embrace the rainbow

Embrace the Rainbow

Rainbows make me happy. As early as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed arranging things in rainbow order. In high school and college, I would always eat M&Ms in rainbow order. No exceptions. As a mom, putting colored pencils or crayons away in rainbow order fills me with a weird feeling of bliss. It’s no surprise, then, that rainbow order finds itself into so many of my quilts. For a while, I thought I would “grow out of” my penchant for rainbows. For some reason, in my mind, rainbow order isn’t as mature as, say… marsala, or gold. Then I had a little blog comment conversation via email with Jenn from A Quarter Inch from the Edge, where she pointed out, “Why does one need to get over a penchant for rainbows? We see them so rarely in real life… we’ve got to make a few of our own!” True that! And so, I have embraced my love of rainbows and I’m letting it shine! Here are two of my current works in progress as proof.

Twirling Star by Leanne at Devoted Quilter pattern testingI’m testing a pattern called Twirling Star by Leanne at Devoted Quilter. It has been fun getting feedback on Instagram about fabric choices along the way. I opted for an entirely low volume background, just switching up the background fabric for the outer pinwheels to help the center star stand out a bit more. Opinions were pretty evenly split between using this Botanics Foliage in Charcoal fabric versus using Ledger from Carolyn Friedlander’s Architextures line. As much as I LOVE Ledger (can you tell I love pretty much all things Carolyn Friedlander?), I was toying with the idea of spinning the outer rainbow pinwheels, but wanted the flexibility to make the decision after seeing the blocks. With Ledger, the directionality issue would have required that I make the decision before assembling the blocks. Foliage, it was!

twirling star rainbow pattern testing for leanne at devoted quilterNow I just need to sew these blocks together and add the borders and this mini quilt top will be finished!

prismatic medallion rainbow alison glass versionNext up is my progress on the Prismatic Medallion mini quilt I’m making for my partner in the Alison Glass Mini Quilt Swap. I definitely attribute my recent burst of rainbow to my purchase of the newest Alison Glass Sunprints. How could you resist making EVERYTHING with these fabulously bright and saturated fabrics!?

I’ve finally received all of the supplemental fabrics needed to fill out the black and white section, and all of the pieces are cut. Only the green and blue/turquoise triangles are sewn together so far. I’m really happy with the black and white triangle, and have come to accept the blue/purple triangle. I’m still debating the yellow/orange and the red/orange/magenta sections.

prismatic medallion alison glass version
Alison Glass handcrafted added in. I think it’s too brown for this palette.

In the yellow/orange triangle (beneath the black and white one), I originally bought a fabric from Alison Glass’ s Handcrafted line to vary the colors a bit. Now I’m thinking it may be too brown for this palette. I’m leaning toward the brighter Cotton & Steel basics yellow instead.

prismatic medallion alison glass version
Magenta-purple spread out a bit in the bottom triangle.

In the red/orange/magenta triangle (bottom center), I’m thinking I will spread out the purply magenta triangles a bit more. I’m thinking this bottom layout will be the final layout, with the C&S yellow and the spread out magenta. I need to decide soon and get this sewn together! What would you do?

embrace the rainbow

I’m linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for Work in Progress Wednesday.



17 thoughts on “Embrace the Rainbow”

  1. I love Jenn’s thoughts about creating our own rainbows as they are rare in life. I think that is a beautiful point. I think you are right that the yellow might be a bit too brown, and the C+S yellow is nice. I might play with the yellow a bit – can you swap the more solid yellow and the C+S positions?


  2. Never get over your love of rainbows! And don’t stop putting them together in your quilts – the eye candy is amazing 🙂 Both projects are looking fabulous!


  3. I love rainbows, although they are not the first color combination that I gravitate towards. (you could never tell based on my current projects though) I’ve seen so many quilts lately that I love made with rainbows, and decided to experiment too with my AG fabrics – they really are perfect, aren’t they? Now that I’ve played around a little with an “organized” rainbow, I don’t really like my own project as well as some of the things that I’ve seen other people doing. I guess I should just stick to the color arrangements I’m naturally drawn to.

    Handcrafted – LOVE IT! But I would have to agree with your first thought… it is a little too brown. I really like the C&S yellow.


  4. Yes, I like the bottom layout better. Very pretty! If it were me, I’d switch the purply magenta triangles so the prints would be spread out as well as the color.


  5. Oh man, I feel you on the need for rainbow order. I am totally right there with you! 🙂

    And I’m with everyone else, the bottom layout looks great!


  6. These are lovely! I haven’t worked on a rainbow for so long, it’s fun to play with colors and how they relate. I do think the C+S on the second photo looks better!


  7. Yes I agree that the brown doesn’t look right. But I wonder about the other one too – if you could get a more toned down yellow then perhaps it wouldn’t stand out so much. But…. I do love it – the shape, the colours, the rainbow. Gosh it makes me happy just to look at it. I love the other one too. I think that the rainbow look is part of a desire for order – I have that too – my fabric is organized in colours and runs from red to purple then neutrals. I just can’t help myself. And when I have pawed through the fabrics looking for something and they are mixed up – I start working rearranging them. In fact, if I am stressed, can’t sleep or simply bored then I play in my fabric cupboard. I also associate memories with various fabrics – I know exactly where I bought stuff. And I identify places by where the closest quilt stores are located. By way that intersection point with all those triangles is amazing – you are so precise. Maybe a good post on how you made that happen 🙂


  8. I have always loved putting things into ROYGBV order – but I just associated that with my OCD. lol. I never tried to quilt a rainbow until I had a mini partner that loved rainbows. Now I LOVE them. Your projects are lovely! I especially like the prismic medallion. So cool looking.


  9. I love rainbows! Each time I start a new project-well, that’s rare!- I say to myself “I will use low volume fabrics this time, no bright yellows, purples, etc” but always end up with all the beautiful bright colours of a rainbow!
    I agree that the AG yellow is quite brown and it is dulling the whole look. The yellows in the second are better but maybe the top left two yellows under the black and white arrow and the white spotty fabrics can even be a little bit brighter. Whatever you go ahead with, I am sure it will look gorgeoussss!


  10. Oh such rainbow-y goodness! I totally hear you about arranging things in rainbow order – pencils, bobbins, spools. There’s really not another way for me to but coloured stuff in order! I’d go for the C&S yellow… the Alison Glass is a little too muddy for me.


  11. I love rainbows too, but I rarely use them myself…I’m more of an ‘admire everyone else’s rainbows’ kind of person! Yours are looking beautiful. Thanks so much for testing the pattern for me!!


  12. Both your blocks are fun projects. I agree that the brown is too brown for the context; I also think the yellow is too yellow. I’d go for something orangier. (Spell check doesn’t like my word.)


  13. I used to be obsessed with rainbows when I was little and I would color them on everything. Now that I make quilts, I want to use all the colors all the time! Not much has changed, I guess. I can’t wait to see how your prismatic medallion turns out, I just downloaded that pattern the other day and really want to give it a try!


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