Saturday, October 17, 2015

Saturday at the Quilt Museum - Irish Chain Quilts

Irish Chain Collage

Irish Chain quilts are some of my favorites.  I've made a few and they always catch my eye, whether they are single, double, or triple!

When I looked into the history of this pattern, I found yet another article on Womenfolk .com.  It is really worth a read.

Apparently the pattern may have originated here in America in the early 1800's and isn't necessarily Irish in origin.  However, there is some evidence of a similar pattern having come from Ireland as early as 1805.  The article also talks about one of the things I love in this pattern, and that is the open areas in which to showcase beautiful quilting patterns.

The ones I've chosen to post are unique in some way.

So, let's take a look!

Traditional Irish Chain
82" x 96"

Traditional Irish Chain

Our first example is from the 1850's and has a glazed
chintz border, which is unusual. The blocks are made with red and green prints and a tan background print. The red reminds me of a reproduction fabric by Jo Morton. That's always fun.

There are more pictures and information at 1stdibs.

* * * * * * *
Double Irish Chain Crib Quilt
Probably East Coast
37" x 38"

Double Irish Chain Crib Quilt

Isn't this stunning?  Keeping in mind that it's a crib quilt that is about a yard square, imagine piecing the 25-patch blocks.  They're made of 3/4" squares.  Then take a look at the reverse applique feather borders and corner blocks.  Wow.  Double Wow!

You can see more about it at the Quilt Index

* * * * * * *
Single Irish Chain with Doves in the Window
c. 1860

Single Irish Chain with Doves in the Window

Isn't this a cheerful one?  I love how the cheddar and turkey red are used here.  And the sawtooth border is a fun touch.

I don't think I've ever seen this particular combination of Irish Chain and Dove in the Window.  I like it.

I wish I had more information about it, but we'll just have to enjoy it for its beauty alone.

* * * * * * *
Double Irish Chain with Sawtooth Stars
Mrs. Frank Miles
Watchung, New Jersey
82 1/2" x 93"

Double Irish Chain with Sawtooth Stars

This is one of my all-time favorites of this pattern.  Using sawtooth stars in the open blocks is such a great idea!  Her fabric and color choices are wonderful and the quilt is an absolute treasure trove of fabrics.  The detail shot below shows the wonderful diversity of what she used.

Double Irish Chain with Sawtooth Stars Detail

The swag and bow border just completes it beautifully.

You can see more about it at the Quilt Index.

* * * * * * *
Triple Irish Chain
Susan McCord
67" x 76"

Triple Irish Chain Susan McCord

Susan McCord was an amazing quitmaker who lived from 1829-1909.  

The Henry Ford, which houses 13 of her quilts, says this about her:

"Susan McCord (1829-1909) was an Indiana farm wife who had 7 children, loved to garden and quilted for over 50 years. Like other quilters, she drew from her extensive bag of fabric scraps - choosing patterns, colors and techniques to make quilts. But she put all these elements together in ways that were highly original."

Her use of color and fabric is amazing.  The border, using her signature strip-pieced leaves, is a treat for the eye.

Apparently she made it for her daughter, Millie McCord Cannaday around 1900, and is her last known work.

Here are some close-ups:

Triple Irish Chain Susan McCord Detail

Triple Irish Chain Susan McCord Detail

You can read more about it and see more pictures at The Henry Ford.

You can see more of her quilts here.

There is also a book available about Susan: 

* * * * * * *

Thanks for taking this tour of Irish Chain Quilts with us!

Happy Quilting!!

- I am not a quilt historian.  I simply enjoy finding interesting quilts and sharing them with you!
- The quilt images on this post were sourced from Pinterest unless otherwise noted, and are linked to their origin whenever possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment