Fence Rail Quilting Block – Beginner Quilt Series


Welcome to Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Beginner Block Series. Today we’re going to be making a block called a “fence rail.” There are other names for it, but it’s most commonly known as a fence rail. You make this block with 2½ inch strips.

Now these strips aren’t very coordinated. They’re just strips we had in the shop so we could show you this block. But for coordinating strips, they’re the same size as the jelly roll. You can sew them together. These jelly rolls are just marvelous. They’re what you call “pre-cuts,” and they come in a whole fabric line so that everything blends and goes together. This is one of my favorites. It’s just so bright and happy.

But anyway, what we’re going to do now is, we’ve already cut these four pieces of fabric into 2½ inch strips and we’re going to sew them together. I like to keep my dark strip to the outside or to the inside. It doesn’t really matter where but it matters you are consistent with it.

Again, we sew these strips together. We’ll sew two together first, and we’re sewing it on a quarter of an inch seam. When you’re sewing long strips like this it’s really important to keep your quilt balanced that you sew one direction on the first set and the opposite direction on the second set, and I’ll show you just what I mean.

Alright, now we’re going to press this strip open. We’ll set the seam and then press it. When you’re doing a row of strips you want all those seams to go in one direction.

Now we’ll sew the other strips to it, but what we’re going to do is sew the opposite direction. So if we finished going this way with the next strip, we’re going to lay it over here and we’re going to sew it this way. This will keep your quilt from becoming bowed in the middle.

And that’s nice and pressed…

Back at the ironing board to iron our last strip-on. Now I would never use these colors together, but for this demonstration, it allows you to be able to see well. So now we have a fence rail. If you’ll come with me to the cutting board I’ll show you what to do next.

Now you’re going to lay these out on your cutting board and you’re going to measure how tall they are. So we put out ruler up here and we see that this is eight inches. So what we’re going to do then is measure this eight inches in so that our blocks are square. That’s a really important tip.

So here’s our first eight inch block and here’s our second. Now, if we use longer strips we would be able to do this really… This strip quilting is very fast and if we used longer strips you can get five or six strip sets out of sewing it once.
Alright, now we have our two blocks sewn. When you put them together you can do it so their stripes run this way and then every row will make a design that’s called “fields and furrows.” You can lay these all different ways. And it’s just a really easy, fun quilt with these. Now I’d like to show you some pictures of some other quilts that you can do with these same patterns with a fun little book that we have in the shop. It’ll just give you some ideas.

It’s called “bars of gold.” You can see what they’ve done is sew their strip sets together and cut them, and put a border in between. And it’s just the same thing – you just sew those little strips together. They also call these “coin quilts” if the strips are a little bit shorter.

I’d like to show you another one.

This book is full of ideas, but these two really represent the fence rail very well.

Look at this cute little bag: just all of the strips sewn together and it just makes a darling little bag.

This book we have in the store and it’s called Jelly Roll Quilts, and it’s by Pam and Nicky Lintott and it’s been a book full of wonderful little ideas.

But basically, now you know how to make a fence rail and you can let your imagination run wild. Thanks for joining me today on Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Beginning Block series. Happy quilting!

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