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.


  1. Absolutely adorable fabrics and great pattern--I've had to order one for myself..I never do kits--so I will be interested to see how this one goes together...hugs, Julierose

  2. Thanks for the very detailed tutorial. I am a complete beginner finding my way sewing masks, napkins and simple table runners. I could substitute the St. Patrick's day fabric for any fabric. I like this size as well since I have a 20 plus year old Singer with all of its faults. Thanks for sharing!


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