Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bottled Rainbows {Joining Blocks}

This post is part of a series Bottled Rainbows {ticker tape quilt along}. You can join in anytime. We're going at a leisurely pace and using up our scraps! Please see this page for links to all posts, and join us on Flickr to share your questions and work-in-progress!

I have to warn you, this Bottled Rainbow business is spreading like some sort of springtime virus.  It's popping up all over blogland and it's taking more and more people all the time.  If you really, really, really don't want to make a Bottled Rainbow quilt, be sure not to look too close!  Because once you get started....  well, I've heard you don't want to stop!

*Updated* Bottled Rainbows Color Grid

This week I added another block to my collection, this time the lighter pink block called "Candy Pink" in the Bottled Rainbow color grid. 

Bottled Rainbow - Petal Block (in Kona Candy Pink)

this little corner

I like how this little corner turned out.  I happen to have these butterflies in many of the Bottled Rainbow colors.  I think it'll be fun to have the same butterfly appearing here and there!

oh, hello!  what are you?

I thought I'd snap a picture of the very azalea bushes that make me think "petal" when I see this intense shade of light pink.  And look what I found among the blossoms!

Mystery Creature in my Petals

Actually, I don't know what it is.  Do you?  It's bigger than a bumble bee, but smaller than a hummingbird.  It kind of scared me, I'll admit!  Not having grown up in South Carolina, I'm at a loss sometimes with the insects.  Oops, we're so far off topic now, aren't we!

Did you think I was going to talk about joining block?  Ok, yes, I am.  Really.

If you're following along with the Quilt-Along, you're making blocks via the Quilt-As-You-Go (QAYG) method explained here.  Even though it feels just crazy, just wild and reckless, we're making our blocks with batting and no backing.  Now, this is not my very own idea.  Suzuko Koseki teaches QAYG in Patchwork Style.  With QAYG, you join finished blocks with right sides together and press seams open.  Once you've pieced the quilt front (batting already attached), you add the quilt back as one huge piece.  To secure, you could either machine quilt, hand quilt or tie the quilt.  I'll be machine quilting with a zigzag stitch along the seams of the blocks myself!  My friend Penny did some testing and advocates this approach (QAYG with batting, blocks joined right sides together, seams pressed open, backing added as one big piece). 

Let's join some blocks!

Right sides together - just like usual!

::Right Sides together::  I recommend joining blocks in columns, rather than rows, which should make it easier to keep things straight!  So, I'm going to join these blocks along the long side.

Stitch a 1/4" seam

::Stitch 1/4" Seam::  Use pins to prevent shifting. Your sewing machine should have no problem stitching this!

Press Seams Open

::Press Seams Open::  Yep, the block top and the batting - both pressed open. Actually, I press seams open all the time anyways. Makes for the flattest seams!

Piecing with Quilt As You Go

::And Continue::  Keep adding to your column until you've joined all 4 blocks. Once you have 4 complete columns, you'll join them together in the same manner with 3 long seams. Always press seams open! Although the seam creates a little "ridge" of sorts if you run your hand over it, it is not visible to the eye and would not at all effect the use or the beauty of the quilt. In fact, a non-quilter would probably never give that seam a second thought!

Bottled Rainbows - Pieced Blocks!

Here is the start of my first column!  That's Petal, Raspberry and Ruby.  They look quite at home with Spring!


  1. Just lovely!!!!! I cannot wait to start!!!!!!

  2. Hooray, I'm so excited to see this quilt come together!

  3. i am in love with this quilt! i have like 70 wip's going ... but i am bookmarking this one for sure! and it's RAINBOWS!!! :o)

  4. A hummingbird moth! It's a moth that mimics the look of a hummingbird, but should be as harmless as any other moth.

  5. We have those weird looking flying things in NC too... they're called hummingbird moths or clear-wing moths in the US and bee-hawk moths in the UK.

  6. ...and YES! The Bottled Rainbow blocks are HIGHLY addictive!

  7. Thanks! Hummingbird Moth is such a perfect name for them. Now they can't scare me - hehe!

  8. I really need to dig through my scraps to see if I can pull off one of these quilts. If not now, maybe by next year. Really lovely!

  9. Rachel,
    I grew up in SC and don't think I have ever seen one of those even :) And you got an awesome photo of it- azeleas are my favorite thing in the world, and they don't grow in the West- stinker!! I LOVE your pictures of them- they make me homesick :) In a good way- thank you for posting them :)

  10. Wow, the photo of the winged beast is so cool!

    It is the best kind of virus! I need to get back to work on mine!

  11. I'm so in love with this project. I'm not a quilter per say and I've done very little quilting but I'm so drawn in by this project! I think I'm going to have to start it!

  12. Honestly I am not joining in; I don't have the time or the scraps to commit to it at the moment but I have been following religiously nonetheless! Now its all coming together and I starting to get REALLY jealous and I wish I had joined in months ago. Your first three look so gorgeous together and one block at a time doesnt look daunting (even for a beginner quilter like me!)

    I can't wait to see the completed quilts appearing, I am going to continue to live through all you guys for the time being!

  13. Oh Rachel your blocks are looking so beautiful! I love how your angles and triangles are mimicked in each block as well. There is such a nice continuity. How many blocks should we have done? Am I behind yet? I got ahead so I could work on other projects, but I sooo want to work on this again.

  14. As of the 9th, I have made 5 blocks! Itching to make another...

  15. These are gorgeous!! I dont have NEARLY enough fabric to join in, but hopefully one day! Your creations are always sooo inspiring! Just beautiful! :)

  16. oh wow, it looks amazing. I SO want to make one but really can't afford the outlay on solids at the minute. You are making it look so easy! Maybe I could make a bottled rainbow mug rug instead!

  17. Wendy - A mug rug would be beautiful! Definitely add a picture to our flickr pool if you do make one. I'd love to see!

  18. Your blocks look beautiful all lined up! You're right about the blocks being addictive. Even though I'm only on my second one, I'm really enjoying the process!

  19. It's a hummingbird moth! I'm so jealous. I couldn't love moths more... I've got the solids I need for this (and then some). It'll be interesting to see if I ever get around to making it. :)

  20. "QAYG", hmmmm...... I did all three layers (top, batting, backing). Oops!! When I put them together I will stitch a KONA rainbow on the back to cover the seams on the back. I hope I finish this weekend, I can't wait!!!!!

  21. How do you complete the back since you've already quilted the front? What keeps it from hanging loose??


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