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Two Ways to Quilt Rail Fence Blocks

See how to quilt an echo design and an orange peel design on a quilt with Rail Fence blocks. Our step-by-steps make it easy to recreate this quilting with your home machine.


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Option #1: Straight-Line Quilting Design

Quilting 1⁄4" away from the seam lines echoes the lines created by the fabric pieces and seams. Continuing to stitch into adjacent rectangles without cutting threads allows you to sew more quickly.


Mark Quilt Top

Using a water-soluble marker or chalk and an acrylic ruler, mark lines 1⁄4" from the seam lines in both the dark and light aqua rectangles, continuing the lines in a stair-step fashion across the quilt top. (Marked lines give you confidence as you begin to stitch.)


Assemble Quilt Layers

Prepare the quilt sandwich (marked quilt top, batting, and backing).


Set up Machine

Remove presser foot and install a walking foot. Add a new machine needle, and thread the machine and bobbin with 50-weight, 100% cotton thread. Use a quilt-sandwich swatch to test thread/needle/tension combination and stitch length.


Begin Quilting

1. Begin stitching the longest continuous line on the quilt top, beginning at the upper left-hand side and stitching to the lower right-hand side. Follow the red arrow and line in each step.

2. Stitch along the marked line, pivoting 90º as shown at the seam lines, until reaching the bottom edge of the lower right-hand dark aqua rectangle (Diagram 1).   

3. Pivot 180º. Stitch and pivot 90º as before in the light aqua rectangles, until reaching the upper left-hand corner of the quilt top (Diagram 2).

4. Pivot 90º. Stitch as before in rectangles until reaching the dark aqua rectangles in the upper right-hand corner of the quilt top (Diagram 3).

5. Referring to Diagram 4, stitch the lower left-hand side. Baste all remaining unstitched edges.

Next page: Option #2 Quilting Design