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Quick and easy cutting instructions for a classic rail fence quilt

Quick and easy cutting instructions for a classic rail fence quilt

by Michael Smith

Yesterday, I introduced the colorways for the NEW Banyan Batiks, Banyan Classics Collection. I’m thrilled to start the rail fence quilt with this new batik line.

Before cutting into your fabric it’s a good idea to give it a quick press, especially if you’ve chosen to wash it. Ah, to prewash, or not prewash; that is the question! It’s a question as old as Shakespeare and its answer is entirely up to you. After all, it’s your quilt. In general, batiks have a history of color bleeding because of their rich saturation of dye, so it’s a good idea to do a little testing before you decide to literally take the plunge – or not. True confessions, though; because I’m always in a hurry, often working with deadlines, I almost never prewash my fabric, and, so far, knock wood, I’ve been lucky. Dyes have improved greatly over the years.

As you press your fabric, don’t worry about aligning the selvage edges perfectly as they can sometimes be a little wonky.

The selvage edges of the beautiful Banyan Classics fabric do not perfectly line up when folding the fabric in half, but no need to worry, close is good enough

Don’t worry about perfectly lining up selvage edges when folding your fabric in half. So long as the fabric is FLAT, close is good enough.

Instead, you just want to be sure your fabric is FLAT, free of any diagonal wrinkles as you fold the fabric as it was on the bolt.

Cutting the Strips

Start with strip 1, which in my case is Pearl. Align the fold of the fabric with a line on your cutting mat and line up your 6″ x 24″ ruler with a perpendicular line close to the raw edge of the fabric. Cut and move your ruler over the measurement of your strip, in this case, strip 1 is cut 1½wide.

Cutting into the beautiful Banyan Classics fabric starting with strip 1, which in my case is Pearl.

Cut Strips the required width; strip 1 is 1.5″ wide.

You need 10 strips of each color. Repeat this step for all 5 strip fabric.

  • Cut strip 1 (Pearl) 1½” wide x WOF (Width of Fabric).
  • Cut strip 2 (Opal) 2″ wide x WOF.
  • Cut strip 3 (Silver) 2½ wide x WOF.
  • Cut strip 4 (Pewter) 3½ wide x WOF.
  • Cut Strip 5 (Onyx) 5″ wide x WOF.

Quick Tips to Stay Organized

Stack strips in sewing order and label the color, or it’s strip order so you don’t get mixed up when it’s time to sew together.

place strips in sewing order and

All 5 colorways of the enticing NEW Banyan Classics Collection labelled and lined-up in sewing order.

place strips in sewing order and label each to stay organized

label each to stay organized

Slide a large square ruler under the strips, place on a cookie sheet or arrange in a shallow box (a cardboard case from soda cans works well) to easily transport strips to your sewing machine.

Strips cut and organized, ready for sewing the rail fence blocks in the beautiful Banyan Classics collection

easily take strips in order to your sewing machine

Once at the machine, I use a standing towel rack to hang my strips next to my sewing chair, so everything stays in order and within easy reach.

Strips of the new Banyan Classics Collection neatly organized on a standing towel rack placed near the sewing machine to keep them within easy reach.

Standing towel rack next to the sewing machine keeps strips organized and within easy reach

To sew this classic rail fence quilt using these gorgeous Banyan Classics fabrics, I’ll use the quilter’s classic ¼” seam. It’s a good idea to check your ¼” seam allowance before sewing any strips together, especially if you’re new to quilting and/or new to your machine.

Many machines have a ¼” stitch selection setting or have a ¼” foot to help keep your sewing straight and consistent, but you can also get a magnetic seam guide to help.

Place your strips right sides together keeping the top selvage edge aligned, it will be trimmed off later. Sew a total of 10 strip sets.

So far my strips are looking beautiful and check out that batik print! Banyan Classics print are, well, classic!

Gather up your strip sets and meet me back at the pressing table.

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: NEW Banyan Classics Collection makes for a knockout rail fence quilt

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