rainbow jellyroll quilt

February Finish {ALYoF}: Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt

With one day to go, I did it! I finished my daughter’s first quilt–a Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt! I’m excited on many levels, since not only was this my first finished quilt for an immediate family member, it was also my goal for February in A Lovely Year of Finishes. A late night binding session last night and a specially requested free-motion quilted dedication session this morning were the final touches.

rainbow jellyroll quilt

I’m happy with how this quilt turned out, but it was a definite lesson in dealing with and loving imperfection. Mental note: when choosing a backing for a VERY linearly directional quilt top, avoid extremely linearly directional fabrics. Before beginning this quilt, I bought some yardage of “The Dotted Line” by De Leon Design Group for Alexander Henry Fabrics as backing. It really is perfect; I just didn’t PERFECTLY line up the backing with the front before quilting, so it’s a little off kilter. I opted to quilt this before squaring it up, since the edges of the jellyroll strips weren’t perfect, but I think that due to the linear nature of both front and back fabrics, I should have squared up my top before quilting. We’re always learning, right?

rainbow jellyroll quilt

quilting rainbow back

I do like how the quilting from the front looks on the back, even though it’s not perfectly parallel to the dots. Maddie certainly doesn’t love it any less due to its off kilter elements.
rainbow jellyroll quilt and maddie

maddie and her quilt

I quilted this quilt with primarily Aurifil 40wt thread, which worked perfectly. It was enough extra weight to make the quilting visible (especially the free motion quilted dedication: “Made for Madeline Joyce with love from Mommy”).

free motion quilted dedication

free motion quilting 40wt aurifil detail

The 40wt Aurifil really helps the stitches pop!
The 40wt Aurifil really helps the stitches pop!

I decided to machine bind the quilt using Cluck Cluck Sew‘s fabulous Machine binding tutorial, since I’m counting on this quilt getting loved to tatters by my little (big!?) five year old. After sewing the binding to the front, I pressed it out around the edges with a hot iron, and folded and pressed the corners how I wanted them to look. Using this little trick, when sewing the binding to the back, I didn’t sew onto the front binding at all! At least one part turnedy out perfectly!

rainbow jellyroll quilt

maddie on her quilt

maddie on her rainbow quilt

maddie on her rainbow quilt
Maybe she will share with her little brother… one can hope!

Quilt Stats

Pattern: Inspired by a Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt seen on Creativebug; I simply sewed jellyroll strips together.

Size: 42″x 61″

Front: Andover Fabrics Color Collection jellyroll
Back: “The Dotted Line” by De Leon Design Group for Alexander Henry Fabrics 2012
Binding: Poppy Passion Bead Stripe by Springs Creative Products Group

Batting: 100% cotton Warm & Natural batting

Thread: Aurifil 40wt in coordinating colors (contrasting color used for free motion quilted dedication)

Quilting: Straight line echo quilting 1/4″ from each seam; Free motion quilted dedication: “Made for Madeline Joyce with love from Mommy” “2015”

Related blog posts: Work in Progress: Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt, Friday Finish: Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt Top, Rainbow Thread Eye Candy, February Goals {ALYoF}

I’m linking up my finish for A Lovely Year of Finishes February Goals PartyTGIFF & Sew Can She Show off Saturday.

18 thoughts on “February Finish {ALYoF}: Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt”

  1. I struggle with lining up pieced backings sometimes, too. I think the backing fabric is perfect, and my guess is that this quilt is going to be so well loved that you will forget the details an imperfections quickly. 🙂


  2. This is a great quilt, and you must feel extra-proud with how much love it is already getting! I love how you FMQ-ed the dedication into the quilt. I always FMQ my name, and the recipient’s name into the quilt somewhere. Jasmine at Quilt Kisses does a great tutorial on lining up backings. As for imperfections: read Angela Walters’ blog post (watch the video, like 5 min) and you will never say that again! What she says is very profound.


  3. Eeeeee it came out so well!! I love a good rainbow and this is a GREAT rainbow! ^_^ The quilting is really special, as well. That backing fabric is perfect, and you are probably the only one who will ever notice it’s not perfectly lined up!


  4. Great finish Kitty! Your daughter looks like she is thrilled with her quilt. So…… Time to start one for your little guy now!


  5. This is cute! I especially love the FMQ dedication! I’ll have to give this a try on one of my next quilts. Did you free hand it or did you mark it beforehand?


    1. Thank you, Izzy!! I freehanded the dedication, but I traced out the words with my finger beforehand, just to get a visual of spacing. It helps that my handwriting has always looked like it comes right out of the cursive primer! If love to see yours when you try it! I love free motion quilting words 🙂


  6. I’m totally obsessed with the writing – I can’t believe how perfect it looks!
    I always avoid directional backings for that reason but really who’s going to notice but us? We’re our own worst critic.


  7. Most excellent quilt 😀 And -YES- “Perfection” needs to be tossed right out the window during quilting (do our reasonable very best and be happy with that!) unless you’re specifically working on a competition show quilt or a paid high-price commission. Quilting became so much more enjoyable and productive after I internalized that. This quilt is awesome – I love the personal note quilted in, and the backing and binding fabrics are absolutely gorgeous with it. 😀 And that directional thing – It looks to me like its perpendicular orientation to the quilting lines makes it no big deal at all – it’s just that the spots don’t line up perfectly along the quilting lines, right? And that does not look bad at all. Seriously 🙂


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