Last month, one of my good friends announced that she is pregnant with a rainbow baby. A rainbow baby is a baby that is born after infant loss. When she announced, I knew it was time to finally finish off this quilt as a gift for her rainbow baby. As written, the quilt works out to be 60″x60″. If you cut all 42 of your layer cake squares into the 2″ strips, though, you’ll have enough strips to make a twin size instead. You’ll have to compute your own borders/sashing fabric requirements, but really, it’s not that much more fabric!
Since this fabric is so old, it’s not available any more, but if you like the color palette, the Farm Fun collection from Moda is a fun childhood fabric, or the Jurassic Jamboree collection has the bright rainbow palette with a darling dinosaur theme.
31 layer cake squares (precut 10” squares) or 15 fat quarters with which to cut your own squares
½ yard for sashing
¾ yard for borders
1 2/3 yards minky (60″ wide) for backing
Cut a ½ inch off one side of 30 of the layer cake squares, then cut the rectangle along the 10-inch side into 2-inch strips. You should now have 150 2×9.5” strips. These will be used for piecing the large squares.
Cut the last square into 2” strips, then cut each strip into five 2” squares. You’ll have 25 squares. These will be used for the small squares in the sashing.
Cut ten 2-inch wide strips of fabric from the sashing fabric. Cut each of the strips into four 9.5”x2” rectangles. You’ll have 40 rectangles cut. These will be used for the sashing throughout the quilt.
Cut six 4.5-inch wide strips of the border fabric. Cut two of those strips in half. You should have four 4.5”xwidth of fabric strips, and four 4.5”x22” strips.
Cut six 2.5-inch wide strips of fabric for the borders
The strips for the squares need to look as random as possible. (For me, that’s not possible without a lot of planning!! I lay them all out on the floor and group and regroup until I’m satisfied.) Each square needs six of the layer cake strips. Sort your strips into 25 piles with six strips each. Align the long edges of the layer cake strips and sew together using a ¼” seam allowance. (All of the seam allowances in this quilt are ¼”.) When all 25 squares have been assembled, press them. I usually don’t press when I’m quilting, but pressing the squares will help keep the sashing square, and that dramatically simplifies the assembly and quilting later. I simply pressed all seam allowances on the back of a square in the same direction.
The quilt is assembled by making five rows of five squares each, with sashing between each column and row. The alignment of the squares will rotate by 90 degrees with each seam, so that a square with horizontal strips will be sandwiched between two squares with vertical stripes. Piece the rows as follows:
Row A instructions (make 3): Horizontal square, sashing strip, vertical square, sashing strip, horizontal square, sashing strip, vertical square, sashing strip, horizontal square.
Row B instructions (make 2): Vertical square, sashing strip, horizontal square, sashing strip, vertical square, sashing strip, horizontal square, sashing strip, vertical square.
To piece the sashing strips between the rows, alternate a sashing strip and one of the small squares from the second cutting instruction. You’ll need four rows of the following: sashing strip, square, sashing strip, square, sashing strip, square, sashing strip, square, sashing strip. Make four of these sashing strips. I thought I’d taken a picture of this as I made it, but when I went to upload the photos it wasn’t there. Oops!
It’s time to assemble the main body of the quilt. Hooray! This is my favorite part, because this is when it all comes together. Start with one of the Row A’s, and align a sashing strip with the long edge, and sew them together. Next, align a Row B with the sashing strip, and zip those babies together.
Repeat, alternating rows A and B, until the quilt top is put together. Isn’t it darling? Now, sew a short border fabric strip to a long border fabric strip along the short edge. You’ll need four of these longer strips.
Align a border strip with the top of the quilt and sew it together. Repeat with another border strip along the bottom of the quilt. Trim the extra end of the strip so it’s in line with the main body of the quilt.
Repeat with another border strip on the left side, then again along the right side. Square it up again, and you have a gorgeous new quilt top!
To finish it all off, layer the backing, the batting, and the quilt top in a yummy quilt sandwich. Quilt it as desired. Attach your binding and enjoy your new quilt.