Rainbow Mini Swap Finish

Now that my partner has received her mini quilt, I will share with you my design process for this mini quilt. I’m not sure if the instagram quilting community is just exploding with swap activity, or that I am just more aware of it, but this was my second instagram swap and I have two more coming up.

I was stumped for a while on what to choose for this mini quilt, and I ordered a bunch new fabric but didn’t use much of it, then decided to go with a pattern from the Little Quilts book (Sarah Fielke and Amy Lobsiger). I didn’t get a “like” or comment on my picture of the fabric pull, but my partner had commented favourably on a similar design by someone else, so I continued along.

Pattern is Drawn Together

Pattern is Drawn Together

The actual piecing didn’t take too long, I had debated on doing a scrappy low volume background then picked this print, Cuneiform by Katarina Roccella for all the background. For each section, I placed the darkest value print in the center, then the lightest, and the medium for the outer ring. I was pleased with the final effect and chose the plain Kona coal to frame the star and not draw attention away from the center (plus it was a lot faster than my original thought of a pieced border).

I wanted to match the quilting threads to the fabrics, and fortunately we were about to have a week away, so I decided I would hand quilt this mini. Mostly by just outlining and echoing the shapes of the pieces. The triangles in the border are the colours of the rainbow as well. I made a triangle template of cardboard and then just drew a dot at each apex using a frixion pen. I don’t trust the frixion pens not to leave a shiny mark, so I figured the dot would be less obtrusive.

quilting detail

When it came time to bind the mini, I decided my original idea of more Kona coal just wasn’t right, so I picked out some Kona ash. I love photos framed in neutral colours too.  Finally I added hanging pockets in all 4 corners (so any way can be up) and used one for the label too.

corner pocket with label

I love the challenge of these swaps, yet they are stressful too to make something based on a few lines in the swap questionnaire.  For myself, there are so many fabulous makers, I know I would be happy with whatever I receive, and I always say for the maker to put something of herself (himself) into the process.  Go for it!–so I get something of you to enjoy every day.  I hope my partners all feel the same.

As a nod to the tradition of hand quilting, I am linking up to Le Challenge. Also to my friend Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social, TGIFF with Quilt Matters, and Pet Project at Pink Doxies (see buttons on side bar).

 photo LeChalleng


  1. Michele Timms · ·

    Your mini quilt is beautiful!!!

    1. Thanks, it was a lot of fun to make!

  2. SO PRETTY !

    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a sweet comment!

  3. It’s gorgeous!

    1. And Alison loved it too!

  4. Really beautiful and you put so much thought into it. The triangle quilting looks incredible and I like that you tied the theme of tradition to hand quilting! Thanks for linking to le challenge!

    1. Thank you! The colour gradient in the border turned out more subtle than i imagined, but it’s definitely an effect i will revisit sometime.

  5. Cheers for the tradition of hand quilting. A friend of mine just reported on a show with only two hand quilted quilts. And I like the mini!

    1. Hand quilting is very meditative for me, more about the journey than the destination. I also think it’s an easier skill to acquire than machine quilting, so it’s a shame that it may be a dying art. A mini like this is the perfect opportunity for showing off hand quilting.

  6. Lots of cutting out in this quilt. Lovely colours .

  7. Pretty fun mini! Who can resist pretty colors in order 🙂

  8. Very pretty! I love rainbow quilts!

  9. I’m so happy to see your finish here. This turned out beautiful between your colors and prints, but your backing and corner-tags are the bomb! It’s a wonderful idea. I’m involved in my first swap right now, and a little nervous about what to make to make my partner happy. I’m glad yours was.


  10. So pretty! That explosion of colours is really nice, thanks for sharing on Le challenge.

  11. I love rainbow quilts. Especially miniquilts. This one is beautiful.
    Thanks for linking up at the TGIFF
    Love from Amsterdam

    1. I am sure that I will be making many more rainbow quilts!

      On Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 1:11 PM, Lisa in Port Hope wrote:


  12. I love rainbow quilts and yours is super cute. I’m sure you made your partner very happy.
    Thank you for linking up to Sew the Library

  13. What a beautiful mini. I’m sure your partner will be delighted.

    1. She loves it! On May 1, 2015 7:58 PM, “Lisa in Port Hope” wrote:


  14. Thanks so much for linking up with Mini Quilt Monday! I feel like there are SO many awesome mini swaps on IG right now that I can’t keep up with them all and miss ones that are so amazing, like this one! LOVE all the colors you chose and the hand quilting really made it special 🙂

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