1.04.2018

Irish Chain Baby Quilt

 

I LOVE making baby quilts. It's a great time to try out new patterns or color combinations. I've had my eye on Irish chain quilts for some time now, I love all the different variations out there and was excited to try one out when a good friend announced she was expecting a little girl. 

I don't get to do a lot of quilting these days, due to these two, but that's OK. One day they'll be grown & I'll  have all the time in the world to sit & sew! 
Until then I am LOVING being a twin mom. It is so special & so much fun.. Lots & lots of work, but they're so worth it.
(See more for more of my quilt & some quilting tips)

DISCLAIMER-I am only providing tips & measurements for this quilt. I didn't use a pattern & I haven't made a free one. If you are a beginner, or haven't ever ventured into the 'quilting with out patterns' world, I do not suggest attempting this quilt. 

My finished quilt is 42 1/2 inches by 42 1/2 inches. I made 25 total blocks & added a 2 1/2 inch border around the entire quilt.
This quilt is made diagonally, if you've never sewn a quilt diagonally before, it's kind of fun. Well it's fun when you're sewing the beginning and end of it. The middle takes more time & there's more to mess up! Anyway for my quilt I used two different methods. One was piecing one row at a time, which is probably how I would have done the whole quilt if I hadn't decided that I didn't want to cut up my big prints. When I realized I wanted my whole print used with out piecing it, I started sewing three rows together at a time in order to show off the print.
I'm probably just confusing you, so hopefully the pictures will help. 

Here is the quilt being pieced diagonally.
If you look closely you can see that I pieced it row by row except the floral gray block. That one I wanted to show off the beautiful fabric print. I could have done this for the whole quilt, but my mind was working in rows.. Otherwise I might have cut all my center blocks as one big piece. 
Oh well, live & learn, & sew again! 
This is my quilt in progress, these pieces are all 2 1/2 inches wide the length varied based on which piece I was sewing
Another progress shot, I am a very visual learner
You can see my two big blocks at the bottom right, & for my very last block I used the 2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch strip method. As shown below
Each block will need 
Four 2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch squares from printed fabric
Two 6 1/2 inch by 6 1/2 inch strips from printed fabric
One 6 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch strip from printed fabric 

Below I laid out my strips to make sure I was about to sew them together correctly 
I started with a 2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch white square
Then a 2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch gray square
Another 2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch white square
Then a 2 1/2 inch by 6 1/2 inch strip
followed by a 2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch white square
A 2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch floral square
& lastly another 2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch white square
Whew that is a lot of pieces!   
Moving on to my next row 
I started with a 2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch white square
Then a 2 /12 inch by 10 1/2 inch floral strip
Followed by a 2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch white square
 The next row (that I didn't take a separate picture of) is
2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch white square
Then a 2 1/2 inch by 6 1/2 inch floral square
& a 2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch white square  

The next row which is the last on pictured below on the right is a 
2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch white square  
2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch floral square
2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch white square   
 Lastly, you sew the final 2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch square onto the floral block, & turn your quilt so it is a square. Don't forget to trim your end squares so you have a nice straight line to attach the binding to (I ended up adding an additional 2 1/2 inch strip all the way around my quilt to make it a little bigger)


Below is a variation of the piecing. The gray flower print was so cute that I wanted a big whole piece so rather than cutting it up into three separate pieces, I cut a piece that was 

6 1/2 inches by 6 1/2 inches

Notice the strip to the left, that one is made up of fabric cut 2 1/2 inches wide. In order to attach my strip with my 6 1/2 inch block, I had to piece together three rows at once to match the 6 1/2 inch width. Below my gray block I have my 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch squares (keep in mind the bottom will be squared off since this is being sewn together diagonally)

I sewed nine 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 pieces (following my pattern) together to form the block above my gray flower block
I then used another 6 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch block & added it to my row 
If you were to make all your blocks this way you would need 

Four 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch squares of your printed fabric 
One 6 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch square of your printed fabric 
2 1/2 inch squares to go around the block

 Then finished my row by adding five 2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch blocks following my desired pattern

 The finished product. I had SO much fun machine quilting this.




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