Rainbow Roundabout: Mini Quilt #15

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!

70 thoughts on “Rainbow Roundabout: Mini Quilt #15

  1. 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!

  2. Judy says:

    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!!

  3. 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!

  4. Jenny says:

    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….

  5. Jasmine says:

    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.

  6. Carol Woosley says:

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

  7. Jayne says:

    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!

  8. Carol says:

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

  9. Claire says:

    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.)

  10. Linda K says:

    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.

  11. Lara B. says:

    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!

  12. Yvonne says:

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

  13. JanineMarie says:

    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.

  14. Judy Knox says:

    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.

    • Anna says:

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

  15. 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!

  16. Dar in MO says:

    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.

  17. KarinPope says:

    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.

  18. Jocelyne Ausseil says:

    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….

  19. Rochelle says:

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

  20. Sandra says:

    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!!!

  21. Kathleen says:

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

  22. Leanne says:

    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.

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