Tag Archives: Patchwork

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

Baby keepsake quilt

Another baby keepsake quilt … this time a cot-sized darling for a little boy ….

baby keepsake quilt

All worked in simple six-inch squares, I used a mix of salvaged denim, aged and supersoft from use and many washings, and lovely fresh cotton upcycled from men’s shirts, with a little vintage linen from an old napkin added into the mix.

Because the fabrics were so plain and simple, I thought it needed a little more quilting than a straightforward in-the-ditch outlining of the squares …. initially, I thought I’d do an old-fashioned diamond pattern, but as I was chalking it out, I loved the chevron pattern so went with that – I love the way the bold white stitching brings it all together.

And, of course, baby’s name and date-of-birth hand-embroidered onto the central panel …. I do this on a hoop before I add the square into the quilt.

I had to compromise a little and use polyester fleece for the backing, as I couldn’t get the hemp fleece I prefer in this gorgeous dark blue. It’s much less nice to work than the hemp, but the colours were so right with the quilt. And I keep trying to find an earth- friendly alternative to satin ribbon that looks as good, but haven’t yet. I do have a huge stash of vintage ribbon, but, sadly, nothing in the right colour for this quilt.

(and, yes, that is a grasshopper. and, no, I don’t know how it got there!)

All done, and off to its new home …. I’ve since heard that it’s been hung in the stairwell, and that just makes me feel all warm and smooshy inside.