Friday, 7 January 2011

Rail Fence Quilt Tutorial

If you want a really simple quilt that is bright and cheerful but easy to make, then a rail fence quilt is the one for you.  The rail fence quilt block doesn't contain a single triangle and pieces together in no time.

For my rail fence quilt I used six fabrics shaded from palest pink to red.  the simplest method is to cut 1.1/2" strips of fabric across the width of the fabric and sew the strips together before cutting into blocks.

For a rail fence quilt measuring 38" square you will need six 1.1/2" strips of each of six colours for the quilt top and part of the border.  For the remainder of the border you will need four 2.1/2" red squares and three 2.1/2" strips of the lightest colour.

I find it easiest to sew the 1.1/2" strips together three at a time, press, and then sew two 3 colour strips together.  This is just a personal choice because pressing a three colour strip is so much easier than pressing a six colour strip.  Whichever way you do it it, when you have a six colour strip sewn up, cut across the width of the strip at 6.1/2" intervals to make squares.

You should get six squares from each strip, giving you 36 squares altogether.

Put the uneven bits from the end of the strip aside for now - I have tried to use as many as possible of these in the rail fence quilt border.

Arrange the rail fence quilt blocks as shown and sew them together first in pairs and then in fours.

You will have enough squares to make nine of these quilt blocks.  This will give you a quilt of three rows of three rail fence quilt blocks, measuring 36.1/2" square.

For the quilt border, cut a 2.1/2" strip from the leftover fabric.  There will be six of these.  Unpick the stitching half way along two of these strips to create smaller strips of three fabrics.  Add a three fabric strip to a six fabric strip to create four strips (one for each edge) of nine fabrics.

My idea was to put one of these strips half way along each edge of the quilt to use up as much of the fabric as possible - I have boxes of small scraps of fabric left over from previous projects.
From the 2.1/2" wide strips of the palest fabric, cut eight 14" lengths, Sew one to each side of the four strips made from leftover fabric.  On two of these strips, sew a 2.1/2" red square at each end.

Sew a strip of fabric without red squares to opposite sides of the quilt.  Sew the strips with red squares to the remaining two sides of the quilt.

That's a really pretty and cheerful rail fence quilt ready for layering, quilting and binding.  It could be used either as a baby quilt or as a lap quilt.

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