How to Make a Triple Irish Chain Quilt

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A handmade quilt makes a lovely gift for many occasions, from a housewarming party to the birth of a new child. One of the most popular quilting patterns is the Triple Irish Chain. Despite the name, this pattern was most likely developed in America in the early 1800s and might have been inspired by a similar weaving design. It presents a striking design and can be worked in many colors, while remaining fairly easy to piece together.

Things You'll Need

  • Dark green cotton fabric, 1 1/2 yards
  • Medium green cotton fabric, 2 1/2 yards
  • Light green cotton fabric, 2 yards
  • White cotton fabric, 2 1/2 yards
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Pins
  • Patterned dark green cotton fabric, 5 1/2 yards
  • Quilt batting
  • Needle and thread
  • Patterned medium green cotton fabric, 2 3/4 yards

Constructing the "A" Blocks

  • Cut 13 strips from the dark green fabric, 20 strips from the medium green fabric, 13 strips from the light green fabric and four strips from the white fabric. All strips should be 2 1/2 inches wide and as long as the width of your fabric.

  • Cut the strips into squares. You should now have 196 dark green squares, 300 medium green squares, 180 light green squares and 60 white squares.

  • Sew together one dark green square, one medium green square, one light green square, one white square, one light green square, one medium green square and one dark green square into a row. Sew together a second identical row. Press the seams open using the iron. This will be your Type 1 row.

  • Sew together one medium green square, one dark green square, one medium green square, one light green square, one medium green square, one dark green square and one medium green square into a row. Sew together a second identical row. Press the seams open using the iron. This will be your Type 2 row.

  • Sew together one light green square, one medium green square, one dark green square, one medium green square, one dark green square, one medium green square and one light green square into a row. Sew together a second identical row. Press the seams open using the iron. This will be your Type 3 row.

  • Sew together one white square, one light green square, one medium green square, one dark green square, one medium green square, one light green square and one white square into a row. Press the seams open using the iron. This will be your Type 4 row.

  • Sew together one Type 1 row, one Type 2 row, one Type 3 row, one Type 4 row, one Type 3 row, one Type 2 row and one Type 1 row to form a block. Press the seams open using the iron. This will be your "A" block. Repeat steps 3 to 7 14 more times for a total of 15 blocks.

Constructing the "B" Blocks

  • Cut four strips from the medium green fabric and eight strips from the light green fabric. All strips should be 2 1/2 inches wide and as long as the width of your fabric.

  • Cut four strips of white fabric. These strips should be 6 1/2 inches wide and as long as the width of your fabric.

  • Cut 15 squares of white fabric. Each square should be 10 1/2-by-10 1/2 inches.

  • Sew two strips of light green fabric to the top and bottom of each of the four strips of white fabric. Press the seams open using the iron. Set two of the resulting four strips aside.

  • Cut the other two strips into 30 strips 10 1/2 inches tall and 2 1/2 inches wide. These will be your Type 5 strips.

  • Sew two strips of medium green fabric to the top and bottom of each of the two strips you previously set aside. Press the seams open using the iron. Cut these two strips into 30 strips 14 1/2 inches tall and 2 1/2 inches wide. These will be your Type 6 strips.

  • Sew two Type 5 strips to the left and right of a white cloth square, then sew two Type 6 strips to the top and bottom of the resulting cloth strip. Press the seams open using the iron. This will be your "B" block. Repeat steps 4 to 7 14 more times for a total of 15 blocks.

Assembling the Quilt

  • Sew together the "A" and "B" blocks to form the pattern. There should be six rows of blocks in total, each made up of five blocks, alternating block "A" and block "B." Odd-numbered rows should begin with an "A" block and even-numbered rows should begin with a "B" block. Press the seams open using the iron as you sew. This will be the top of your quilt.

  • Cut the patterned dark green fabric into two pieces, 90 inches long by 45 inches wide. Sew the two pieces together on the longest side. Press the seams open using the iron. This will be the backing of your quilt.

  • Lay the backing on a large flat surface, seam side up. Position a layer of quilt batting on top of it, then position the top of the quilt over the batting, seam side down. Pin the quilt together. Using needle and thread of a contrasting color and beginning in the middle of the top side of the quilt, bast the quilt together using a loose, wide running stitch. This will hold your quilt together and allow you to move it easily while you quilt it.

  • Quilt your quilt using the sewing machine. It is possible to quilt by hand if you prefer, but using a sewing machine is much faster. Remove the basting thread when you are done with the quilting.

  • Cut the patterned medium green fabric in strips 4 inches wide and as long as the piece of fabric you are cutting from. Place the strips with the long side facing you, fold them in half toward you and press the fold with the iron. Fold the raw edges of the strips under again and press. These strips will form the border of your quilt.

  • Line up a fabric strip with the top of your quilt. Insert the raw edge of your quilt inside the folded strip and sew them together with the sewing machine. Continue adding fabric strips until the entirety of your quilt has been bordered.

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References

  • Photo Credit bolts of fabric image by Scott Williams from Fotolia.com
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