Our beginner just finished her quilt 😍 See her final share!

It’s official: Tara’s a quilter! Martingale’s marketing graphic designer is back with the final installment of her quilting saga, giving us a peek into the mind of a beginning quilter. We’ve shared her highs and lows, her troubles and triumphs—and today is most certainly a triumph. See Tara’s finished quilt below, and remember to leave your congratulations in the comments!

You can read Tara’s first post here, her second post here, and her third post here.

Look, look! My quilt is almost done! I feel like I’ve been saying some version of that for four months, but I promise that by the end of this post, it will be 100% finished! Here it is again in its final unassembled moments:

Just one last binding edge to complete!

First I want to step back and talk about the binding. I wasn’t sure what fabric to use for the binding. I had used 23 different colors on the front, and while it was important for everything to match somehow, I thought black, white, gray, or another neutral might contrast too much with the rainbow. I wanted it all to blend while still being interesting.

I kept going back to a few of the more rainbow-hued prints from the bundle of Moda Bonfire Batiks I started with. I hadn’t used any of those on the quilt front, so it seemed a little out of nowhere—but then I remembered that’s how it feels when something is so crazy, it just might work. After all, I’ve noticed many of the professionally made quilts I’ve seen in my time at Martingale often have something that seems random about them, but is, in fact, perfect.

So I decided to make both a pieced backing and a pieced binding from three solids and three batik prints. Since I had limited scraps left, I knew I wouldn’t be able to make the binding with equal amounts of all fabrics. I decided not to worry about it and let the binding be random, changing fabrics as one ran out.

I’m so glad I went with these fabrics for the binding. I put them in a specific order so they would look and work a certain way along the rainbow front. The purple end has more purple on the binding; the middle section’s binding contains a lot of blue; and the pink end is just sort of bright and fun. I think it’s cool without being too attention-getting.

Did you see my label?! Except . . . seeing my "Rainbow Runner" label makes me remember that I’d meant to officially call the quilt “Birth Day” instead. Oh no! Perhaps I’ll have to try adding another little “also-known-as label” on top. Why not? There’s room for some more fun there—and I still haven’t tried appliqué!

I used the method from Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Make My First Quilt to easily attach the label.

It really classes up the joint.

I feel so accomplished. Making a quilt has been sort of a bucket-list item for me, and now that it’s complete, I absolutely love it and want to make more (mostly so I can own more quilts). Thanks so much to all you readers for your opinions, advice, and encouragement—and a special thank-you to Karen Johnson (Martingale’s Director of Marketing) for all that plus always helping me fix things whenever I went wrong during the process (!).

You will probably see me pop back up in the Stitch This! blog again one day—this has been too much fun!

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