How to Sew a Double Irish Chain Quilt

By eHow Hobbies, Games & Toys Editor

The Irish Chain quilt pattern was developed in Ireland in the early 1800s. The earliest example of the pattern dates in America dates to 1807 and is stitched with linen thread typical of Irish Quilts. It's thought that the maker of the quilt brought it along with her when she immigrated. Oddly, the pattern today in Ireland is called the American Chain.

Choose three cotton fabrics for the quilt, including a dark "focus" fabric A, a coordinating medium color fabric B, and a lighter background fabric C. Determine the finished size of the quilt and purchase enough fabric of each color to create the quilt top.

Review the two types of pieced blocks required to create the quilt top. Calculate the number of squares of each color and how many finished blocks based on desired size of the quilt. Note the different cuts required for Block B.

Refer to the chart for the total number of blocks required. Count the total number of Blocks A and B as well as the block layout to achieve the "chain" pattern.

Use a rotary cutter and a cutting mat to cut the fabric into 2 1/2 inch squares. Stack squares of a like color. Thread a needle and run it through a stack of like-colored squares to keep them organized. Knot both ends of the thread.

Construct Block A by joining the 2 1/2 inch squares into strips and then sewing the strips together complete the larger square. Construct the block precisely as shown in the pattern. Match the seams when pinning the strips together. (See Resources).

Sew Block B using the lighter background fabric and Fabric B. Follow the placement of the fabric pieces. Finish the required number of Block A and B and press each one flat.

Arrange the completed blocks in rows as shown to achieve the chain pattern. Pin the blocks of the first row together in order and sew in place. Proceed with each row. Sew the rows together, blocking the seams, to complete the quilt top.