Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Simple Irish Chain

Lately I have been sorting and cutting up my fabric scraps into squares.  I found some larger bits of Kona red solid in my fabric stash.  Leftover bits from four Christmas stockings made for each new grandchild. Thus the journey to create a red and white quilt began.  I have always wanted to make a red and white quilt. As every good and wise quilter does these days I read through many blogs and Googled, of course, to see what was out there.  I only wanted two colors.  I tend to go nuts with multiple fabrics in every quilt I make.  I wanted this to be simple.  Long ago, I made a colorful Irish Chain. I decided it was time to do another.

An Irish Chain is said to be a good quilt for a beginner.  Sew those scrappy squares into blocks.  There are single, double and triple Irish chains.  Granted it is just square patches sewn together. Simple. But putting that together with the solid block really had me going for a while.  I had a time trying to figure out how to get all that movement going with those "simple" red and white squares.

I started out with two inch squares sewing into a nine patch that looked like this.  Just sewing squares.  

Add that solid white block.  Alternate nine patch and white.  Nine patch and white.  Nope, don't like it. 

I found another quilt online that used the filler block with three red squares to carry the diagonal pattern. Better. Thinking to the future, however, those patch blocks sewn together would make a big 12 inch block which meant the solid white accent block would have to be 12 inches.  Oh no, I wasn't doing that.  I could only think of all that filler quilting of feathers and circles.  Nope, don't like that.  For the first time ever, I even put up a flannel design wall to work on placement.  I moved those patches into every way you could imagine to make them work and I did not like any groupings.   

So I began cutting more two inch blocks and sewing them together. Twenty-five two inch patches sewn together.  Finally, I found one of my books that had a three color double Irish chain that gave me a visual I could use.   So, so simple.  Sew strips together.  Red strip, white strip, red strip, white strip.  Cut into two inch strip sets. Yes, I like that. So simple.  HA!  Twenty-five patch. Hooray for the rotary cutters and long rulers.

Ta Da!  Isn't my Red Double Irish Chain lovely!  Yes, yes it is!

Not to waste those three red patch diagonal squares, I added one in each corner. The top is finished!  It will be a while before it gets quilted.  No doubt, I will spend more hours stressing how best to quilt those solid white centers. It is one of those quilts that I will hang just to enjoy looking at and thinking how lovely it is.

There are many, many wonderful quilt designs out there.  But I would have to say a simple two color double Irish Chain is simply BEAUTIFUL!  

As I was working on this post, I realize that I worked on this Irish Chain all through St. Patrick's Day week 2014.  That adds a nice memory to this quilt o'mine. 

Happy First Day of Spring!  Thanks for stopping by!  

An update to this post:  Pre-wash your red fabric.  I put a test red and white strip in the wash and the red did run over into the white. My mom told me it would.  I should have listened to my mom. 


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Working on...

Fun Pouches! 
These are about 10 inches and will hold lots of treasures and collectibles.  Bigger than what I have been making in the past.   Only two zips but lots more storage.  They are listed now in the Etsy store.

Computer Pouch!
This is really big.  Looks like a pillow case but it is made to fit an Asus laptop.

Bibs and burps!
Using my creative noggin for custom orders

Starting two new quilts.  See X's and O's?  See Chevron Jelly Beans? 

Listened to two good books on cd.

Where'd You Go Bernadette is hilarious!  If you know anything about living in Seattle I am sure you will be able to identify with Bernadette. 

The Postmistress is a bit more somber.  War time story but it takes place on the East Coast and is a very good story.

I hope everyone is having a good time on their spring break!