Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Project 12 - Carrie's Double Irish Chain Baby Quilt

I see a lot of double irish chain quilts as I look over quilting websites - it seems to be a very popular design.

Here is Carrie's very pretty baby quilt version


I spent a coule of days doing mock-ups for this design.  At first I had pastels in mind, but then switched to a more colourful option, thinking this quilt could go to one of my young grandsons.

My first option I loved - it had great swirls of colour, in yellow, red & blue (Superman anyone)?  I knew instantly it wouldn't work as the design was indisernable amongst the mass of colour.  You can see this from the black & white mock-up, also the values were showing up as too similar.

I took out a deep blue print and substituted it with a lighter blue tone-on-tone.  Here is my final selection

I felt that laying the red 'on top' of the light blue, would enhance the pattern.  Nice idea, but it didn't quite work.  In hindsight I think that I should have reversed the placement of the red and blue.

If you are working through the book, make sure you've done the previous exercise 'Working through the Double Irish Chain Baby Quilt'.  It's important you do this before cutting the strips for this project.  Yes, there is another glitch in the instructions, but you can work this out yourself when you do the maths. 

Alternately, follow the link to Harriet & Carrie's Quilter's Academy Journal - a blog where they post instruction alterations, amongst other things.  Their blog can be found here - http://quiltersacademy.blogspot.com/2010/01/volume-1-errata-found-so-far.html


There are 2 block styles to make for the double irish chain design.  Block A has 5 strip sets using all 5 fabrics in different combinations.

This is strip set #3

I needed to make 18 Block A's.  I will admit to getting lazy with this top.  After a doing a lot of lifting over the weekend, I started Sunday with a sore back.  As measuring and trimming requires a lot of bending over (my table is a tad too low), I skipped doing most of this.  The results show and I'm kicking myself for taking shortcuts.  This is a stunning design with lovely fabrics and worth the effort to do it correctly.  As punishment for my laziness, I ended up with wonky blocks and imperfectly butted seams.

Block A

Block B requires only 2 fabrics and 3 strip sets, which are both combined grids.  The strip sets are then assembled into the blocks.

Assembling Block B


Here is my version of the double irish chain quilt - I'm hoping a little boy will eventually enjoy snuggling down into this 'blankie'. 

I specifically chose these fabric colours as I want to combine them with a fantastic Circus print for the border and backing.  This will make it a sort of double-sided quilt.  It's bright, colourful and has lots of little pictures to look at while snuggling (and won't show the dirt as much as a pretty pastel version).

The red, yellow and border fabrics are from The Circus collection by Benartex and the blue is From The Attic by Andover Fabrics


The next project is an alternate version of the Double Irish Chain design, with a completely different look.  Now where did I put my scrap bag?

After that I will be taking The Final Exam (a quilt without instructions, which tests everything learned from the lessons in the book).  Wish me luck!


PS - Thank you to Harriet for the tips on pressing.  Harriet suggested my problems with bendy strips could be to do with how my ironing station is set up.  And guess what?  She was right!  I had too much padding on my ironing table, making it soft and spongy, ultimately distorting whatever I ironed. 

You can read Harriet's comment under Carrie's Inlaid Tile Table Runner - http://patchnblock.blogspot.com/2010/01/carries-inlaid-tile-table-runner_29.html#comments

1 comment:

  1. Oh I totally dig that baby quilt. I was searching border ideas for my own Irish Chain, and I was SO happy to find yours. The colors are fabulous. Karmen