Rainbow Mosaics


**Be sure to read to the end to find out how you can win this quilt.**

This is a UFO that has been waiting to be finished off for a year or so.  The pattern was originally published as a quilt along at Stitched in Color.  Rachel made a great html button for her quilt along.  She is a multi-talented woman.

Bottled Rainbows {the button}

I’m not sure how I found it, but I found it the first week in September of 2014, and I was very excited.  Anything that promises to use up a bunch of scraps and is also a rainbow gets me going.  I had a rainbow fat quarter set that had been waiting patiently to be used for years.  Fairy Frost from Michael Miller.  Of course, I had used some of the red in something else, so if you look closely you can see the red frame fabric is different from the others.

Rachel’s quilt along is still up, and the directions are great.  Basically the steps are this:

  1. Gather your scraps, and sort them by color.
  2. Prepare your base pieces with a layer of batting, a white center, and a colored border.
  3. Lay out your scraps of matching colors to fill in the white center.
  4. I think she glues the fabrics down – I pinned.
  5. Zigzag the raw edges down.
  6. Sew the blocks together.
  7. Add pillow tuck and borders
  8. Layer backing and already quilted front.
  9. Quilt layers together.
  10. Bind.

I made this top in 20104, way before I was thinking of blogging.  I don’t have any in-progress photos of the individual blocks.  Imagine a rainbow tornado taking over a kitchen table.  Add scissors, Coca Cola, and a dog or two.  That is pretty much it.

Picking out little scraps, and making them fit together was a lot of fun.  Plus, I may possibly have dipped into my main stash a bit for some fussy cut bits.  I even threw in a couple of pretty selvage bits.

Here are close ups of all of the blocks.  If you click on the thumbnails it should take you to the full size image.

All of the fabrics and batting in this top came from my stash.  I used muslin for the centers.  I have a large stash of batting scraps.  I don’t know why, but I can’t throw it out.  It eventually gets used for rag time quilts, or into stuffed animals.  The only fabric I purchased for this one was the backing.  I am not a fan of piecing backings.  (Of course, the joke was on me with this one.)  I like the way they look on other people’s quilts, and I love the idea of having such a cool back, but when I am done with the top, I am done, man.  I have to move along to the next project.  The binding is a pieced binding, using up the remainder of that fat quarter pack.  I do love pieced bindings.  When I am really on my game, the binding is pieced immediately after the top is complete, in an effort to reduce my scrap mound.

IMG_0763I recently read that some people like to see when mistakes are made.  Wish granted.  I do not like to measure large pieces of fabric.  It is a hassle, and I avoid it, sometimes to my detriment.  Typically I just make backings larger than I think they need to be and trim.  This quilt top is 85″ x 86″.  In my world that means six yards of fabric that I cut into two pieces three yards each, and sew together along the selvage.  Done and done.    Of course, I guess the fabric I purchased wasn’t 44″, but 42″, because this is what happened when I pulled it out of my closet and set about basting.  I hope the neighbors weren’t out enjoying their deck while I was swearing a blue streak on mine.

The fast fix for this was a tape measure and some fast (lazy) math.  I ended up cutting 15 inches off the bottom of the backing, cutting it down the middle, and sewing it together to make a long strip.  I then added the strip to the side of the backing, making it wide enough to cover the entire quilt.

I decided to baste this on the deck, because it is finally nice outside, and the dogs would like to be outside with me.  They both walked all over everything while I was trying to spread it out, and laid on the wrinkled bits when the wind blew.  Oscar also spent some time removing the tape securing the backing to the deck.  Happily, my son was home and was willing to sit with me and hold it down while I pinned.  This less than optimal procedure has resulted in a small amount of puckering on the back of the quilt.  Bad quilter, but the quilt is now finished.

I am so happy with the way this project turned out.  It is a fun quilt to look at, and catalogs my wild swings in fabric taste over the years.  Once again, I was a little disappointed with the “stash busting” quilt category.  My stash can spit out an entire queen-sized quilt with almost no reduction in size.

This is what I think of when I think about my scrap mound. As I recall, Marjorie the trash heap from Fraggle Rock was fairly rude.tumblr_mnle68tqaj1rcb4fko1_500

And finally, I have decided to donate this quilt to help raise funds for my sister-in-law, Kathryn Shasha’s women’s health project.  She is working on a documentary about the under-reported side effects of IUD’s.  If you want a chance at owning this quilt, please visit the Inner U Destroyed campaign, and donate $10.  After you donate, please forward your Seed&Spark receipt to my email at jensquiltprojects@gmail.com.  For every $10 you donate, I will add your name into the raffle.  Once the campaign is fully funded, I will select a winner using a random number generator.  

6 thoughts on “Rainbow Mosaics

  1. I have to say this is a pretty neat use for scraps. The quilt turned out beautifully. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve measured wrong with backing or even batting thinking I have enough to find out nope, sure don’t. Hope the raffle goes well and you are able to raise lots of money for your sister-in-law.


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