Friday, January 3, 2014

Fightin' Irish Chain Finished

So I did manage to complete the Fightin' Irish Chain I made for my Dad for Christmas this year.  I showed progress (and my doubts about finishing in time) before, so here's the nitty gritty details and some pics to show it off.

I used Dana's EXCELLENT tutorial for a Double Irish Chain quilt except I made it smaller with only 56 blocks in the quilt.

I ordered the navy for the solids and it's actually Kona Nautical but the greens and yellows (on the front and back) are all from my stash.  It was kinda neat to use all of these fabrics that I'd used to make things for people in our family or friends and show them to Dad. Another connection through quilting.  ;)

The quilt measures about 70" x 80" making it one of the biggest quilts I've ever made.  I almost gave in and made it smaller a few times, but Chris reminded me every time that big guys need big quilts and my Dad wouldn't want just a little lap quilt.  And he's right, I'm glad I stuck it out and finished this one at the planned size.

For the back I just pulled a bunch of green and yellow scraps.  I'd accidentally cut a few too many navy and yellow strips and squares for the "B" blocks of the quilt so I pieced some of those together and then just filled in with yardage and pieces of stash.  You can't necessarily tell in the picture but most of the yellows on the back aren't solid but small patterns.  I really loved the back.

I machine-embroidered a little shamrock to one of the open squares.  I just wanted to add that little extra touch.  

For quilting, I just sewed diagonally through the green and yellow blocks.  It actually shows up better on the back, making a diagonal grid.  Because of my deadline (I had to have it finished by December 20), the lines aren't quite as straight as I might like but again Chris reminded me that my Dad didn't give a hoot if the lines were straight or not.  Again, he's right.

I used a navy binding and hand-sewed it to the back of the quilt in the car during the 16-hour drive (over 2 days) to my Grandparents' house for the holiday.

My Dad did love it and my hope is that it brings him comfort and warmth.  May he know how much I love him and appreciate all that he's done for me in this small gift I've made for him.  :)

I would definitely make this pattern again.  Double Irish Chains are both classic and visually stimulating.  The simple design makes it great for using up scraps and the way the quilt comes together almost magically makes all the strip piecing and pressing and cutting seem worth it in the end.  Definitely check out Dana's tutorial if you're interested in making this quilt.  And she is by no means compensating me for my raves about it, I just like to pass on good tips and tricks when I find them.

I'm linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish it Up Friday.


  1. Great quilt. Those yellows and greens just pop against the blue.

  2. love the front, love the back. The idea of getting all those corners puts me off wanting to make one myself though :D

  3. Just lovely! Glad you went with your original plan and made it dad-sized. ;-)

  4. I'm sure your dad will love it for a long long time! The back is as awesome as the front!

  5. Lovely use of a traditional pattern and sports colours!

  6. Ack, so awesome! Love this quilt, and go Irish. :)

  7. I love it! It's awesome, and so cool that you used colours that are meaningful to your Dad. I hope he's using it profusely in the polar ice storm that's hanging over America! I've joined Instagram this year so you can see my stuff there. I'm sarahkrothe .


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