Sunday, July 1, 2018

Hive 5 July Tutorial for Jude

JULY - Simple Irish Chain
Jude Brown - Jude Made It

Happy July! I hope everyone is enjoying their summer...can't believe we are already 1/2 through the year!

For my block, I took inspiration from a quilt that has been on my bucket list ever since I bought Denyse Schmidts' book, Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration, five years ago. If you have her book, it's on page 94. Or check her website. Many other quilters have made a version from Denyses' pattern (and are equally as inspiring, such as:,,

Mine won't look exactly like them. And, we won't be making it in the same way so as not to infringe upon patterns, respectfully. I love how Denyse modernized the traditional block by making it look more streamlined and that's the overall look I'm going for.

I ran across this simple diagram years ago and had saved it in my notes. I know not where it came from unfortunately. Ours will be similar to this:
A simple irish chain using 5 9-patch blocks and 4 solid blocks. While this is a 9" block, ours will be a 15 1/2" unfinished block with 9- 9-patch blocks and 16 solid blocks. 

Ours will have an additional row on top and on the bottom. 

Let's start with the simple little patch. There are a lot of 9-patch tutorials around and you may have your favorite method. This is how I made my block, it came together quickly.

I picked out about 3 fat quarters from my stash and started cutting them up into 1/1/2" strips. This is definitely conducive to using your scraps! Choose a fabric that reads black and one or 2 with medium and /or lighter values. Mostly I'm going for a black and white look. I used kona white for my solid background squares. Any similar white will do for the background.

To make your block:
Cut 1 1/2" strips from your black fabrics. Cut 1 1/2" strips from your white background.
In addition, cut 16 - 3 1/2" squares from the white.

Then I stitched my strips together, like so:

Sorry this looks like a tangled mess... but put simply, Sew 3 strips together in this order:
w/w/b&w    These will become the top and bottom rows of each little 9-patch block

w/b&w/w     These will be the center row of each little 9 -patch block

b&w/w/b&w   These will be needed for single most center block

Now cut these segments into 1 1/2" units that resemble this:

You will need:
16 w/w/b&w
9 w/b&w/w
2 b&w/w/b&w

Arrange these into your block using  the first diagram at the beginning of this tutorial to get you started. We are just adding a row at the top and another row at the bottom. Arrange however you find the most pleasing to you. Plunk in the solid 3 1/2" squares to complete your block. Voila!

It should look something like this:

This is a good time to trim all our 9-patches to a perfect 3 1/2" square block, before sewing them into rows. Sew each row together. I tend to like nesting seams.

This is my block, trimmed to 15 1/2":

Remember I'm simply asking for black and white fabric- maybe with a splash of any color of your choosing, if you'd like. Use light, medium and/ or dark values. Even solid black or using just one light value is ok. You can use 1 to 4 fabrics and white background for our block. I tend to like graphic, text, geometrics, dots, but use a favorite of yours.

Have fun with your layout. I'm excited to see how all your blocks will go together to create a simple irish chain quilt that's both modern, minimal and black and white!

I hope my instructions are clear and easy to follow. Please let me know if you have any questions or need me to clarify anything.

Thank you all very much - enjoy your July celebrations!


Valorie Webster said...

Nice block! Now I have my July marching orders! 👍😉💖

Jude said...

I prefer a solid Lauren. Thank you for asking