Luck of the Irish Chain Quilt: Quilting Inspiration From Ireland

Posted by on Mar 9, 2014 in Quilting | Comments


St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner! This time of the year our thoughts and decor shift to all things green (including fabric!). In the world of quilting, there is a rich Irish history.

Quilting was introduced in Ireland back in the 18th century by way of England. It appears that the wealthier women took to the craft in the beginning, and lower income families soon followed. Old clothes and linens were cut up and sewn into patchwork quilts. Many of those old quilts were sewn with no middle layer, or batting, due to lack of supplies. Every now and then an old sheet or blanket would be used in the middle, but oftentimes those items could not be spared.

Irish Chain QuiltIrish Chain quilt via Craftsy instructor Amy Gibson

Common Irish quilt designs were simple or crazy patchwork, Log Cabins, baskets, and other traditional patterns. The Irish Chain quilt pattern is likely the most famous.

Irish chain quilts are named after a measuring tool that consists of small squares and strips. There are different varieties and layouts, including the single, double and triple chain. History lovers may find this intriguing: there is a bit of a debate over this pattern’s place of origin. Some say the earliest dated quilts of this design were actually created in America. Read more about Irish Chain quilts over at quilt historian Barbara Brackman’s blog, Material Culture.

In celebration of this week’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration, let’s take a look at some lovely Irish quilting designs and patterns available right here on Craftsy.

Irish Chain Baby Quilt: Pattern Available on CraftsyPhoto via Craftsy member QuiltD.Signs

Baby Irish Chain

Take a weekend to sew up the Baby Irish Chain quilt pattern. The traditional design comes together quickly and easily. The finished product measures 44” x 56”, just right for a lap or baby quilt.

Get the Irish Chain Baby Quilt pattern.

Irish Chain Quilt Made With Jelly RollsPhoto via Craftsy member CherylBrickey

On a Jelly Roll

Do you have a Jelly Roll laying around? Here is a great way to put it to use! Irish Chain squares frame pieced stars in the On a “Jelly” Roll quilt pattern. With one Jelly Roll, you can make one lap sized quilt or two smaller quilts (baby and toddler size).

Get the On a “Jelly Roll” pattern.

"Candy Shoppe" Irish Chain Quilt: Craftsy Member PatternPhoto via Audrey n Diane

Candy Shoppe

Here’s another stunning Jelly Roll design! The Candy Shoppe Quilt pattern uses 32 Jelly Roll strips to create a large throw measuring 56” x 66”. Re-create this playful quilt by pairing a crisp white solid with brightly colored fabrics.

Get the Candy Shoppe Quilt pattern.

Scrappy Irish Chain Quilt: Pattern by Craftsy Member Photo via Craftsy member Scrapendipity

Scrappy Irish Chain

Take a look at this incredible scrappy Irish Chain quilt made by Craftsy member Scrapendipity. Click on the photo above to find out all of the details on the quilt, as well as a link to her free tutorial.

Would you like to make an Irish Chain quilt?

Sign up for Amy Gibson’s new Craftsy class The Twisted Irish Chain. You’ll learn how to make and design your own single, double and triple Irish Chain quilts!

What do you think of Irish Chain quilts? What is your favorite variation?

Hey quilters, did you know March 15th is National Quilting Day? Check back this Wednesday for fun ideas on how you can celebrate!