Irish Chain block tutorial For the past month I’ve been sharing the Riley Blake tutorials for the Meet the Makers quilt blocks. Today I’m sharing a tutorial for a coordinating block I’m using to finish up my project using those Meet the Maker Blocks. But first, I’ve also got a sneak peak of my next fabric collection, Gretel, that will be hitting stores in November!
Irish Chain block tutorial
The colors are a little Irish Chain quilt block free more muted in this collection and I’ve added a sweet pink. I’m pretty smitten with how the prints have turned out and I can’t wait to start cutting into them. Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing lots more details in the weeks to come. In the meantime, feel free to let your favorite quilt shop know it’s available for order from Riley Blake Designs.
Alright! I’m ready to share this final block as part of my Meet the Makers quilt project.
Scrappy Irish Chain-4 this here Scrappy-Irish-Chain-4-this-here
I’m making a slight variation on the original Meet the Makers pattern. This is another pattern for a 10″ x 10″ (10.5″ x 10.5″ unfinished) block called an Irish Chain block. For this design you’ll need 17 10″ x 10″ feature blocks (I made an assortment of the previous 5 designs) and you’ll need 18 of this Irish Chain block. Like the 5 other blocks, I’m sewing all of my blocks with a combination of my Gingham Girls and Sunnyside Avenue fabric collections.
I’m making 18 of these blocks so I’m using strip-piecing techniques to make them come together quickly, without having to cut dozens of 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ squares. Before you start cutting and sewing strips together, I recommend reading the tips in this Strip-Piecing 101 post to help make sure your strips are square and straight and to help you sew them together without the strip-sets ‘bowing’.
Here are the fabric requirements for these 18 blocks:
From assorted red fabrics cut:
- 18 strips 2 1/2″ x WOF (width of fabric)
From white fabric cut:
- 3 strips 6 1/2″ x WOF
- 3 strips 4 1/2″ x WOF
- 8 strips 2 1/2″ x WOF
From navy fabric cut:
- 2 strips 2 1/2″ x 21″
- 1 strips 2 1/2″ x 5 1/2″
Strip set A: Using four of the red 2 1/2″ strips and two of the white 6 1/2″ strips, sew a red strip to the top the bottom of the two 6 1/2″ x WOF white strips. (For a total of 2 strip sets.) Press seams toward the red strips.
Strip set B: Sew two strips sets with three white 2 1/2″ strips alternating with two red 2 1/2″ strips. Press seams toward the red strips.
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Strip Set C: Cut 2 white 4 1/2″ x WOF strips in half to make 4 strips 4 1/2″ x 21″. Sew a white 4 1/2″ strip on either side of a navy 2 1/2″ strip and press seams toward navy strip. (If you would like all of your navy blocks to be the same fabric, you can just use the full width of fabric for the 4 1/2″ and 2 1/2″ strips.)
After strip-sets are sewn together, you’re ready to cut the smaller strip units. Begin by squaring-off the edges with the selvages. Use the tips in the Strip Piecing 101 post for cutting as well, including lining up the lines on your ruler directly on the seams of the strips to help keep them straight.
Measure 2 1/2″ from the left edge (if you’re right handed. Reverse positions if you’re left-handed.) I like to use my ruler for measuring the units (rather than the cutting mat) for extra accuracy.
Cut 2 1/2″ wide units, carefully moving down the strip set.
You can get 16 units 2 1/2″ wide per strip set.
Repeat the process with the other strip sets, cutting more 2 1/2″ wide units.
You will need a total of 36 units of Strip Set A, 36 units of Strip Set B, and 18 units of Strip Set C.
This will mean you will need to piece a few additional units using the remainder of your fabric strips. (4 each for Strip Set A – use 4 rectangles 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ and 4 red 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ squares. 4 units for Strip Set B – cut 12 white 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ and 8 red squares 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″. And 2 units for Strip Set C – cut 4 white 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles and 2 navy 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ squares.)
Tip: these additional units are a good opportunity to mix up the fabric placements if you’re making a scrappy variation.
Lay out the different units in this order and sew them together. The seams all pressed toward the red should help to match up points of squares. Press seams away from the second and fourth units.
And here is the finished block. This will measure 10″ x 10″ finished (10 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ unfinished).
Here are what the blocks look like if you want to make a quilt using only this block. I love the scrappy patchwork look. (Plus, I’m always a sucker for red and white with a little bit of blue thrown in!)
I’m assembling my blocks now and getting the quilt off to the quilter. I’ll reveal the finished quilt and the finishing instructions in a couple of weeks, but here’s a little sneak peek to tide you over.
Love this Irish Chain. Most beautiful one I have ever viewed. Been quilting for 50 years and have not made an Irish Chain. I believe it is time!