BLOCK Friday: St. Paddy’s Day Quilts

Liz's Irish Chain Quilt
Liz’s Irish Chain

The holidays are extra special for quilters because it gives us an excuse to take on new and exciting projects (and we get to decorate — very important).

This month, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and the name of the game is Irish Chain and/or green quilts. Are these on your quilting bucket list? Yes or no, you’ll want to see the quilts that the Fons & Porter staff think of when St. Paddy’s Day rolls around. Plus, there’s some interesting St. Patrick’s Day trivia below…

Here’s a quilt that’s near and dear to our hearts. A double Irish Chain quilt by Liz Porter. You can see contemporary times creeping into this design, as the main chain is a variety of colors. It works here, as you can see, since the second chain in is a consistent tone as is the background fabric.

Liz’s Irish Chain is a fun one to make — it allows you to use up your stash, making this a lovely scrap quilt pattern that has a traditional look. Using strip sets for this particular quilt narrows down prep time, as well — a sigh of relief for those who don’t relish the thought of lots of tiny squares.

Luck O' the Irish Quilted Tablerunner Project
Luck O’ the Irish

Isn’t this the perfect table topper for St. Patrick’s Day?! Quilt patterns with Saint Patrick’s Day in mind tend to be a dime a dozen, so we’re happy to offer Luck O’ the Irish designed by the Fons & Porter staff, which also happens to be perfectly adorable.

This table topper is rated easy for a quick workup just in time to decorate your home for March 17th. It fits just about anywhere, too, with 5 (4″ x 5″) quilt blocks making a 12″ x 30″ finished quilt. You might have enough time to make this table runner for some lucky friends after you make yours.

The dark pink and light pink Nine-Patches of Caroline’s Chain by Cyndi Hershey are arranged in such a way that they create one main chain (dark pink) with two chains (light pink) on either side of the main chain.

Caroline's Chain Quilt
Caroline’s Chain

Notice that Nine-Patches are arranged to make a traditional chain. In order to create this design, the middle and corner squares are the same color with each repetition.

Of course, in today’s quilting world, there are modifications that allow for some diversity in this department. But, if we’re discussing old-fashioned quilts, this is commonplace.

What a great way to highlight your favorite green fabric and a fabulous large-scale print! The quilt block in Green Space is easily constructed, so you could work this one up before St. Paddy’s Day!

Green Space Quilt
Green Space

A fresh-looking throw quilt, this quilt pattern plays with Flying Geese units in the quilt blocks and in the pieced border.

Watch our free quilting video tutorial, Sew Easy: Quick-Pieced Flying Geese, for a quicker, more efficient way to create your Flying Geese units — perfect for putting this together quickly!

Dave's Irish Chain Quilt Pattern
Dave’s Irish Chain

Here’s a classic quilt that became a group project for Hannah Fons, Marianne Fons, and Brian Ormsbee. They got together to make a quilt called Dave’s Irish Chain for a Fons family friend, David Garry.

Machine quilter, Dawn Cavanaugh, stitched Celtic Knots to carry out the Irish theme. And, of course, this gorgeous two-color quilt uses lovely green-colored fabrics that bring it all together. This quilt boldly says Irish-influence and St. Paddy’s Day, if we’ve ever seen one. The pattern for Dave’s Irish Chain is featured in the Love of Quilting March/April 2008 issue.

And, because everyone loves a baby quilt pattern (baby’s like St. Patrick’s Day, too!), Pond Patch is all about cute. A lip-licking frog surrounded by lily pads in the pieced border works well for a baby boy or baby girl.

Pond Patch Baby Quilt Pattern Kit
Pond Patch

Since this quilt is pieced exclusively from squares and triangles, you can get this baby quilt made in a jiffy. We make it even easier by offering a quilt kit, which includes the pattern and fabric for the quilt top and binding. You can also get the quilt backing fabric recommended for this quilt to bring it all together.

Quilting for the holidays is such a joy. It tends to make the holidays even more special for quilters and their family and friends. We’re proud to offer you the quilt patterns, quilt kits and magazine issues mentioned above. Now, get quilting! St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and we’re excited to see what you make.

If you’d like to see more Irish Chain quilts, and read about their rich history, take a look at BLOCK Friday: Irish Chain Quilts. We’re sure you’ll find inspiration to create something beautiful.

Speaking of inspiration, send some our way! Make sure to comment below with any stories, tips or ideas about quilting and decorating with your quilts for St. Patrick’s Day. Let’s keep the quilting community informed by sharing what we love and know about quilting with one another.

Before signing off, here are some fun facts about Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day:

  • Ireland has the most redheads anywhere on earth.
  • St. Patrick was born Mawewyn Succat to a well-to-do family in Britain. He was kidnapped and brought to Ireland, later escaping and returning back to his family (and then later returning back to Ireland).
  • Erin go Brah comes from the Irish language phrase, Éirinn go Brách, and is used to express allegiance to Ireland. Translated, it means “Ireland Forever.”
  • Three-leaf clovers, or shamrocks, represent the Holy Trinity.
  • Shamrock comes from the Irish word for clover (seamair) and means “little clover” or “young clover.”
  • St. Patrick is actually associated with the color blue. The color green came in to play when Ireland began fighting for independence.
  • It takes 40 pounds of dye to turn the Chicago River green.
  • The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the U.S. happened in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737!
  • Over 70 million people claim some sort of ancestral connection to the Irish.

Carrie Sisk, Online Editor, Fons & Porter

Happy Quilting!

Carrie Sisk, Fons & Porter, Online Editor

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