Saturday, March 26, 2011

How to make a Fence Rail Quilt

My first ever quilt was a Fence Rail quilt. I just learned how to quilt this past fall and have fallen in love with it. I love it so much that I'm considering purchasing a second sewing machine so I have one machine for piece quilting and one machine for quilting.

I'm going to give the directions and supply list for making a Fence Rail quilt. I'll also include a picture of one of my quilts so that you have a picture to look at for arranging your blocks and hopefully be able to see how I quilted it too.

Fence Rail Quilt
Supplies need:
1 1/8 yds each of three different fabrics, 1light, 1 medium & 1 dark
1/2 yd for binding
3 yards for backing
1 1/2 yds of batting
gridded ruler (6"x 24")
rotary cutter
neutral color thread
thread to blend or compliment fabric for quilting
seam ripper
Sewing machine
iron and ironing board
Painters tape
safety pins
Steps for making the quilt
1. Cut six 5 1/2" strips from each of the three fabrics.
2. From each strip cut two 15 1/2"strips.
3. Take a 15 1/2" x 5 1/2" rectangle from each of the fabrics to make a set. Make 12 sets.
4. To make a block, pin two of the 15 1/2" x 5 1/2" rectangles, long edges together. Sew using a 1/4" seam. Pin the third 15 1/2" x 5 1/2" rectangle to the sewn pair on the preferred side and sew. Iron seams towards the darker fabric. Make the other 11 blocks the same as the first. Block measurement after sewn is 15 1/2" x 15 1/2".
5. Lay out the quilt in four rows of three blocks in a pattern that you like.
6. Sew each of the rows together then iron. Sew the rows together. Iron.
7. Take the 3 yards of baking and fold in half like a hamburger or the short way. Sew on a 1/4" seam on one of the short sides. Cut the folded edge of the material to make your backing.
8 Take this backing and tape wrong side up to a large table. If you don't have a table tape it to a hard surface floor (not on a carpet or rug).
9. Lay your batting on top.
10. Lay quilt top on batting and center. It may help to fold quilt top in half and unfold on top of batting to help with the centering.
11. Take safety pins and pin through quilt top, batting and backing. You want to start in the center and work out. Pin about every 3-4 inches. Remember you will have to remove these so don't go too crazy but make sure you won't have any shifting going on either.
12. You are ready for quilting! I quilted mine by echo quilting. Echo quilting is following the seam a 1/4" to the side. Start in the middle and work your way out.
13. Once you've finished the quilting part you are ready to bind your quilt. The easiest way is to use the backing, but their are other options for finishing your quilt. You can always google or reference a quilting book. My first quilt I made a binding strip and attached. The second one I simply used the backing to bind the quilt.
14. If you're going to use the backing trim the excess batting even with your quilt top. Take the corners of the backing and fold the tips inward. Iron these flat. Take and fold the sides of the backing inward to edge of quilt top and press. Fold baking over top of quilt top and pin in place. Your corners should meet as mitered corners at this point. Make any adjustments you need to make corners as clean as possible.
15. Sew binding (backing edge) along edge of quilt removing pins as you go. DO NOT SEW OVER PINS!
16. Voila! You have just finished your first quilt.

Let me know if you have any questions on making this quilt. I'll try and answer your questions as quick as I can and as thorough all as possible.

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