Rainbow Roundabout: Mini Quilt #15

April 12, 2015

For this week of Mini Quilt Mania I wanted to reinterpret a classic block.  Courthouse Steps is a block that I have always found attractive, and I was wondering what would happen with the block if I forced it into a wedge shape rather than the traditional square.  This week’s quilt is the result of this experiment.

Rainbow Roundabout front view

I have been doing a lot of hexagonal work lately, so I thought that I would give an octagonal format a try.  Each wedge has a forced perspective courthouse steps block and a triangle to finish the shape.


There were several options for adding color to this pattern.  I considered keeping the design very simple, using only two fabrics and enhancing the starburst effect that happened when only two sides of each block had a contrasting fabric.  Another option I considered involved using a gradient along three sides of each block.  This still maintained a starburst effect, but it also enhanced the octagon base.  I thought this version had a real Art Deco feel.

/Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilting/My Quilts/Quilt Drafti

For this quilt I ended up going with the starburst layout, but instead of one color I decided to try a rainbow effect.  I have always admired everyone’s rainbow quilts, but I had never attempted one myself.  There are 74 fabrics in this quilt: 72 forming the color wheel, white Kona cotton for the background, and a Lotta Jansdotter stripe for the binding.  To guarantee the wedges maintain the desired shape and size, I developed foundation paper piecing templates to create the quilt top.

Rainbow Roundabout detail a

Rainbow Roundabout detail b

The back of this quilt is also white Kona so that the quilting is really shown off.  For the quilting, I used nine different threads to quilt this piece.  Each wedge has echo and diamond quilting in the white areas and echo quilting in each segment of color.

Rainbow Roundabout back view

Quilt Stats

Title:  Rainbow Roundabout

Size:  18.5″x18.5″

Techniques:  Foundation paper piecing

Quilting:  Echo Quilting within each area of the quilt using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  74 different fabrics:  72 colors from scrap and stash, Kona cotton in whiter for background and backing, Lotta Jansdotter stripe for binding

Batting:  Warm and White

Thread:  Pieced using white Gutermann Mara 100.  Quilted with Connecting Threads cotton Essentials quilting thread in Red, Grape Juice, Peridot, Persian Blue, Persimmon, and Sangria as well as yellow, teal, and green in Gutermann Mara 100.

Binding:  Striped fabric, cut on the bias in 2″ wide strips, machined stitched to the front of the quilt, hand stitched to the back.

What was new:

Rainbow color scheme- I’m pretty sure I have never used so many different fabrics in a mini quilt!

Converting a square quilt block into a forced perspective wedge

Quilt 15 / 50

Quilt 15 / 50

Goal #1 is Finished!

Goal #1 is Finished!


I’m linking this week’s quilt up with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, Scraptastic Tuesday at She Can Quilt, Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework, Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Paper Piecing Party at Quilt Art DesignsNeedle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt InfatuationLet’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, and Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please check out the amazing work being produced!

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  • Reply
    Cynthia Brunz Designs
    April 12, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Wow Cassandra! You knocked my socks off with this one! Absolutely stunning. I hope you enter it in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival in May. They usually have a rainbow or a mini category.

    I know I have said it before but you are so talented and inspiring! Thanks for sharing this beauty with Oh Scrap!

  • Reply
    April 12, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Holy WOW! Amazingly wonderful! First rainbow quilt? I’d say you nailed it! The fabric, the colors, the quilting – perfection!! And the back!! Congrats on a very successful experiment and the seriously awesome little quilt it produced!!

  • Reply
    April 12, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    Wow! Awesome quilt design! I love the rainbow colors and your quilting is perfect. Well done!

  • Reply
    Diann Bottrell
    April 12, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    That is just amazing! I love the rainbow colors and the shape, but the quilting is what really makes it wonderful!

  • Reply
    Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
    April 13, 2015 at 12:22 am

    What a fabulous effect, and I think the touch that really sets off the quilt is the different quilted thread colors you used. Your variations in color placement are really interesting – I think you could make a very cool snowflake or icy pattern with blues like you have shown. What program do you like to use for creating your paper piecing patterns (if you don’t mind me asking)? I think this color wheel variation is absolutely stunning, and is probably my favorite of your mini series so far this year. Beautiful!

  • Reply
    April 13, 2015 at 2:22 am

    This is a truly stunning design and quilt. I always try to work out how a quilt design was achieved but your quilts defeat me and which is why I love the show and tell bit of your blog! Mindyou I’ve no idea how you get the precision of your quilting….

  • Reply
    April 13, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Are you making this pattern for sale? If so, where can I purchase it? Stunning!

    • Reply
      April 16, 2015 at 10:03 am

      I would be interested in purchasing this pattern if you make it available. it is and outstanding design and color arrangement. thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    April 13, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Wowzers!!! This is stunning!

  • Reply
    April 13, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Wow! This is absolutely stunning. Your fabrics blend so well together and form an amazing rainbow. I bet you could write it up as a pattern and it would sell very well.

  • Reply
    Carol Woosley
    April 13, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Magnificent! It does have an Art Deco feel. I like it better than feathered stars. So many possibilities! Thanks for shating the piecing diagram.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2015 at 6:21 am

    Fabulous! I love it!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Wow! One of my favorite rainbow mini’s I’ve seen in a long time! Gorgeous and would love to make one myself! Everything about it is stunning…fabric colors and quilting! Fantastic job!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Wow. This is beautiful. So clever to alter that Courthouse Steps block. And the quilting is cool too with all those colors. Very impressive!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Wow, gorgeous! I like the other layout, too, but the quilting on this one is just amazing. I found this on Oh Scrap!

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 1:43 am

    Outstanding piece of work! Truly inspirational and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your work with us on #scraptastictuesday!

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 1:53 am

    Gorgeous! I love adaptations of traditional blocks into modern designs, and this one is stunning. I easily have 72 fabrics, but I doubt I could relate them that well.The variety adds to the appeal. (I just finished a workshop with Sally Collins, so miniatures are very much on my mind.)

  • Reply
    Juliet @ The Tartankiwi
    April 15, 2015 at 3:03 am

    Such a clever interpretation of a traditional block which is beautifully enhanced by your stunning quilting. Great job!

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 8:38 am

    This is an amazing idea that’s work so so well!

  • Reply
    Linda K
    April 15, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Here from Bonnie Hunter’s facebook post; wow, this is beautiful. Thank you for sharing how you made it! The forced perspective gives it such an intriguing look, and the colors and quilting are so lively! Love how there’s a kind of feathered star in the center.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Wow!! That is a FABULOUS quilt. Thanks for sharing the how to!!

  • Reply
    Bonnie S
    April 15, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Pattern – I want this pattern! Would you consider printing full-size paper piecing templates?

  • Reply
    Berit Dalby
    April 15, 2015 at 11:20 am

    this was fabolous, both workmanship and color choices!

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 11:24 am

    This is so amazing! I love everything about it!

  • Reply
    Archie The Wonder Dog
    April 15, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    This is absolutely stunning!!

  • Reply
    Super Mom - No Cape!
    April 15, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    This is amazing! The amount of work that went into designing it and then making it must have taken you hours and hours!

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Wow! Absolutely stunning! I hope you write a pattern for this. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Wow! And tiny too! Well done. Hope your entering it in shows.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    What a fun take on Courthouse Steps, and the quilting is fantastic.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    I am so impressed and inspired by every aspect of this quilt! thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Lara B.
    April 15, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Oh my – I am awestruck Cassandra! This is such an awesome quilt! You are very talented! Will you be writing and selling a pattern? Because i would buy it in a heartbeat! I hope you enter this quilt in a show!

  • Reply
    Sue B
    April 15, 2015 at 4:51 pm


  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    This is fantastic! I love the art deco feel.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    This is Amazing! I love the fabrics the quilting, all of it!

  • Reply
    Sylvia Rasa
    April 15, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Love this would like to have pattern when available.

  • Reply
    Jenn @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge
    April 15, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Holy smokes! I can’t believe you have that many pieces in a mini! You are devoted! The quilting is just as amazing as the pattern. Well done indeed!

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    First time visit for me and wow….what an amazing piece to see. Its beautiful.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    WOW and WOW again!!! stunning, your choice of colours is amazing, I too would buy this pattern if you ever chose to publish it…

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    This is exquisite! It’s hard to believe the quilt is only a little over 18 inches square. Thanks for sharing your process of arriving at the final design/coloration.

  • Reply
    Julie Stocker
    April 16, 2015 at 7:07 am

    Okay, Cassandra. Enough. You have raised the bar on ‘drop dead gorgeous’. Nice work breaking out of your old hexagon mold, though it was fabulous, too.


  • Reply
    Judy Knox
    April 16, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Cassandra, I have made ten or eleven color wheels over the years (and looked at many others) and yours has “knocked my socks off”. I am very tempted to try to collect 72 fabrics and emulate your gorgeous wheel.

    Since you published your layout on your website, is it okay with you if I copy your pattern for personal use and then spend my days (weeks, months) trying to create my version of your beautiful wheel? If I am successful my version of your wheel would hang on the wall of my sewing room and not go on public display at a quilt show because it would be a copy, not an original.

    • Reply
      April 22, 2015 at 7:59 am

      I agree. I would love to work on collecting and then using your template. And I agree with everyone, please sell pattern

  • Reply
    April 16, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Wow!! This is simply stunning. I love the geometric look – kind of made me think Art Deco.

  • Reply
    April 16, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Love this, it is so precise and so free. Amazing quilting too!

  • Reply
    April 17, 2015 at 7:59 am

    This is so amazing! I love the design and the quilting.

  • Reply
    Leanne Parsons
    April 17, 2015 at 9:53 am

    That is absolutely gorgeous!! I love everything about it, from the design to the colours to the quilting. The pattern would be a lot of fun to try out in different colours and with different shading, like you shared in the samples. The possibilities are practically endless!

  • Reply
    April 17, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Looks fab! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    April 17, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    I am awestruck by this amazing little quilt! Bravo

  • Reply
    April 18, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    WOW! What else can I say? Stunning.

  • Reply
    Dar in MO
    April 18, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    What a fabulous quilt. I love the colors, pattern you invented and the way you quilted it is perfect. You are truly a talented artist. This is my first time visiting your blog and it won’t be my last.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2015 at 3:49 am

    I’m visiting from Janeen’s QAD Friday Paper-piecing Party as I wanted to say how much I enjoy looking at your fabulous mini quilt. If you ever publish your pattern I would want to buy one although I don’t think I have anywhere near 72 shades of fabric.

  • Reply
    Mini Quilt Mania 2015 | The (not so) Dramatic Life
    April 19, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    […] Pingback: Rainbow Roundabout: Mini Quilt #15 | The (not so) Dramatic Life […]

  • Reply
    April 21, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    LOVELY! I’m glad I found your blog.

  • Reply
    April 21, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    This is gorgeous!! Fantastic job!

  • Reply
    April 23, 2015 at 9:36 am

    This is incredible! Would you consider selling the pattern?

  • Reply
    Maartje Quilt
    April 28, 2015 at 4:54 am

    Amazing!! Spectaculair!!!! I love this.
    Love from Amsterdam

  • Reply
    MarieThérèse Duquette
    April 30, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    C’est magnifique !

  • Reply
    May 6, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    This is so cool!!

  • Reply
    Blogger’s Quilt Festival: Rainbow Rotary | The (not so) Dramatic Life
    May 15, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    […] am excited to make Rainbow Rotary my first entry into The Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  This was my first rainbow quilt, but I […]

  • Reply
    Jocelyne Ausseil
    May 17, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Hi Cassandra, I fell in love with your quilt. Is it ok with you if I try to copy your pattern? I would really like to try my hand at it.. Please let me know? Unless you’re planning on selling it, in which case I would buy it right away! Thank you for inspiring us….

  • Reply
    May 24, 2015 at 11:41 am

    This is a beautiful quilt. I’m in awe of your design abilities. When you are ready to sell the pattern, let me know!!!

  • Reply
    May 24, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Visiting from Cindy’s Oh Scrap! and I agree with the general consensus of WOW! and ‘you knocked it out of the park’ on this one! Just fabulous and the quilting is fantastic too. Those wedges must be PRETTY teensy if the quilt is only 18.5″ square!!!

  • Reply
    May 24, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Fantastic little quilt!

  • Reply
    May 25, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    This is just superb!!! Please let me know if this pattern is available for sale. Excellent work all around.

  • Reply
    July 7, 2015 at 8:20 am

    This is a beautiful design, as is the quilt. You had a lot of beautiful finishes for Q2! I’m helping Adrianne with the FAL and I’m to also say that I am visiting as part of the FAL Cheerleading Team.

  • Reply
    August 14, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Great work! Love that it’s just a wild log cabin. 😉 Smart!

  • Reply
    Ellen Born
    November 24, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Are you selling this pattern? I’d love to make this.

  • Reply
    Win a PDF Pattern of Rainbow Rotary for Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! | The (not so) Dramatic Life
    December 9, 2015 at 5:54 am

    […] Rainbow Rotary is one of the most popular mini quilt that I have shared this year, and now the pattern is available on Craftsy!  For Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day, I am happy to offer a PDF pattern of this quilt in three different sizes! […]

  • Reply
    Mini Quilts: Inspiration for the Modern Quilt Guild Swap – Scrappy Taffy
    October 18, 2016 at 8:22 am

    […] start, I love the top image (“Rainbow Roundabout“) and the image directly below (“Spiral Geese“) both for their quilting and their […]

  • Reply
    January 14, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    thanks for sharing.. nice tips and useful thanks you admin

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  • Reply
    Gail S. Burr
    January 14, 2020 at 9:04 am

    I would love to purchase this pattern.

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