Railfence Star Quilt Pattern

Railfence star quilt

Railfence star quilt

I have designed my railfence star quilt pattern with two colourways for the railfences and a few stars to give it some pop.  It is a very simple pattern to make, but very striking.  The quilt measures 56″ square, using 1.1/4 yards of yellow, 1/2 yard of white, 1 yard of one of the blues, 1/2 yard of another blue and 1/4 yard of everything else – that’s four purples and two more blue fabrics.

The fabrics are chosen to run from dark to light in blue and again in purple.  I have used sixty four blocks, all 6″ square finished size.  As usual you can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the railfence star quilt

Five 1.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric in four purples and four blues

Ten 1.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric in yellow and in white

2.1/2″ squares:  six yellow twenty four blue

2.7/8″ squares:  twelve yellow, twelve blue

For the borders you will need to cut five 2.1/2″ strips of yellow and six 2.1/2″ strips of blue across the width of fabric.

Make panels in blue and in purple

Make panels in blue and in purple

Make the railfence quilt blocks

Sew the 1.1/2″ strips of four blues with yellow and white along the length to make one panel.  Repeat with the four purples, yellow and white.  Place the strips so that they run from dark to light.  This makes a 6.1/2″ panel in each range of colours.  You need to make five of each panel.

Cut these panels at 6.1/2″ intervals to make 6.1/2″ squares.  You need to make twenty nine of these in blue and twenty nine in purple.

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the star blocks

For the stars I have used the third lightest blue, but you could use any blue that you prefer.

Use the 2.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles.  Place a blue and a yellow square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line.  Cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units.

These are now 2.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the blue and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.  You need twenty four of these.

Star quilt block layout

Star quilt block layout

Lay the squares out in three rows of three.  Place a 2.1/2″ yellow square in the middle with a blue square in each corner.  Add half square triangles in the remaining spaces.  Check the photo to see which way to place the traingles.

Sew the patchwork pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.

Each star block measures 6.1/2″ square and you need to make six of them.

Rows 1-3

Rows 1-3

Assemble the railfence star quilt

Sew the blocks together in eight rows of eight blocks.  In row one place a star at each end.  Between them lay a purple block across, purple block down, blue block down, two purple blocks across and one purple block down.

For row two you need two blue blocks across, one purple down, two blues across, one blue down, one purple down and one blue across.  In row three place a purple down, blue down, two purples across, one purple down, one blue down and two purples across.

Rows 4-6

Rows 4-6

For row four you will need a purple down, two blues across, two stars, two blues across and one blue down.

In row five place two purples across, one purple down, one blue down, two purples across, one purple down and one blue down.

For row six place a blue across, blue down, purple down, two blues across, one blue down, one purple down and one blue across.

Rows 7-8

Rows 7-8

Make row seven witha purple across, blue down, two purples across, one purple down, one blue down and two purples across.

Finally for row eight place a star at each end.  Between them add two blues across, one blue down, one purple down, two blues across.

Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.

Add two borders

Add two borders

Add the railfence star quilt borders

In border one I have used 2.1/2″ strips of yellow fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the sides.

For the second border I have used the second lightest blue fabric in 2.1/2″ strips.  You’ll need two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 56.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the railfence star 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:


Ben Venom's quilts

Ben Venom’s quilts

Last time I wrote I was off to a craft fair the next day.  As a totally unexpected treat there was a quilt exhibition upstairs in the MAC building.  It featured Ben Venom’s quilts in an exhibition called All This Mayhem.  Ben is a renowned San Francisco artist.

I am delighted to see that this exhibition will be at the Festival of Quilts next month.  Well worth seeing if you are there.

All this mayhem

All this mayhem

Birmingham is known as the home of Heavy Metal music and Ben’s quilts are heavy metal music meets quilting.  Absolutely delightful.  He had used a sort of crazy quilting/applique technique and the detail was amazing.

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  1. Isabella Whiting says:

    I enjoy your newsletter and your ideas

  2. Now here is a new twist! A Rail Fence with stars. Very innovative! I like your choice of colors.
    I am now watching the British Open. The players are wearing long sleeved shirts and here I am trying to stay cool in an air-conditioned house. We are having a heat wave here in the USA and I’m seeing 95° on my outside thermometer. No heat stroke for me so I’m staying put until things cool off.

    • Hi Claire. Glad you like the railfence quilt. I think that even the British Open will have hot weather next week. We are forecast to have your heatwave – but I’m sure that our weather won’t be as hot as yours is.

  3. Hi Rose, Love the idea of rail/fence and the stars give it an extra lift. Don’t do too much in the garden as you need to save you your energy for quilting. Been very hot and dry here for a few weeks and everything is going brown. One downpour of rain will change all that.

    Thank you again for sharing your clever patterns with us.

    Best regards Janny

    • Hi Janny. Glad you like the quilt. I’d swap you some of our rain any day! We have a heatwave forecast for next week and then I will have to get the watering cans out.

  4. Carol Tambourine says:

    This looks lovely. Thank you for sharing Ben Venom’s quilts. Have a relaxed weekend. I look forward to seeing you on 16th August.

  5. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Love the quilt never have made a railfence quilt before. Will have to try. Have been busy made a little baby quilt just because. Have 2 more in line to get quilted and 1 on the drawing board. Will have to add this one to the list. In between I am making coasters out of napkins and tiles. Very hot here for the next 3 days at least. Will stay in the cool.
    Stay hydrated drink lots of water while you are working around your garden.
    Have a great weekend. Rest relax and Happy Quilting.

    • Hi Sandra. Like me, you seem to have quilts at differing stages piled up around you. The coasters sound interesting. We are forecast very hot weather next week and I will definitely stay inside then!

  6. It’s very pretty. I love your color choices on it.

  7. Hi Rose,
    This is a rail fence with a difference and it’s the stars
    that adds that extra bit of interest.
    When I saw the name Ben Venom I thought it must be snake quilts (lol)
    Mayhem is a good description. Even in the photos the detail
    is something else.
    However give me your quilts any time.
    Thanks for the pattern I think it would lend itself well
    to autumn colours.
    You definitely deserve a break but Rose I think you find it hard
    to be idle. Hope your allowed to take photos of the quilt exhibition
    in Birmingham. Have a sew relaxing week-end.

    • Hi Mary. I’ve made loads of railfence quilts in the past, but I must admit I do feel that the stars give this one something extra. I agree that they would look lovely in autumn colours. Ben’s quilts were absolutely huge, but he also did some very small work on the backs of jackets. Very unusual quilting.

  8. LaVonne says:

    Never made a fence rail quilt! I’ll have to try and of course I’ll have to put a zinger in it also! Thanks for sharing!

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