How to make the Irish quilt with nine patches

The first time I saw an Irish Chain quilt, I was at a local craft fair. Its simplicity, coupled with a striking zigzag pattern, drew me in instantly. The quilt was a beautiful array of fabric strips arranged in blocks, creating a mesmerizing visual effect. That quilt was my inspiration, the spark that ignited my desire to create one myself.


Today, I want to share with you a detailed tutorial for an Irish Chain Nine-Patch quilt. This is a beginner-friendly project that uses strip-piecing techniques to speed up the quilting process. Whether you’re a seasoned quilter or a novice, this tutorial will be a valuable guide.

Irish Chain Nine-Patch Quilt

This quilt is a fast and beginner-friendly project that uses strip-piecing shortcuts for quick assembly. The finished quilt measures 42″ x 54″, making it perfect for a baby quilt.

Fabric Requirements

  • 8 Light Strips 2 ½″ x WOF (width of fabric) – these can be assorted or all cut from ½ yard of one fabric
  • 10 Dark Strips 2 ½″ x WOF – these can be assorted or all cut from ¾ yard of one fabric
  • 31 Light Squares 6 ½″ x 6 ½″ – these can be assorted or all cut from 1 ⅛ yard of fabric

Strip-Piecing a Quilt

Strip-piecing is a technique that involves sewing long strips of fabric together and then cutting them into blocks. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Cutting and Sewing: Start by cutting 8 light strips and 10 dark strips, each 2 ½″ x the width of the fabric (WOF). Once you have your strips cut, sort them into 4 Dark-Light-Dark strip sets and 2 Light-Dark-Light strip sets. Sew these strips together side by side. Make sure to use a consistent ¼ inch seam allowance for accurate sizing.
  • Pressing Seams: After sewing the strips together, press the seams all in one direction. This will help your blocks lay flat and make it easier to sew them together. It also helps to prevent the fabric from warping or stretching. Use the tip of the iron to get into the seam and make it nice and open and flat.
  • Cutting Blocks: Once your strip sets are sewn and pressed, you can start cutting your blocks. For this quilt, you’ll need to cut 64 units from the Dark-Light-Dark strip sets and 32 units from the Light-Dark-Light strip sets, each measuring 2 ½″ x 6 ½″. Use a ruler and a rotary cutter for precise cuts.

Assembling the Quilt

  1. Creating the Nine-Patch Blocks: To assemble the Nine-Patch quilt blocks, alternate 2 Dark-Light-Dark units with 1 Light-Dark-Light unit and sew them together, nesting the seams. This means that the seams of the top and bottom pieces will be going in opposite directions, allowing them to fit together snugly. These blocks should finish 6 ½″ x 6 ½″. Make 32 Nine-Patch blocks.
  2. Creating the Quilt Layout: Layout your quilt blocks into rows of 7 alternating Nine-Patch and solid squares. Odd rows will start and end with a Nine-Patch block. Even rows will start and end with a solid square. This alternating pattern will create the classic Irish Chain design.
  3. Sewing the Rows Together: Sew rows together, pressing all seams toward the solid square (away from the Nine-Patch blocks). This will help your quilt lay flat and make it easier to add the backing. Sew 9 rows together, pressing seams one direction.
  4. Finishing the Quilt: To finish the quilt, first, prepare your backing fabric by cutting it to the size of your quilt top. Then, layer the quilt top, batting, and backing together. Make sure to smooth out any wrinkles. Cut the binding fabric into 4 strips 2 ½″ x WOF and sew them end to end. Attach the binding to the quilt, and you’re done!

Free Pattern: Click Here

The Irish Chain Nine-Patch quilt is a classic design that’s perfect for beginners. Its simplicity and the speed at which it can be assembled make it an ideal project for all. Whether you’re making it for a loved one or for yourself, this quilt is sure to be a treasured keepsake. So why wait? Grab your fabric and start quilting today!

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