Laura has made a beautiful Liberty Simple Irish Chain Quilt to gift her friend one the occasion of her wedding this weekend – lucky friend! This quilt is a brilliant design – it’s simple enough to be a great beginner project, but also looks intricate in its design. It has a clever use of small pieces of Liberty to give it a feeling of an heirloom quilt. Laura has used Mitsi white on white as the background fabric to give it further texture but you can use any fabric. Laura tells us about her quilt.
“Irish Chain and Irish Chain-like quilts of all kinds I find irresistible. No matter how intricate or simple the pieced blocks are there is something infinitely appealing about the rhythm they create. Stand back and you can observe the colourful lattice pattern dance over the surface, broken up by solid space that allows the eye a bit of rest. Looking up close, the effect is revealed to be as easy as one block plain, one block pieced. Before I knew anything about quilting, I recall looking at images of quilts like this one, trying to figure out how they could possibly have been sewn – little did I know how simple it really was. It is a tried and tested formula in the quilting world and I don’t think you can go wrong with it!”
“The Irish Chain is a great quilt for a beginner as there are no difficult seams, ‘techniques’ to learn, nor any specialist rulers or templates required. This particular version is made entirely using cut squares to achieve the ‘scrappy’ look. So as long as you cut the squares accurately and sew using the correct seam allowance you’ll be right as rain! This is a single Irish Chain, involving nine-patch blocks (a single square with nine squares inside like a grid) but other types of Irish Chain quilts may involve blocks with 25 or even 49 squares inside. However, calling it a single Irish Chain quilt makes it sound like it is a single bed sized quilt, which it isn’t (it is a double bed size), therefore Simple Irish Chain Quilt it is!”
“If this quilt could have an alternative title after the true title in brackets like a cool song it would be: Simple Irish Chain Quilt (D & D Do Declare I Do). This is because it was made for my fantastically fabulous friend Rima on her wedding to burnt Basque chocolate cheesecake and brilliant bread baker, Dimi! They are going to be the sweetest old couple ever!!! “But why ‘D & D’?”, I hear you ask. Well, I always have and always will call Rima Rima for reasons, but her actual name is Deirdre and though it completely messes with my chi to type that name (I honestly forget Rima isn’t her real name with alarming regularity), the alliteration is more fun so that’s what I’m going with.
Rima and Dimi’s wedding colours are pretty blush pink and blue which is such a beautiful colour scheme and suites them down to the ground. Not just for the wedding day, but moving into their life together, it feels like a colour combo that can stand the test of time so I wanted to replicate those colours in this quilt. Luckily Liberty have a lot of fabrics that suited! Irish Chain Quilts can appear to be as traditional or contemporary as you choose to make them, it is amazing what choice of colour can do to the end result. With the blush and denim colours decided, I settled on a white background colour so it would feel more traditional, as well as let the colours speak for themselves. The quilt uses 11 different Liberty Tana Lawn® fabrics and the single white background fabric. By cutting individual squares of fabrics for this quilt, you have full control over the placement of the colours/prints. I made sure that each nine-patch block had a balance of pink and blue squares and of course, no repeating fabrics. When piecing the whole quilt top together I made sure that where two nine-patch blocks met at their corners, they weren’t touching the same fabric. It was also good to make sure that the darkest fabric appeared relatively evenly across the whole of the quilt top. All of this helped to achieve the mix-and-match ‘scrappy’ but balanced feel of the quilt.”
“I know a lot of quilters prefer to use quilting cotton weight fabrics (I guess it is in the name, haha) but if you haven’t tried it before, Tana Lawn® is truly wonderful to quilt with. It results in a smooth and silky quilt that feels so luxurious to run your hand over. Because the Tana Lawn® itself is so lovely to touch, I prefer it to be lightly quilted. Here, I have simply quilted diagonal lines through the plain blocks across the whole quilt, creating a secondary lattice pattern. Another benefit of using Tana, is that the resulting quilt also isn’t too heavy, making it the perfect thing to reach for when in need of a bit of cover in summertime, as well as being wonderful for layering in the cooler months.”
“If you are a less experienced quilter looking for a larger project, or even a seasoned quilter searching for an easy project between epics, I hope you feel inspired to have a go at this double-bed sized Simple Irish Chain Quilt. I really enjoyed making this quilt. It came together so nicely and looks as pretty and classic as I’d hoped it would. I hope that Rima and Dimi love it, too. I hope it reminds them of their happy day and makes them smile for many, many, many years to come. Aaah, my wonderful friends, I’m so happy for you both ❤”
We loved this quilt so much we have packaged it together in a lovely quilt kit, in Laura’s colours (Denim & blush) and also using Betsy prints. You too can have a go at first time quilting if you’ve never ventured there before. This quilt is a great place to start out.