<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Irish Chains and more
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Irish chains & cousins

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Irish chain designs are made up of crisscrossing diagonal rows of squares.* In the 2 groups below, look for an icon that resembles your mystery design and give it a click.

Inevitably, quilters think outside the box (or square). This section also includes blocks with shapes added to the square-follows-square design of the classic Irish Chain. (We call them Irish cousins. Why not?)

*Sometimes classic Irish Chain blocks have rectangles or big squares in the background color where there would otherwise be a lot of tiny squares.

Irish chains

Single Irish Chain
LAC
Double Irish Chain

Triple Irish Chain
Irish "cousins"—chains with other shapes

Dublin Chain


Burgoyne Surrounded

Double Hour Glass


54-40 or Fight

Block or no block?

Broken down into a single block, a simple Irish chain (called a Single Irish Chain) looks like a large offset square block:


Not all Irish chain designs are made block by identical block, however. At least one how-to uses two different blocks sewn together. Others use strip piecing, which is a versatile way to make lots of squares fast.

In strip piecing, you stitch strips of fabric into a single striped whole, then you cut across the stripes to get long strips of alternating colors.

You then stitch those strips together to create patterns of squares, such as checkerboards and chains.

One example of the last step is in the instructions for a Burgoyne Surrounded block similar to the one at left. It is on Marcia Hohn's wonderful Quilter's Cache web site. To go there, click on this small icon: