Modern rainbow baby quilt

Rainbow quilt with appliqued baby name {Heather's Handmade Life}

When my friend had her baby boy a few years back, I’d sewn him a little blue baby quilt with his name appliqued on the front.

So when had her daughter this past spring, of course I couldn’t wait to make her one. (A beautiful baby girl after THREE boys!)

If this colour combination looks familiar, it’s because I reused the curtains from C’s rainbow canopy bed.

Rainbow canopy bed
Full tutorial for the rainbow canopy bed

(That’s the awesome thing about fabric — it can last AGES and have plenty of new uses when it’s time to change things up!)

C has a new bed now, of course, so the curtains had been waiting around patiently …

Custom loft bed
The new loft bed

To make a cheerful rainbow quilt for baby Violet, I started by cutting squares that measured 6.5 inches by 6.5 inches — which means they’d be about six inches once they were all sewn together.

I ended up cutting too many, of course, because I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do until afterwards. But if you’re going to make a similar quilt, just cut five squares of each colour — seven colours in total.

Once you have your stack of 35 squares (heyyyy, look at that times table memorization!) sew them together in rows. I arranged the first row, and then just shifted everything over for each other row.

Once all five rows were sewn together, I cut some long strips of white fabric (didn’t measure ’em, but I think they were about 4″ tall) and sewed them between each row to break up the colour a bit.

I ironed thermoweb (Heat’n’Bond Lite Iron-on Adhesive*) onto a piece of dark grey cotton, traced Violet’s name backwards (so it would have the sticky iron-on side on the back of her name), cut it out, and ironed it onto the quilt near the bottom — adding little hearts for the i’s.

(NOTE: Make sure to use sewable thermoweb, or the non-sewable stuff will make your sewing machine’s needle all gunky during the next step.)

Once I bound the edges, I started running the whole quilt through my sewing machine — loaded with lots of white thread — and making wavy lines from one end to the other.

This is called free-motion quilting and I prefer it to straight lines, when I’m quilting on a machine. It looks cooler and it’s easier, plus it hides any oopsies.

There was no WAY I wanted to carefully stitch all the way around Violet’s name — it would have taken hours — so I just ran right over it with my swoopy lines, making sure to “catch” all of the important parts so they were securely stitched.

I did 10-12 loopy lines on each row, trying to space them somewhat evenly. It gets very hypnotic as you drag the quilt back and forth under the machine’s foot — making some swoops more pronounced, and other lines smoother, just trying to mix things up.

The finished product? A bright and cheerful baby quilt for a bright and cheerful little girl!

We love you, Violet Louise!

How to sew a modern rainbow baby quilt {Heather's Handmade Life}
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