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How to (tutorial) for my fence rail quilt

Its not really a tutorial as I am not qualified to tell anyone how to do quilting but I took some photos along the way and I will try and explain how I did mine, this is not necessarily the right way, but the way it worked for me.

You will need

  1. sewing machine

  2. thread

  3. scissors

  4. fabric

  5. rotary cutter

  6. cutting mat

  7. quilters ruler

  8. iron & ironing board

I will load up the photos first and they have comments on and I will try and explain what I did.

When choosing fabric you can use anything, jelly rolls are good because you get strips of fabric usually similar length and cut at 2.5 inch wide, it doesn’t matter if they are not all the same length as you can trim them up later.

I used yardage by that I mean I chose 4 fabrics that I thought went well together and bought a meter of each but for this lap quilt I could have probably got away with less as I have plenty left over.

I cut my strips into 2.5 inch wide but again you could cut them wider and you could use 5 or 6 colours of fabric its up to you.

I have also found with this fence rail design you do not need to sew with a quarter inch seem which is what most quilters use for other designs where sections have to meet up. With this design all you have to do is be consistent.

So either use a quarter inch stitch if you have one on your machine, or a quarter inch foot or just line up the outside edge of your presser foot with the outside edge of your fabric, but whatever you choose do that all the way through the process of making the quilt.

The main two things I have found in getting a good professional result is pressing the fabric all the way through the process of making the quilt and straight sewing.


Cut your fabric into 2.5 inch strips (or whatever width you require).


lay out your strips in the order you feel they look good together, this will be the order you sew them together.


sew your first two pieces right sides together with your chose seem allowance all along the length of the fabric.


sew your next two pieces together, remove from the machine.


take your strips to your ironing board lay them down with the darkest of your fabric on top set the seem by holding your iron on top of the sewn seem all along and then open up and press the dark fabric open. do this on both strips.


now sew these two strips together and again press when done.

you have made your first 4 section of fence rail, repeat with all your other pieces.


once all your strips are sewn and pressed lay one out horizontally on your table and measure how wide it is, this bit is vital as you need to end up with exact squares for the design to match up later.

The width will vary depending on how many strips you used, how wide you cut them, how accurate you sewed them. Mine was 8 inch so I cut 8 inch pieces all along the length of all my strips so that I was left with a pile of 8×8 squares, yours may be 8.5×8.5 or 6×6 etc.


Next lay your square out in rows right side facing up and see what pattern works best for you. I chose to just do rows of alternating horizontal and vertical squares. Once you are happy start to sew the squares together.


Again work methodically so from top left to right sewing one square to the next with right sides facing, set the seem and press it open carry on along the line.

Repeat with each row.


Then sew the rows together again working in order sew from top to bottom but remember to set the seems and press each row as you sew.


Borders are next i measure the two long sides and the two short sides and I cut four pieces of fabric to correspond.

If you want to use two different coloured borders as I did measure and cut your first borders at 1.5 inch wide by the length you require and when these are sewn on and pressed measure and cut your second set at 3 inch wide by the lengths required.

Start by sewing the two long borders onto your quilt and then sew the two short borders.

Repeat if using two border colours.


Now you are ready to make your quilt sandwich and start quilting your design which can be freehand sewing or straight lines or use some fancy stitches if you have them, the idea is that you have to sew all three of your layers together so that the wadding/batting doesn’t move around in between your top and bottom fabric.

so I will add some links to you tube videos (not mine) just to show how to do this rather than try and explain.

it may be easier to see how its done rather than read how its done, but basically your wadding/batting and your backing fabric needs to be about 1-2 inches bigger than your finished quilt. (jenny says 10 inch in the video but I never go that much bigger)


Binding your quilt, again I am linking to Jenny at Missouri to show you how this is done

That’s it I hope it may help someone.

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