Sunday, January 8, 2012

9" Rail Fence Block for CraftMad Swap

Our CraftMad Swap group wanted to swap a few blocks with each other to make up a CraftMad Quilt.

The first block suggested was a 9" rail fence.

It proved a bit of a challenge for the non-quilters - both in working in inches, and getting their head around the measurements.  It also proved a bit of a challenge for me - trying to size down a 12" block ;-)

The internet came to the rescue and I found a good set of directions that suggested starting with a 5" x 2" strip

As I was going through this process, I thought I would take a few photos to help explain it to the non-quilters and to help reinforce the steps in my own mind.

cut out your fabric strips 4 sets of  3 @ 5" x 2"

Sew strips together in desired order using a 1/4" seam

Sew top two sets together  & bottom two sets together using a 1/4" seam

Sew the two rows together - taking care to make sure your centres line up - using a 1/4" seam

Here is where the quilters ruler is a MOST valuable tool
Place the block underneath the ruler -here it is showing just how it is when finished - note it is a little off - this is your 'wiggle room' to trim

Lining up the block underneath to the required marks on the ruler - in this case top left  at approx 9 1/2" wide,
very centre of block intersects at approx 4 3/4"
trim top and right edges 

swivel block around so that bottom left corner lines up with 9 1/2" marks and check the centre of the block intersects at 4 3/4"
trim top and right edges

here block is squared up and finished at 9 1/2 "
the bottom left blook looks a bit crooked in photo, but it is an optical illusion
I used a REALLY cheap Jelly Roll for this exercise and the reason it was cheap was that it was cut crooked ;-(  

VERY IMPORTANT!  Check your seam allowance is actually 1/4" or you will end up with a block with the wrong measurements ;-)

This is the first attempt - this finished section SHOULD be 5" square - with an incorrect seam allowance, it turned out WRONG

The other day, I had moved the position of my needle to do some close to the edge sewing and had not moved it back properly - DOH!

I hope this helps the non-quilters of our little group. 

I will keep you all posted on the progress of our swap - I am really looking forward to making up a lap quilt made especially from members of my CraftMad Family (I have been with them since 2004).

Thank you for visiting my blog today - I hope you have a good day. 
Remember, any day doing something you love makes it a good day ;-) 
Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.


  1. That's a very nice Rail Fence block Cathy!! Were the colour choices that of you or the group as a whole?

  2. thanks Larissa, this colour choice was just for the testing of the measurements - I will be making more blocks to other group members' chosen colour schemes

  3. Oh wow....that is such a fantastic tutorial Cathy. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this. My blocks are already in the mail....still a lot of learning and practise to do. So maybe look at yours with one eye closed. :-)

  4. That's a very easy to understand, informative tutorial :D! Well done.

  5. Thanks for sharing pics and steps Cathy, really helps me see!

    I hope you like the colours I did for the runner a little while back, would you like those for your block? I also have a lighter brown, so can change those, or I am going to spotlight tomorrow if you wanted something else :-D

    So exciting!

  6. thanks for the lovely comments!
    Annmaree, anything you pick will be great
    Merry, your block has arrived and it is perfect ;-)


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