Quilting the rainbow

Half square triangle rainbow quilt

My first ever quilt was this mini rainbow for my nephew last summer (how was that only last year?!), Suffice to say nephew is now significantly bigger and needs a larger amount of quilty goodness! The original plan was to use this incredible rainbow parrot shower curtain as the backing fabric so it would be semi-waterproof for damp grass and spring picnics. This didn’t go exactly according to plan, but pretty happy with the end result.

Piecing it all together

The rainbow solids are from Hobbycraft and the white was a curtain lining gifted from a friend! It’s amazing the fabric you amass once people know you’re a quilter!

After collecting all the fabrics together was pretty happy with the spectrum so half-square triangle production began in earnest. Pairing 7 inch squares of rainbow fabric with a 7 inch white counterpart. Once again I used the 4 in one method, cutting 7 inch squares, stitching round the edges then cutting on the two diagonals to form 4 x 5 inchish HSQs. I then trimmed these down to make 4.5 inch square triangles and construction could begin!

Digital quilt planning

I had had a play around on Illustrator to work out how many of each colour I would need to make before hand, as because of the diagonal I wouldn’t need to make as many red hsqs as green for example. This did help, although I admit I did have a bit of a maths failure at this point! So the quilt turned out slightly smaller than I had originally planned and, even more frustratingly I was short of green fabric! Managed to piece together enough of the cut offs to make the last HST which I hope isn’t noticeable on the final top.

Laying these out on the tiled floor and began sewing together in rows. Given my maths failure on the front had far too many red – purple end of the spectrum HSTs left over. Waste-not-want-not I decided to piece the back out of these rather than using the parrot shower curtain. In the end I think this was a wise decision as I wasn’t sure how the fabric combination would pan out. Plus it seemed such a waste to not use all those lovely HSTs!

Reverse side, half square triangle rainbow quilt

Deciding what to quilt

This was the first bit of quilting I did with my fantastic new Janome DKS100 and it was a dream! So much smoother than on my old 1200D and the stitch length and tension are significantly more consistent. As I was playing with my new toy I wanted to try both free motion and walking foot quilting so went for a hybrid, quilting meandering loops on the rainbow stripes and straight lines on the white ones. I think the mix of textures works well and helps keep everything in place whilst ensuring the quilt is still snuggly.

Now I wanted to give the rainbow quilt a bit of ‘edge’ literally and metaphorically and I think the black binding works really well to stop it being too cutsie but it frames the rainbow nicely.

Half square triangle rainbow quilt

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