Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Irish Chain Quilts Blog Hop - Day 3

It's day 3 of the Irish Chain Blog Hop so let's get hopping!!

The first quilt up today is Two Paths Crossed from the Twists on Tradition section of the book and Piece N Quilt is the hop stop!!! Natalia Bonner was one of the first people I met in person in this whole big Online Quilting world and is a wonderful friend!!  She is an amazing quilt designer and also an amazing Long Arm quilter! In fact, my first quilts published in a magazine she quilted for me :)  So fun!!!  Pop on over to see her stop ;)


And a little from me on Two Paths Crossed.   If you have been around here for any time you know that I love stars!!!!  I knew that I wanted to have at least one design that had stars in it, but I still needed a chain ;)  So that is how Two Paths Crossed came out.   And I love that this quilt uses 2 main fabric and then just a little pop of a third.  It makes the cutting go super fast and you are making stars before yo know it.


The next quilt to be shared today is Coins in the Fountain from the Modern Patchwork section of the book and In Color Order is the hop stop!!!  Jeni Baker is an amazing fabric designer for Art Gallery Fabrics.  In fact, the Nordika fabric in this quilt is her fabric line. (probably had something to do with her picking this stop :)  I love Jeni's fabrics for their bold, bright, and happy colors and prints.  And she just happens to love Purple as much as I do,  which she used in her block.     Pop on over to check it out :)


Coins in the Fountain is a twist on a traditional "coin quilt".  I had a lot of fun designing this one and figuring out how I could turn coins into a chain.  I love the end result!!  This quilt is perfect for using up some of those leftover charms or layer cakes you have lying around, and would also be a great stash buster.   And I am sure we all have enough scraps to do some busting with ;)


And that is today's stop!!!

If you haven't had a chance to enter the Grand Prize Giveaway, be sure to pop back here and leave your comment to be entered.  And it also has a list of all the hop stops with links, just in case you missed a day :)



Thanks for Hopping in today and we will see ya tomorrow for Day 4 of the Irish Chain Quilts Blog Hop ;)

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Irish Chain Quilts Blog Hop - Day 2

It's day 2 of the Irish Chain Blog Hop and the first day of hopping and I am just so excited!!

The first quilt up today is Pick Up Sticks which is from the Modern Patchwork section of the book and Moda Lissa is the hop stop!!!  Lissa Alexander is the Marketing Director at Moda but I think that just means she does everything!!!  She has been a huge support and inspiration to me from the very start of my Happy Quilting journey and I am so grateful to have her as a friend.   And of course, because she does everything, she didn't stop at making a block, she made a whole Pick Up Sticks quilt top!!!  Pop on over to check it out ;)


And just a little bit from me about Pick Up Sticks.  This quilt design stretched me out of my "design comfort zone" as I  tried to embrace lots of white space.  But I just love the way it turned out.  It really allows you to highlight bold beautiful fabrics and my husband says it is the "man design" in the book, so I figure that is a plus.  This quilt is made entirely of strip piecing, so it will go together in a flash.  So fun!!!


The next quilt to be shared today is Charm Bracelet from the Improvisational Piecing section of the book and Fat Quarter Shop is the hop stop!!!  Jocelyn Ueng is one of the amazing people at the Fat Quarter Shop and an amazing pattern designer.  She does the ever so fantastic It's So Emma Patterns.   The fun thing is, while Jocelyn does all of this amazing design, piecing those designs is still new to her.  So I was so grateful that she agreed to step outside her comfort zone and make up a block for this hop, and an improv block at that!!    Pop on over to check it out :)


I had so much fun making up Charm Bracelet.   It is just so happy making to sew something together and then have a little slash bash to add that fun improv flair to it.  I have actually already made this quilt up again, and I think it has quickly become my "go to" baby quilt when I need a shower gift in a pinch.  It really goes together in an afternoon and is so much fun to make!!!


And that is today's stop!!!

If you haven't had a chance to enter the Grand Prize Giveaway, be sure to pop back here and leave your comment to be entered.



Thanks for Hopping in today and we will see ya tomorrow for Day 3 of the Irish Chain Quilts Blog Hop ;)



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Monday, June 8, 2015

Irish Chain Quilts Blog Hop - Intro & Grand Prize Entry

It's Here, It's Here!!!  The Irish Chain Quilts Blog Hop is starting today!!!  Can you tell I am a little excited ;)  For the next 2 weeks, we are going to be having some serious Irish Chain fun!!!!



I wanted to start off the Blog Hop with a quick little introduction to Irish Chain Quilts.  The Irish Chain design has a personal draw to me.   For my wedding, my Mother made me a beautiful queen sized Double Irish Chain   This quilt was one of the first quilts my mother made and will always be a treasured heirloom.  So it comes as no surprise that as my initial introduction to quilting involved a beautiful Irish Chain, that this design has always been special to me.  I hope to share that love  through this book and open a whole new world of Irish Chain designs for quilters of today, where the designs share a common theme but are as different and individual as the fabrics they are made from.  

When designing this book, I wanted to make it for everyone!!!   I am a huge proponent of always Trying New Things and if you have been around here for a while, you know that I am always encouraging you all to to break out and try something new.  Of course, I wanted to bring that into my book as well.   So Irish Chain Quilts is divided into four sections: Twists on Tradition, Modern Patchwork, Improvisational Piecing, and Appliqu├ęd Chains.  Each section features quilts in varying sizes that blend the Traditional Irish Chain criss-cross design with the design concepts of today.    It is my hope that each quilter can find designs that fit in their “comfort zone” so they can create what inspires them, but as well that they can find designs that push them a little to stretch and try new things.
  


So for the next 2 weeks, I have asked some of my wonderful friends from all over Blog Land to share the Quilts of Irish Chain Quilts.  Along with the quilts, my bloggie friends will also be showing a Quilt Block that each of them have made with inspiration from their quilt.  At the end of the blog hop, I will be sharing a very special quilt made from all of the blocks, and I will give you a hint, it is going to have a bit of the rainbow in it ;)   That quilt will then be delivered to  Primary Children's Hospital.   I have a very special place in my heart for Primary Children's , and I am so grateful to all of my bloggie friends for helping me to make this special quilt for them ;) 


So, Let's see where we will be hopping for the next 2 weeks!!!  Here is the schedule and each day I will be updating the links with the post links as soon as they go live.  So you can always come back  here to make sure you don't miss out on any of the Irish Chain Quilts fun!!!    And a huge thank you to all of these ladies for being a part of this hop!!!

June 8th -    Happy Quilting - Blog Hop Intro & Grand Prize Entry  (you are here) 
June 9th -    Moda Lissa - Lissa Alexander
                    Fat Quarter Shop - Jocelyn Ueng
June 10th -  Piece N Quilt - Natalia Bonner
                    In Color Order - Jeni Baker
June 11th -  Amy's Creative Side - Amy Ellis
                    Sew Kind of Wonderful - Jenny Pedigo
June 12th -  Quilt Story - Megan Jimenez
                    Diary of a Quilter - Amy Smart
June 15th -  Freshly Pieced - Lee Heinrich
                   Christa Quilts - Christa Watson
June 16th -  Moda Cutting Table - Carrie Nelson
                    Little Miss Shabby - Corey Yoder
June 17th -  Fresh Lemons - Faith Jones
                    V and Co.  - Vanessa Christenson
June 18th -  A Quilting Life - Sherri McConnell
                    Stitch This! - Jenny Wilding Cardon
June 19th -  Happy Quilting - Wrap Up & Grand Prizes

There will be lots of chances to win Irish Chain Quilts along the hop at several of the hop stops.   And along with that, we are also doing some Irish Chain Quilts Blog Hop Grand Prizes!!!   I have gathered up some super  fabric fun for this and there will be 2 Grand Prize Winners so you have double the chances to win!!!!

The first winner will receive an Entire Bitty Bits Quilt Kit, comprised of 14 Kona Cotton Charm Packs, a Vanessa Goertzen Gooseberry Charm Pack, 2 Irish Green Fat Quarters from Denyse Schmidt's Moderns Solids collection, an Angela Walters Drawn Fat Quarter, a Bitty Bits Mini made by me, and of course, a signed copy of Irish Chain Quilts!!!  

The second winner will receive a Lizzy House Butterflies Fat Quarter Bundle, and American Jane Lorraine Layer Cake, 2 Irish Green Fat Quarters from Denyse Schmidt's Moderns Solids collection, an Angela Walters Drawn Fat Quarter, a Bitty Bits Mini made by me, and of course, a signed copy of Irish Chain Quilts!!!  


So fun!!!!   You can enter into this Grand Prize Drawing right here at the end of this post anytime throughout the entire blog hop!!!   All Entries are welcome, including International Entries, and please, only one entry per person.    And if you are a no-reply blogger, please be sure to leave an email address ;)  

To Enter the Grand Prize Giveaway . . . 

Simply leave a comment at the end of this post that has the word Irish in it :)

Simple as that ;)  The giveaway will be open until the end of the Blog Hop and the winner will be announce on the final day, June 19th along with the Charity quilt reveal and blog hop wrap-up ;)   

And if you find over the hop that you just love Irish Chain Quilts: Contemporary Twists on a Classic Design and are wondering where to find it . . . It released on May 5th, 2015 and is available in Local Quilt Shops, Online Quilt Shops  (I know several of my sponsors are carrying it, Thank You Ladies!!), at Martingale, and wherever Quilt Books are sold.   If you would like a personalized and signed copy you can order  Irish Chain Quilts from my little Book Shop right here ;)   

I am so excited for the next 2 weeks to share Irish Chain Quilts with you!!!  Let's get this hop a Hoppin!!!  

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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Winner!!!

It's time to announce the winner of the last TTGD!!!!  Remember, there won't be any TTGD for the next two weeks because of the Irish Chain Quilt Blog Hop!!!  So, we need to pick a winner today!!


Thank you so much to Southern Fabric for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway!!  And the winner of this gorgeous Skopelos Sea Fat Quarter Bundle by Katrina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics is  #103!!  Congrats to Vrooman's Quilts!!!  I have emailed you ;)




See ya tomorrow with the start of the Irish Chain Quilts Blog Hop!!!   I can't wait ;)

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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 ;)

STEP 1 - CUTTING

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


STEP 2 - MAKING 2 PATCHES

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.


STEP 3 - MAKING 4 PATCHES

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!


STEP 4 - MAKING THE 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.



STEP 5 - DECIDING ON A LAYOUT

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.


STEP 6 - PIECING YOUR QUILT TOP ROWS

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.



STEP 7- PIECING YOUR QUILT TOP

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!!!



STEP 8- FINISHING YOUR QUILT

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" :)



STEP 9- ENJOY!!!!

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 happyquiltingmelissa@gmail.com, 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 ;)




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