Friday, June 5, 2015

Super Scrappy Single Irish Chain - A Finish and Tutorial

Hello All!!!  I am so super excited to get to share with you my newest finish!!!  I have been working on this project for quite some time and I am just thrilled to have it finished.  So, without further ado, here is my Super Scrappy Single Irish Chain!!!

This project originated as part of the Go For It, APQ Quilt-A-Long, (#APQquiltalong) but then when I finished all my 4 patches and was trying to decide on a layout, it somehow morphed into an Irish Chain.  What can I say, I have Irish Chain Quilts on the brain ;)  

And since I ended up doing my own thing and going the Irish Chain route, I figured you might like to join in on the fun as well and make your own Super Scrappy Single Irish Chain Quilt too!!!.  So I wrote up this little tutorial.  I hope you like it!!!

To start off, this quilt is all about scrappy, so I am not going to list any yardage as you will be pulling from your scrap bins or pre-cuts.  The little  Candy 2 1/2" squares are perfect for this project!!!  Also, you will be needing a few more colored squares than listed right here for the cornerstones of your quilt, but the colors will be determined by your layout, so they will be listed farther down in the tutorial ;)   And just a note, all of those Low Volume rectangles are a great way to use up the extra bits and pieces of background from all your previous quilts ;)


Alright, here is what you need to cut to get going!!!

(81) 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" Assorted Yellow Squares
(72) 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" Assorted Orange Squares
(72) 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" Assorted Red Squares
(72) 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" Assorted Green Squares
(72) 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" Assorted Blue Squares
(72) 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" Assorted Purple Squares
(392) 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" Assorted Low Volume (white to cream) squares
(196) 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" Assorted Low Volume rectangles
(112) 2 1/2" x 10 1/2" Assorted Low Volume rectangles


We will start by making 2 patches.  To do this, simply place a colored square and a low volume square with right sides together and stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.  This is a fantastic Leader and Ender  project.   I did all of mine in this fashion while working on other projects ;)   You can click here to see a Leader Ender tutorial if this process is new to you ;)

If you don't stitch them as Leader Ender's I highly recommend chain stitching the pairs.  If you have never chain stitched before, it is simply just not cutting your threads between each pair.  So just keep feeding the pairs through your machine one after another until you have a long snake of pairs.  Then, when you are finished your stitching session, clip the threads between each pair.

Press the seam allowance towards the colored square.

You will be making a total of (72) Yellow 2 Patches and (64) Orange, Red, Green, Blue, and Purple 2 Patches.  There is one extra yellow block in the quilt ;)  You will have 9 extra yellow squares and 8 extra squares of the other colors.


Now, it's time to turn all those 2 patches into 4 patches.   To do this, place two, 2-patches of the same color with right sides together, alternating the layout of the color and low volume patches.  Pin or simply nest the center seam as you stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.  If you pin, pin a whole bunch and chain stitch them one after another, if you nest the seam, you can continue to use this as a Leader and Ender project.

Press the seams open on all the 4 patches.

You will make a total of 36 Yellow 4-Patches and 32 Orange, Red, Purple, Blue, and Green patches each.  And now, you are ready to move onto blocks!


Layout (4) 2 1/2 x 4 1/2" low volume rectangles, (4) 4-Patches, and (1) 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" square of the same color as shown below.  We will make rows first.

Place the center column units onto the left hand side units with right sides together.  Stitch along the edge with a 1/4" seam.  Once again you can either Chain Stitch or Leader Ender this step to speed things up.

Then, place the Left Hand side units onto the Center units with right sides together and once again, stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge, either chain stitching or using it as a Leader & Ender project.

Press the seam allowances towards the sashing.  So the top and bottom rows will be pressed inwards and the center row will be pressed outwards.

Now, it's time to sew your rows together.  Place the center row onto the top row with right sides together.  nest and pin the center seams.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.   You will save lots of time if you pin all of your row sets and then chain stitch them.

Then, place the bottom row onto the center row with right sides together.  Again, nest and pin your center seams and then stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge. Chain stitch all your pinned sets.   I like to press both seams open to help avoid bulk.

You will be making a total of 9 Yellow Blocks and 8 each of Red, Orange, Blue, Green and Purple Blocks ;)   They should measure aprx. 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" unfinished.


And with the blocks made, you are ready to layout your quilt.  This is where you can make some decisions.  If you want to follow the same layout I used, use the diagram below.   For this layout you will need to cut the additional 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares to be used as cornerstones between the 2 1/2" x 10 1/2" low volume sashing around the blocks.
(16) Purple   (12) Blue   (10) Green    (9) Yellow    (9) Red     (8) Orange

Or you can do a more traditional rainbow row layout.  For this layout you will need to cut the following 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares to be used as cornerstones in the sashing.
(11) Purple   (11) Blue   (11) Green    (13) Yellow    (11) Red     (7) Orange

 Or, you can design your own layout.   Just print out this diagram, and fill in 9 Yellow Blocks and 8 each of Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple Blocks.   And be sure to add in 64 cornerstone color blocks as well.

Once you decide on a layout, you might find it helpful to right click the image and save it, and then print it out so you can refer to in when piecing your quilt top.


With your layout decided upon, you are ready to start making your quilt top.  I like to start with making the horizontal sashing rows.   To do this, I start by simply sewing the cornerstones to the right side of the sashing. The quickest way to do this is to pull out the 8 cornerstones that are along the right side end of each row.  Then simply sew all the rest of your cornerstones to a 2 1/2" x 10 1/2" sashing.   Press the seam towards the sashing.
Now, following your diagram,, place the second sashing in the row, onto the first with right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Continue in this fashion until you have sewn the entire row.  I found it easiest to chainstitch each unit in each row . . . So sew the first and second units in pairs for all 8 rows, then clipping my threads, then adding the third unit, then clipping threads, and so on.

Until all your sashing rows are done!!  Press the seam allowances towards the sashing strips.

Now, you are going to repeat the same process for the block rows.   This time, you are going to start by adding a 2 1/2" x 10 1/2" sashing strip to the left hand side of all your blocks.  Once again, chain stitching here will save so much time ;)  (or you can Leader Ender it if you prefer)  Press the seam allowance towards the sashing unit.

Now, referring to your diagram, sew the rows together.  I did this the same way I did the Sashing rows.  So sew the first and second sashed blocks in pairs for all 8 rows, then clipping your threads, then adding the third unit, then clipping threads, and so on.

Until you have finished sewing all your blocks into the 7 rows.  Press the seam allowances towards the sashing rectangles.


Now, it is just sewing all the rows together.  I like to start by sewing my sashing rows to my block rows.  Place the sashing rows onto the block rows with right sides together.  Pin each of the seams.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.

Press all of the seam allowances towards the sashing rows.

Now, Place the second row onto the first row with right sides together, the fourth row onto the third row with right sides together, and the sixth row onto the fifth row with right sides together.  Pin all of the seams in all of the paired rows.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Press the seam allowance towards the sashing rows.

Now place the Third/Fourth row, onto the First/Second row with right sides together and the Seventh row on to the Fifth/Sixth row with right sides together.  Pin all of the seams in the paired rows.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Press the seam allowance towards the sashing rows.  The repeat the process for the 2 halves (which I was so excited about, I forgot to take a picture of it, sorry)

And just like that, you have a fabulous finished Super Scrappy Single Irish Chain Quilt Top!!!


Now all that is left is to baste it, quilt it, and bind it!!!   I know, that is a whole lot of work in one little sentence.  If you are new to this process, you can see my Finishing your Quilt Video Series here ;)  It will walk you through each step of the process.

When it came time to quilt my quilt, I opted to do some free motion swirls in the background using my favorite 402 So Fine Thread that blended perfectly with the low volume background.  Then I quilted arches in the chain, using the matching rainbow color of Fantastico Thread, for that extra little shine and pop!!!

And to bind, I choose a simple Black solid to really finish the quilt.  You will need 356" of binding, so if you are using yardage, 9 WOF strips from 2/3 a yard and if you are making it scrappy, just keep adding to your strip until you reach 356" :)


Now, just sit back and enjoy your gorgeous Super Scrappy Single Irish Chain Quilt!!! It will measure 86" x 86" when it is done making it the perfect size to take along for your next picnic.  I can't wait to use this all summer long!!!

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial, and if you make your own Super Scrappy Single Irish Chain Quilt, I would love to see it!!!  You can email me a picture at, post a picture on social media with #happyquiltingwithmc  ;)

And if you liked this Irish Chain love, be sure to pop back in next Monday for the start of Irish Chain Quilts Blog Hop!!!!  I can't wait to share with you all the projects from my new book ;)

I hope you have a very Happy Quilting Weekend!!!!

Linking up this finish to Amanda's and Sarah's and Quilt Story ;)

Pin It!


  1. Beautiful! The way you have designed this makes it easy to make design decisions after the blocks are made. I like that.

  2. I now have a new leader/ender project after I finish my current one! I don't have a lot of purple, though, not even enough for the 8 blocks that you have in your original layout. I have TONS of blue, in every tone. I wonder what it would look like if you did this pattern in different tones and shades of blue? I may just have to find out! Thanks for the super-detailed tutorial!

  3. This quilt is simple enough to make, but ohhhhh so much time and work. I was thinking the new grunge basics would look fantastic in your new single irish chain. Your quilt is fabulous.

    1. That is the great thing about the Leader Ender idea, the quilt gets made while you make other quilts ;)

  4. Thanks, Melissa! You are so generous!

  5. Wow, you showed us how to make this. How wonderful.
    I think I have enough scraps to make 50 quilts hahahaha
    Yours turned out superb!

  6. Gorgeous Melissa! Love that rainbow of scrappy fabrics and it makes for the most wonderful Irish Chain! And of course you have that on your brain, hee hee.. Thank you for the Tutorial and pattern form!

  7. Love the quilt and it's so nice of you to take the time to write such a detailed tutorial!

  8. Thanks for a great tutorial on an awesome quilt. I have a bunch of 2.5" squares in my scrap bucket-I'll have to dig through and sort the colors.

  9. Wonderful quilt, great scrap buster. Many thanks

  10. Terrific! Love the stacks of color from stash. Most excellent.

  11. Oh thank you for this tutorial! I love it - can't make it just yet - but love it.

  12. Thank you for sharing this single Irish Chain. It is gorgeous! It looks complicated! I know if I follow the directions it would come together like a dream. I'm going to make this. I am grateful for your generosity. Thank you!

  13. such a beauty but he thought of cutting all those squares!! I recently did 980 for scrap steps to the altar quilt and said never again but this does look tremendous will maybe have a go one day!!

  14. Thanks for a gorgeous tute!! Will add this to my list! <3

  15. How gorgeous Melissa!! I have been playing with my scraps lately and have at least 3 irish chain designs on my EQ. I can't decide which to make.. and now here is another :) Thanks for the great tut. Love the quilt.

  16. LOOOVE this quilt!!! Thanks for the tutorial.

  17. That's a beauty! Thanks for the tutorial - I'll add it to my ever growing list!

  18. Such a beautiful quilt Melissa and thank you for sharing! I love the rainbow!

  19. Beautiful Quilt. Thank You so much for the tutorial!!!!!!!! Definitely my next project :-)

  20. This is a beautiful Irish chain quilt. Thank you for sharing the tutorial. I have found a new purpose for my scrap pile!

  21. What a fun quilt!! That would be a great stashbuster!! Thanks for sharing

  22. This looks so great! I love the color wash effect and the quilting.

  23. Oh that is absolutely stunning Melissa - what a gorgeous quilt and your tutorial is going straight on my to make list!

  24. Very very nice! Thank you for sharing your pattern

  25. Absolutely gorgeous and thank you for the tutorial - I am pinning this to my to-do-one-day list!

  26. Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing and for the tutorial.

  27. Love this quilt... especially your quilting. Did you do this on a long arm machine? The black binding gives it a frame- like quality. Congratulations.

  28. I love this quilt. The second quilt I ever made was a single Irish Chain in blues and it turned out fantastic. I would love to make this quilt and thank you for the tute on how to make it scrappy and turn out so pretty in rainbow colors. I love this quilt.

  29. Beautiful Irish Chain Quilt, makes you want to do an Irish jig!

  30. Beautiful, thank you for the tutorial. Another project for my to do list!

  31. Thank you! So visual and detailed! What is the finished size? I live overseas and bed sizes do not correlate to our US sizes!

  32. This is awesome what a great tutorial. Love your Colors
    and I am going to give this a try even with visual problems.
    Thanks so much for the tutorial.
    Happy Quilting

  33. I would like to make this quilt for a king sized bed but use 5" squares instead of 2.5" squares. Assuming the chart above I would get 24"X24" (finished) blocks and would require 16 blocks (4 across, 4 down) plus the sashing which would be 4.5" wide (finished) to match the finished squares, making 5 horizontal and 5 vertical, adding 23.25" both horizontally and vertically. I calculate that to be a 119.5" X 119.5" quilt. Also, I figure I will need at least 4.5 yds of non-directional 108" material for the backing. Additionally, I am looking at piecing batting (a King sized, plus 4" on two sides). If I got any of this wrong, I would appreciate any comments. Thanks.

  34. Thank you Melissa, I'm saving 2 1/2 inch squares now, and wrote the instructions in my quilt journal. I love scrappy, I love nine patch, I love bright colors. You have designed a beautiful way to combine all three. Thanks for the inspiration to make one of my own.

  35. Very pretty quilt, looking forward to the hop.

  36. What is the finished size of this quilt? I would love to make it in a queen size...

    1. Hi Linda, I tried to reply to your email, buy you are a no reply blogger so hopefully you will see this answer here. It finishes at 86"x 86"

  37. Thank you so much for this tutorial....I have been sewing 2 1/2 squares together and this is a quilt I want to make.

  38. Most striking and beautiful Irish chain quilt I’ve ever seen.

  39. Still in the process of adding sashing and cornerstones, but you gave wrong amounts of number of blocks needed for the traditional layout. Yellow needs 8, not 9. I haven't counted the other numbers, but thought you might want to correct your tutorial for others making this quilt.


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