Rail Fence: Free 3 Yard Quilt Pattern:

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Sew a beautiful Rail Fence Quilt Pattern with just 3 yards of fabric! Easy three-yard quilt patterns like this are the perfect way to get started quilting. All you need is 3 one yard cuts of fabric from your stash. The Rail Fence Quilt Pattern from SewCanShe is a 54” x 60” lap quilt pattern.

The Rail Fence Quilt Pattern uses strip piecing to help you sew this quilt super fast. It may be my fastest quilt pattern ever!

Don’t miss these other 3 Yard Quilt Patterns:

Or see all my 3 Yard Quilt Patterns!

This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The free Rail Fence 3 Yard Quilt Pattern is included in the blog post below and is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $3 is totally optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library for you to access anytime you want? Check it out.

Why should I sew a 3 yard quilt?

Most 3 yard quilts are throw quilts, lap quilts, or wall hangings because they don’t require a lot of fabric. Since this type of quilt isn’t very big, you can finish your quilt quickly and give it as a gift or use it in your home. Because of the size, throw quilts like this one are easy to quilt on a domestic sewing machine using straight line quilting with your walking foot or free motion quilting.

This rail fence quilt an excellent pattern for beginners. There are two different blocks, one with narrow vertical strips and one with wide horizontal strips. The blocks are 12” tall x 9” wide when finished. You’ll have enough fabric to finish the quilt top including 30 blocks. More fabric is required for the binding and backing.

If you love to use your AccuQuilt fabric cutter like I do, you can use strip cutting dies to make this quilt Accuquilt-friendly. Using an Accuquilt is optional, but I love it! See all my Accuquilt-friendly quilts.

Instructions for AccuQuilt users: Initial cutting for this pattern involves cutting 3 1/2” and 4 1/2” wide strips. The 3 1/2” strip cutter die is #55032 and the 4 1/2” strip cutter die is #55054. See AccuQuilt strip cutter dies.

You will need a little extra of each fabric if you are using an AccuQuilt fabric cutter, so plan accordingly.

How to Choose the Right 3 Yards of Fabric

All my 3 Yard Quilt Patterns make it really easy to pick your fabric. First find a beautiful ‘focus fabric’ in your stash or at your local quilt shop. This should be a fabric that really sings to you – or that makes you think of the intended recipient of the quilt.

In the example above, I wanted to use a fabric from Kaffe Fasset that I had in my stash. Sorry, I don’t know the name or collection!

After you have chosen your focus fabric, choose one coordinating fabric that is lighter and one coordinating fabric that is darker. My green fabric is from Tilda’s Hibernation Blenders collection, and the cream fabric is called New Hue from Benartex.

I also considered using these other fabrics from Tilda’s Hibernation collection for a more cozy and woodsy look. It was so hard to decide!

If you follow these instructions for choosing your fabrics, you can’t go wrong, and you probably already have 3 fabrics in your stash that will make a beautiful quilt.

Rail Fence Free Three Yard Quilt Pattern

This free quilt pattern includes instructions for 2 different rail fence blocks (one with wide strips and one with narrow strips. There are a total of 30 blocks in this quilt that are really fast to make. Each block finishes at 12” tall by 9” wide.

Including the border, this finished throw quilt is 54” x 60”. It’s perfect for gifting to a friend, snuggling on the couch, or donating to a worthy organization.

Let’s get creative and sew a fast and easy quilt today!

You will need:

  • 3 one yard cuts of fabric (a main focus fabric, one darker fabric, and one lighter fabric)
  • a rotary cutter acrylic ruler, and mat
  • sewing machine
  • thread (I suggest thread matching the lighter fabric)
  • ironing board and iron
  • pencil or fabric marking pen

To sew the quilt top into a finished quilt, you will also need:

  • 3 yards of backing fabric (or enough to piece together a 59” x 65” quilt back)
  • 1/2 yard of fabric for the binding
  • a piece of quilt batting at least 59” x 65”

Cutting:

Fabric layout for 1 yard of focus fabric.

Fabric A is your focus fabric. From this fabric, cut:

  • 4 strips 4 1/2” x width of fabric (WOF)
  • 5 strips 3 1/2” x width of fabric (WOF)
Fabric layout for 1 yard of darker fabric.

Fabric B is the darker fabric. From this fabric, cut:

  • 4 strips 4 1/2” x width of fabric (WOF)
  • 5 strips 3 1/2” x width of fabric (WOF)
Fabric layout for 1 yard of lighter fabric.

Fabric C is the lighter fabric. From this fabric, cut:

  • 4 strips 4 1/2” x width of fabric (WOF)
  • 5 strips 3 1/2” x width of fabric (WOF)

Quilt Piecing

Make 9 Strip Sets

When making the strip sets, use a scant 1/4’’ seam allowance and a short stitch length such as 1.75-2.

1. Sew one 4 1/2” x WOF strip from Fabrics A, B, and C together with Fabric C in the center. Press the seams toward the darker fabrics. The strip set should be 12 1/2” tall.

Repeat to make four 12 1/2” tall strip sets.

2. Sew one 3 1/2” x WOF strip from Fabrics A, B, and C together with Fabric C in the center. Press the seams toward the darker fabrics. The strip set should be 9 1/2” tall.

Repeat to make five 9 1/2” tall strip sets.

Cut 30 Rail Fence Blocks

1. From each 12 1/2” tall strip set cut four blocks, 12 1/2” tall x 9 1/2” wide. You will have a little bit of fabric left over.

Repeat to cut 15 blocks from the 12 1/2” tall strip sets.

2. From each 9 1/2” tall strip set cut three blocks, 9 1/2” tall x 12 1/2” wide. You will have a little bit of fabric left over.

Repeat to cut 15 blocks from the 9 1/2” tall strip sets.

3. Turn these blocks so that they become 12 1/2” tall x 9 1/2” wide blocks with vertical strips.

Make 5 Rows

Use a 1/4” seam allowance and a regular stitch length, such as 2-2.5.

1. Arrange 3 blocks with horizontal strips and 3 blocks with vertical strips in an alternating pattern as shown. Sew the blocks together to make one Row A.

Repeat to make 3 of Row A.

2. Arrange 3 blocks with vertical strips and 3 blocks with horizontal strips in an alternating pattern as shown. Sew the blocks together to make one Row B.

Repeat to make 2 of Row B.

Assemble the Rail Fence 3 Yard Quilt Top

1. Arrange the 5 rows in an alternating pattern with a Row A on the top and the bottom.

2. Sew the 5 rows together.

Finishing the Rail Fence Three Yard Quilt Pattern

1. Cut or piece together a 59” x 65” or larger piece of quilt backing fabric and make a quilt sandwich with the backing, batting, and top.

2. Baste together with fusible batting, pins or basting spray.

3. Quilt as desired. Straight line quilting or cross hatch quilting with your walking foot would be fast and easy. Trim the extra fabric and batting away to square up the quilt.

4. Cut 5 binding strips and bind using your favorite method. This is my favorite quilt binding method.

As always, I love seeing the quilts you make with my free sewing patterns. Please post a picture to Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe so I can take a look!

xoxo,

Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂