How to Make a Jack's Chain Quilt

By Ruth O'Neil

Jack's chain quilt is a complicated quilt to piece. Made of nine-patch squares, triangles and hexagons, it is a good quilt pattern to use up small fabric scraps in your leftover stash. When the different pieces are sewn together, they form a circle. The circles are then put together to form the block. Sew the blocks together into rows to complete the quilt top. While sewing the different parts of the blocks is not difficult, sewing the blocks together is for experienced quilters.

Make the nine-patch blocks first. Cut out 1 1/2-inch squares of fabric. You will need five dark color squares and four light color squares.

Sew two dark squares on either side of a light square for row one. Sew two light squares on either side of a dark square for row two. Make another row one.

Stitch the rows together to make the nine-patch. Sew the rows together in the order of dark, light and dark. Make 5 ½ nine-patch squares for each complete block; one square will connect two blocks.

Cut equilateral triangles with 4-inch sides. You will need six for each complete block. Cut the triangles from assorted colors of fabric.

Cut out the hexagons, which should be one color throughout the quilt.

Sew one nine-patch to each side of one hexagon. Leave ¼-inch at each side of the nine-patch unsewn. This makes it easier to attach the triangles.

Sew the triangles between the nine-patch squares to complete one block.

Start the second block by sewing one of the nine-patch squares of the completed block to a new hexagon. Continue sewing the second block in the same manner as the first.

Lay out the pieces for the subsequent rows before sewing, as pieces from one block will be part of another. Offset the blocks by one-half when starting a new row.

Layer the backing, batting and top. Tie or quilt as desired.

Tip

If you are not using scrap fabrics to make the nine-patch blocks, use strip piecing to make them. Sew two groups of three long strips of fabric together horizontally, and then cut the strips vertically to give three squares sewn together so you do not have to cut out all the tiny squares.

You will need approximately 70 blocks for a full-size quilt. Adjust the number of blocks for the size quilt you desire.