Rainbow Blocks for Pride, for Orlando

Rainbow Blocks for Pride

Because I am a quilter, because I think in fabric, because I didn't know what to say. Frankly, because I still don't know what to say.

In the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando this week I felt compelled to sew in that most symbolic of ways. The rainbow flag has been a part of my life for over twenty years, when I learned of it's history and became part of the LBGT community in university. I learned far more than my suburban upbringing showed me. I felt love and developed friendships with some amazing people from all walks of life. Whereas I'm not sure I'd heard the word gay before other than as a thing you called someone you didn't like, I learned that love is love is love.

So, on Sunday, I sewed. I hugged my kids and did some yardwork. I sewed. I talked to my husband. We reminisced about gay bars we'd been to together and separately. We spoke of friends, of family, who could have easily been at Pulse that night. I sewed. I sewed rainbows. I want to keep sewing rainbows. 

See, as a quilter, one of the ways we share love is through quilts. (I'm also Ukrainian and so I show it through food, but that's another story.) I'm putting all the extra love into these blocks. I have a plan for them. Then my daughter gave me a really good idea after I explained the symbolism of the rainbow. Either way, this quilt is going to have so much love.

You too can sew these rainbow blocks. They are very easy and I did all the math (it was so hard) for you.

You will need:

  • 6 fabrics: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
  • Neutral thread
  • Rotary cutter, ruler, and mat
  • Sewing Machine and Iron

For a 6 1/2'' x 6 1/2'' block:

  • Cut a 1 1/2'' x 6 1/2'' strip of each colour.
  • Sew together and press.

For a 12 1/2'' x 12 1/2'' block:

  • Cut a 2 1/2'' x 12 1/2'' strip of each colour.
  • Sew together and press.

For a 18 1/2'' x 18/12'' block:

  • Cut a 3 1/2'' x 18 1/2'' strip of each colour.
  • Sew together and press.

For my blocks I am playing around with colour and value. I dug into the scrap bins and the stash. I'm trying not to repeat a fabric. Because no two rainbows, like snowflakes, are alike.

If the rainbow blocks aren't up your alley or you want to do something directly for Orlando, check out the actions of the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild. They are collecting blocks and completed rainbow quilts to distribute to families and survivors of the Pulse shooting. They ask contributors to use this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew to make heart blocks in all the colours. Keep posted on their blog or social media for donation details. 

Maybe making rainbow blocks isn't your thing. Just remember that love is love is love. And frankly, I believe the best way to counter any hate, any fear, is to spread love. So if you are a quilter or a maker or a creator, spread the love the way you know best.