In 1825, 14-year-old Jane Valentine started an Irish Chain quilt. Five years and 10,092 blocks later, her quilt was finally complete.
According to the National Museum of American History, Jane used 130 different cotton prints and a plain white background that is quilted “6 stitches per inch with a flower motif.”
(Keep in mind, every one of those tiny stitches was done by hand. No wonder it took 5 years!)
This week Jenny whipped up a new version of the Irish Chain based on our quick and easy Irish Change pattern. The addition of a sweet little flower block makes this Flower Chain quilt an absolute beauty!
Grab your favorite charm packs and click HERE to watch the tutorial!
Nothing beats a classic. The master level quilts that our grandmothers once stitched by hand with precision and care have never been easier to recreate with modern methods. Many of these patterns are surprisingly simply with just a little effort and dedication, but why take our word for it when you can find out on your own!
Thanks to Jenny Doan’s incredible quilt tutorials and patterns, these five time-honored traditional quilts can grace your home as you pass down the gift of quilting to the next generation of makers! Where there’s a quilt, there’s a way!
A quilt by any other name will stitch the same! The Happy Trails quilt has been called many things in its storied past; the snail trail, monkey wrench, Indiana puzzle, Journey to California and Whirligig just to name a few! This beautiful and super easy to make project utilized 5 inch squares of precut fabric to create a fabulous design. Call it what you’d like, but we know you’ll have fun creating it!
We love the traditional look that Jenny created for her tutorial; it fits perfectly with the vintage pattern of the quilt! Pick up a more traditional blue charm pack, such as Indigo Gatherings for Moda Fabrics and capture that beautiful, antiquated look!
The Irish Chain pattern can trace its roots back to the early 1800s, over two hundred years ago! A staple for beginning quilters, this pattern has been widely popularized for its simplicity. Jenny’s twist on the classic, the Irish Change quilt, is a gorgeous new version of the traditional design that uses 10″ squares of precut fabric. The best part about this is that the “chains” of this quilt frame the 10″ squares, so you can feature your favorite fabrics in full!
Have a little fun when selecting a fabric for this quilt! Pick your favorite fabric square that you wish to frame, and if you really want a modern and wild touch on this classic, consider All Systems Glow Glow in the Dark 10″ Squares by Kanvas Studio. These glow in the dark, spaced themed squares will make this a favorite for any young person in your life!
Hexagon quilts have been around longer than you may think! Even in the early 1900s, quilters were creating these wonderful projects as the Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt. This simple yet effective design is a great way to introduce yourself to the world of quilting while creating a beautiful project with a rich history!
This classic may look simple, but to ensure perfect pointed triangles requires care and precision. Flying Geese blocks used to be a difficult pattern to accomplish, but thanks to Jenny’s methods of creating these triangles, you’ll never lose a point again! This block was once used during the Underground Railroad to point the way to freedom, which in turn immortalized this pattern in the annals of quilting history!
The first quilt Jenny Doan ever made was a simple log cabin quilt. Many of us can say the same as this pattern has been the foundation for many quilters for generations. Adding just a little flair to the heirloom project while still honoring its roots, Jenny has created a new twist on an easy classic that is simply stunning!
The contrast between light and dark fabric in the River Log Cabin quilt is just wonderful, so when selecting your pack of 2.5″ strips to make this design, keep contrast in mind. Prose 2.5″ Strips from Maywood Studio will be the perfect starting point; a good contrast of color complimented by beautiful flowers, leaves and stripes!
By now we hope you’ve had a chance to read the latest issue of BLOCK magazine. Isn’t it beautiful? It’s full of ideas and wonderful stories. Are you feeling inspired to make something new? Keep sharing your projects with us using #makesomethingtoday on social media. We think you’re sew amazing!
To help you get you started on your favorite new project, we’ve put together everything you’ll need to see your ideas come to life! Click HERE to find the perfect fabrics, all the necessary templates and supplies, Jenny’s tutorials from YouTube, and even links for machine quilting. After all, what’s the fun of an idea book if those ideas never become reality? We know you’ve got it in you! You’re a quilting champion!
Pssst… The second issue of ModBlock is fresh off the press and we’re so excited! We think you’ll love the innovative ideas and inspiring projects! They’re for everyone, whether you consider yourself a modern quilter or if you just want to try something new. This is a special edition of BLOCK and is not included in your regular BLOCK Subscription, but it’s a great addition to any order! Grab your very own copy HERE and start quilting outside the box!
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: