santorini fabric

SEW Hip! Rail Fence Runner (issue 9) is completed!

After the successful injection of some much needed colour into my living room courtesy my SEW Hip! Patchwork Cushion, I thought I might finish the living room make-over with a matching tablerunner.

Why a tablerunner?

Well, it's another quick hit of colour, I can use my leftover fabric and I get to try my hand at rail fencing.


Rail_fence_quilt_block_pattern  (Medium)Railfence7 (Medium)

A Rail Fence Quilt Block – is 3 or more strips of fabric sewn together to form a block that is then used (with other blocks) to create wonderful patterns on quilts.



Santorini flower green Santorini purple


Forget 'tote' bags for your first sewing experience, this project just like the SEW Hip! Patchwork Cushion delivers outstanding results.


If you fancy giving sewing a try but already have a lifetime supply of shopping bags, I highly recommend this project.

santorini fabric strips

(Off subject for a minute)…

As a visual learner I tend to rely on illustrations to guide me through projects. In fact for some activities I can only work from diagrams e.g. I can only crochet using Japanese pattern diagrams.

sidebar: Japanese sewing/knitting/crochet books rely mainly on pattern diagrams made up of symbols representing each kind of stitch (brilliant!)

Written instructions especially the million & 1 worded patterns will be largely ignored. As long as I have the cutting measurements and the gist of a project I will get on with it.

Picture 768 (Medium)


The SEW Hip! Rail Fence Runner project has good instructions – there aren't too many words involved and there are plenty of diagrams.

There is however one tiny little problem with the tablerunner instructions – one of them is wrong!

Of course I didn't realise that until after I had sewn my lovely 'rail strips' of fabric together and begun to cut into them.

To add insult to injury it was only at this stage that I remembered that Kay from Dots or Stripes had left me a message about a problem with the instructions – doh!


rail fence block - instructions


According to SEW Hip! your Rail Fence block should consist of 3 strips of fabric measuring 2" across sewn together with a 1/4" seam allowance, which are then cut to measure 6.5" x 6.5".


I had already cut 2 Rail Fence blocks before it dawned on me that my blocks weren't square!

(It never occured to me to double check the details of the SEW Hip! diagrams against the cutting measurements).

Three 2" strips of fabric sewn together with a 1/4" seam allowance makes 5" not 6.5"….


santornini sewn strips seam allowance, dress pin

…I made my Rail Fence blocks 5"x5" after that.

The SEW Hip! Rail Fence Blocks are really easy to sew together as long as you keep an eye on things.

Please lay out your blocks in the order you want them to be sewn together and then double check the directions of the strips before sewing – it will save a lot of unstitching later.

I was lucky this time but then I was extra careful.



seam pressing


SEW Hip! provide an interesting note in the instructions on seam pressing; They advise pressing both seam allowances to one side of the seam. I think the idea is that this will help strengthen the actual seam (I could be wrong).

I decided to open the seams and press it flat down the middle. I am more worried about the 'staircase' effect running across my project than I am weak seams.

I like my surfaces to be even.

seam pressing


In keeping with my SEW Hip! Patchwork Cushion I used Osnaburgh farbic for the SEW Hip! Rail Fence Runner borders.

I love Osnaburgh fabric it's a great! It's cheap, easy to work with and looks like pale linen (if you squint).


osanaburgh, pale linen


This tablerunner's borders are made up of large triangles. They sounds tricky but they are actually really easy to sew on. In fact they were so easy I didn't even use the wonderful diagram provided!

(To keep things even I pressed the borders seams open as well).



fabric, flat even surface


As with every other 2010 SEW Hip! Challenge I have made,  I couldn't resist deviating a little from the instructions.

It wasn't a major change, all I did was lengthen and square off the ends of the tablerunner but it is was one I felt I had to make.

To lengthen and square off the ends, I simply cut additional triangles of Osnaburgh fabric and pieced them on using the same process as before to form a square end.

Easy to do and it looks great!


rail fence borders

Before starting the SEW Hip! Rail Fence Runner, I toyed with the idea of not adding the batting as suggested. I really don't like padded tablerunners.

I understand padded placemats but not tablerunners…but as I had already deviated once already from the instructions I added the batting.

Thankfully the Santorini fabric is so great that my tablerunner can withstand some batting.


leafy stitch


To keep the top, batting and backing fabric from flapping about I got creative and introduced myself to a new stitch on my Huskystar E10…..the leafy one!

The 'leafy' stitch proved to be a winner. I only 'leafed' the central strips of each block and not only was the batting securely in place BUT the overall look of the SEW Hip! Rail Fence Runner improved 10 fold!

leafy stitch - loose ends

After the final stitching, I quickly finished up by tucking some stray threads into the back of the tablerunner and ironed the top ready for it's first outing.



So here it is…my SEW Hip! Rail Fence Runner.

 Rail Fence Tablerunner

Rail Fence Tablerunner

Rail Fence Tablerunner

Please click SEW Hip! Rail Fence Runner Fabrics for info.

Related posts:

SEW Hip! Hexagonal Tablerunner

SEW Hip! Patchwork Cushion

SEW Hip! 2010 Challenge

2 Comments on SEW Hip! Rail Fence Runner…..Completed

  1. The leaf stitch looks great. The fabric looks great. The osnaburgh looks great – must get some and try it. In fact your whole sitting room looks extremely stylish! x

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