Friday, 25 November 2011

A Quilter's Journey - Irish Chain

I liked the Irish Chain pattern and as I grew in my quilting, I decided to make my son a quilt using it.  Never one to take the easy road, I drafted my own pattern, rather than pull one from a book.  I carefully layed out and drafted the size so that I could “complete” the chain on each edge, to give a floating chain effect.  Looking at it now, as a more experienced quilter, I would have shifted the design so that a row of 3  was on top, rather than the 2 I ended up with.  The corners look a bit bare to me now.

At the time, I was still new to this.  I laid out my design (by hand - no EQ for me at the time.  I'd never even heard of it). The quilt went together quickly with strip piecing, and was assembled in no time.   

Around the same time, Richmond Quilt Guild had a “how to” seminar on seminole piecing.  I decided that would make the perfect border for this quilt. It was a challenge to size correctly with cleanly mitred corners, but I stuck it out, determined to make this work..  

Just before I attached the border, I decided to try the quilt on the bed.  Despite all my careful measurements,  it was 1 row too long.  So I carefully removed the extra row and resized the seminole border to fit the new length.  The final end result was a perfect fit for a twin bed, and my son loved it.  The “extra row” finally found a use as the hanging sleeve for “Kaleidoscope Stars” in October 2006.

This quilt was machine quilted.  A simple cross-hatch follows the lines of the Irish chain.   Five-pointed stars are quilted in the empty spaces, reflecting the stars found on one of the brown fabrics.

This was my first attempt at many different quilting techniques, and was a great learning experience in addition to a lovely gift for my son.  I worked on this from Nov 2004 to Nov 2005.


  1. It is just lovely....I make the Irish Chain quite often...and I never get tired of seeing it.

  2. It's a great quilt. I love the way it floats on the background. When I first started quilting, in 1985 or so, up until 7 or 8 years ago, all my designing was done on graph paper. Then I found EQ5 software........