Hooked on Needles

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture Tutorial

After the rain stops and the sun comes out here on this cold dreary day, I would not be at all surprised to see a rainbow somewhere in the sky. It's so nice to catch a glimpse of those short-lived little gifts after a rainy day. Well, if you don't want to wait for a rainy day, here's a little rainbow you can make for yourself. It's my Rainbow Quilt which I designed and made over the summer, and a few people have asked for a tutorial. You can see pictures of the original Rainbow Quilt by clicking HERE.

Keep on reading for a picture-heavy tutorial to make your own rainbow quilt like this...



Rainbow Quilt ~ Finished!


Materials I used for my quilt:
  • 72 4-inch squares in assorted colors (you can use any size square you like in any colors you like, but you may have to adjust the amount of fabric you need for the sashing)
  • 1 yard white fabric for sashing (more if you are using larger squares)


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialCut your white fabric into 2-inch strips.


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialI used 17 strips, so if you are using squares larger than 4 inches, you will need more strips.


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialI used 72 4-inch squares from 8 color groups: red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple and pink. Of course you can use whatever colors you have on hand, or swap with friends until you get the colors you want, or purchase a fat quarter of each color. My squares were from a swap, so each square is a different fabric.


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialTo begin chain piecing the sashing to the squares, lay one square face down onto a strip of sashing so that it is just below the selvage and the right side edges are even. Stitch a 1/4 inch seam. Leave this stitched piece on the machine and add the next square...


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture Tutorial...and continue stitching...


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture Tutorial...adding a new square, face down with right edges even, until ...


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture Tutorial...you come to the end of the first strip. Start another strip and do the same thing with the remaining squares until all the squares have been stitched onto sashing strips.


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialAll my squares have been chain stitched onto the strips of sashing.


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialYou can see here that each square is right up next to the previous square. This method of chain piecing makes short work of sashing all these squares! I was able to sew 11 squares onto each strip of sashing. Depending on the fabric you are using, you may be able to sew 11 or only 10, but just keep sewing until all the squares have been added to sashing strips.


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialI just thought this was a cool picture!


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialNow lay each strip on your cutting mat with the sashing down and the squares up. Line your straight edge up with the edge of each square and cut through the sashing to separate the squares from each other.



Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialThis is what you will get...


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture Tutorial...and this is how the squares will look from the other side.


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialYou will end up with a pile of 72 squares with one piece of sashing attached to each.


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialLine these squares up on your ironing board, overlapping to conserve space, and then press the seams to set them. This is done before you open the seam, and it makes each seam press to the side much nicer. I never believed it would make a difference when I would see other people taking this extra step, but it really does, so I recommend it.


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialThen take each square individually and press the seam towards the colored square. All seams will be pressed towards the colored squares so they will not show through the white when the quilt is finished.



Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialWhen you are finished pressing, you will have a colorful stack of rectangles with all seams pressed towards the color. (Please excuse my icky ironing board cover...I'm getting a new, oversized, rectangular top for my ironing board very soon! Can't wait!)


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialTo attach the second sashing piece to each block, do the same thing as before, making sure that you begin with the white going through the machine first instead of the colored square so that the pressed seam will naturally stay towards the color.


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialSo chain piece all your blocks to the remaining sashing strips, adding a new block after stitching each block...


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture Tutorial...and always feeding the white section through first to keep that seam going in the right direction...


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture Tutorial...until you have added a second sashing to each block.


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialThen bring your nice little pile of colorful strips back to the cutting mat...


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture Tutorial...and cut the sashing strips apart as you did before...


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture Tutorial...and this nice neat little pile is what you will have.


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialLine these pieces up on your ironing board and press the seams to set them...


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture Tutorial...then press each one with the seam allowance towards the color.


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialNow you will have 72 colored squares sashed with white on two sides. Divide them into your color groups and arrange them in the order you would like them to radiate on your quilt. I did mine in rainbow order (with aqua and pink thrown in) so I stacked mine up in this order: red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple and pink.


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialStarting in the lower right corner with red, I placed the first block with the color in the upper left. Then I added the next diagonal row, and the next, as you see above. Take note of the position of the colored squares in the four blocks that form the corner square in the above picture, as that is the pattern that will be repeated throughout.


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialContinue placing your blocks in diagonal rows from lower edge to right-hand edge, taking them right off the stack you made when you organized them into color groups, and paying attention to the position of the colored square in each block.


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialYou should have 8 squares across the bottom and 9 squares up the side and your colors should radiate from lower right to upper left in the order you stacked them.


Rainbow Quilt ~ A Picture TutorialBefore you start piecing your blocks together, check each row and column to make sure each block is positioned correctly for the design. Make any adjustments necessary to maintain the pattern.

Piece your top together, layer it with batting and backing, quilt it, bind it, and enjoy!

This quilt will finish to be approximately 38 by 42 inches.

If you make a quilt using this design, I would love to see it! I would also appreciate a link back to this post if you make use of this design. Have fun with it!


Happy Stitching!

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