Machine Minute: Simple Single Irish Chain
Add setting squares to your quick and easy nine-patch blocks to form a simple single Irish Chain quilt.
Hi, I'm Jennifer, here with another Machine Minute brought to you by Baby Lock and the Crescendo Machine. The Irish Chain is a popular pattern among quilters and it has been for a number of years. It's one where you can see sort of an overall lattice that appears, and whether it's set on point as this one is, or set straight, the predominant feature of an Irish Chain is that grid that goes from top to bottom and side to side. I'm going to show you how to use the quick and easy nine-patches you've made to make a simple Irish Chain quilt in a flash. To make a simple Irish Chain, you want your nine-patch blocks to all have the dark positions in the same thing. So here of the nine-patches, five of them are dark. And there are five nine-patch blocks here with four setting squares. Now this could be a very scrappy quilt or you could do the reverse of lights and darks, but for this example, the darks are all the predominant color in the nine-patches and I've used the lights to make the setting squares. This is set on-point to the camera so you can see sort of a diamond lattice starting to appear going this direction and this direction. If I turned the whole thing so it's square, you can also get the same Irish Chain effect -- it's just a little more geometric with the tops of the blocks being square to the eye with the diagonal diamonds criss-crossing. And when you put blocks next to one another across a quilt top, that's how that chain appears. Now let me show you how I would join them together. If I have nine blocks laid out like this, I would simply flip over my nine-patch blocks and my setting squares. But when I sew them together, I like to sew with my nine-patch on top, so I can watch those seam allowances and make sure they don't get pushed in the wrong direction. So for this block, while I'm sewing it, I would turn it over making sure I'm sewing the correct side of course. Maybe I would put a pin in it to mark it, but I'm going to sew all three of these blocks together. So as I get ready to sew, I have my leader cloth in place and that's so I can make sure I get a good seam started at the very edge of my block. And I start sewing, watching my quarter-inch seam and watching those seam allowances and how they're pressed to make sure they stay straight. When I come to the end of the block I don't even have to cut my thread -- I can just begin sewing the next one and the machine will guide it right through. I'll keep going until all of my pairs are sewn together. One your pairs are sewn together, you can put them back out in position to make your Irish Chain block start to emerge. Now it's time to add the remaining piece. So I'll position those, take them back to the machine, and sew along these seams. On my Irish Chain, I'm pressing all my seam allowances toward the setting squares, because there aren't as many layers of fabric to deal with. That's what I would suggest. So, I'm going to sewn these three seams, then I'm going to sew my rows together, and I'll show you what my block looks like. Once the five quick-and-easy nine-patch blocks and the four setting squares are put together, you get the look of an Irish Chain starting to emerge. It's a classic quilt pattern and one that's so easy to put together. I hope you enjoy it.