Double Irish Chains

Some family friends back home are getting married in mid-July, and I long ago decided that I’d make them a quilt for a wedding present. I just wasn't sure what pattern I wanted to follow in making it. This lack of certainty was due, in part, to the fact that I wanted a quilt to suit both the people and the occasion. But, if I'm honest, I also wanted to pick just the right pattern because the groom's mother is a fellow (and much more talented!) quilter. Although I love many of the more modern block patterns and tutorials out there at the moment, my instinct told me to go for something more traditional. I briefly contemplated an Amish Wedding Ring quilt but decided I’d better attempt/practice curves on a smaller scale first! Then, I thought about another Log Cabin quilt, as my first one had come out so well, but I selfishly want my next Log Cabin quilt to be for myself! Finally, as I was flicking through my various quilting books, I saw a beautiful Double Irish Chain quilt and knew I’d found THE ONE: traditional but stylish, with the added charm that the pattern itself acts as a subtle reminder of the quilt-maker back in Ireland. 

A snap of the photo from this book
The only problem: the pattern was for a double-bed-sized quilt, and, having only ever attempted cot- and single-sized quilts, I thought it might be a bit too ambitious for the moment. Some very complicated mathematics involving several sheets of graph paper, various coloured pencils, and seemingly innumerable calculations followed, as you can see here:

Time will tell how accurate my calculations prove, but it all looks pretty convincing from here! With that sorted, it was on to fabric buying – one of the best parts of quilt-making, in my opinion! The bride’s favourite colour is blue, so I knew I wanted a navy print and another in something lighter with a bit of cream for contrast. After much happy trawling of all my usual online shops – The Fabric Loft, Fabric Rehab, The Cotton Patch, etc. – I eventually opted for these lovely patterns from Moda:

This pic doesn't do justice to the fabric... it's a gorgeous midnight blue.

Again, the pic fails here. This fabric is a delicate eggshell blue. 
Sadly, this fabric has been sitting in the spare room waiting patiently for me to finish the Log Cabin quilt for what seems like ages! But, a couple of weekends ago, I finally had a free afternoon to get down to business, and I got all eighteen of the ‘A’ blocks finished. I’m really happy with how they look, despite a few wonky corners.

One of the 'A' blocks all finished.

All of the 'A' blocks together.... an impressive stack, huh?!
I've started on the ‘B’ blocks now and am looking forward to getting the quilt top pieced together! I was starting to think I wouldn’t get this quilt begun, let alone finished, before the wedding in mid-July, but things are looking up!



  1. Love your challenge. Your A blocks look great - can't wait to see more. What a lovely gift this will be.

  2. Thanks, Sarah! I keep thinking the wedding is in mid-July, when in fact, that's when I head home to the States for a couple of weeks of holiday before the wedding at the end of July. So, I have a bit of time while at home to put the finishing touches on. Still, a challenge is right! It might end up a first anniversary present! ;)

  3. You are going to make a beautiful quilt. I think that you will be sewing against the clock! Di x

    1. lol! I think so, too!! Wish me luck!

  4. Gorgeous blocks T! It's going to look fab! Jxo

  5. I've made a plain Irish chain quilt for children twice and I love the classic design. The one you are making will be beautiful.

  6. Thanks, Susan! I love the way it looks so far, so here's hoping it comes together nicely!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Saturday night craftalong

One Lovely Blog