Featherweight Challenge is a challenge that Ria of Treasure Quilt and I are starting. Both Ria and I own Featherweight Singer sewing machines. Ria named her Featherweight Josephine and I named mine Abela (after my cat's name). I suggested to Ria that we start a quilt project piecing with our Featherweights. Ria agreed, you are so sweet Ria. I again suggested we make rail fence block, again Ria agreed! Next Ria suggested that we invite everyone with Featherweight to join our project. So Featherweight owners out there, if you like to join our challenge you are very welcome. There is no rules or regulations not even a timeline because I can't keep any of that myself (grin)! I will tell you the measurements and sizes I'm making, but you can make it any size you wish.
I got inspired to make the rail fence quilt from Kathie of INSPIRED BY ANTIQUE QUILTS. Thanks so much Kathie for your inspirations.Come and meet Abela, my little beauty. She was born on the same year as me. I got her from Houston, USA. DH was in the States and he brought her back for me. How very sweet of him. It sews like butter, as my friend Cynthia would say!
I have chosen Japanese fabrics for this quilt because it is going to be a memory quilt of my trip to Japan in March. I have been collecting Japanese fabrics for a long time so all the fabrics for this quilt come from my stash. Ria and I are swapping some fabrics as well, so it's going to be a true friendship quilt. The block is made up of 5 strips. Cut the strips 1.5" x 6" for finished size for all 5 strips of 5" x 5". The dark unit above is set: dark, light, dark, light, dark.
This light unit is set: light, dark, light, dark, light. I must tell you a bit about my choice of colours. At first I was thinking to using only a blue and cream base because those are the type of fabrics I have most off, but when I added some reds and other colours I have in my stash, I liked that better. Some of the fabrics are re purposed from vintage clothing as well. I am pleased to be able to mix them in.
These are 2 dark and light units joined together. Rail fence block looks easy at first glance, but after reading and emailing with Kathie a few times I learned that to maximize the variations of the blocks you need to cut and join the blocks individually. You will not get the variations if you join long strips of fabrics together and cut them afterwards.
After you finish piecing each block, press and trim down to 5.5" square.
A close up of the blocks lying together alternatively with light and dark blocks. Some of the light colours are not all Japanese fabrics. They were strips I trimmed off from my basket blocks. It was a shame to waste good strips.
A shot taken from further away to show the woven look of the pattern. If you squint with one eye you can see the woven pattern stand out very clearly. Click on the pictures to enlarge!
I printed out Kathie's email and copied her images to keep with my project and refer to it when I need too. I'm very pleased of how the blocks turned out so far. I had the picture of this quilt in my mind's eye and the result turned out exactly as I pictured it. I don't know at this stage how big I will make this quilt. I will keep piecing for a bit longer and see how it goes.
Ria is going to post her Featherweight Challenge on her blog too. Make sure you hop over and see her version of the same quilt. If you would like to join us please leave us your comment with email address where we can get in touch with you. We agreed to upgrade the progress monthly on here until the quilt is finished.