Thursday, April 5, 2012

12 X 12 - Scrappy Rails

This month's scrap buster is a kid's scrappy rail fence quilt with prairie points. (To see the other quilts in our series, start here!) This quilt is approximately 36" X 48" (or 40" X 52" including the prairie points).

This post will include instructions for completing the quilt top. The prairie points and finishing will be detailed in the next post.

Here's what you need:  
1/3 - 1/2 yard of a focus fabric
1/2 yard of white or other neutral fabric
1/8 yard of a coordinating stripe
assorted scraps to coordinate with focus fabric

        (see post from 3/28/12 for more on selecting fabrics for this project)

**I created a "starter kit" for a customer who wanted some of the fabrics I used. If you're interested in these colors, a kit with a total of 2-1/2 yards can be purchased here for $20. These are the fabrics:

Cut (87) 2-1/2" X 6-1/2" pieces from focus fabric and scraps (cut about 20 of those from the focus fabric)
Cut (80) 4" squares from the focus fabric and scraps (cut about 15 from the focus fabric)
Cut (2) 6-1/2" X 15-1/2" rectangles from the white
Cut (4) 3-1/2" X WOF from the white for the outer border
Cut (4) 6-1/2" X 2" rectangles from the stripe
Additional scraps for applique

Most, but not all of the rail fence blocks will have a focus fabric. Make 29 rail fence blocks. This block is super simple, but can be a little frustrating if it's not accurately pieced. It must measure 6-1/2" square because we're going to turn some sideways - so if your seams are a little bigger or smaller than 1/4", the blocks will not fit together.

Select 3 pieces; sew the first 2 together and then press. Carefully measure the width of the pieced fabrics. It should measure exactly 4-1/2". If it doesn't, take it apart (sorry), adjust your seam allowance and sew it back together.

Add the third strip, press the seam and measure again. This time the block must measure exactly 6-1/2".

Make 29 of these rail fence blocks.

The next step will be to make the applique blocks. If you just hate applique, you could make 6 more rail fence blocks and skip over all the applique directions.

I made a flower for the applique blocks. You could do just about anything - butterfly, simple animal, sail boat, or a toy. I drew (poorly!) a simple flower shape. You could also find a cute picture in a coloring book. For the flower, I started with a circle - I used the cap from an aspirin bottle:

Then I quickly - it's easier if you go fast - drew loose and wonky petals around the outside of the circle (I did have to go back and adjust one that was way too big!). In my mind, this was going to be a much more "even" flower, but I decided I liked the goofy look of this, so I kept it.

Trace 4 of the flowers and 12 of the centers onto Steam-a-seam or some other fusible, following the directions on the package. Fuse to the wrong side of the fabrics you selected for the flowers and dots; then fuse to the white rectangles. Finish the edge with a blanket stitch or satin stitch. I used black thread and a blanket stitch to finish mine.

Sew a 2" X 6-1/2" piece of the striped fabric to both short ends of each flower block. These blocks should measure 6-1/2" X 18-1/2":

Now lay out all the blocks, with the applique blocks in the center section as shown in the photo below:

Because of the large blocks in the center, this quilt needs to be put together in sections rather than rows.
Sew the three sections together first:

The top and bottom sections are sewn together like usual - sew the blocks together into two rows and then sew the two rows together. To construct the middle section, begin by sewing the 3 rail fence blocks on the left together into a column:

Then sew the first applique block to the 3 block section:

Continue on with the rest of this section in the same manner.

Then sew the three sections together. Add the outer border to complete the top!

In the next post, we'll make prairie points and complete this project.

1 comment:

  1. Oh so darling! I love the pretty color choices. I'll be back to see your progress on the one!