Sunday, February 17, 2013

Shared Nine Patch and Irish Chain Blocks

Yesterday I posted photos of the two quilts I'm currently working on, and it occurred to me that you might be interested in seeing how these blocks go together.

This is the shared 9-patch block (above and below). I hope you can see that the block is not quite together--blow up the photo to get a better look. The block has a 9-patch in the upper right corner, and a 4-patch in the lower left corner. The remaining units consist of a 2.5 inch background square, and 1.5 inch background and indigo squares. I strip pieced the 9-patch and 4-patch using 1.5 inch strips. And yes, it does go together pretty quickly.

I set my indigo and light background blocks together with alternate squares of a medium blue fabric, cut into 5.5 inch squares. And again, here is a photo of the finished top:

I think this quilt would be just as fun done up in red and white fabrics, don't you?!

Now I'll show you how "Liz's Scrappy Irish Chain" is made. If you have your January/February Fons & Porter Love of Quilting magazine, it's on page 38. All the units are cut at 1.5 inches. I took out a bunch of fabric pieces leftover from other projects and cut as many strips as I could from the pieces, all of them less than a fat quarter. I strip pieced them, then sliced them at 1.5 inch wide. Notice the unit on the very left and the unit on the very right have a dark blue square in the middle. The middle strip has a dark blue square at the top and at the bottom.

This photo (below) is the main block all sewn together (Liz calls this the "Checkerboard Block"). At this point, the block measures 5.5 inches square. I need a total of 111 of them. I'm at 75 right now, so almost 3/4 of the way there!

The photo below shows the alternate block coming together (Liz's "Chain Block"). It starts with 3.5 inch strips of dark indigo, and two 1.5 inch strips of light background. I think it's more interesting to use two different background fabrics...remember, I'm trying to use up some of my stash. And I normally don't buy more than 1 yard of any piece of fabric.

Once you have the background strips sewn onto the indigo piece, cut them into 1.5 inch widths. Then sew them onto the sides of an indigo piece cut 3.5 by 5.5 inches, to create a 5.5 inch square.

I'm using more than one indigo too, here's a photo of the two I have so far. They are both Jo Morton fabrics from her indigo and berries line. I need 110 of these little beauties. I'm at 60 so far. 50 more to go! They're not at all difficult, it's just a matter of sitting down and doing it.

And here's my design wall, with a portion of the quilt. Liz's quilt is set 13 blocks across and 15 down. The photo shows 7 blocks wide by 6 blocks tall. With no border, the quilt will finish at 65 x 85 inches.

The weather here has been damp and rainy, perfect weather for spending time in my craft room. As a matter of fact, I think I'll go grab a cup of tea and head back there. Maybe I can get more of these little guys completed!

Till next time, keep stitchin!


  1. I love your 9 patch quilt - it is unique (in a good way!) and looks like it would be fun to make. And, the scrappy Irish chain is on my list to make as well. I just started a quilt from the latest issue of their magazine - there were some good ones in there.

  2. Love it, Mary! Beautiful quilts!