, , , ,


I am on the Raffle Quilt Design committee this year for my Guild. We have decided on a very simple quilt design with plenty of room for our members to use their creativity.

Every other block is intended to be a 9″ star with a dark blue background. Our members will choose which stars they want to make.

To tie the whole thing together, we have cut the fabric for the Single Irish Chain blocks (the blocks that go between the stars.)

Unlike in the mockup, we are using a slightly different Irish Chain block, and since I have to write the instructions on how to make those blocks, I thought I’d share them with you on my blog.


irishblock1The Single Irish Chain block we are doing boils down to a traditional 9-patch block with 4-patch blocks in each of the corners.

We figured that such a block would be easy for anyone who is a beginning quilter since you are working with squares and straight seams.

For our Raffle Quilt, we provided a kit. You can make one for yourself. For each block you will need:

  • 1 white 3.5″ x 3.5″ square,
  • 4 blue 3.5″ x 3.5″ squares,
  • 1 blue 4″ x 8″ rectangle, and
  • 1 white 4″ x 8″ rectangle.

If you lay out the fabric as provided, you should notice that the 9-patch is almost ready to piece except for the corners and those rectangles just don’t fit. That’s because you need to make the 4-patch blocks from the rectangles provided before you can sew the 9-patch.

Four-Patch Blocks

dsc04683The easiest way to make them would be to cut those rectangles into 2″ squares. You will end up with 8 blue squares and 8 white squares.

You only need two blue squares and 2 white squares to make a single 4-patch block, but since you need 4 of those blocks, you must have 8 squares of each color.

1. Pair each blue block with a white block and sew them together with a 1/4″ seam allowance. dsc04686
2. Press all sewn pairs open. I usually press the seams together, towards the darker fabric so there is no “shadow” where the colored fabric might show through the white fabric. dsc04688
3. Pair up each of the blue & white units. Align the white side of the unit with blue side of the second unit, so the other white square will align with the other blue.
(In the photo, the units are slightly out of alignment to show that the white square should be against the blue and the blue against the white.  You will need align the units on all sides before you sew.)
 4. Sew the units together on the long side (using a 1/4″ seam) dsc04694
 5. Press open. (Your block should measure 3.5″ square. If it is too large, you can trim it down, but if it is too small, you will need to sew it again, maybe trying to make your seams a tad under 1/4″.)  dsc04695

A slightly different set of instructions with better photos can be found here.

In the days (or more likely, weeks) ahead I will share with you a couple more ways to make the four patch blocks with the rectangles included in the CQG block package, as well as a more detailed version of how to construct the final block.