Double Rail Fence Quilt Pattern

Double rail fence quilt pattern

Double rail fence quilt pattern

The double rail fence quilt pattern for this week’s project is a really easy pattern.  I was tempted to add diamonds round the edges for a border but decided that I was going to keep it absolutely plain and simple.  I hope that this is one that you’ll feel you can run up when you want a quilt really quickly – and it’s striking enough on its own, I think.

The quilt measures 36″ square and I have used less than 1/4 yard of each of ten fabrics with 1/2 yard of white.  As usual, you can buy the fabrics that I used at a 10% discount on this week’s special offer.  Broadly I have selected five fabrics in the red/yellow part of the colour spectrum and five in the blue/green section, going from dark to light.  I have then used white as the sixth fabric for both colour selections.

I made a rail fence quilt with pinwheels in the middle quite a long time ago and you can see how that looks here.

Cutting requirements for the double rail fence quilt pattern

Cut 1.1/2/” strips across the width of fabric – three each in all the blue fabrics and four each in all the red fabrics. You will need seven white strips.

Make four red panels

Make four red panels

Make three blue panels

Make three blue panels

Making the rail fence quilt blocks

Sew together one strip of each colour in each colour selection.  Press the seam allowances from light to dark across each panel.  Make four red panels and three blue panels.

Cut the panels to make squares

Cut the panels to make squares

First three rows of the rail fence quilt pattern

First three rows of the rail fence quilt pattern

Cut the panels at 6.1/2″ intervals to make squares.  That is all that’s required to make the rail fence quilt pattern blocks!  The design is now formed by rotating the blocks while you sew them together in six rows of six.

You will need nineteen red blocks and seventeen blue blocks.

The basic pairing of the quilt blocks is one square with the darkest colour at the top and one square with the darkest colour running down the left hand side.

In row one there is one red pairing, one blue pairing and then one red pairing.

In row two the design is shifted one block to the right.  The first square has the dark blue down the left followed by a red pairing, a blue pairing and then a single red with the red across the top.

In row three there is a blue pairing followed by a red pairing and then another blue pairing.

Rows four to six of the double rail fence quilt pattern

Rows four to six of the double rail fence quilt pattern

Rows four to six continue the rail fence pattern across the quilt.  Row four begins with a single red block with the red on the left.  This is followed by a blue pairing, a red pairing and a single blue with the dark blue on the top.

Row five is a red pairing, blue pairing then red pairing.

Row six is a single blue square with the dark blue on the left followed by a red pairing, blue pairing and then a single red square with the red on the top.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the double rail fence quilt pattern.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.

Here’s the video:

I’ve been feeling absolutely exhausted this week – I think all that travelling has caught up with me.  Thank you so much for all your kind comments on my Zimbabwe article.  I haven’t had the energy to make anything with my new African fabric, but I’m hoping to get started on them next week.

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  1. Hi Rose. Glad you enjoyed your holiday – I am just back in UK from holiday in Spain but not home for another week. Missed your weekly tutorials but did manage to do some hand sewing while on holiday. Sounds like you need another holiday doing something you enjoy with no pressure. Love this pattern. I will give this one a go. Thank you.

    • Hi Dianne. I hope that you had a wonderful holiday in Spain. It’s always nice to get home, isn’t it, no matter how great your holiday was. Glad you like the quilt pattern.

  2. As usual you have given us(quilters)another great pattern and great directions also

  3. Rose, thank you very much. This is a change from 1/2 square triangles which don’t always come out good with me. I’ll try this soon.
    Best wishes – keep well!

    • Thanks, Fay. I know that half square triangles aren’t always popular, but they do open up so many more design possibilities.

  4. The rail fence pattern has always been one of my favorites. Nice choice of colors. I would find it hard to cut the strips evenly.
    Sorry to hear that you are feeling under the weather. Jet lag is no fun when it interferes with your biological clock. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next week.

    • Hi Claire. Oh dear – I didn’t mean to sound as though I’m complaining about being tired: I meant to just explain why I hadn’t done much quilting this week. I feel a lot better this morning.

  5. Marilyn Larkin says:

    Dear Rose,
    I am amazed that you have managed to prepare and present two quilts since your return, you are so dedicated. Now it is time to slow down and just enjoy. Have a cuppa or two and relive those wonderful times in Zimbabwe and S.A. As for Minnie, she will stop sulking soon enough when you have more energy. Thank-you for your persistence and very pretty quilt designs. Take care,

  6. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    I always look forward to Fridays, because I find you in my email box. Love the quilt and yes it would seem to make up fast. Almost finished with y Christmas quilt, just needs the binding. Next will be the baby quilt then I think I will make this one.
    I do save all of your patterns and one day in the long future I will make some or all of them.( oh wishful thinking). Its good to have a goal,
    Hope you rest the weekend and enjoy the quiet and yes a glasses of wine will cure your ails.

    • Thanks, Sandra. You’re getting on well with your quilts in progress. I also have long lists of quilts I’d like to make – the lists never seem to get any shorter!

  7. Pat Knowlton says:

    Hi Rose, I love the double rail fence quilt and I also checked out the rail fence pinwheel quilt. I love both of them.
    Thank you for all the tips and demonstrations.

  8. Dear Rose,
    Sorry to hear you have felt exhausted it has to be jet lag and doing all that travelling around and seeing all your family plus the Animals must have been magical for you, do hope you soon feel your self, I am sure you will, you did well to make this quilt , lovely colours and a good pattern to follow,sorry to hear Minnie is not being kind to you also, another week ahead and a good rest Rose you will be rearing to go.
    Best Wishes Rhoda

  9. Hi Rose, this is a lovely pattern and would be great for running up over a weekend. It looks as if it would make up quickly. I hope you can manage to rest up a bit over the weekend. It is always surprising how much a holiday can take out of you. Best wishes Ann

    • Hi Ann. Yes, it should make up quickly. You are right – I expected to get over my tiredness after a day or two, but that was obviously optimistic. I feel much better today.

  10. Hi Rose,
    Thanks for this striking pattern. Take it easy for a while, it takes
    a bit of time to adjust after long haul flights and plus all the
    excitement of the wedding so it’s understandable that your
    exhausted. Trying to quilt with Minnie when your tired
    is a definite no-no. Pamper yourself for the week-end
    by doing very little. Mary.

  11. Hope you’ll feel better soon. But I wanted to take time to thank you. I love getting your news letter and I save them all. Your a real gem in amongst the fabrics.
    Bless you Rose x
    Best wishes
    Jan x

  12. Hi Rose, I, too, am a faithful follower! I love this railfence pattern and will
    be making one with my stash! Hope you are resting up from your travels !

  13. I like this one. Added to my ‘in the future’ list x

  14. The double rail fence is very pretty. It all depends on the chosen fabrics, doesn’t it. THanks for continuing to share your talents with the quilting community. I am a follower.

    • Thanks, Kat. I agree about the colours – this is one pattern that really benefits from some yellow. It seems to give a glow to the white.

  15. This is just the inspiration I needed to kick into gear for a wedding quilt. Thank you, Rose!

  16. Susan Parker says:


    This is a lovely pattern! I would like to do something like this for a friend, but in a larger size. What would be the requirements for a double size quilt?

    Many thanks,


    • Hi Susan. You could double it to a 72″ square just by making it twelve rows of twelve. Each row or column adds 6″ to the width or length so you could make it rectangular by adding a couple of rows – for example 12 rows of 10 blocks would give you a quilt 72″ by 60″.

  17. Debbie walker says:

    What a beautiful quilt and the colours are lovely they compliment each other.
    Well done Rose

    • Thanks, Debbie. You only need to use graded colours – it could be made up from stash. (Or you could buy the kit to use the same colours that I have!)

  18. Linda Mooney says:

    Love this pattern Rose. I am going to try and make it using up my stash. Can’t wait to get started!

    • Hi Linda. It would make a great stash busting quilt – and of course you can make it bigger by just adding more rows and columns.

  19. Yet again a wonderful looking quilt. I hope it’s as easy as you say. I’ m still struggling with Christmas projects! Guess I shouldn’t know so many people who I like to treat at Christmas. Thanks again. Carol

    • Thanks, Carol. Glad you like the quilt. You are lucky – you obviously have lots of friends. Isn’t it lovely to be able to give them hand made projects, though.

  20. Hi Rose, sorry you are not feeling wonderful this week, it’s probably a bit of jet lag.As for Minnie I know how you feel am sitting here undoing the quilting I had put on a quilt and spitting feathers!
    Loved this week’s quilt very striking.
    Take Care

    • Hi Trish. It’s so frustrating, isn’t it! One day Minnie works fine and the next she seems to take the hump and refuse to quilt sensibly.