Tuesday, March 15, 2011

St. Patrick's Day: Stitch a Rainbow

This project involves some sewing and depending on the age of your kiddo it may take more work from you than them but still it is fun and yields a rainbow-riffic pillow at the end! Plus, while talking about color and color theory with your wee one, you get to use up all those itty-bitty fabric scraps that you may have floating about. My pillow makes a rainbow about 15 inches across but you can make yours as big or as little as you like (I recommend going smaller and thicker, my rainbow came out a bit wonky but that is a part of its charm).

You will need:
*2 Pieces of fabric as large as your desired pillow
*Assorted fabric scraps in rainbow colors
*Large sheet of white paper
*Glue Craft Stick
*Sewing Machine
*White polar fleece, wool or cotton balls
*Needle and thread
*Preferred type of fiber fill

scrumdilly-do it:
Gather up your fabric scraps and have your kiddo cut up scraps into smallish rectangles no more than two inches long. Set aside. Fold your paper in half and sketch out half a rainbow with a cloud as its base. A paper plate can help achieve a uniform curve. Go thicker than you might think. My pattern look pretty good but then when I stitched up my rainbow is got very skinny. Have your kiddo cut out pattern with scissors and pin pattern to one of your fabric pieces.Before cutting, create a chute of sorts at one end of your rainbow. The chute will fold nicely withing and created a clean seam once you hand stitch it closed. I used a blue fabric to represent the sky in case any of it showed through. Cut fabric along the edges of the pattern. Unpin.
Beginning with your purple (or whichever bottom color your kiddo chooses) apply a quick swipe of glue stick to the back of each rectangle and arrange along the curve of the rainbow pattern. Overlap as much as you like. The glue stick helps anchor the scraps so that you can stitch happily along, lickety split. When your kiddo has arrange all the purple scraps, bring over to your machine and use a running stitch to anchor them all in place.
 Repeat the process for each color using the previous stitch-line as a guide. Once completed, place the whole shebang back into the machine and stitch up a long zig-zag for extra tack. Flip the whole thing over, rainbow side down and position onto your back fabric. Pin into place. Begin at one side and stitch all the way around ending at the other side. DO NOT CLOSE UP! This will be your opening for turning out and stuffing. Cut around your stitched pieces, chute included and use your scissors to make tiny cross snips along the under curve of the rainbow. This will help it look a little neater once stuffed. I find that stitching one pattern piece to another larger square and then cutting allows for more ease of sewing. You can of course cut both pieces, pin and stitch as you please.
Turn right-side out and stuff it up! Use the eraser end of a pencil to help grab and stuff. You will need more stuffing than you think (it took me longer to stuff than to stitch, go figure). Use a needle and thread to close the seam. Don't forget to knot it.
 For the clouds, cut strips of polar fleece and accordion fold each piece. Run your needle and thread through each layer and anchor to cloud part of your pillow. Continue until you can't take it anymore. Use your needle and thread to "shape" the pieces as well. If you do not have any polar fleece, have your kiddo glue on cotton balls or felted sweater scraps with some tacky glue.
Place in a happy spot and admire! Lookie at what you made! Happy almost St. Patrick's Day!


  1. Thats pretty cool that you used the stick glue! I would have never thought to do that! Genius :D

  2. A friend of mine is putting special importance on rainbows for something hard in her life right now. I have been trying to think of a way to make a small rainbow for her to help keep her spirits up. This would be perfect. So glad I found it=)

  3. Oh I am happy to know it will help you create something.Making it also simply rose my spirits. I wish yo uand your friend well.