Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Make An Irish Chain Wall Quilt or Table Topper: TUTORIAL

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.


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." We've shown them mocked up below:

A-B-A strip set (make one)

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 set (make two)

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 ". 

Make 13

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

 Using these slices, you'll build a Nine-Patch square as shown below with the actual fabric.

Make 13 nine-patch blocks as shown.

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.

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.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Northern White Rhinoceros

Quilters use their creativity to celebrate myriad subjects, including endangered species. This impressive quilt by Corinne Yarbrough from California, exhibited at the 2020 Road to California show, inspires us in many ways. 

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.

Northern White Rhinoceros by Corinne Yarbrough (California)

Corinne designed and made this original quilt for her nephew, whose favorite animal is the Northern White Rhinoceros.  Corinne used raw edge applique to create the magnificent animal. The background tiling design was adapted from Gloria Loughman's Radiant Landscapes.

Those who are familiar with Susan Carlson's fabric collages may recall her Pink Rhinoceros. Corinne participated in one of Susan Carlson's classes in the past, but this Northern White Rhino is her own design. Her expert use of light and dark fabrics to create the details of the rhino's face can be seen below.

Sadly, since 2018, there are only two known rhinos of this subspecies left, both of which are female. Barring the existence of unknown or mis-classified male northern white rhinos elsewhere in Africa, this makes the subspecies functionally extinct. There are hopes that another of this species might be created some day from eggs that have been banked. Meanwhile, the two remaining of this species are kept on around-the-clock guard to deter poachers, who are responsible for decimating this species.

Northern White Rhino, photo by Mistvan, Creative Commons image at Wikimedia Commons

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2020 Road to California quilt show.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

In Love with Blue-Violet

We hope your year is going well. This stunning heirloom quilt by Mami Noda from Japan inspires us to dream about going to a real (not virtual) quilt show, in person, in the near future.  We wish you good health and happy quilting.

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.

In Love With Blue-Violet by Mami Noda (Japan)

Mami explains, "At the first sight of the old kimono, left by late mother-in-law, I was fascinated by its beauty. I put it together with white and light colors to bring out the blue-violet color." 

Mami's quilting technique is not listed on the description card, but this work appears to be all hand-quilted. Mami does say, "I added applique, trapunto, and embroidery to make it a little more gorgeous." We think she did an outstanding job!  We are amazed at all the hours of work it must have taken to produce this lovely creation!

In the background, you can see some quilt blocks which seem to be of vintage fabric, as some are in soft,  gently weathered tones. Mami remarked, "I tried to replace various memories of her life with many small pieces and patterns. It's my pleasure to revive beautiful fabrics as quilts." We think Mami has done a superb job in honoring her family relative with this intricately detailed and spectacular quilt.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2020 Road to California show.

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