Welcome to The Irish Stars Quilt Along Part 3: Triple Irish Chain Block. If you are new or nearly new, you might want to check out the IRISH STARS QUILT ALONG tab for more information. Don’t worry. You aren’t late. You got here right on time. It is THAT kind of quilt along.
The Triple Irish Chain block is just a lot of squares. It is the arrangement that makes all the difference. Remember that this tutorial is for a single block. Refer to Irish Star Quilt Along Part 2: Size and Scale to decide how many blocks you need to make for your quilt. The number will vary between 4 and 180. Yep, really!
MATERIALS–FOR ONE BLOCK:
21 base squares 1-1/2, 2 or 2-1/2″
4 background squares to match the size above.
- The only thing you HAVE to do in making this block is to make sure your background squares (white in my case) are correctly positioned: in the CENTER position on each side.
- Grab 2 squares and sew them together. You will do this a lot of times. I keep my stack of squares to the right of my sewing machine in a little space where they are very handy but out of the way of my regular sewing.
- I get asked how I make the decision of what to sew together. Basically I try to keep good contrast between colors and not have the same fabric appear twice in a single block. That is about as far as the “theory” goes. Trust yourself and keep it lively.
- You will make 2 rows in the pattern: color, color, BACKGROUND, color, color.
- You will make 1 row in the pattern: BACKGROUND, color, color, color, BACKGROUND.
- You will make 2 rows of color, color, color, color, color.
- Lay them out in order as shown and sew together, nesting seam allowances in opposite directions.
- Cut accurately. Press diligently. Watch your seam allowance. That is all that is really needed to be successful in working with small pieces.
- Ta-dah! You have completed a block. Remember that your base square size determines the size of your block: if 1-1/2″ then a 5-1/2″ block, if 2″ then 8″ block, if 2-1/2″ then a 10-1/2″” block. This is size-as-created including the seam allowance. They will each be 1/2″ smaller when finished
- I am storing mine in a perfect size container. It is very satisfying to watch them pile up. The nice thing about scrappy leader-ender quilting is that it is practically FREE! Other than the time to cut the squares, you are using thread you would have thrown away and fabric you would have thrown away. How worthwhile to make a quilt instead!