Monday, August 3, 2015

Blue Boy Rail Fence

I'm making a quilt for a friend's baby boy, due in the fall. Since I love the Rail Fence so much, I'm making my third Rail Fence quilt from Sujata's book.

I went through my stash to find fabrics that seemed to have been neglected over the years. I wanted mostly blue and whites, but I wanted some with a bit of color, too. I'm very aware of contrasting prints, linear versus rounded, busy versus calm, organized versus scattered.

As well as the gentle curves on the strips on the left and right edges of this photo, I really like using strips with a more pronounced curve, then I cut the strips to give me blocks with extreme curves, and both thick and thin areas.

This is an example of a block made with a very subtle curve. You can hardly tell the block has curves in it.

This is an example of a block made with strips cut at an extreme curve. Not only can you tell the smaller squares have curves, but I arrange them to emphasize the thick and thin areas the blocks create.

These three photos from my first Rail Fence quilt (below) show how I move pieces around until I get the look I want. Five of the sixteen squares change places. Three on the bottom row change places, as well as two in the upper right corner.
Version One. The bottom left corner is too heavy.
Version Two. I like the bottom right, but that upper right corner is too heavy now.

Version Three. I moved two pieces in the upper right corner. Now I'm happy.
Here are all twelve blocks on the design wall. I haven't sewn them together yet, but I think this is the final layout. The blocks are 16" square, so this will be a good sized quilt. I don't think it needs a border, but I'll see. Quilts have a way of telling you what they want, and this one may not be done talking.


  1. Lynne, You have taken rail fence quilt by storm! Is that how the phrase go? I personally favored the gentle curves because they reflect the ''attempts of wanting straight lines but not quite getting it''. Your extreme version is striking and makes bold statements. Also, don't you think how cool that most any fabric goes because the darker rail fences create continuity?
    That is quite the gift this baby boy is going to have!

  2. Thanks Lynne for sharing your design process, and showing what a difference the sharpness of the initial curve can make. I've joined the QAL and am still in the "mulling it over" stage, so I enjoy seeing more examples. I like the use of solids and near solids for the dark rails.
    Sujata, I can see from the different quilts I've looked at that just about anything goes. My eye is drawn to the dark rail which give the strong graphic look, but the lights can be quite varied which adds a lot of interest and surprise.
    Lynne, he's a lucky boy, nice work.

  3. Love love love . . . I pulled fabrics today from another "idea box" and will use them for a colorful rail fence of my own!

  4. Love the blue colorway. I am thinking of also using this pattern for a baby quilt, but making the blocks, and therefore the entire quilt, smaller.


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