Each of the five strips in this version of the Rail Fence quilt block finishes at 1-1/2" x 7-1/2". Avoid fabrics with large, widely spaced multicolor motifs, because they (usually) look pretty chopped-up when cut into narrow strips. Choose mottled fabrics, batiks, tone on tones and other similar fabrics.
You can preview fabrics by making a window template that measures 1-1/2" x 7-1/2". Slide it over fabric randomly to see how strips will look. We'll strip piece the blocks with crosswise grain strips, so sliding the window from selvage to selvage offers a better preview.
You can use more fabrics than illustrated here -- even a different fabric for each position in the block. You might also start in the middle with a dark strip, and then fade to lighter shades on each side of it. I've added a few tips on page 2 to help you alter fabric choices.
Layout can vary as much as fabric selections -- the illustration is one of numerous possibilities. Experiment with your blocks after assembling them to discover other layouts.
Finished block size: 7-1/2" x 7-/12"
Finished quilt size: 43-1/2" x 51", with border as shown
Fabrics and Other MaterialsGreen batik for blocks: 1 yard
Blue batik for blocks: 1 yard
Blue batik for border: 5/8 yard for crosswise grain borders; 1-1/2 yards for lengthwise grain borders (see backing note below)
Blue batik for binding: about 215 running inches of doublefold binding (Binding Strip Instructions)
Backing: 2-1/2" yards for quilt with border, applied horizontally. You will have leftovers, likely enough to cut binding or lengthwise grain borders. (Quilt Backing Instructions)
Batting: approximately 50" x 62"