A Summer of Quilts – Part 2

bottled rainbows quilt 1

This was a completely new technique for me, inspired by a wonderful quilting and sewing blog that I’ve recently discovered. This was a quilt-along project (although I discovered it after the quilt-along was completed, so I did it on my own) called Bottled Rainbows, and the technique is called ticker tape quilting. The blog has very excellent, detailed instructions for each step, but I’ll include some of my own info below.

bottled rainbows blue block

Here’s the scoop: I purchased each of the solids fabrics in Kona Cotton, based on the quilt-along’s color recommendations. Then, using my amazingly huge fabric stash, I matched scrap fabric colors to each of the solids. The next step was to cut out small pieces of the scraps and, by trimming them to fit, assembling them together, color block by color block, kind of the way you’d fit a puzzle together. I looked at a lot of ticker tape quilt photos on Flickr, and found that I preferred those that were more tightly assembled – that is, fit together in an organized and geometric way, instead of looking too haphazard.

bottled rainbows bright pink block

The next step was to glue each of the scrap pieces down – I first tried pinning but that didn’t work, the pieces were too small for effective pinning, and the pins didn’t hold them exactly in place anyway (you can’t have any movement, or it messes up the layout) so I used fabric glue. Then I set my sewing machine for zigzag stitch and appliqued each of the pieces on – no turning under the raw fabric edges first, hooray! The blog had very helpful and detailed hints, including setting your stitch length at 3.0 and your stitch width at 1.0, and setting up the zigzag so that the needle hit as far into the fabric as possible, in order to increase the stability of the stitch.

bottled rainbows orange block

I took my time with this project because it was a little overwhelming, doing only 1-2 blocks a day. The quilt-along recommended quilt as you go – where you put the batting on the underside of the block and quilt at the same time as you sew on the pieces – but I did it the “usual” way, making up the blocks, then sewing them together, then using one large piece of batting and backing, pinning the quilt “sandwich” together, and then quilting. The only quilting I did was to stitch in the ditch around the inside borders of the solid color “frames,” and to stitch in the ditch of the vertical seams where the blocks were joined.

bottled rainbows green block

For the backing, I wanted to echo the rainbow palette and the playful nature of the front, so I chose Ann Kelle’s Remix.

bottled rainbows quilt backing

Finished project: my favorite quilt ever! I love how there’s so many colors, yet they go together in a harmonized fashion, I love all of the design elements that the scraps bring, and I love that I was able to use up some of my fabric stash! I’ll be looking for more ways to sew ticker tape scrap quilts like this in the future . . .

bottled rainbows quilt 2

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