This tutorial is for beginning quilters. Some quilt blocks are constructed with simple “filler” units, such as a basic rail block. Here is a quick and accurate way to make a two-fabric rail unit. I prefer this method over sewing two strips together because it results in nice even edges.
With the finished block size in mind, add ½-inch to the width and one inch to the length. For example, if you require a 5-inch finished block, cut your two fabrics 5 ½” x 6 “.
Place your two cut fabrics right sides together and pin in place. On each of the longer length sides, sew a scant quarter-inch seam.
Position your ruler’s edge at the center and cut in half, parallel to your stitched seams.
Open and press toward the darker fabric. You now have two perfectly square rail units.
To add more interest, try using striped or border fabrics. Be careful to cut the smaller width measurement with the stripes positioned horizontally as shown.
Sew a scant quarter-inch seam on the two sides parallel to the stripes (stripes will move vertically through your sewing machine).
Here’s how the pressed blocks look. The stripe and border prints add some motion and excitement to an otherwise ordinary block.
Here they are positioned horizontally and vertically. You can see how this simple block could be used to create a quilt top with lots of visual interest.