Solid fabrics in an uncommon color palette turn a foundation-pieced throw into a fresh addition to your decor. Fabrics are from the Kona Cotton Solids collection by Robert Kaufman Fabrics.
Railroad Crossing Color Option
Download this Project

Inspired by Railroad Crossing from designer Cindy Blackberg

Quilt tester: Alison Gamm


*    2-3⁄8 yards solid white (arc units)

*    1 yard solid purple (arc units)

*    1 yard solid light blue (arc units, sashing squares, inner border)

*    1-1⁄8 yards solid yellow (sashing units)

*    2-3⁄4 yards solid navy (quilt center, outer border)

*    1⁄4 yard solid pink (sashing squares)

*    2⁄3 yard black-and-white stripe (binding)

*    3-1⁄2 yards backing fabric

*    61×75" batting

*    48 sheets of tracing paper

Finished quilt: 52-7/8×67"

Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. Click on "Download this Project" above for pattern pieces.

From solid white, cut:

*    288--2×2-1⁄2" rectangles

*    768--1-1⁄2" squares

From solid purple, cut:

*    240--2×2-1⁄2" rectangles

From solid light blue, cut:

*    48 of Wedge Pattern

*    6--1-1⁄2×42" strips for inner border

*    12--2-1⁄2" sashing squares

From solid yellow, cut:

*    384--1-1⁄2×2-1⁄2" rectangles

From solid navy, cut:

*    6--4-1⁄2×42" strips for outer border

*    4--12-5⁄8" squares, cutting each diagonally twice in an X for a total of 16 side triangles (you will use 14)

*    17-8-1⁄2" squares

From solid pink, cut:

*    3--4-1⁄8" squares, cutting each diagonally twice in an X for a total of 12 sashing triangles (you will use 10)

*    6--2-1⁄2" sashing squares

*    2--2-3⁄8" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for a total of 4 corner triangles

From black-and-white stripe, cut:

*    8--2-1⁄2×42" binding strips

Make Foundation Papers

1.     With a pencil, trace Foundation Pattern onto a sheet of tracing paper, tracing all lines and numbers (Diagram 1). Repeat to make six tracings total. (Alternately, print the pattern on foundation paper six times.) Place each tracing on a stack of seven unmarked sheets of tracing paper. (Freezer paper and typing paper also will work.) Staple each stack together once or twice.


2.     Using a sewing machine with an unthreaded small-gauge needle set on 10–12 stitches per inch, sew on the inside (solid) lines of a tracing through all layers of paper. Do not stitch on the outer lines. Repeat with remaining stacks.

3.     Use scissors to cut each stack on the outer (dashed) lines to make 48 perforated foundation papers total.

Foundation-Piece Arcs

The following instructions result in one pieced arc. Repeat to make 48 pieced arcs total.

1.     With right sides together, place a solid white 2×2-1⁄2" rectangle atop a solid purple 2×2-1⁄2" rectangle. Put a perforated foundation paper on top of the solid white rectangle, positioning the layered rectangles so their right-hand edges are a scant 1⁄4" beyond the first stitching line and about 3⁄8" above the top of the arc (Diagram 2). With the foundation paper on top, sew on stitching line No. 1.


2.     Trim the seam allowance to a scant 1⁄4". (If you're using dark colors, trim the seam allowance so the darker fabric does not show through the lighter fabric.) Press the rectangles open, pressing the seam allowance toward the solid purple rectangle. Trim the solid purple rectangle to a scant 1⁄4" beyond the next stitching line (Diagram 3). Trim the pieces even with the top and bottom edges of the foundation paper (Diagram 4).


3.     Position a second solid white 2×2-1⁄2" rectangle under the trimmed solid purple piece with the right-hand edge a scant 1⁄4" beyond the second stitching line. Sew on stitching line No. 2 as before (Diagram 5).Trim the seam allowance, if needed. Press the pieces open, pressing the seam allowance toward the second solid white rectangle (Diagram 6). Trim the second solid white rectangle to a scant 1⁄4" beyond the next sewing line. Trim the pieces even with the top and bottom edges of the foundation paper.


4.     Continue adding solid purple and solid white rectangles to the foundation paper in the same manner until you've pieced the entire arc (Diagram 7). Use the blunt end of a seam ripper to remove the foundation paper.


Assemble Arc Units

1.     Pin the center bottom of a pieced arc to the center top (marked with an X) of a solid light blue wedge piece. Pin each end. Using slender pins and picking up only a few threads at each position, pin generously between the ends and the center (Diagram 8).


2.     Sew the pieces together by hand or machine, sewing a little to the right of the sewing line if necessary to ensure sharp points, to make a pieced arc unit. If you choose to hand-stitch, turn the piece over occasionally to examine the front, checking for a smooth seam. If you choose to machine-stitch, the pieced arc should be on top when the pieces are under the presser foot. Work slowly, stop the machine often with the needle down, and adjust the direction you're sewing as needed. Press the seam allowance toward the wedge piece.

3.     Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make 48 pieced arc units total.

Assemble Sashing Units

1.     For accurate sewing lines, use a pencil to mark a diagonal line on the wrong side of each solid white 1-1⁄2" square. (To prevent your fabric from stretching as you draw the lines, place 220-grit sandpaper under the squares.)

2.     Align a marked solid white 1-1⁄2" square with one end of a solid yellow 1-1⁄2  ×2-1⁄2" rectangle (Diagram 9). Stitch on the marked line; trim the seam allowance to 1⁄4". Press the attached triangle open.


3.     Align a solid white 1-1⁄2" square with the opposite end of the solid yellow rectangle (Diagram 9). Stitch on the marked line; trim and press as before to make a Flying Geese unit. The unit should measure 2-1⁄2 ×1-1⁄2", including the seam allowances.

4.     Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make 384 Flying Geese units total.

5.     Sew together eight Flying Geese units to make a sashing unit (Diagram 10). Press all the seam allowances in one direction. The pieced sashing unit should measure 2-1⁄2 ×8-1⁄2", including the seam allowances. Repeat to make 48 sashing units total.


Assemble Quilt Center

1.     Referring to the Quilt Assembly Diagram for placement, lay out solid navy 8-1⁄2" squares, 14 solid navy side triangles, sashing units, solid light blue 2-1⁄2" sashing squares, solid pink 2-1⁄2" sashing squares, 10 solid pink sashing triangles, and solid pink corner triangles. Place a pieced arc unit on each side triangle (Diagram 11) and two pieced arc units on each 8-1⁄2" square (Diagram 12).


2.     Once you're pleased with the arrangement, align straight raw edges of arc units and solid navy pieces; pin. Baste straight edges (diagrams 11 and 12). Using navy thread, hand-appliqué curved edges of arc units to the solid navy pieces, turning under the 1⁄4" seam allowances with your needle as you stitch.

3.     Sew together the pieces in diagonal rows (Quilt Assembly Diagram). Press the seam allowances toward the solid navy triangles and squares and the sashing squares and triangles. Join the rows. Add the four solid pink corner triangles to make the quilt center. Press the seam allowances in one direction. The pieced quilt center should measure 42-7⁄8×57", including seam allowances.


Add Borders

1.     Cut and piece the solid light blue 1-1⁄2 ×42 strips to make:

*    2--1-1⁄2 ×59" inner border strips

*    2--1-1⁄2×42-7⁄8" inner border strips

2.     Sew the short inner border strips to the top and bottom edges of the pieced quilt center. Add the long inner border strips to the side edges. Press all seam allowances toward the inner border.

3.     Cut and piece the solid navy 4-1⁄2 ×42 strips to make:

*    2--4-1⁄2 ×67" outer border strips

*    2--4-1⁄2×44-7⁄8" outer border strips

4.     Sew the short outer border strips to the top and bottom edges of the pieced quilt center. Add the long outer border strips to the side edges to complete the quilt top. Press all seam allowances toward the outer border.

Finish Quilt

1.     Layer quilt top, batting, and backing; baste.

2.     Quilt as desired. Machine-quilter Penny Barnes quilted a grid design in the solid navy background. In the solid white arc and sashing units, she did switchback stitching to help the yellow and purple triangles stand out. She echo-quilted curves in the solid light blue arcs and sashing squares and waves in the inner border. She filled the outer border with a vine design.

3.     Bind with black-and-white stripe binding strips.

Railroad Crossing Color Option