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. It doesn’t contain a single triangle and pieces together in no time. For this quilt I used six fabrics shaded from pale pink to red. The quilt is 38″ square.
Six 1.1/2″ strips of each of six colours for the quilt top and part of the quilt 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.
Making the rail fence quilt
The simplest way to make the rail fence blocks is to sew the strips of fabric together along the length and then cut them into squares. I find it easiest to sew two panels of three strips together, press them and then sew the two panels together. I just find it easier to press a three fabric panel rather than a six fabric panel. Cut across the width of the panel at 6.1/2″ intervals to make squares.
You should get six squares from each strip, giving you thirty six 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 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.
Making the rail fence quilt border
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 creat 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 and don’t want to add to them.
From the 2.1/2″ wide strips of the lightest 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 w.1/2″ red square at each end.
Sew a strip of fabric without red squares to the top and bottom of the quilt. Sew the strips with red squares to the sides of the rail fence quilt. That completes the quilt top and it is now ready for layering, quilting and binding. Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.