Hello! I’m Heather Jones of Heather Jones Studio and author of the new book Quilt Local: Finding Inspiration in the Everyday (STC Craft | A Melanie Falick Book, 2015). I’m so excited to be guest blogging here at the Missouri Star Quilt Company Blog today. I’ve been a huge fan of Jenny’s for a long time and I especially love how accessible she makes quilting with all of her great free tutorials! I began quilting regularly about five years ago, although I have loved quilts my whole life. But, my great-great aunt Ollie is the only person in my family who quilted, so I didn’t grow up with quilts being made around me. So for many years I was kind of intimidated to start quilting, although I loved them so much. Lucky for us all, we have Jenny to teach us and virtually hold our hands throughout the process so can make just about anything with her help.
Today, I’m sharing a quilt I made using Jenny’s Irish Chain tutorial. If you’re familiar with my own work, it should be no surprise at all that I’m drawn to minimalist designs, and when paired down to two solids colors, the Irish Chain is a perfect project. I have always wanted to make one of these designs so this was the perfect opportunity for me to finally get started. It’s a simple pattern that uses a nine patch block and a square of background fabric, and when arranged in this manner, the nine patch blocks create chains throughout the design.
In Jenny’s tutorial she uses precut strips of fabric for her blocks, which is certainly a great choice for this project. I however, picked two colors of Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton, Sky for the background and Pickle for the chains, so I cut my strips from yardage.
I made a twin sized version using 3 ¾ yards of Sky, 1 ¾ yards of Pickle, and 4 1/8 yards of Kona Fog for the back. I also used an additional ½ yard of Sky for the binding.
As I mentioned, Jenny’s tutorial used a jelly roll precut, which is fabric cut in 2 ½” x WOF (width of fabric) strips.
So, I cut my yardage in those sizes, specifically cutting (19) 2 ½” x WOF strips of Sky and (23) 2 ½” x WOF strips of Pickle. I also cut (72) 6 ½” x 6 ½” squares of Sky for the background blocks out of my yardage.
The nine patch blocks are made out of strip sets, and for this size quilt, you need nine outside strips, made of two Pickle strips and one Sky, with the Pickle on the outside of the strip set, as shown above. You also need five inside strip sets, using one Pickle and two Sky, with the Pickle on the inside of the strip set.
Each nine patch is made out of two outside strip sets and one inside strip set.
One the strip sets are made, construction is so easy, and with a little chain piecing, these blocks come together very quickly. Jenny shares tips in her tutorial to make sure the seams nestle throughout the blocks that make all those little square line up so neatly!
And once the nine patch blocks are finished, it’s just a matter of alternating them with the background blocks to make the chains throughout the pattern.
Once the top and back were finished, I quilted it with my go-to allover freehand figure eight design. This has become my favorite quilting design because of its simplicity and I think it works well with so many quilt patterns. I used Aurifil 2600 (Dove) 40 weight for the quilting, which I think works really well with the colors in my quilt.
I used Sky for the binding and I love how it disappears into the background of the design.
And here’s a shot of the back, where you can see the Kona Fog that I used for the backing. It’s a bit darker blue that I think works really well with both the Sky and the Pickle.
Thanks so much for letting me share my project with you here at MSQC!
You can see more of me and my work at the following places around the web: