Tag Archives: 100 quilt block project

Rail Fence patchwork quilt in blue

What seems like forever ago, I got Celia Eddy’s “100 traditional and contemporary quilt blocks”  and formed the rather hare-brained idea that I’d work my way through the lot …. a couple of years later, I’m still only 4 or 5 blocks in! At this rate, it’s only going to take the rest of my life … but …. so many ideas, so little time.

Anyhoo …. it was time for another quilt, and I wanted to both use up some of my scrap material, the huge mountain of denim-stash, AND work the next block in the book. Lucky me! The rail fence works perfectly as a stash-buster 🙂

It’s so simple …. just strips of fabric, arranged next to each other …. you could get very precise and make sure each strip was the same width, or you could do as I did …. and go with the flow …. I like the slightly-less-precise approach to dealing with scraps – aside from anything else, it avoids generating too much in the way of *more* scraps.

rail fence patchwork piecing

The other thing I wanted to do was graduate the shades in each block from dark to light ….. and use predominantly denim, with a strip of a printed cotton in each block …. I like.

Each block is arranged next to the other, alternating horizontal and vertical stripes …

rail fence patchwork piecing

I’m not that much of a purist that I won’t concede that using the machine for this sort of piecing makes a huge amount of sense ….

I’m ironing to the dark side for each block as I piece it ….

And keep on building those blocks …. lining those junctions up nice and tight as we go ….

rail fence patchwork piecing

(anyone else hear Dory from Finding Nemo here?)

Just keep piecing, just keep piecing, just keep piecing piecing piecing …

rail fence patchwork piecing

Until you have yourself a quilt top that’s exactly the right size …. this one here is single (twin) bed size …. there’s about 4 whole pairs of jeans in this one, and all sorts of odds and ends. I finally gave up some of the liberty quilt fabric I bought when I went to the Quilts exhibition at the V&A a couple of years ago …. plus some odds and ends from girls’ dresses, mens’ shirts, old skirts, a linen tablecloth … even a little upholstery brocade snuck in there.

Sandwich time!

rail fence patchwork quilt

tape, pin, tack …. quilt!

I’ve used the totally lush quilters’ dream orient batting, and the backing is a blue vintage double sheet – so washed and used it’s almost as soft as flanellette …. scrumptious.

rail fence patchwork quilt

I’m having a bit of a moment with those foldover bindings …. this one is finished with strips of vintage ribbon in co-ordinating colours. And my second obsession of the moment – quilted borders …. this time I’ve free-motioned it in a pattern that echoes the rail-fence piecing. I like ….

rail fence patchwork quilt

It’s totally dreamy …. those blues are so tranquil …. my daughter noted how well it worked in her white-and-teal bedroom (I’m ignoring her not-so-subtle hints), but I think it’s subtle enough that it’d work in a boy’s room too. (I would have modelled it in my son’s room to prove this, but that’d mean tidying it up first, and that’s just a step too far for me!).

rail fence patchwork quilt

Anyway. Dreamy rail fence patchwork quilt in blue, waiting just for you in my Etsy shop

Grandmothers Flower Garden

Although the ‘elemental quilt‘ is calling me to finish it, and I have been working the embroidery in my quiet moments, I enjoyed the first installment of my block project so much that I’ve launched straight into the next quilt block.

Still working with the very simple blocks at the beginning of the book, so it’s a traditional and straightforward ‘Grandmother’s Flower Garden’ hexagon block.

It’s pretty straightforward to draft – if you don’t have a hexagon template, then you can use a set of compasses (the geometrical kind rather than the navigational kind 😉 to create your hexagons. This little WIKI shows you how it’s done … because I had a pretty small block – it’s going to be another 30cm x 30cm cushion cover – I drafted the whole thing, resting on a cutting mat to secure the point of the compasses. The one thing you need to remember if you’re doing this is that ALL your circles MUST intersect through each of the points, otherwise you’re going to end up with wonky hexagons (which is really not a good look). When you’re finished, each hexagon will have a little flower shape in its centre … I had to really fight myself to stick to the brief and not piece based on the flowers! (That will doubtless be another project, later 😉

You have two options for the edges – you can either go all the way to the edge, and have the cut-off hexagon shapes around the edge as I have done, or you can stop at the outermost ring of complete hexagons and applique the finished piece onto a backing.

I’m still feeling warm with my colour choices at the moment, but these are a bit more muted than the last block, predominantly creams and golds, with coppery and red accents … these are all pieces of fabric that I had on hand, reclaimed and recycled.

Cut out your hexagon shapes, pin on the fabric, and cut the fabric, leaving approximately 1/2 – 1 cm seam allowance, depending on how thick the fabric is and how much it will fray. Fold it around the paper, remembering to do the nice mitreing in the corner …

And then sew the basted pieces right side together, with an overcast. The overcast wants to be pretty small, around 12 stitches to the inch ….

And keep on going, round and round … because it’s quite a simple block, it comes together quickly …. This block is a bit heavier than the last one, which was mostly light cottons and silks – here I’m using heavier curtain fabric, which I think works well with the bolder block pattern.

I am seriously loving the combination of colours and textures here!  I should have this finished up pretty soon ….

What’s your latest block? Do share ……