LOVE THOSE IRISH CHAINS
Can you believe it is almost St. Patrick’s Day? The year of 2023 is flying by. However, as quilters we love those Irish Chains patterns and designs. Simple and elegant. Or homey and comfortable. Maybe modern. How about in Amish colors? Or green and white?
So why not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by showing off a three Irish Chains quilts?
This is the perfect quilt for beginner quilters, or any quilter wanting an easy pattern to make. Best of all, it can be made any size or color. After all, a square can be big or little – whatever size you want to make.
Nothing complicated about making an Irish Chain.
Simple to make:
Decide on the size of the squares you are using to make the nine patch blocks. I personally like working with 3″ squares, but you play around until finding the size you want.
Make a trial nine patch so you can see how it looks. Not quite right? Make the blocks smaller or larger.
So, once I have the nine patch the size I want to use, I iron it and square it up. I measure this and will cut the alternate blocks the same size. Now figure out how many total blocks you need. Half of those will be nine patch blocks and the other half will be alternate blocks.
Sew the top together in rows of a nine-patch block next to an alternate block. The chain pattern is very visible. Use how many blocks you need to make the size you want. In Autumn Color (above), the top is 5 rows by 8 rows. The outside border is called a “piano key”. It is easy to make from various widths of strips cut the length you want. The strips can be the same width or various widths as in this quilt.
Hand quilt or machine quilt?
This design looks great whether quilted by hand or machine. I have chosen both ways over the years.
The above quilt is from green scraps and muslin. The hand quilting in the alternate blocks is two different Celtic Knot patterns. It was fun to make and quilt. See here for the story.
I like contrasting colors. This Irish Chain is bright in red and blue. I used red linen for the alternate blocks with blue cotton scraps as the “chain”. The chain part is hand quilted, and the border machine quilted. This quilts’ story is here.
Love Those Irish Chains:
Have fun making this design. Pick a color combination that suits you or the person you are making it for. It really is easy and so classic. If you feel like you need an actual pattern, go here.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to my wonderful readers. And happy quilting.