Scrappy Rail Fence Block Tutorial

By Judith
 on July 5, 2018

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)


This is my Autumn Rail Fence Quilt (as featured in August '17 issue of Pretty Patches magazine).


If, like me, you have a healthy supply of scraps, then this is a great scrap buster project for you!



In August I am hosting a Scrap Buster Saturday, and this is one of the many quick and easy ideas folks can use to dig in to those overflowing scrap boxes!



Here's how to make the Scrappy Rail Fence Block (12.5" unfinished):


1 You will need a variety of scrappy strips, at least 13" long and of varying widths (don't go wider than 3"). Press them and make sure they have straight parallel sides.  Don't worry about trimming the lengths, you get a more accurate block if you leave the trimming to the end.


  • Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)


2 I went for a 'late summer' colour theme of teals, oranges, pinks and golds. But you could easily use whatever colours you have for a more 'random' rail fence.

Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)


3 You will notice I have included a brown striped fabric at the edge of each block.  These strips are cut 2" wide and give a little uniformity to the scrappiness of the blocks.  If you are going for random and bright colours, try a narrow black and white stripe here.



4 If you are working to a colour theme, try to get an even number of colours per block. The order doesn't matter, just sew enough together using a 1/4" seam, not forgetting the stripey fabric on the end, until you can get at least 12.5" wide.  Set the seams (pressing the seam as you have sewn it) before pressing the seams to the darkest fabric.



5 Trim the block to 12.5" square.  If there is excess on the width make sure you don't take any off the stripey/end fabric.  You want these end strips to be of uniform width.  I used my 12.5" square ruler for easy trimming, but you can trim these blocks to any size, just make sure they are square!



6 Make lots more blocks until you have enough for your quilt (or until you have used up all your scraps!).  I laid out my blocks in a 5 x 6 formation (5 blocks across by 6 rows down) alternating the direction of every other block to achieve the rail fence design.  Join the blocks right sides together in rows and press the seams of each row in alternate directions. Join the rows together making sure to butt/nest the intersecting seams.


Summer Rail Fence Quilt (Pretty Patches Aug16)


7 Spray baste your quilt top, wadding and backing (Spray basting tutorial available here) before quilting as desired (I quilted in a free motion meander all over).  Trim off the excess wadding and backing and attach the quilt binding (tutorial available here).


Now you'll always be warm and toasty on chilly Autumn evenings!


Happy scrapping!

Leave a Comment

5 comments on “Scrappy Rail Fence Block Tutorial”

  1. I would like to have a hard copy of this quilt, so I can have a go at sewing it. It doesn't stay long enough on my screen to try and word from this device. Is there a reason why I am unable to print off a copy? Janet.

    1. Hi Janet, unfortunately this is a free tutorial so no hard copies are availalbe. You could try to copy and paste from the screen into a Word document, or take screen prints and print those out via Word or similar. Jxo

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