Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Rainbow Mini Swap

I think it's about time I share a little about this project that I completed back in March for the Rainbow Mini Quilt Swap on Instagram. I've done many swaps but this was my first official rainbow swap. It was so fun! Definitely check that hashtag for a ton of rainbow inspiration.

I started by pulling a bunch of pretty fabrics to cover a wide range of the rainbow. I wanted at least a few for each color and I ended up with 21 different fabrics! My partner Joanna was more a fan of prints than solids so I wanted to pull fabrics I thought she would be happy with. I went with a low volume fabric for the background, again for my partner's preference for prints over solids.

After seeing Jenn Rossotti's beautiful Ephemera quilt, I knew I wanted to try something similar but feared I might pull all my hair out with all those tiny curves so I went with bias binding strips instead. I made both 1/2" and 3/8" finished single-fold bias of each fabric. I drew out a 4" clamshell template to trace onto the background with frixion pens. This is the same method I used for my Valentine's swap.

Now for the hard part - getting that bias tape where I wanted it and making it lay flat. Much easier said than done. I laid it out as best as I could, stretching the outer curve while trying not to stretch the inner curve at all. I stitched down the inner curve first and that seemed to help a little with the outer. I think the pins worked a little better than the glue I used last time.

However, once I had sewn on all of the strips, I was disappointed to see that the background was now super wavy.

Pressing it helped a little but it still was not flat. Time to quilt it and hope for the best!

It worked! All quilted and now nice and flat. I started in the center and held the top taut while quilting each little section. It was fun using the clamshell shape as a starting point for all kinds of different quilting motifs.

I had fun playing around with the background space at the top too, giving it some clouds and windy swirls for this rainbow in the sky.

Knowing this mini would likely never be washed, I printed a fun label with my inkjet printer.

I ended up with extra strips of all the fabrics and I wanted to do something fun with those too. A pouch it is!

Add in some fun rainbow extras (and a few Quiltcon goodies since she was not able to attend) and off it went.

I was totally AMAZED to get this beauty in my mailbox a few days later. It is so gorgeous!! Jennifer designed this Seattle skyline herself and I could not be happier. The design, the fabrics, and totally fantastic graffiti quilting. It is perfect and was promptly hung above my machine. She also paper pieced a super cute matching butterfly mini mini quilt and included some thoughtful extras.

I would definitely recommend you join in this swap the next time it opens up.

Have a great week!

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