IRISH CHAIN QUILT PATTERN


Irish chain quilt

Irish chain quilt

Back of the irish chain quilt

Back of the irish chain quilt

Mother’s Day is celebrated in the UK and Ireland on the fourth Sunday in Lent – which in 2010 is Sunday 14th March.  In most of the rest of the world Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May – which in 2010 is Sunday 9th May.  No matter where you live in the world, it’s still agreat time to pamper your mother.  Of course a Mother’s Day quilt would be a great to remind your mother how special she is.

The quilt design that I chose for a Mother’s Day quilt uses the irish chain quilt block on the front for luck and small heart quilt block on the back for love.

Cutting requirements

Dark blue fabric:  3/4 yard, light blue 1/4 yard, yellow fabric 1/4 yard

Backing fabric: 1 yard, wadding 36″ square

Binding:  136″ of 2.1/2″ wide strip of fabric

Making the irish chain quilt blocks

Sew three strips together for the irish chain

Sew three strips together for the irish chain

The simplest way to cut the fabric is to cut strips 2.1/2″ wide across the width of the fabric.  You will need three strips each of dark blue and light blue for the strip piecing and a further strip of light blue and five strips of dark blue for the extra squares, the heart and the border.

Sew a light blue, dark blue and light blue strip together along the length.  Press with seam allowance facing towards the dark fabric.  Cut into 2.1/2″ strips as shown.  This will give you sixteen 2.1/2″ strips.  Sew a dark blue, light blue and dark blue strip together and cut in the same way.

 

Sew together some of the squares for the irish chain

Sew together some of the squares for the irish chain

Pick from both fabric piles to make the block

Pick from both fabric piles to make the block

You will need twenty six of the dark, light, dark strips and thirteen of the light, dark, light strips.  This means that you will need to make up a further ten of the dark, light, dark strips by cutting and sewing the squares individually.  Pile up the 2.1/2″ strips and then take from each pile to create the irish chain quilt block as shown:  dark, light, dark strip on top and bottom.  Light, dark, light strip in the middle.  You will need thirteen of these blocks.

 

Pin at the seams

Pin at the seams

Seam allowances face in opposite directions

Seam allowances face in opposite directions

To sew the rows of each block together, flip the top row on to the middle row so that right sides are together.  Line up the seams from one row with the seams from the other row.  Turn the seam allowances in opposite directions from each other to minimise the bulk at the seam.  The photo on the right shows the two rows side on with seam allowances turned in opposite directions.  Sew using a 1/4″ seam.  Attach the bottom row to the top two in the same way.

Making the irish chain quilt top

Lay out the rows of the irish chain quilt

Lay out the rows of the irish chain quilt

From the yellow fabric, cut two 6.1/2″ wide strips along the width of the fabric and cut these into 6.1/2″ squares.  You will need twelve of these.  Lay out all the blocks in the pattern for the quilt and sew together across each row.  That’s three blue, two yellow alternating in row 1, two blue and three yellow alternating in row 2, then three blue, two yellow in row 3, two blue, three yellow in row 4 and three blue, two yellow in row 5.

Sew the rows together in the same way you sewed the rows of each block together.

 

Quilt border

Add the quilt borders

Add the quilt borders

 

For the border I used the same dark blue 2.1/2″ strip that I had used for the blocks.  Cut two 30.1/2″  strips for top and bottom and two 34.1/2″  strips for each side.  Sew the border strips to the top and bottom first and then to the sides.

 

 

Quilt backing

For the quilt backing make the heart block first and then set it in the backing fabric.

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

 

You will need four 2.1/2″ squares each of the dark blue and light blue fabric.  Place a dark blue and light blue square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the line and cut along the line to produce two half square triangles.

 

Make the heart block

Make the heart block

 

Cut two 2.1/4″ squares from the light blue fabric and one rectangle 2.1/4″ by 4.1/2″ in dark blue.  Lay the pieces out as shown to make the heart block.  Sew the squares together across each row and the sew the rows together.

 

 

Add a strip to each side of the heart block

Add a strip to each side of the heart block

Finish the quilt backing

Finish the quilt backing

 

Add a strip of backing fabric 5.1/4″ by 14.1/2″ to each side of the heart block and then a rectangle 36″ by 16″ above and below the heart strip.

 

 

That’s the irish chain quilt top and quilt backing complete and ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.  Of course, this doesn’t have to be a mother’s day quilt – you could give it to anyone special.

 

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