The Irish Chain
One of the great classic quilts
is the Irish Chain, made in red and white.
When you first look at this
quilt, it may look complicated, with all the tiny squares that move
across the quilt in perfect diagonal rows.
However, this quilt is very
easy. Look closely and you will see that there are just two
blocks in this quilt. There is a 9-Patch, surrounded on
each side by a plain white square of the same size.
You can easily make this quilt
any size you want, but let's do it with 2 1/2 inch strips.
You will need more red strips as white strips, but cut both at 2 1/2 inches.
you sew them together. You will do two sets. One will be
a red, white and red, and the other will be a white, red, and white.
Your next step is to cut the
strips. You will turn them sideways, and cut them the same
measurement as you cut the individual strips. In this case, it
is 2 1/2 inches.
Press all seams toward the red.
Put one of the red/white/red strips on the top
and bottom, and one of the white/red/white strips in the middle.
This is your block.
Sew your rows together.
Be sure and pin so that the seams will match perfectly.
Notice that because all
the seams were pressed toward the red fabric, they go in opposite
directions when the rows are put together. These nested seams give a
nice flat appearance to the top of your quilt block.
Your blocks should measure 6
1/2 inches when sewn. (Doing the math: 2 1/2 x 3 is
equal to 7 1/2 inches. Subtract 1/2 inch for each of the 2
When you make your Quilt, you
will cut some plain white squares in a matching size, and alternate
them with the 9-patch block red and white block.
at the finished block on the left. Now look again at the
picture at the top of the page.
You should now be able to
the block, and how easy it would be to make it any size you want.