Sew the Rainbow!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

This month's Aurifil Artisan challenge was to make something using 5 or more colors of thread. After thinking for a bit overthinking it, I finally realized I had the perfect thing in my WIP pile! I needed to quilt this NICU size version of my Bundle of Joy pattern! AND October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, so it was the perfect time!

Bundle of Joy rainbow NICU baby quilt

I wrote the Bundle of Joy pattern after having my own rainbow baby (who just celebrated his 1st birthday!). The pattern includes the directions for making a 36" baby quilt and an 18" NICU sized quilt. This NICU sized one just needed quilting and binding!


The rainbow fabrics are a mix of brands (including Moda and Alison Glass) that I purchased at The Rusty Moon quilt shop in Willow Springs, MO awhile back. The background is the solid light grey by Island Batik. I had used 50wt Aurifil Dove #2600 to piece the rainbow.

Bundle of Joy rainbow NICU baby quilt using Aurifil thread

I used a scrap piece of gray dot minky for the back, a scrap piece of Warm & Natural batting, and pin basted the sandwich for quilting.

Bundle of Joy rainbow NICU baby quilt

It was easy to find 50wt Aurifil threads that matched the rainbow from my thread stash!

Rainbow of Aurifil threads

From left to right, the colors are Light Magenta #2588, Medium Delft Blue #2783, Delft Blue #2730, Dark Turquoise #4182, Yellow #2135, Orange #2235, and Red #2250.

Bundle of Joy rainbow NICU baby quilt

I used my walking foot to quilt three lines of each color of thread on the coordinating rainbow stripe.

Free motion quilting clouds

Then I switched to my free motion foot and quilted clouds using 50wt Aurifil #2024 White.
Bundle of Joy rainbow NICU baby quilt

After squaring the quilt and trimming it to 18", I decided that the scrap of binding leftover from the last quilt I made was the perfect length! And it was a great match to the blue fabric in the rainbow! It is Moda Bella solid in Amelia.

Machine quilt binding

Of course I machine stitched it on! (Tutorial here.)

Bundle of Joy rainbow NICU baby quilt

It feels great to have this quilt move from WIP to DONE!

Bundle of Joy rainbow NICU baby quilt

And the 18" square quilt used NINE colors of 50wt Aurifil thread!

Bundle of Joy rainbow NICU baby quilt

The back really shows off the quilting design.

Minky quilt backing

But the stitches are buried in the minky, so you don't see the colors at all!

Minky quilt back

When making quilts for the NICU, they don't want any scratchy fabric or threads that could rub on the babies' soft skin, so minky is a fabulous back for quilts you plan to donate to the NICU!

Minky quilt back

Such a bright and happy rainbow!

Bundle of Joy rainbow NICU baby quilt

I've now made two versions of the NICU size, and in completely different color palettes! I love them both!

Bundle of Joy rainbow NICU baby quilt

If you know any rainbow babies (or mamas expecting rainbow babies!), this is a great pattern to celebrate that!

Link to digital Bundle of Joy pattern
Link to paper Bundle of Joy pattern

Bundle of Joy rainbow NICU baby quilt

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5 comments:

  1. It looks great. So bright and vibrant. Happy birthday little one.

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  2. What a wonderful quilt - and I love the way the minky looks with your quilting. Two for one is the way to go - a WIP finished and aurifil challenge - hooray!!

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  3. What a beautiful rainbow! I both love and am sorry about the meaning behind this pattern. My son is a rainbow baby, following two miscarriages. What a beautiful celebration of joy after heartbreak you have created!

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  4. How cool does that quilting look on the back?! I love that the stitches are completely buried, too, so it's just the incredible texture that shows.

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