Irish Chaining

Friday I started cutting the pieces for the small Irish chain quilt I have an order for. Our power was turned off at 9 am, (grr) for PG&E to do some tree trimming on a road that is a quarter mile away. I thought I could use the new 2 ½” strip accuquilt die I got recently to cut the strips. With this die, I can cut 9 WOF strips at a time. After cutting the yardage into 8 ½” wide strips, I tried to put it on the die, they were a little creased, so I walked over to iron them. Drat. It was kinda like that reaction when you try to turn on the closet light, even though you know the power is out. I’ll admit, I did try to cut one set, and it turned out okay, but the strips needed to be recut with a ruler and rotary cutter. Which cancels out any convenience of using the Accuquilt cutter.

Our power was restored at around 2 pm, and I was able to iron and cut the rest of the strips. I sewed them into sets, and cut them into columns with the rotary cutter. There is a way to do it using the strip cutting die, but I didn’t want to experiment with this project. I am making 12 blocks, with 5 columns of 5, 2 ½” squares. I made one block, put it on the design wall and then cut the rest of the columns. After dinner I sewed all 12 blocks together, for a total of thirteen. While making and counting all the parts, I forgot the one on the wall, I guess that’s better than finding it stuck to my back or on the floor.

Saturday I was back to the cutting table, for the “B” blocks. I got the pieces cut and started to chain piece the blue squares and white rectangles. Hmm, why did I run out of blue squares? I rechecked my math, 13 blocks with four blue squares in each, makes for 52 squares. Yup, and 52 rectangles. Ugh, then it occurred to me, only 26 of the rectangles get blue squares on each end. I un-sewed the wrong ones and made them correctly. Once that was done, the blocks went together quickly.

Up on the design wall, things looked okay, but I thought I had worked out in EQ8 that there would be five columns of five blocks. The four column version on the wall was looking a little big for a baby quilt. Back to look at the EQ8 version, oh, that size version has 9 inch finished blocks, I made 10 inch blocks. Mmm. Now I have extra blocks, not enough to make another quilt though. I can’t put them on the back either, as it is supposed to have minky on the back. I guess I’ll make some more and have another to sell. This quilt has been a lesson on the importance of making a plan and clearly following the steps. But it is much more fun to wing it, and hey, I have another quilt top.

Going to get it all together today, and add a border or two.

Be Kind