffy quilt would be a wonderful addition to their walls. They would quickly learn the colors of the rainbow with those beautiful, vivid, and exquisite fabrics. Great job Christa.

  60. I love color, the more the better! If I were to win this bundle of beautiful fabric, I would be inspired to make my very first quilt for my new grandson. The “Gridwork” would be my choice of pattern, it’s so unique!

  61. I am ready to make the Rainbow Taffy. I’m calling my store this morning to check on this fabric. I love the Bright colors and have never done a rainbow quilt. Looks like so much fun.

  62. Congratulations on becoming a fabric designer! I plan to teach a 10 year old girl how to sew/quilt for the first time and would love to use your fabric for her first project!

  63. I want to make a quilt for my grandson who will be going away to college. I’m a new quilter and I’m thinking about an easy log cabin pattern, which would be fabulous with these colors.

  64. I love your On The Mark fabrics. It is so rare to find good geometric prints. I would make a modern version of churn dash with a pinwheel and of course I would quilt it with some of your designs.

  65. I LOVE your new fabrics! I too am very attracted to bright colors and have a huge stash full of novelty prints. Thank goodness I have lots of grandnieces and grandnephews to quilt for. With your fabric line I’d make a quilt for myself (for a change) using your Rainbow Taffy pattern. 🙂

  66. I just love the fabric line. It is so colorful. I also love the Rainbow Taffy pattern. It is so full of fun & just looks so happy. Anyone would love this quilt.

  67. I just love the prints and how they work so well on the rainbow taffy quilt. If I won, I would make my own rainbow taffy quilt for my antique bed. Thank you!

  68. I love the vibrancy of the Modern Marks fabrics. I would probably make the Rainbow Taffy quilt if I received the fabric. It would make a great gift for my 16 yr old daughter.

  69. I really like the colors! Finally something that isn’t all greyed or browned out. I would use the pinwheel for a bright, happy lap quilt or wallhanging.

  70. Hi, I do love the bright colors of Modern Marks by Benartex and would love to use it in quilts and machine applique. Thank you for the lovely patterns also. Kathy

  71. I am going to put “Modern Marks” on my shopping list because I would like to use it to reupholster a chair but I would send the jelly roll to my friend who lives outside the US and can’t join in…it’d be my Thank you to her for sharing the blog with me.

  72. Oh my gosh! What wouldn’t I make?
    Love, Love, love this fabric line and can’t wait to get my hands on it. I would make the modern puzzle quilt for my nephew as he loves working puzzles. Thank for for the awesome patterns and opportunity to win the jelly roll.
    Happy quilting everyone!

  73. I love the puzzle quilt. I’m a big puzzle fan so this right up my alley, I’m still new to quilting this pattern looks like one I could manage. Thanks for creating and sharing.

  74. I like the bright colors. Thanks for sharing your talent. I would love to make a quilt called Sticks & Stones by MSQC and Jenny Doan. Of course, I would sew it on my Bernina.

  75. I’m going to be doing one of the above quilts, haven’t decided on which one. Leaning towards the Rainbow Taffy, will show off the fabric superbly. These colorful and lively colors will go well in a little boys room. Keep up the good work.

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