Those of you who have persevered with my ramblings here over the last few years (yes, it really is more than two!) will have realised that I enjoy footling about (as my mother used to call it) with pencil and paper or, these days, the computer. I like to take a traditional design and tweak it a bit; play with the possibilities, change things around a bit, and generally wonder “but what if . . .?” . I don’t make any of these doodles into quilts, or hardly ever, which seems a bit of a shame but I get carried away and move onto the next ‘what if’ and then I run out of steam, time, inclination or whatever.

To which end I bring you the latest of my wonderings and doodlings on the deceptively simple Rail Fence. The basic unit of this block is just a square of three (or four) equal strips, four of these squares make a block; lots of these blocks make a quilt. But by changing them around a bit or using different colours you can make the Rail Fence pattern, or you can make Pinwheels, or you can make a Basketweave design.

But what happens if we use different width strips? Perhaps a narrow one, then a wide one and then a ‘medium’ one?

Or two wide ones and a narrow one in the middle?


If you want to have a play I have put a ‘pattern’ in my shop for you to download for free. I use the term ‘pattern’ quite loosely as its more a ‘here are some measurements and basic instructions to make the units and some ideas for putting them together’. And in case you don’t feel like actually making anything it includes some quilt ideas for you print out and colour in.

And don’t forget – you can cut up your print out and play with different arrangements of the units and blocks.

Or what, for instance, happens if you change the light, medium and dark around? I have put the light/bright in the middle in all these examples.

Have fun!