Rail Fence

Ok, so it’s not quite finished. I still have to go through and cut off all of the loose threads… But it’s already seen some use!


It’s the other half of a double-sided quilt, the pattern for the other side was posted here a few months ago.


You know, I honestly don’t think that the two sides really *go*. But I do like the way the binding looks on the stars side.

Rail fence is not an original quilt pattern. You can find variations and tutorials all over the internet. Mine came out to 60″x60″ (about 58″x59″ finished). But here’s the practical numbers for mine.

I cut out 100 6.5″x2.5″ strips of each of my three colors- pink, purple, and black. Good times. That’s 17 strips of selvage to selvage, about 42.5″ worth of cloth. (So I got a yard and a half.) That’s part of the reason this took so long to get done, I think. The thought of cutting 300 little strips of cloth and then actually chain piecing 100 blocks together was pretty daunting. Once I actually sat down and did it, though, it didn’t take THAT long.

Alright. So once everything was all cut out, it was sewing time. I picked an order for my colors and sewed 100 blocks the exact same way. Pink to purple, and then the other side of the purple to the black. Then I paired them up.


I turned half of the blocks on their side, pink to the left, and sewed 25 of each of the pair combinations. (And my spellcheck just threw a fit at ‘combinations’. Apparently you can never have more than one.)

And THEN… I made blocks. I made 25 blocks exactly the same, just as pictured above. So just pretend it’s sewn together like that. And then rows- 5 blocks to a row, 5 rows… The quilt ‘back’ was done.

Basting is always an adventure. I pin baste. I have friends who sing the praises of spray basting and while I’d *LOVE* to give it a shot, there is nowhere in my tiny apartment that I can both toddlerproof and adequately ventilate. I can’t even lay out rows to pin without a child or a cat coming and dancing or lying on the fabric, so I knew that no matter how well the bottom was taped to the floor, there were going to be some puckers. I was relatively cat free, and at least my oldest didn’t think she was “helping” by taking the masking tape off and bringing it to me.

I had some indecisiveness on how to quilt it. The points on the spinning stars are pretty bulky and hard to sew through on their own, without adding a layer of batting and another possible seam or corner. It’s very minimally quilted, just stitch in the ditch around both sides of the pink on the Rail Fence.

The binding was fun. I started it pretty naively, thinking, “Oh, quartered from selvage to selvage is a good length!” and started cutting. It wasn’t until I was halfway through piecing the binding together that I realized that chances were pretty good that I was going to end up with a short section of one of the colors right at the beginning or end. So I stopped and measured and did some seat-of-my-pants math that involved wrapping the binding I’d already sewn along the length of my ruler. And completely lucked out. One of the black sections of binding is pieced together and just a tiny bit longer (maybe 1/4″-1/2″) than the other ones. I used 9 pieces of each color, measured by folding in half and cutting, then folding in half and cutting again. I think the only other real number that I can give you out of this is that each sewn section of the binding is about 8 2/3″.

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