Bottled Rainbows – Completely Complete

Bottled Rainbows Complete

Phew!  Bottled Rainbows is complete!  First off, a big thank you to Rachel for designing this fun quilt and giving us all an excuse to use up some of those precious scraps we’ve all been hoarding.  I’m so grateful for this quilt design as it has always made me happy to work on it and has been a peaceful and joyful endeavor for me, one block at a time.

Bottled Rainbows Complete

For those who don’t know about this quilt, it is made in a ticker-tape style.  This basically means that it is comprised of raw edge applique.  In particular, my quilt was done with a zig-zag stitch around the perimeter of each piece.  I’ve never made a bed-sized quilt before that uses raw edge applique on this level.  But I decided to dive in.

Bottled Rainbows Complete

I love that I was able to use even the smallest scrap of precious fabrics and only had a few blocks where I needed to cut into my “stash” and not just pull from my scraps.  Everything about this quilt was scrappy for me…the white background fabric, the batting, the fabric and even the thread.  In fact, I got myself in a little bit of trouble with that…after a crazy attempt to use up the last of a lot of bobbins, I must have grabbed one that I had been avoiding.  Why was I avoiding it?  Well because while it looked like white thread, it was in reality WATER SOLUBLE thread.  Yep.  Doh!  Thankfully I only did part of one block with that…which in some ways I was happy to learn actually is water-soluble.  I just didn’t mean to learn it after I had finished my quilt and was giving it a trial test wash.

Bottled Rainbows Complete

But a little more zig-zag stitching had those pieces back on the quilt and looking fine!  In retrospect, I think that I should have used a larger zig-zag stitch (wider) for this method because I had certain fabrics that apparently were more prone to fraying which came loose in spots after one wash…I knew I hadn’t used the water-soluble thread there because the whole line of stitching was still there.  So those took a little more work too.  I think it was good to do the trial wash and check how the fabrics were doing.  From now on I think that it should definitely have a gentle or hand wash.  My current sewing machine does who knows what in the “gentle” cycle, so I would opt to hand wash.

Bottled Rainbows Complete

This quilt was also done with a quilt as you go method…meaning that I quilted the fabric to the batting for each individual block as it was made.  I enjoyed that and would definitely do that method again, but I did learn a bit.  The biggest concern that I’ve heard people express when looking at this method is what do the seams look like when you put two blocks together.  Is it too bumpy?  Will it really work?  Well…I don’t think it was TOO bumpy.  A little bit for sure.  And yes, it really does work.  Very well in fact.  But here’s the one caveat.    Having sewn together with the seams and pressed them open for a flatter look, I was left with a 1/2″ of colored fabric at each seam from the back of the batting.  Does that make sense?  Normally all of your fabric is on one side of the batting…but with this method, you get just a bit on the backside as well due to the seams.  This may or may not be an issue depending on all the fabrics involved.  But I was a little dismayed to discover that despite the fact that I chose a medium-colored aqua fabric for the backing, you could still easily see these fabrics through the backing.  In the end, all turned out well because of how I quilted the whole quilt (a 1/4″ on either side of every seam) and it drew attention away from the fact that you could see the fabrics from the front through to the back.

Bottled Rainbows Complete

I did add a border to the quilt as Rachel suggested to make it just large enough for a bed.  Some of you may notice that my border looks a bit familiar. 😉  I told you this whole thing was scrappy!  I ended up piecing together a whole bunch of leftover pieces from my current zig-zag quilt (remember I have extra extra because I cut up a whole slew of fabrics the wrong way!).  I took a leap out of my comfort zone and chose to do the border a la Seurat and his famous pointillism painting .  He used contrasting colors just around the very edge of the painting to draw out the main color of the painting.  (Oh yeah…pulling out the art history from high school!)

Bottled Rainbows Complete

There’s no doubt that it would have been safer to use a solid border, no border, or even a scrappy border that imitates the color of the block that it is near.  But I need to push myself!  And with that, I can learn.  I have a love/not love relationship with the border…but in the end, I’m really proud that I chose to do it that way and it was pretty tricky with all of those angled pieces and mitered corners. (Seriously, why do I always make a project more difficult?!)  I have moments that I adore and others that I’m not as crazy about.  But that’s what taking a risk often means.

Bottled Rainbows Complete

I gave this to one of my nieces the other day because as soon as I got back to South Bend and spent more time with her, I realized that she was the one that this quilt belonged to.  She is joyful, happy, and full of life.  Very much like this quilt.  She loves everything about it that I could possibly ask for…noticing all the details and immediately declared that her room needed to be redecorated to match and that her mother should buy her a matching outfit.  lol.  Now, what’s not to love in that reaction?

Bottled Rainbows Complete

36 thoughts on “Bottled Rainbows – Completely Complete”

  1. Looks gorgeous! I really like the contrasting border. It looks like a lot of work, but it does look great.

    I always wanted to do one of these, but don't think I'll have enough scraps of the right kind of colours. Oh well, maybe someday! (Generating scraps is easy, after all!)

  2. I have been following your progress and have been inspired to try one! I have a zip lock bag of fabrics waiting for their first block. I really love your border and the explanation. Not having high school art…I never would have thought of that!

  3. Your border is just wonderful! In fact, the whole quilt is. I love looking at the photos and checking out all the fun scraps you used. It sounds like it will be well loved!

  4. Wow! It's beautiful!!!!

    Can you explain the back, with pics maybe?? I want to make this quilt one day but wondered about the back.
    I also hard of people just sewing to the batting and putting one piece on the back.

  5. I LOVE the border (btw, that Seurat painting is my all time fav!) It looks so beautiful! I can't believe we both finished around the same time and both gave them away already! ha ha! I loved this project, but it was surprisingly easy to give it away since I knew it was going to the perfect recipient–and it sounds like you had the same experience!

  6. Angela, you did an amazing job with this quilt! I love the border, and all your blocks, and I especially love that you knew exactly who it belonged to when it was finished! Thanks for sharing all the gorgeous pictures!!

  7. It's gorgeous, Angela! I'm glad you found the perfect recipient, and it's good that you learned a few things from the experience. I've never used water soluble thread before, but wow, I'm glad it only affected a few pieces!

  8. It looks great, you did a wonderful job.
    Thanks for mentioning about the block seam fabric showing through the back. No one has mentioned that before. I am three blocks away from being done with my Bottled Rainbow and I chose a backing that is white with rainbow zig zags…now I'm worried about those seams. Hum.

  9. Love it! It is so pretty and bright and cheerful. I love the border too. It came out great. Ive really been wanting to try the ticker tape method, now I have to!

  10. Ha ha I'm sure her mother was thrilled at the need to redecorate! 🙂

    This quilt is beautiful, love all the colours and fabrics. And I think the border looks great with the fabrics you've used, especially with the colour changes – they match the spirit of the quilt! 🙂

  11. Wow, Angela, you totally rocked this finish. I think the border is genius and as someone else said, very much in the spirit of the quilt. You know, I never thought about the colors showing through a light background. Oops! They don't show with my medium green background, but I can see that they would with lighter ones. Good point. Your niece's reaction is completely fabulous. I wish I was young enough to go buy a matching outfit, lol.

  12. Great to see it finished, it's so cool and I love the border, too. It looks like one kind of rainbow is framed in another kind of rainbow 🙂

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