<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Classic Irish Chain designs
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Classic Irish chains

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We call these classic Irish Chains because the blocks are in only two color values (light and dark) and in simple diagonal lines of squares. Below, a single chain has one row in each direction, the double has two rows, and the triple has three. The blocks below are set in multiples to make the patterns easier to spot.


Single Irish Chain
Single Irish Chain

This design has probably been around since the invention of thread, and we're happy to tell you that no individual has claimed credit for it.

The design is nothing more than 9-patches alternated with plain blocks.

There are, however, other designs called Single Irish Chain that have name citations. You can see one of them by clicking here:

Country Lanes

Country Lanes

Five-patch blocks with alternating plain blocks make up Country Lanes, which got its name from a Mountain Mist quilt-pattern booklet in 1935.

A three-color version of the block, called Cross in a Square, is also made with rectangles (click here):

Why isn't a 5 x 5 block called a 25-patch, the way a 3 x 3 block is called a 9-patch? Because your grandmother said so.





Double 9 Patch
Double 9 Patch

Naming rights to the block of five 9-patches went to Marie Webster, the earliest American quilt historian (Quilts: Their Story and How to Make Them, 1915).

With alternating plain blocks, the block makes an Irish Chain; without the alternating block, it is still an interesting whole-quilt design. Click here to see:

Double Irish Chain
Double Irish Chain
Chained Five Patch/Cube Lattice/Irish Chain/Double Irish Cross/Grandmother's Irish Chain

The Ladies Art Company published Double Irish Chain in 1897.

This 2-color design is identical to another, 3-color Irish Chain also called Double Irish Chain. Click here to see it:

Triple Irish Chain
Triple Irish Chain

This design was published by quilt historian Ruth Finley in her 1929 book Old Patchwork Quilts: And the Women Who Made Them.