Chain and Knot Quilt

Chain and knot quilt

Chain and knot quilt

In the Chain and Knot quilt I have used the block of that name with an alternate block, ending up with a huge quilt (84″ square), but a pretty quilt with lots to look at – particularly the grids formed by the small squares and the star in the middle.  I’ve used 2 yards each of yellow and light blue fabric, 1/2 yard each of lilac and purple, 1 yard of white and 1.1/4 yards of dark blue and red, using sixteen 20″ square blocks arranged in four rows of four.

Cutting requirements for the chain and knot quilt

8.7/8″ squares:  eight yellow, eight dark blue,

8.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ rectangles:  sixteen yellow, sixteen white

4.1/2″ squares:  forty eight yellow, sixteen white, eight purple, ninety six light blue, sixteen dark blue, sixteen red

2.1/2″ squares:  sixty four lilac, sixty four purple, forty eight red, sixty four  light blue, forty eight dark blue

For the border you will need eight 2.1/2″ strips of red fabric cut across the width of fabric

Chain and knot quilt block layout

Chain and knot quilt block layout

Making the chain and knot quilt block

This is a simple block using squares only.  The small squares are made into four patch units – one light blue/red in two of the corners with light blue/dark blue in the other two corners and a dark blue/red four patch unit in the middle.  There are two large red squares along one diagonal and two dark blue squares along the other diagonal.  For the remainder of the squares, the light blue squares are alternated with those of the other colours.

Sew the squares within the four patch units together first and then sew the squares across each row and sew the rows to each other to complete the chain and knot quilt block.  Make eight of these.

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Making the alternate quilt block

For this block I have used a few large half square triangle units.  Place a yellow and a dark blue 8.7/8″ square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This will produce two half square triangle units.  You need two of these for each quilt block.

Alternate quilt block layout

Alternate quilt block layout

Lay the squares out as shown in the photo.  There’s a half square triangle in two of the corners, placed with the yellow on the outside.  There are four lilac/purple four patch units placed along the other diagonal, with a 4.1/2″ purple square in the middle of the block.  I’ve shaded the quilt block in yellow one side and white the other because I wanted those white areas in the corners and the middle of the quilt.

Make three rows

Make three rows

Sew the squares within the four patch units together first.  Then you can sew the rectangle to one four patch unit and a square to either side of the other one.  Sew these two sections together and then you can sew them to the half square triangle to make one complete row.  The middle row is made with a white rectangle, purple square and yellow rectangle.

Sew the three rows to each other to complete the alternate quilt block.  Make eight of these.

Assembling the chain and knot quilt

Row one of the chain and knot quilt

Row one of the chain and knot quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four.  The first row is made with two chain and knot quilt blocks in the middle and an alternate block at each end.  The blocks are rotated so that the purple and red diagonals form that W shape across the row.

Row 2

Row 2

In the second row, the alternate blocks are in the middle with two chain and knot blocks at the ends of the row.  This time the red and purple diagonals form an M shape.

Row 3

Row 3

The third row is also made with two alternate blocks in the middle and a chain and knot block at each end.  For this row the red and purple diagonals are placed to form a W shape.

Row 4

Row 4

Finally for the fourth row you will need two alternate blocks at the ends with two chain and knot blocks in the middle.  The purple and red diagonals form an M shape in this row.

Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Quilt border

As this is such a large quilt, I have used a small border of 2.1/2″ strips of red fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 80.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 84.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the chain and knot quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.

Here’s the video:

Quilt from the Tentmakers of Cairo

Quilt from the Tentmakers of Cairo

Last weekend I went to the British Stitch and Quilt show.  There were loads of gorgeous quilts, but I’m always a bit nervous of showing you quilts from a show in case I’m not meant to.  The one in the photo was one from the Tentmakers of Cairo – really eyecatching.

Wonderwool exhibit

Wonderwool exhibit

Then I managed to get to Wonderwool for the first time – there was everything from wool still on the sheep through to the most amazing selection of different types and colours of wool.  The tent in the photo was all knitted – the grotto itself, the fish, mermaids, seagulls, lighthouse.  Absolutely wonderful.  I am so pleased that I managed to visit such a wonderful show.


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  1. This is the kind of quilt that would be treasured and passed down from one generation to another – I find it unbelievably pretty. Also, I do enjoy your little snippets of news.

  2. Angela says:

    Oh wow. Absolutely love the pattern and colour choices. I ll be trying this one out. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful piece.

  3. Thanks Rose, stunning as usual, many thanks! Tina

  4. Rose,
    I just noticed your print version. Is that new or am I reading too fast? It is nice to be able to download the tutorials for future use. Thank you!
    P.S. I usually hate imitation bands but given the chance I would def go see one doing Beatles music!

    • Hi Fran. The print button has been there for a few years now, but it’s not very large so it would be easy to miss. I think that the beauty of Let It Be is hearing music from across the years that the Beatles were together – and being able to bellow along with them. I know that this shows my age, but it was also nice not to be deafened by the music – when my daughter was a teenager I used to take her to concerts and the music was always deafening.

  5. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Another great design. Looks complicated but the way you explain it. It looks very easy. Love seeing pictures of your adventures. Will put this on my to do list. The to do list is getting very long. One day I may be caught up(ha ha).
    Have a great weekend and Happy Quilting

    • Hi Sandra. Your to do list sounds like mine – but neither of us will ever catch up because we’ll always find new quilts that we just have to make. A bit like we all find new fabrics that we have to have even when our cupboards are full!

  6. Beautiful quilt Rose.

  7. Beautiful quilt, Rose. You are so creative and I so enjoy every week watching your step-by-step instructions. Also enjoy all the shows. Wish we had them here.

    • Hi Claire. We’re very lucky in Birmingham – there are quite a few theatres. I think that I’ve seen more ballet since I moved here than I did in the previous 10 years!

  8. Hi Rose – I always look forward to your submission and wonder what creation you have come up with this week. This quilt is a beauty and I will be attempting it. I appreciate that it is a larger size and saves trying how to make it larger. Thank you for letting us see some of your personal life.

  9. Caroline slinger says:

    This is a lovely thinking of making smaller size one for a friend….

    • Hi Caroline. It is definitely a larger quilt than many people would want to make, but then the blocks are larger so it builds up quite quickly.

  10. Meredith Royds says:

    Good morning from Canada, Rose. What a lovely quilt design! I absolutely LOVE block combinations that create secondary or tertiary patterns, so this one is being saved to my Quilting folder!

    FYI, Tentmakers of Cairo have/has a Facebook page someone maintains for them, which will often tell you where exhibits are being held, as well as occasionally posting photos. I was lucky enough to purchase one of their smaller (more affordable) pictorial quilts at the AQS show in Michigan two summers ago. I longed for a larger geometric one, but the pricing exceeded my budget, unfortunately. Were any of the men at your show demonstrating their techniques? They are so incredibly quick, working almost freehand, cutting fabric pieces as they go to fit the chalked-on patterns, and stitching with large needles and heavy thread!

    Thank you for all your lovely work and upbeat tutorials. Hope you have a lovely weekend.


    • Thanks, Meredith. I’ve seen the Tentmakers working many times, and I’m still totally in awe of their skill. I have a bird wall hanging and cushion cover of theirs which I adore. Tarek reduced the price for me because I was buying two items – and he autographed the wall hanging for me.

  11. Wow Rose, this is a beauty…lots of work, but what a masterpiece.
    The tent sounds like a work of art too. Glad you enjoyed yourself.

    • Hi Linda. As I’m not a knitter I am always filled with admiration when I see what wonderful things can be made with knitting.

  12. Absolutely love this quilt Rose – many many thanks! I love reading about all your visits – what an amazing time you have. Have a great weekend.

    • Hi Monica. I was very lucky last weekend to have so many places to visit – although I was exhausted by the end of the weekend!

  13. shirley wilson says:

    Good Morning Rose, If I wanted to make it 84″x 90″ how would I do it. I would not add boarders to top and bottom as I do not think it looks good. I really look forward to your email each Friday. I am a rug hooker as well and enjoyed you write up on the wool factory. Hugs Shirley

    • Hi Shirley. In order to make one of the measurements 90″ you’d need to add an extra border on just those two edges – if you don’t want the plain border, you could decide on some kind of pieced border.

  14. Love this quilt. Thank you Rose. I would love to see that wonderwool exhibition.
    The quilt from the Tent makers of Cairo is definitely eyecatching. So glad that you
    got to see these exhibitions

    • Thanks, Mary. At Wonderwool there were also some gorgeous felt pictures – real works of art. I’ve never used felt much, but these pictures really got me thinking.

  15. Love the looks of this one.