As part of our Battle of Blueberry Park, I decided to make my pre-cuts into a color wheel quilt. I’ve wanted to make a rainbow inspired quilt for a long time and this collection was the perfect opportunity. I love half square triangles. I love the way they look and I love sewing with them (as long as I have a bottle of Terial Magic handy). So thought I could get a couple charm packs (5″ squares) and cut them in half to make half square triangles. Since I knew about what I wanted to do, I decided to make my own pattern.
I took my graph paper and started sketching a rough color “wheel”. I divided the areas into triangles and from there I could see how many I was going to need and big the quilt would end up being. I decided that it needed a border both to calm down the bright colors and to make it more of a lap sized quilt. After some math, it looked like I would need 25 triangles per color of the color wheel, making 200 triangles for the center and then 194 for the border. Knowing that, I figured out that I would need 3 charm packs (there are 42 squares in one charm pack, so by getting 3 that would give me 252 triangles to play with once I cut them). I got 2 of the “Bright” collection and 1 of the “Cool” collection and about 1/3 yard of 6-8 different grays for the border.
The first thing that I did was take the squares from my charm packs and spray them with Terial Magic. This would stop the bias from stretching both when I’m cutting them into triangles and when I’m sewing them. I lightly sprayed them, let them dry for about 15 minutes and then ironed them.
Once my squares were sprayed, I cut them in half diagonally to make half square triangles and sorted them into the colors for my color wheel. There was the obvious red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and pink, but I needed 8 colors. The Blueberry Park collection has some beautiful teals, so I decided to make teal one of my colors as well.
From there, I took my sorted triangle and played. I laid them out in the shape that I had figured out on my graph paper and rearranged them until I liked the way they looked. You could sew them together right then, but I like to have everything finalized before I do any sewing so I took a picture of the layout I liked and then moved onto the next color. A design wall would really come in handy here. I have a confession to make. I am a little OCD and some of the colors in the charm pack did not fit into any of my established color categories. So I wound up buying a few extra greens and teals and pinks to supplement the charm packs. Luckily, we have pretty much every color in the collection in stock at our store, so I was able to get 1/8 yard and cut a few more 5″ squares.
After I had all my colors laid out, I went color by color and started chain piecing all of my triangles into squares. Then I sewed my squares into rows. I completed each color, then laid out the whole thing so I could finish assembling the rows. Once all my rows were together, I could sew each row to row until all the color rows were together.
From there, I kept sewing triangles and squares and rows together until I had four big squares. Then I could sew them together like a giant four patch giving me the main focus of my quilt top.
Now for the borders! There was a charm pack that had grays in it, but it also had tans and beige and the gray border was supposed to calm the busyness down so I thought adding more colors would draw the eye from the central focus of the color wheel.
Lucky for me, my new Accuquilt has a die that will cut a 5″ half square triangle! Even with just one triangle template, I had this giant stack cut in about 20 minutes! I decided to start with the lightest grays in the middle and get darker as they went out to give a gradient effect. So I chain pieced the lightest and second lightest together and then the darkest and next most darkest to make squares and then sewed the squares together to make strips for my border and attached it to the outside of my color wheel.
After finding the perfect backing and measuring across the middle of my quilt to get a more accurate size, I spray basted my top, batting, and backing together. I thought about going wild with the quilting with variegated rainbow thread in some sort of geometric pattern, but when I laid the thread on the top to see what it would look like, I thought it was distracting. So I chose a neutral off-white/beige color and strapped on my walking foot. The first thing that I did was stitch down the center lines, top to bottom and side to side. Then I followed the diagonal seams to create a sort of Matryoshka doll of V’s on the top, sides, and bottom.
The binding that I chose had a couple different grays in it to match the borders. Again, I thought about going wild and getting something bright and rainbow colored, but I had added the grays to calm the colors down, and adding rainbow binding was not going to keep it calm.
And voila! A rainbow-tastic color wheel inspired lap sized quilt! I think I’m going to call him Roy G. Bavp (instead of Roy G. Biv) for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, aqua, violet, and pink. I know the aqua is really more of a teal, but aqua starts with an “A” and I needed a vowel in his last name.
I really love the Blueberry Park collection because they are Kona solids with a design printed on top of them. So you get the color range and quality of Kona but there’s some extra interest as if you were using a blender. The pre-cuts are a wonderful option because you get a piece of every color. While I love our projects that almost exclusively use Blueberry Park, I can see these being my go-to blenders to mix in with future projects too. What would you make out of them?
3 Blueberry Park Charm Packs (2 – Bright, 1 – Cool)
1/4 yard of 6-8 Blueberry Park grays
3 1/2 yards of Backing fabric (this is the one that I used)
1/2 yard for Binding
60″ x 60″ Batting