a graduated rainbow quilt top

Perhaps you remember these lovely fabrics? I’ve been purchasing pieces here and there, and I knew from the start that I wanted to use them all together in one big quilt. I love the designs, and Hitomi prints them in all the colors of the rainbow, so what else could I do but use them and show off their rainbow-y goodness?!

It took me a while to decide how to best showcase these designs. In fact, it wasn’t until just recently when I was poking through some old photo albums that I found my inspiration. Want to see it? (really?)

Once I turned the page and came across this photo of an old family vacation in Tortola, I immediately paused. (No, not because I was so in awe of that lovely hairdo. Oh yes, I was so stylish!) I was eying that striped beach towel and knew immediately that it would be a perfect design for these fabrics.

[As an aside, I realize this photo doesn’t really scream beach vacation. But really, the beach we were camping on was beautiful… just more picturesque during daylight hours. The turquoise waters really helped.]

I love the rainbow columns, though to be honest, I wasn’t really thinking when I came up with measurements for the blocks. For some reason, I kept the size of the white blocks constant, while decreasing the size of the printed areas as it graduated from red to purple. Which of course means that the layout didn’t end up exactly as I pictured. Even though it wasn’t exactly the look I was after, I decided not to rip it all apart.

Luckily I like the way this looks too! Now I’m just debating over whether to add white borders to each side. I’m thinking yes… you?

These gorgeous hand printed fabrics may be purchased in Hitomi's Etsy shop, Kalla hand printed fabrics.

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27 Responses to a graduated rainbow quilt top

  1. 1
    Faith says:

    OMG Ashely, you are awesome just for posting that old photo! HA! Love the quilt. 🙂

  2. 2

    I agree that a small white border would be a great way to wrap up this quilt top. I also like that the white blocks remain the same size throughout the quilt. It makes the print blocks look like they are moving up the quilt. I just recently finished a rainbow quilt myself, only using smaller blocks, and it was so fun to play with layouts using all those beautiful colors. Yours will be so pretty when complete too!


  3. 3
    Sarah says:

    See I think it looks just perfect the way you have it now – no sashing. I would use a black or brown print for the binding & leave it at that – I think it looks just perfect.

    Loving that photo! Has made me want to dig our old pics out from the attic again

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Mary says:

    I just love it. So clean looking and organized and graphic and delicious. ( And us children of the 70’s really go for the whole rainbow angle)

  6. 6
    Susan McKey says:

    I think yes on white on the sides, too. The top and bottom have some white “border”, yes? So a little more sashing on the sides might balance nicely.

    I just LOVE the wee grey strip to each color block. That really grounds the whole thing, in a sweet, gentle way. Lovely!

    My son and sister are in the Virgin Islands right now, not far from Tortola. It really is stunning there, isn’t it?

  7. 7
    Anne says:

    I love the idea that your inspiration can come from anywhere.
    I like the idea of a white border also.
    What kind of white fabric did you use? Do you have a preference? Or does it depend on the fabrics in the rest of the quilt?

  8. 8
    KellyS says:

    This quilt top is gorgeous! I am on such a rainbow kick myself, so many wonderful ideas out there I keep debating what I want to make. I love how you found the inspiration to make this quilt too!

  9. 9
    phiona says:

    i think yo should rock that hair do again ashley!


  10. 10
    mn2nm says:

    I love the quilt! That little strip of grey is so simple, yet perfect! The picture at the top with the blue sky is lovely!

  11. 11
    Liz says:

    Oooh, I LOVE this. I need to make a rainbow quilt, like now. 🙂

  12. 12
    Andrea says:

    Love it! (especially the old picture!)

  13. 13
    Lindsay F says:

    After 7 hours of class that quilt just made me smile again. I think a white border might work out well to really highlight the negative space and make the color pop.

  14. 14

    I love the quilt as is. I actually think adding a white border would drown out the colors! They are such great prints! I really love this quilt, and look forward to seeing what you do with it!

  15. 16
    Suzanne says:

    It’s great that you were able to draw your inspiration from a beach towel which evokes such fond memories. I really like how it came out.

  16. 17
    leilani says:

    This is lovely in its simplicity.

    The following is MHO: The white border is the ‘expected’. Have you thought of a very narrow (1/2″) bound edge in the same grey as the bottom edge of each block? Or perhaps the same size edge in a grey patterned fabric – the grey being the same as that of the narrow bottom edge of each block.

    I just discovered you blog a few weeks ago and it is one of my favorites. Thank you for all the eye candy and inspiration!

  17. 18

    It’s goodness. I love the ah-ha inspiration (and hair). I say no to border, I like the top and bottom “borders,” they stand alone well.

  18. 19
    Kerry says:

    Ashley – this turned out beautifully!

  19. 20
    jennifer says:

    great quilt! i LOVE it! i think it’s just fine that all the white blocks are the same… and yes to the borders: but only on the sides. AND- i think that the GREAT pictures you took really are fabulous- they’re perfect for this quilt!

  20. 21
    M-R says:

    That’s gorgeous! I love your design and the fabric choices.

  21. 22
    Tonya Albers says:

    I love it! I have been gathering fabrics that are solid colors with whites as well… I made an orangey w/white quilt for a baby a month ago & will be doing a blues & greens w/white for my bed when I get some time… You are such an inspiration – keep up the awesome work!! 🙂

  22. 23
    Susan McAdams says:

    Love the fabrics. I have been watching her website, just haven’t had extra buying power lately.

  23. 24
    Cari says:

    I like all your quilts so much that I stalk your blog almost daily! But this one, well. . . it was love at first sight! What a great quilt – congratulations!

  24. 25

    I just LOVE these photographs…they make me feel so light and relaxed…amazing!

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