Rainbow Medallion Quilt Pattern

Rainbow medallion quilt

Rainbow medallion quilt

The Rainbow Medallion quilt is a big, bright and cheerful rectangular quilt suitable for a double or queen sized bed.  I have used all the colours of the rainbow – Richard Of York Gained Battles In Vain.  I’ve begun with red in the middle, working out to violet on the outside.  The width of the strips also increases from 3″ finished size in the middle to 6″ strips for the violet fabric.

It measures 72″ by 82″ and I have used 1/4 yard each of orange and yellow fabrics, 1/2 yard each of red and green, 3/4 yard of blue, 1 yard of indigo, 1.1/4 yards of violet and 1.3/4 yards of white fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

Cutting requirements for the rainbow medallion quilt

Red:  one 3.1/2″ square, eighteen 4.1/2″ squares

Orange rectangles:  two 3.1/2″ by 5.1/2″, two 3.1/2″ by 11.1/2″

Yellow rectangles:  two 4.1/2″ by 13.1/2″, two 4.1/2″ by 21.1/2″

Green rectangles:  two 4.1/2″ by 23.1/2″, two 4.1/2″ by 31.1/2″

Blue rectangles:  two 5.1/2″ by 33.1/2″, two 5.1/2″ by 43.1/2″

Indigo:  two 5.1/2″ by 45.1/2″, two 5.1/2″ by 55.1/2″

Violet:  two 6.1/2″ by 57.1/2″, two 6.1/2″ by 69.1/2″

White:  cut twenty three 1.1/2″ strips across the width of fabric, eight 2″ strips across the width of fabric, eighteen 4.1/2″ squares

Central area of the rainbow medallion quilt

Central area of the rainbow medallion quilt

Begin in the middle

Place the 3.1/2″ red square in the middle and sew 1.1/2″ white strips around it:  3.1/2″ above and below the square with 5.1/2″ strips down the sides.

Add the orange frame

Add the orange frame

Next add the orange frame.  Sew the 5.1/2″ rectangles to the top and bottom with the 11.1/2″ rectangles going down the sides.

Add a white frame using 11.1/2″ strips above and below the orange and 13.1/2″ strips down the sides.

Next add the yellow

Next add the yellow

For the yellow frame I have increased the width of strips to 4.1/2″.  Two lengths of 13.1/2″ for the top and bottom, two lengths of 21.1/2″ for the sides.  The white strips are 21.1/2″ and 23.1/2″ long.

The green frame

The green frame

Green comes next – I found a lovely William Morris print for this.  The width of rectangles has remained at 4.1/2″:  two lengths of 23.1/2″ and two lengths of 31.1/2″.   The white strips outside the green are 31.1/2″ and 33.1/2″ long.

Light blue for the next frame

Light blue for the next frame

Outer frames of the rainbow medallion quilt

Blue for battles – I have used a pretty light blue for this frame.  The width of the strips increases to 5.1/2″ for this frame.  You’ll need two lengths of 33.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 43.1/2″ for the sides.

The white strips are 43.1/2″ and 45.1/2″ long.

Indigo frame

Indigo frame

Indigo covers quite a wide range of colours, but I have a colour from the same range as the light blue which I think looks like indigo.  The strips widths remain at 5.1/2″ and you need two lengths of 45.1/2″ and two lengths of 55.1/2″.  For the white strips you need two lengths of 55.1/2″ and two lengths of 57.1/2″.

Violet frame

Violet frame

Violet is the last colour of the rainbow.  I have increased the strip width to 6.1/2″ for this frame.  You’ll need two lengths of 57.1/2″ and two lengths of 69.1/2″ in violet.

For the white frame outside the violet I have increased the size slightly to 2″ strips.  You need two lengths of  69.1/2″ and two lengths of 72.1/2″.

I increased the white strip width because I wanted to add 4″  squares along the top and bottom of the quilt.  In order to do this I wanted to make the overall width 72.1/2″.  Then a strip of eighteen squares would fit exactly across the width.  I toyed with the idea of sewing strips of squares all round the quilt, but decided to add them on the top and bottom only so that my quilt would become rectangular rather than square.

Sew red and white strips together

Sew red and white strips together

Add the border

I used strip piecing to make the red and white squares.  Sew together 4.1/2″ strips of red and white and then cut this panel at 4.1/2″ intervals.  This gives you rectangles 8.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ containing one red square and one white square.

Add the border

Add the border

Sew these together side by side to make strips of alternating red and white squares.  You need to make two lengths of eighteen squares (nine pairs of squares).  Sew one strip to the top and one to the bottom of the quilt.

Finally add a 1.1/2″ white strip at the top and one to the bottom.  That completes the rainbow medallion quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the quilting for beginners section.

Here’s the video:

Holly's dragon

Holly’s dragon

I’m afraid that I’ve been working all week and haven’t got any travels to show you, so instead I thought I’d show you the dragon that I made for my grand daughter’s birthday.  It’s far too big for her, but I hope she’ll like it one day!

I made him from a kit that I bought at the Festival of Quilts and I think he’s gorgeous.

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About Rose


  1. Hi Rose, been looking for a rainbow quilt pattern for ages. This is just the ticket. Had the material for ages, no excuses now not to make one. Love the dragon. Very lucky grand daughter. Keep up the great work.

    • Hi Deborah. Glad you’ll find this quilt pattern helpful. I loved the dragon so much that I would probably have bought the kit even if I didn’t have a granddaughter!

  2. Thank you for the dimensions, the fabric requirements and the tutorial. The quilt is lovely. I have a couple of single beds that could use a brand new quilt and this one looks like it sews up rather quickly.

  3. Hi Rose, You have another winner here that looks easy enough for any quilter to make. I really love the dragon. I’m still working on the Sunbonnet Sue blocks and have started cutting the sashing. I’ll be happy when the quilt gets finished so I can get my dining room back to looking like a dining room again – not a sewing room.

    • Hi Claire. I know that feeling so well – my dinimg room doubles as my workshop and sometimes I don’t have much space left for eating at the table – but then sewing is so much more important than eating!

  4. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Another great quilt. Love the rainbow colours and it is so easy. Feeling better and today my son brought me a big table he was not using so I can have another work space for quilts. Will rearrange tomorrow and start quilting on Sunday. We do not change our clocks until next weekend I think.
    Love the dragon Holly will love it also and will probably lay on it until she can play with it What a great keepsake.
    Have a great weekend and Happy Quilting.

    • Hi Sandra. Glad to hear that you’re feeling better. How lovely to have all that extra space for quilting. I never seem to have enough space to spread into – but I suppose I would say that no matter what size house I was living in!

  5. Lola Howard says:

    Our time here in Ky changes the 5th too, I love that hour back . Some states here in the USA doesn’t change the time. Have a great week end .

    • Hi Lola. I’ve always rather felt that life would be easier if we didn’t change the time – but that’s probably just because I’m so forgetful. I can remember being late or early for cricket practice for the boys when I’d forgotten to change the time!

  6. Hi Rose. Love the quilt! So many options for choosing fabric designs and colours. Simple but very effective!! Definitely going to use this design, maybe make a couple of lap quilts for Christmas presents.

    • Hi Gill. I chose the rainbow because I needed cheering up, but as you say you could use the same design with any number of different fabrics and colours. It would definitely make a pretty lap quilt.

  7. Simone Richards says:

    Love the dragon very much. A great gift for your granddaugther.

  8. Carla J Seeks says:

    Rose, thank you so much for your delightful website. We were in London recently so I do recognize the “grey months” Janny is referring to. I am in Wisconsin, USA, and it is 37 degrees here today. Your patterns are lovely
    to review and I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to use them. You are so creative and industrious. Well, I better get back to my Christmas projects. I will send a picture in another email of one of your patterns I used recently. TaTa from your USA quilting friend who found you on the social connection called internet.
    Carla Seeks I am on FaceBook.

    • Hi Carla. I hope you had a great time while you were in London. I’m sure the climate in Wisconsin is way better than ours. I’ll look forward to seeing your quilt photo.

  9. Olive Procyshyn says:

    Love this quilt Rose and the dragon is lovely too. Hollie is a lucky little girl.
    I am off to Duxford to the Autumn Quilt Festival. Just two weeks since I went to Alexandra Palace which was very enjoyable

    • Hi Olive. Hope you have a wonderful time at the Duxford show. I missed Alexandra Palace this year, but I loved it when I went there last year.

  10. Maggie Radliff says:

    I love your dragon and your grand-daughter is going to love it. I would. I love the quilt too. Our group makes quilts for Foster children and it would delight them with all the colours. I could make the strips an inch narrower, which would bring it down to their size. What a way to use up my stash.

    • Hi Maggie. Yes, it’s a great stash buster quilt. Making the strips more narrow would be a great way of using the design for smaller quilts.

  11. Phyllis McGonigle says:

    Oh my gosh this is just beautiful I love it and sure my grandchildren will to. Thank you Rose

  12. Dear Rose
    What a lovely bright quilt this is. Would cheer up any bedroom these coming grey months. I suspect that it is not quite as easy to make as it looks but that is a challenge to be overcome.

    I am sure your granddaughter will love her dragon when she is big enough to play with it. It has such a happy, soppy smile.

    all best Janny x

    • Hi Janny. It actually is very simple to make – if anything it’s just a bit repetitive because you’re just sewing long strips of fabric together. You could use it to showcase any fabrics that you wanted to show off.

  13. Colleen McKinlay says:

    Your dragon is amazing. Lucky granddaughter. A keep sake for sure. You will have to teach her the song..Puff The Magic Dragon. A favourite of my daughter when she was little. Another cheerful quilt to brighten up future foggy and rainy days. Thanks Rose.

    • Hi Colleen. Do you know I don’t remember singing Puff the Magic Dragon with my kids – what a deprived childhood they must have had!

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