Friday, September 15, 2017

Skill Builder 2017-18 - Rail Fence by Stacy Pomerleau

Rail Fence is one of the simplest blocks. Made from sewing strips together (known as strip piecing) then cutting them into squares then are sewn back together to create a block.

The traditional layout alternates the stripes horizontally and vertically. Depending on the colour placement this can give either a zigzag, pinwheel or woven appearance.

(Image Source : Generations Quilt Patterns)

Being a simple block, there are loads of ways to modernize!
  • Colour choices! Pick bright solids, mix solids with prints, etc.
  • Scale! Make bigger, bolder blocks. Pair with smaller blocks. Mix up strip widths. When cutting strip, cut longer rectangles.
  • Add negative space!
  • Not everything need to by symmetrical!
Some of the sample blocks I created using the charity palette
3 sets of strips became 1 block (pinwheel layout)


Playing with the size of the cut strips (squares and rectangles) 
Looking at a variety of layout possibilities

Maybe your background don't need to the the lightest colour...

Some other examples:
Simple yet effective, mostly neutrals (upcycled men's shirts!) with pops of solid colours.
(Source: this & that by Pasqualina)

This table runner plays with varying strip widths and the blocks are rectangles!
(Source Pinterest Paula Woolston)

Varying the strip widths works wonders with this lovely fabric (Allison Glass Handcrafted, in case you were wondering!) Plus keeping the strips in the same direction is a nice change.
(Source: Thick and Thin by Blue Underground Studio)

This Faux-Weave block is quite lovely. Using a bold red and added the negative space is a great way to freshen this block up!
(Source: Faux Weave Block by Mathew Boudreaux)

This last one isn't technically modern, however I often find that some of the older quilts (Amish, Gee's Bend, etc) are often striking and bold and don't read as "traditional" quilts. This one was made circa 1880.
(Source: Pinterest)
While researching (scouring the internet for inspiration) I set up a Pinterest board. Most of the interesting ones, I've shared here, but just in case you want to take a look.

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