Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Make An Irish Chain Wall Quilt or Table Topper !

Irish folklore tells us that the three leaves of the shamrock symbolize faith, hope, and love. And if you happen to find a four-leaf clover, then even more luck will come to you ! Here's how we made a 36" x 36"  wall quilt/ table topper in the Irish Chain pattern with a shamrock theme.

Please note:  For the fabric shown below, we have pre-cut kits of the for this shamrock table topper available for purchase at our E-Bay shop Front fabric, borders, binding strips, and even backing fabric is all cut and ready to go, plus easy-to-follow instructions.  All you need to do is sew!  (The paper banner above the quilt is just for decoration and is not part of the kit). 


This quilt has only two alternating blocks. One block is a single square of fabric, and the other block is a Nine-Patch block.  


Fabrics "A" and "B" need to be fabrics with high contrast, so that you can see the criss-cross diamond-shaped lines that make the chain effect. 

Fabric A: For Fabric A, we chose 1 yard of a very bright green cotton with puppies and gold metallic sparkles.  From Fabric A, cut twelve squares, each one 6 1/2 " square. These will be the single square blocks.

Fabric A strips for nine-patch blocks: Also from Fabric A,  cut 4 strips that are 2.5" wide , cutting on the width of the fabric. These strips will be used in making the Nine-Patch blocks. 

Binding strips: Also from Fabric A, cut another 4 strips that are 2.5" wide, cutting on the width of the fabric. These will be the binding strips. 

Fabric B: For Fabric B, use 1/2 yard of a pale neutral fabric to provide a sharp contrast with the bright green fabric.  Ours is white, with light gray paw prints. Check to make sure that your fabrics show a big contrast which can clearly be seen. That way, you will see the chain effect.

Cut Fabric B into 5 strips, 2.5" inches each, cutting on the width of the fabric.  These strips will be used in the Nine Patch square to make the criss-cross lines of the chain. 

Fabric C: Fabric C is for the border strips.  Use 1/2 yard of a coordinating fabric of your choice. We used tiny green shamrocks. Cut  4 border strips, each one 2.5" by the width of the fabric. 

FABRIC FOR BACK OF QUILT: Cut one square of fabric size 42" x 42" for the backing. We used a coordinating tone-on-tone green fabric, like a Moda Marble fabric.


Now we'll start to make the Nine-Patch block. First we'll sew together lengthwise one Fabric A strip (green), then one Fabric B strip (pale neutral), then another Fabric A (green) strip.  These three fabrics sewn together are called a "strip set."


A-B-A strip set (make 1)

Next, make two strip sets of  Fabric B (white) - Fabric A (green) and- Fabric B (white). When finished, your strip sets will look like the photo below.

B-A-B strip sets (make 2)

Now it's time to create the Nine-Patch block that will comprise the Irish chain!  

From the A-B-A strip set (green-white-green), slice off 13 crosswise pieces, each one 2 1/2 ". 

From the B-A-B strip sets (white-green-white), slice off 13 pieces from each strip set to make 26 crosswise pieces altogether.  

Using these slices, you'll build a Nine-Patch square vertically. 

Place a Fabric B - Fabric A - Fabric B  ( white-green-white) slice on top

Place a Fabric A- Fabric B - Fabric A  ( green-white green) slice in the middle.

Place a Fabric B- Fabric A - Fabric B  ( white-green-white) slice on the bottom.

Sew 13 Nine-Patch blocks all the same. 

Next, lay out your alternating quilt blocks for the final assembly. You will have 5 rows across and 5 rows down. (25 blocks total).

Working from the left, Row 1 starts with a Nine-Patch block.

Sew the rows together using the chain piecing method of your choice. 

Add the top and bottom border strips, then the side strips. 

Add batting if you wish, then baste the quilt to the backing fabric. 

Sew on the binding strips, and you're all finished ! Enjoy your new project ! 

We titled our quilt "Lucky Paws" because of the cute puppies and the neutral paw-print fabric. 

If you'd like to purchase all this fabric pre-cut, including directions and piecing diagrams, we have several kits available at our E-Bay shop.Click here.

Image credits:  Photos and instructions are by Quilt Inspiration.  Do not duplicate without permission. quiltinspiration {at} gmail {dot} com.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Convex Illusions

Do you love optical illusion quilts as much as we do? Today's stunning quilts are based on the Convex Illusions quilt pattern by Kathleen Andrews at KwiltArt.  The use of different colors and quilting patterns allowed today's quilters to make the design their own.

p.s. Check out our eBay shop for great bargains on books, magazines, and collectible items. For free quilt inspiration, please visit us on Twitter.

Convex Illusions by Marcie Hammond, quilted by Jeannie Rogers 

Marcie Hammond won a second-place ribbon for her Convex Illusions quilt! We count seven different red fabrics, going from deep red to pink, in the squares that surround the center motif.  Marcie notes that selecting reds is always hard, and she used the opportunity to explore the local quilt shops in her new neighborhood. Jeannie Rogers used a variety of interesting quilting patterns to enhance the design.

Convex Illusions by Judy Getch, quilted by Rose Maynes

Convex Illusions is a strip pieced quilt pattern that creates a dynamic 3D optical illusion.  This choice of fabrics allows the black-and-white illusion to pop right out from the center of the quilt! This quilt was expertly pieced by Judy Getch, and enhanced by some lovely quilting by Rose Maynes, as shown in the closeup photo below.

If you want to learn more about this design, check out the YouTube videos posted by Kathleen Andrews at this web page: Convex Illusions at Kwilt Art (the video links are below the pattern cover photo.) The pattern is also available at Amazon. Also, you can see another version of this pattern in green at our post on the 2018 Springville Quilt Show.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2020 Quilt Arizona show.

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