Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Project 13 - Harriet's Irish Chain Variation Quilt

In the last project, Carrie gave us her version of the Irish Chain pattern.  Here is Harriet's version - a scrappy quilt!

Although this version is an optional alternative to Carrie's, I wanted to do both.  I love the look of scrappy quilts, and I've managed to accumulate quite a few scraps during the previous projects.

First I designed the look I wanted.  I decided to formalise it a bit from totally scrappy to something a bit less random.  I chose 4 colourways - red, green, blue & yellow - then opted to shade the colours & patterns, rather than contrast them.

Picking the fabrics was, as usual for me, a major task which took a couple of days.

I tried to use as many scraps as possible, then went on to small cuts, but in one or two blocks I had to cut into a larger piece to get the shades I wanted. 

For the chain (or B Block) I chose to use a natural quilter's muslin.  I found this to be a bit fine and in hindsight I think I would have been better off with plain old calico, which is a little sturdier, not to say cheaper!

Then came the task of cutting, which also seemed to take forever.  This time, there was no cutting and sewing of long strips.  The scrappy pieces were cut from very short strips yielding only 2 or 4 pieces, to tiny individually cut squares.  It was all very time consuming and I found I needed to be organised to keep all the bits together.

I don't know how many exactly pieces I cut, but enough for 18 blocks.  I made the first couple of blocks one by one.  This is quite labour intensive, but by doing it this way I got to learn the pattern and find the most efficient way to put them together.

Stitching the segments into blocks

Ready to assemble

The first 3 blocks

After these first 3, I started to use a system of chain-stitching.  Miraculously, I managed to keep all the bits in the right order and the right colours.  I had hoped to finish all the scrappy blocks by now, but I still have half a dozen to go before I get onto the chain blocks. 

Scrappy blocks in 4 colourways


  1. It is looking really good, I love all those colours.

  2. I like that you've kept the same light in all of them to provide unity and then had a darker solid with a lighter choice of the same color "inside" the block. Nice work!