rainbow jellyroll quilt top

Friday Finish: Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt Top

Maddie’s rainbow jellyroll quilt top is finally complete! It only took me a bit over three hours to sew together, but with a fairly large summer sewing hiatus in the middle. I decided to focus on completing this quilt over a month ago, and sewed the first jellyroll strips into pairs. This past weekend I was graced with a rare chunk of uninterrupted sewing time, during which I finished sewing all of the strips together. This quilt is made entirely of strips from an  Andover Fabrics Color Collection Jellyroll. Easy peasy! Go ahead and get a cup of tea or coffee (and a snack) because here comes a deluge of rainbow photographs!

rainbow jellyroll quilt

I was so excited to finally finish something, I immediately dragged my husband outside for a photo shoot upon completing this top. It was a bright sunny day with a decently brisk breeze, but I just couldn’t wait. Here’s Maddie’s gorgeous rainbow on a sunny, bright blue sky day:

rainbow jellyroll quilt top

rainbow jellyroll quilt top
Blowing in the breeze.
rainbow jellyroll quilt top
Sun shining through to the back as the quilt turns momentarily into a kite. I love the look of the back of a freshly pieced quilt, especially with the illumination of the sun!
rainbow jellyroll quilt top
Quilt top-turned-kite in its resting place: crumpled on the ground next to the fence.
rainbow jellyroll quilt top
Rainbow from afar.

My husband Garrett was quite patient as I dragged him around the yard, trying to find a spot where the lighting was decent and the photos were not too washed out from the bright sun. The wind didn’t always agree with our plan, but it made for some fun outtakes:

rainbow quilt top windy outtake

rainbow quilt top windy outtake

rainbow quilt top windy outtake
You would jump up and pretend you’re a bull fighter, too, right?

As evening began to set, I decided to go out and try a shady photo shoot, since in the past I’ve captured better color richness in shaded photos. With my kiddos back at home after an adventurous day with Grammy & Great Aunt Ellen, they of course wanted to help:

helpful kids and a rainbow jellyroll quilt helpful kids and a rainbow jellyroll quilt

The colors definitely are richer in the shady photos, although I miss the crispness of the sunny photos. With this photo shoot, I think I prefer the sun for the full-quilt photos, and the shade for the close-ups. What do you think?

shaded rainbow jellyroll quilt

rainbow jellyroll quilt top back

helpful kids and a rainbow jellyroll quilt
I love the look of the back of a freshly pieced quilt, even with kids flopped on it.
rainbow jellyroll quilt top front
Rainbow jellyroll quilt top front.
rainbow jellyroll quilt top back
Rainbow jellyroll quilt top back.

rainbow jellyroll quilt top

So pretty! I am quite pleased with how this came out, even if it’s a bit off-kilter on the edges. I plan to quilt it and then square it up after it’s all quilted. For those of you who have quilted rainbow quilts before, do you have any tips? I think I am going to try to match general colors of thread, and do simple straight line quilting along each strip. I guess that means I will need to buy some more Aurifil since I don’t have a full rainbow spectrum of thread (darn. wink wink).

I need your help!
My biggest question is with the bobbin: I only have two bobbins for my machine, and thus far I have quilted only in grey. When switching colors often in your quilting, do you just wind a bobbin a small amount, and hope to get lucky with how much you will need? I don’t want to waste a bunch of thread, but once I am finished quilting in a certain color, I will need to unwind the rest of the thread from the bobbin to make room for the next color. Any tips are greatly appreciated!

I’ll leave you with one last cute picture of my helpful kids, posted on Instagram last weekend (follow me @nightquilter).

photo (18)I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts’ Finish it up Friday and TGIFF.



13 thoughts on “Friday Finish: Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt Top”

  1. So beautiful. Makes me want to make one. When winding bobbins, I try to guess the amount needed generously. Then I have wound the thread onto another bobbin for a different machine. The thread doesn’t come off the bobbin the same way it would on a spool, but it has never created a problem for me, 🙂


  2. How about using one color on the bobbin that works for the backing fabric? Have you quilted with two colors of thread? It isn’t that hard to get the tension such that the bobbin color doesn’t show on the top and vice versa. That way you don’t have to change bobbins each time you change the top color. Just a thought.

    PS. The pictures with your littles are my favorites. So sweet.


    1. Yessss!! That occurred to me the other day–I can use one color on the bobbin (probably a medium gray) and then just switch the top threads to match! Brilliant! I have never quilted using two colors of thread, but I’m all about trying new things, and I think that will work perfectly! Thanks so much!


  3. A gray thread (medium value) for the bobbin is a good choice, as it will blend if any dreaded pokies occur. Another option for the top is a varigated thread that containts 3-4 colors from the quilt top.


  4. A gray (medium value) thread is a great choice for your bobbin thread. A variegated thread for the top, which has 3-4 colors from your quilt top, would work well and not require all those thread changes.


    1. I think that’s just what I will do! I will use the gray thread for the bobbin, but might still try individual colors (at least general red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) for the top since I want to do mostly matching, but a few contrasting (like blue stitches on a yellow strip). I may look into the variegated thread, though, since I’ve never quilted with one before. Thank you for the suggestions!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Kitty! I can’t wait to make one of these. I have a jelly roll ready to go. The pictures of the kids are adorable!! And your quilt back is as beautiful as the front. Hurry up and come to Austin so you can teach me how to use my camera!


  6. I tend to use a primary color variegated thread when quilting rainbow colors like this quilt top – but audition a lot of different options. Some of the suggestions above might work best for you! In terms of bobbin… well, I look at it like this: one bobbin worth of thread is hardly any money. I wind my bobbin full, use what I use, and then unwind and throw away. Or sometimes I am able to use what is left in the bobbin to whip-stitch down the binding to be a bit more thrifty before I unwind.


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