During the Coronavirus outbreak while we have all be on lock down, lots of children have been putting pictures of rainbows in their windows to bring a little cheer to the world. So I thought it would be nice to make a patchwork rainbow to put in the window too. I wanted to make one that I could keep and put up at home once we are all through this horrible time.
This is also a great project to do with some older kids as it involves a little bit of maths/ working with angles to create the template so it could be a fun bit of education to do together. (But don’t worry if your maths skills aren’t great, I have also made a template to download instead!)
This rainbow is double sided so you can enjoy it from the inside and outside of your home.
To make your own you will need:
-A rainbow of 7 coloured fabrics (I have used Batiks from Me+You) cut into:
1 per colour – 44inch (WOF) x 1 ½ inch strip
If using fat quarters
2 per colour – 22inch x 1 ½ inch strip.
-Template – (click to download/print) OR 36 degree Dresden ruler
-Needle and Thread
-2 Pieces of Ribbon (cut to length required for hanging)
Take your fabric strips and line them up in colour order (if using the shorter length of strips make 2 separate sets). Pin each of the strips together, right sides together, length ways.
Note: The fabrics I chose to use happen to be double sided so it may be a little harder to see which is the front and back in the photos, apologies if it is confusing!
Sew the strips together using a ¼ inch seam allowance, repeat for the 2nd set of strips.
Press open/flat all of the seams and then turn over and iron well from the front too.
Next you need to create the template. It was quite hard to create a downloadable template that prints out to the correct dimensions on all printers so I have started out by using a 36 degree triangle which will always be the correct angle no matter how big it is printed. You can download my template here, or alternatively draw a large 36 degree triangle yourself.
To cut it to size you need to measure 9.5 inches from the point of the triangle, draw a line across and cut.
Then from the new line, measure 7.5 inches and trim off the point of the triangle.
Repeat the process again so that you have 2 templates and label one ‘front’, and one ‘back’. I found it helpful to have 2 so I could keep track of which pieces I was cutting.
Use the templates to cut out 5 front pieces and 5 back pieces. Butt the templates up together on the fabric to minimise waste.
Once you have all your pieces cut, arrange them into 2 rainbow shapes, and pin the pieces together, right sides together, making sure to line up all the seams.
Sew the pieces together, then press open the seams.
If you are planning on hanging up your rainbow, take 2 lengths of ribbon and pin them to the top 2 points of the rainbow, on the front of one of the rainbows. Make sure to keep the rest of the ribbon in the middle, out of the way.
Place both rainbows together, right sides together and pin all the way around.
Sew all the way around the edge, leaving a few inches gap to turn through.
Before turning through cut the corners off of the seam allowance to reduce bulk and also make tiny snips around the inner of the rainbow, being careful to not cut through any stitching.
Turn through and poke all of the corners out, iron well and hand stitch the gap closed.
You have a finished rainbow!
I hope you have enjoyed my tutorial and hopefully all these rainbows in windows will help bring a little bit of cheer to everyone who needs it right now.
We would love to see some photos if you do decide to make one yourself! Please tag us in your pictures on social media, we are @thefabricfox, or if you are not on social media, we love receiving photos by email too, our address is: firstname.lastname@example.org