By now you should have all your quilt blocks ready to go. Last week you had your fabric washed and pressed; cut into strips and those strips were sewn together and then cut into your ready-to-use fence rail quilt blocks.
This week is when the fun really starts. Gather your blocks and lay them out on a work surface to design the look of your quilt. It is crucial to know how you want your quilt to look finished before you sew any further. If you make a mistake, you can fix it by taking the blocks apart and resewing them, however that can be hard on the material and it is time consuming. That is way knowing what you want the finished piece to look like before you start is so very important.
There are two popular ways to use fence rail blocks, the first is a very traditional look achieved by alternating between vertical and horizontal lines in the blocks giving the quilt a stair-step look, as showing below:
The second is the one I prefer because of the cute pinwheel-esque design that is achieved with with teal and purple fabrics, as shown below:
To me it gives the quilt a little more personality and focus. However, the design is your choice - I just wanted to illustrate a couple of the options available. Play with your blocks until you find the look you want. Now we get to start sewing your blocks together.
There are two ways to do this:
1. You can sew strips of blocks together, six block long, and then sew your six strips together to form your quilt top.
2. Sew sections of blocks together and sew those sections together to form your quilt block.
I prefer the latter, especially when using the fence rail block to make the pinwheels. By sewing four blocks together to form a pinwheel, I know that I am correctly placing the blocks for the pattern. Also, I find that sewing long strips of blocks together can make it somewhat cumbersome and difficult to line up seams at the block corners so I have always tried to construct smaller sections that will be sewn into the whole. (Hopefully that makes sense.)
Once you have finished sewing your blocks together, sit back and relax, you are done until next week. Are you feeling good about the progress you've made? You should! Your quilt top is nearly completed. Next week you'll finish the top and prep the piece for the actual quilting. Trust me, it won't be as difficult as it sounds!
Happy Crafting All!
I love this layout simply because