Inspiration for this quilt came from a 3″ block in a quilt Helga made for me. I wanted to expand upon her improvisational piecing idea, stretching the tiny block into a colorful, modern quilt. Cog Railway was quick and fun to make! Would you like to try it?
Fabrics: 1 1/2 yds. white background, 2 FQs (Fat Quarters) Blue, 2 FQs Pink, 1 FQ Purple, 2 FQs Green, 1 FQ Yellow
Cut colored fabrics across the grain, perpendicular to the selvage; this yields 20″ long strips. Cut White fabric strips from selvage to selvage and then cut in half to yield 20″ long strips.
Press seam allowances toward the darker fabric.
Purple and Yellow Panel— Cut strips the widths listed below. Make 2 panels according to these measurements, all strips for all panels are 20″ long:
White 3″ wide, Purple 2″ wide, Yellow 3″ wide, Purple 2 1/4″ wide, White 2 1/2″ wide
Yellow and Purple Panel— Cut strips the widths listed below. Make 1 panel according to these measurements:
White 3″ wide, Yellow 2 1/2″ wide, Purple 3″ wide, Yellow 2 1/4″ wide, White 2 1/2″ wide (not pictured)
Blue, Green and Pink Panel— Cut strips the widths listed below. Make 3 panels according to these measurements:
White 3″ wide, Blue 2 1/2″ wide, Green 2″ wide, Pink 1 1/4″ wide, Green 2″ wide,
Blue 2 1/4″ wide, White 2 1/2″ wide
Green and Pink Panel— Cut strips the widths listed below. Make 2 panels according to these measurements:
White 3″ wide, Green 2 1/2″ wide, Pink 3″ wide, Green 2 1/4″ wide, White 2 1/2″ wide
Pink and Blue Panel— Cut strips the widths listed below. Make 1 panel according to these measurements:
White 3″ wide, Pink 2 3/4″ wide, Blue 2 1/2″ wide, Pink 2 1/2″ wide, White 2 1/2″ wide (not pictured)
Cross-cut and sew— Work on one panel at a time. Cross-cut at 2,” 2 1/4″ or 2 1/2″ intervals. You may make all straight cuts or cut at an angle. Some cuts measured 2 1/4″ at one side and 2 1/2″ at the opposite side. You need 8 or 10 cross-cut pieces per panel.
Rotate every other cross-cut piece 180 degrees. Sew the pieces together. You may need to off-set the seam allowances at the beginning and end if the angle of your cuts was pronounced.
Press seams in one direction. Lay the sewn panel on a large rotary cutting mat. Use the mat’s lines to square up the patchwork panel.
Each of the 3 columns in the quilt contains 3 panels. You must trim the 3 panels in each column the same width but not the same length. The center column will be wider than the first and third columns. The width of the first column may not be the same width as the third column.
Refer to the photo and sew the panels into 3 columns. For column 1, I divided the Pink and Blue panel in two, sewing half to the top of the 2 Purple and Yellow panels and half to the bottom of the column. I sewed the Yellow and Purple panel to the bottom of the 2 Green and Pink panels for column 3. Press seam allowances to one side.
Cut 4 strips 3″ wide from White background fabric for sashing. Sew sashing between panels and on the left and right sides of the quilt. I pinned from the bottom to the top of the quilt. Press seams towards sashing strips.
After the panels and the sashing have been sewn together, trim off any patchwork that is longer than the sashing strips to square up the quilt top.
Quilting— Stay-stitch along the top and bottom of the quilt top so that seams stay intact while quilting.
Binding— Cut the remainder of the FQs into 2 1/2″ x 20″ strips. You need 10 or 11 strips. Join with diagonal seams into one long strip. Press seams open. Press the wrong sides of the long binding strip together with raw edges even. Apply to the quilt top. Turn the folded edge of the binding to the back of the quilt and stitch by hand.
My quilt measured 41″ x 42″, but the striped backing fabric was only 40″ wide. I split the backing fabric in half on the fold and inserted a row of 6″ “Ups and Downs” blocks. “Ups and Downs” is a favorite Leader/Ender design made from scraps. How fortuitous to have some bright blocks on hand!