“Single Irish Chain”

17 03 2014

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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As detailed in my previous blog post, I visited with the Hayfield Country Quilters on March 5. If I’m not mistaken, Mary Ellen was in charge of setting up the refreshment table. The spice-nut cake was certainly delicious, but my eyes feasted on the “Single Irish Chain” table covering. The quiltmaker used just two fabrics: a fresh, soft green tone-on-tone and solid cream.

Nothing says “spring” like green! I used the guild’s table covering as inspiration for my own “Single Irish Chain” table quilt, though mine is just a small 23″ square centerpiece. To change things up a bit, I decided to use many green tonals and prints instead of just one green fabric.

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I found 6 or 8 lime green fat quarters or fat eighths in my stash. I cut one or two 2″ strips from each and strip-pieced them with 2″ white strips, pressing the seam allowances toward the green fabrics.

Irish Strip piecing

Then I cut the strip sets in 2″ increments.

Irish rotary cut

I generally strip-piece Nine Patches for all three rows: 1 – green, white, green; 2 – white, green, white; 3 – green, white, green. But this time I decided to strip piece for “twosies,” hoping for a greater variety of green prints in the Nine Patches.

I sewed three rows of “twosies” together. An extra green square was sewn to the fourth “twosie” to make a column on the far right.

Irish Nine patch from twosies   Irish assembly

Next, I sewed the column to the 3 sets of “twosies.” This picture shows the pressing directions of the seam allowances.

Irish pressing

In a little over an hour, I made 13 Nine Patches which measured 5″ square, unfinished. From the white fabric, I cut twelve 5″ squares to alternate with the Nine Patches in a 5 x 5 grid.

Irish rows

I assembled the blocks in 5 rows, pressing seams toward the 5″ white squares, then joined the rows together. I pressed the seams to one side after adding each row. Deciding on a cross-hatch quilting design, I marked through the white squares with a water soluble blue marker and used chalk-o-liner to mark through the green squares.

I recommend using a thin, predominantly cotton batting for a small project like this. I pin basted with long, quilting pins. Using white thread on my Pfaff sewing machine (with a built-in walking foot), I quilted the table topper easily by following the marked lines. I stabilized the project by first quilting diagonal lines through the green squares marked with chalk. Then I filled in the lines drawn with blue marker.

I love the simplicity of this time-honored quilting design; it perfectly compliments the diagonal chains of green squares.

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Amended March 2016:  Using the same measurements for the small and large squares, I made another Green and White table topper. But this time I used only two fabrics and reversed the colors (“figure ground reversal”). Both quilts were quilted with white thread in a diagonal grid design.

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Amended March 2017:  Blog reader, Karla, strip-pieced her table topper from two batik fabrics. Click here to read more.

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6 responses

17 03 2016
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! | abyquilts

[…] years ago I designed a scrappy green and white “Single Irish Chain” table topper. Click here to see my blog post and photographic tutorial for making it. Karen Schleier emailed recently asking […]

17 03 2016
T. Johnson

Love these ☘☘☘👏🏻👏🏻😍 Thanks for sharing.

9 02 2017
Sylvia Green

This could have been so much easier if you had created two different strips using color/white/color for one strip and white/color/white for the second strip. The simply cut 2″ strips and sew them together to form the block. Quicker/Easier

13 02 2017
Angela

Love this! Thank you for writing it up!

1 03 2017
Leprechaun Sighting | abyquilts

[…] And speaking of green, I’d like to remind you of a table quilt I stitched a few years ago. Click here to read my tutorial blog […]

7 03 2017
Juanita Karr

Beautiful table quilt

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