I was digging through storage this week, looking for something, a needle in a haystack no doubt, and I happened upon a couple of boxes I hadn’t seen before. ”For Amy” was neatly written on the side in my mother’s dainty cursive. She must have dropped them by when during her recent basement purge. I lifted the dusty lid to find the box filled to the brim with all of my old 4-H ribbons. Clothing construction, ceramics, crochet. home environment…even a unit called “Decision Making” (my husband will be extremely amused). I couldn’t help but sift through them, and as I neared the bottom, I picked up a wrinkled pink ribbon that read “Reserve Champion Speech Arts, Colorado State Fair” and on the back, in my awkward pre-teen handwriting, “Irish Chain Demonstration.” I was 12.
What a strange, timely discovery. I can’t believe I’d forgotten! An awkward, gangly, four-eyed middle-schooler stood on stage in the arts pavilion at the Colorado State Fair, and gave a demonstration on how to make an Irish Chain quilt, and now, over 20 years later, I sit here and write to you about the launch of my latest Craftsy class, The Twisted Irish Chain. Life is so funny sometimes.
Yup, a brand new class! And apparently I’ve been preparing for it for over 20 years- ha! Seriously though, I’m so excited about this new class, and I can’t believe the day has finally come when I can post all about it!
So what is is all about? Irish Chains of course, but what about them? In addition to the informative basics surrounding this historic design- singles, doubles, triples, and all that jazz- we dive into 3 quilt projects that are a bit “twisted”- refreshed and modernized, but still firmly rooted in the elements that make this design timeless.
This first quilt we make in the class is called “My Favorite Things” and it is MY FAVORITE!!! This quilt was born out of my desire to showcase my little collection of prized Japanese import fabrics, and what better “frame” than a subtle, elegant chain? I just love how the focal fabrics “float” on display, while the soft single chain adds just the perfect context.
Truly, this one is all about the negative space- those white areas between the chain are like a heavenly blank canvas to color to your hearts desire. And there’s a little treat for Sugar Blockers and sampler addicts alike: I specifically sized these alternating blocks to fit a 12″ block perfectly, because I think it’s a lovely option for showcasing sampler blocks. The full pattern, of course, is included in the class.
The second quilt we’ll stitch up in the class is called “Granny Squares” and we’re really going to have some fun playing with color placement on this one.
The construction is a bit of a puzzle- the best kind of puzzle though! If you like crosswords, you’ll love this one. We’ll walk through all of the steps and tips that make piecing this quilt a snap. Love the fabrics? ME TOO! They are the new True Colors from Westminster Fibers, and this one is available through Craftsy as a kit as well!
And lastly, the third quilt in the class is the “Cross My Heart” baby quilt – a blown up chain version that’s oozing with old fashioned scrappy sweetness.
I had so much filming this, and spending some quality time revisiting the never-out-of-style Irish Chain. It’s been a favorite of my since, well, since forever. I hope you’ll join me in stitching up these quilts, as we spend some time playing with negative space, fabric selection and placement, size & scale, secondary patterns, and even design tips on how to create your OWN unique Irish Chain design.
Sound like fun?? How about a chance to win a free enrollment in the class? That’s right- A GIVEAWAY! To enter, simply click this button. One random winner will be chosen Thursday, 1/23/14. Good luck!!!