American Warriors Quilt Tutorial – American Rails Quilt


For more fun with upcoming quilt alongs, click here to subscribe!

Darlene S. posted a question on my blog asking about a pattern for my Wounded Warriors Quilt that a few of us gals from church made. So I decided to post a few more of the step-by-step pictures along with some simple instructions.

This quilt is JELLY ROLL friendly!

American Warriors Quilt

The quilt is basically a modified rail fence version with 3 strips of color instead of 4. Since it’s made from red, white, and blue strips with the white strip in the middle, the design forms sort of a woven look. It would make a perfect signature quilt, too!

So easy peasy, here you go:

Step 1 – Our lap size quilt finished at 60″ x 72″ and consisted of 120 blocks set 10 x 12. Each block finished 6 inches square. So you would need about a 1.5 yards of each color. Use scraps for variety, or your favorite jelly roll.  I used several prints of each color. Cut each fabric into 20 – 2.5″ strips.

Subcut those into 120 rectangles each of red, white and blue, measuring 2 1/2″ by 6 1/2″.

Red, White, Blue Strips

Step 2 – Sew all of the rectangles into sets of three with the same red-white-blue color orientation. For best variety, mix up the pieces while sewing as much as you can.

Sew Strips into Blocks

Step 3 – The tricky part – lay out all of your blocks so that they form an interesting zig-zag  pattern. This was probably the hardest part of making the whole quilt and keeping the colors going the right way! If you look closely at the picture you will see continuous streaks of red and blue on either side. Constantly refer to your layout to keep it going the right way.

Zig Zag Blocks

Step 4 – When all of the blocks are laid out in the correct orientation, you can join the blocks into rows. Then join all of the rows to make your top. We tied our quilt, but it would look great quilted in the ditch with a decorative stitch!

Join the RowsIf you are wanting to make a signature quilt you can either piece all of the blocks and have people sign them ahead of time. Or finish the quilt and bring it to your party or wedding reception and have the guests sign directly on the quilt!

Updated: This quilt has now been featured as a favorite on They renamed it American Rails. That makes my day. 🙂

Click here to see my other FaveQuilts featured tutorials.

Free Jelly Roll Quilt Pattern

Want to make another quick and easy jelly roll quilt? Click here to sign up for Friendly Threads, My weekly email newsletter and get the PDF pattern for Puzzle Box emailed to you.

Puzzle Box Pattern

8 thoughts on “American Warriors Quilt Tutorial – American Rails Quilt

  1. Harriet Wetherell says:

    Rail fence quilts are a great way to use up scraps…we make lap size quilts to give to many organizations. I like the speed at which I can complete a quilt and as a teaching tool for those just starting out to see progress in a short time. Love the R/W/B and encourage sewers to give away a quilt. Thank you for the instructions that are clear to understand.

  2. Shelley says:

    This is to Sandra from Sept 25, 2013: I plan on making the quilt rails in the same manner. Will cut 2 1/2 strips in 43/44 in lengths and sew three strips together then cut them into 6 1/2 pieces. It will go so much faster. I might not have as much variety in each separate rail as someone who actually sews only 6 1/2 in strips together, but I am more interested in simplicity and speed. I hope someone did respond to your question before now!

  3. Carolyn Katzofff says:

    Love red, white and blue quilts, wonderful to send to families of our troops and for out returning

  4. Sandra says:

    Would this quilt go more quickly if you sewed the Red, White, Blue strips together before you cut them into smaller block pieces? I would try that expecially if you were using new fabric and had to cut them into 2.5in strips to begin with ?? You could still mix up the patterns if you were using different patterns of the colors??

  5. Linda Heck says:

    I am going to make this quilt, only I will change the colors for a little gal that just loves pink and all the colors that going along with pink.I am hoping she’ll be surprised.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s