Thursday, January 29, 2015

Irish Chain Twist Quilt-A-Long - Schedule, Fabric Requirements, and Prizes!!!

And We Are Ready!!  The Irish Chain Twist Quilt-A-Long officially starts today!!!  Today's post is going over everything you need to know to Quilt-A-Long.   There will be a post each Thursday from February 5th until March 26 with weekly assignments and then there will be a Parade and Grand Prizes on April 13th.  So . . . onto a little rundown on how it's going to work!!


The Irish Chain Twist Quilt-A-Long is my own quilt design and the quilt-a-long will lead right up to the release of my new book, Irish Chain Quilts: Contemporary Twists on a Classic Design  The quilt-a-long will include  multiple sizes all based on a 3 different 10" blocks.  Each block has been broken down into 2 week assembly assignments.  So there will be lots of time to do whatever size fits your schedule.  There will be a total of 8 weeks for  quilt construction  and then an additional 2 1/2 weeks to get it basted, quilted, and bound.  The schedule will be as follows:

Schedule, Fabric Requirements, and Prizes - Jan 29th
 Cutting - Feb 5th
Improvisational Piecing Units - Feb 12th
Improvisational Piecing Block - Feb 19th
 Twists on Tradition Units - Feb 26th
Modern Patchwork Block - Mar 5th
Appliqued Chains Block - Assembling - Mar 12th
Appliqued Chains Block - Stitching - Mar 19
Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky - Mar 26th
Parade and Grand Prizes - April 23rd

So count on checking back each Thursday to see what the next week's assignment will be.  You will want to try to keep up weekly as there will be prizes along the way!!   Be sure to take a picture of your finished weekly assignment so that you can link it up for the weekly prizes :)  Oh, and if you are new to quilting, no worries, this will be super beginner friendly! I will go through each step in great detail in the Thursday posts.


So to start, you need to make some choices.  What size project do you want to make??  In the past we have had lots of block size options but because of the type of blocks we are making this time all of the blocks, regardless of what size quilt you want to make will be 10".  So now it's time to decide.   The chart will give you the finish size and how many of each block you will need to make for that quilt.  And the images below the chart show the layout of that particular project ;)    So . . .  What size quilt do you want to make??

Alright, have you chosen a size project.  Great, let's see what fabrics you are going to need.


The Layout

Before I get to how much fabric you will need . . . First you need to decide what type of layout you would like to do.   You have 3 Options and I will provide Fabric Requirements for each ;)   You can choose between a 4 Fabric Layout, a Multi-4 Fabric Layout, or a Scrappy Fabric Layout.  

The 4 Fabric Layout uses 1 fabric for each of the blocks in the quilt and a background fabric.  So an X block fabric, a Square block fabric, and a Petal block fabric.  Of course you can choose any 4 color fabrics you like, but I am just going to show it in the colors from before to give you an idea of the layout ;)

The Multi-4 Color Layout will have the same look as the 4 Fabric Layout only it will use more fabrics for a little punch.   For this layout you will need to choose fabrics that read essentially the same color.  5 prints for the X block, 3 prints for the Square block, and 2 prints for the Petal block.  Here is a mock-up of this layout.

And finally, the Scrappy Fabric Layout.  This is of course is Scrappy!!!  Throw everything to the wind and just have fun mixing it up :)  Here is a mock-up of this layout, and of course, you can change the colors but i just wanted to keep the same look rolling ;)

So . . . Have you Decided on a Layout???  Let's get to those Fabric Requirements then.

Print Fabric Requirements

Use the chart below to determine the amount of print fabrics you will need for your project.  The X represents the X Improvisational block that is Navy in the 4 Fabric Layout picture above.   The Square represents the Square Patchwork block that is Peach in the 4 Fabric Layout picture above.  And the Petal represents the Petal Applique block that is Red in the 4 Fabric Layout picture above.

Background Fabric Requirement
  See the chart below for the amount of background fabric you will need for your particular size project. Note - The quilt kits do not include background, so regardless of what you get for your print fabrics, everyone will need to purchase background fabric as well ;)   Now, I know this is a lot of background fabric for some of those bigger quilts.  Dig into your solids stash and see what you have built up.  If you find you don't have enough, I just might have seen that JoAnn's has a 50% off coupon that is good until Jan 31st, and they do stock Kona Solids.   And if you aren't near by one, you can always go online here and pick your color, your yardage and then use the coupon code TJAT031 to get your 50% off.  Hopefully that will help with all that background :)

You will also need binding fabric and backing fabric for when you are ready to finish up your quilt :)  (Because we area all about finishes, no wip's here :)

Binding and Backing Requirement
Refer to the two charts below for the requirements you will need for binding and backing for your particular project :)  You can always do scrappy bindings and backings as well, just another option ;)


I have asked my wonderful friend and sponsor Julie from the Intrepid Thread, to put together some custom bundles together for Irish Chain Twist Quilt-A-Long.  And as always, she came up with some stunning options for you.   The Kits are made for the Picnic or Queen quilt sizes.   I went ahead and put each bundle into the quilt layout so you could get an idea of how they will look in the quilt. 

 And as before, These bundles are at a special Quilt-A-Long discount price!!  Thanks so much Julie!!!  Please note, these kits do not include the background fabric, so be sure to see the above requirements and notations under Background Fabric Requirements for that ;)  

These first three Kits are the Multi-4 Color Layout Kits, but they would work just great for the scrappy layouts as well if you wanted to go that way :)

Sunshine On My Garden Quilt Kit





And these last 2 Kits are the Scrappy Layout Kits.



Aren't these just fabulous. Julie has impeccable taste in fabric!! Good Luck choosing a favorite!! It was a super hard choice for me, but in the end I decided I am going with the Sunshine in My Garden and will be making a queen size.  I am so excited!   I showed all of the kits but the Low Volume one (which I love) with a white background,  But don't be afraid to do something other than white, Look how adding a background color changes up these kits ;)  Stunning!!!!

Peach Tea with Grey

Patriot Betsy Ross with Navy

If you are thinking about a color background that I haven't shown and would like to know what it will look like with your kit just email me at and I can send you a sketch no problem ;)


I am so very excited about the Prizes for this Quilt-A-Long!!  I don't know about you, but I know that I am highly more motivated to keep up and finish when there are prizes at stake ;)  So how about this for a little motivation.

All those that finish their quilt top will be eligible for the 4 Grand Prizes.  The Grand Prize's are sponsored by The Intrepid Thread and Fat Quarter Shop and huge Thank You goes out to Julie and Kimberly for their generosity in these prizes.  Wan't to know what they are???

The first 2 winners will each receive a $100.00 Gift Certificates to Fat Quarter Shop and the next 2 winners will receive a  $75.00 Gift Certificate to The Intrepid Thread !!!     Talk about some fun Shopping Sprees!!!  And if that whopping amount of fabric goodness isn't motivation, then I don't know what is!!


But . . . Sometimes it is hard to keep motivated when the end is so far away.  So for that . . . We have a little Weekly Motivation.  Each week you will be able to link up (You don't have to have a blog to link up, you can link to a any social media image :) your completed assignment for a chance to win the weekly prize.    These Weekly Prizes will be sponsored by several of my Sponsors and will be so fun!!!



So ya, there is a lot of wonderful fabric to be won!!!  So keep up and sew on!!!


 Now down to the last of the nitty gritty.  First, If you are Quilting-A-Long and have a blog, It would be wonderful if you added the button to your blog :)   It really helps to spread the word and  the more that Quilt-A-Long the better!!!  If you have already added the button, thank you!!!

Second, I would love it if you joined the Happy Quilting Quilt-A-Long Flickr group.  You can post your fabric here, your progress, ask questions, ect.   And it is a super fun place to get to chat along with everyone participating :)

And if you are posting your progress on your social media, be sure and use the Hashtag #irishchaintwistqal   Then we can all easily find and see each others work on facebook, twitter, and instagram as well ;)


So that just about wraps it up!!! You have 1 week to round up  your fabric.  If you are ordering it and it is going to take a little longer than a week to arrive, no worries.  You have a whole week to cut it as well, so that gives you a bit of a time cushion ;)     Watch for that cutting assignment on February 5th.

Now I know that was a lot for one post, so if you have any questions at all regarding the Quilt-A-Long please do not hesitate to email me at or comment below.  I don't want anyone to not participate because they are confused by my rambling :)  And one last thing, please feel free to make your quilt your own.  If you want a different layout, great!  Want to add a border, perfect!!  What ever you envision, you make it yours, all finished quilt tops will be eligible for prizes :)

Now . . .  Let's get Quilting-A-Long!!!
Pin It!


  1. Melissa i would love to do with a jelly roll i have can i?

  2. OOOH, so many choices! I need to make a baby quilt so I'll have to see what fabrics I can pull together. Thanks for all of your hard work getting this planned and scheduled for us!!!! It really makes a difference for people like me who are too far away from quilt shops for classes. You really inspire and motivate me!

  3. Awesome! This will be great fun! Thank you!!

  4. Oh that Sunshine on my Garden one is so fantasmic! Decisions! I thought of you this week as I finished up four quilts, it's so satisfying seeing them done, isn't it? Hard to let them go....

  5. I am excited to do this! I have had the fabrics all picked out for a few years, just waiting for the right inspiration to come along, and here it is! <3

  6. You can add your quilt-along to for free advertising!

  7. I want to do this quilt-a-long. But as a new quilter, I want to do the 4 fabric layout as a lap quilt. My question: which block stands out in the quilt, I would like my main color to be in that block.
    Thank you,

  8. Woo! Fabrics all set from stash - just needed the right project to use them! One quick question - does it matter if I use fat quarters or regular 1/4 yard cuts? Thanks Melissa!!

  9. I'm excited for this. Decided on some Sweetwater fabric in reds, Aqua and gray and I'm jumping way out of my comfort zone with a navy background. Am I making the right choice?????

  10. I'm in! I have never been part of a quilt-along, but have always wanted to do one. I am currently working on a quilt for my son and think I can fit in a block a week as well. I am excited and looking forward to working with everyone!

  11. I really love this except for the applique, because I suck at that. Would it be acceptable for me to do more square blocks in place of the applique???

  12. Would a layer cake work for this?

    1. HI Bri,

      Sorry I can't email you back as you are set at no-reply. But yes, a layer cake with (40) 10" squares has appx. 2 3/4 yards in it so this would work the wall hanging, Baby, or Lap in a scrappy layout ;) Hope this helps ;)

    2. Great! I'm in!!! Thanks, Melissa.....I'll try to figure out why I'm set as no-reply and get that fixed....

  13. This QAL looks like fun and I will definitely help spread the word! Congratulations on your upcoming book, Melissa!
    Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

  14. I think I might join in with this, it looks fun. I'm very new to quilting and have not done a quilt-a-long before. I will have a go at the wall hanging, something nice and small and easy to manage (hopefully)! I've not done any applique before so that should be interesting! Off to choose my fabrics now. :0)

  15. I am planning to join! But need help deciding a fourth color for my grouping. Pic is posted to FB.

  16. This looks so fun and I am joining in . I have always wanted to make an Irish chain quilt , and been afraid to! Your Quilt Along will make it so fun!

  17. This is just the motivation I need to get back to sewing on a regular basis. I am so excited. You are great!!

  18. This is just the motivation I need to get back to sewing on a regular basis. I am so excited. You are great!!

  19. Is there a weekly prize for the fabric pull? Does a jelly roll work? Thanks, Corrie

  20. I'm in and have my fabrics picked out! Can't wait!!!

  21. I would love to join this QAL! I have always wanted to do an Irish chain! And this would be perfect for my new grandbaby........I have my fabrics all picked out! Really looking forward to your new book!

  22. As a new quilter, can't wait to finish this in time for mother's day in her favorite colors. I hope the baby blue stands out as a background.

  23. I just put this on my list for a Master's Tournament themed wall hanging.

  24. I'm in as I too have also wanted to do an Irish Chain for longer than I care to remember.

  25. At first this looked very intimidating, but I think I'm going to try this and get started this weekend.

  26. I just found your quilt along and i will happily join!

  27. I am thinking about starting this now, do I have to post pics along the way at each step. I am already going to be working hard to play catch up with only a week or so left.

    1. HI Shannon,

      Nope, you don't have to post pictures all along the way, but you can if you like ;)


Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)