Two-Color Irish Chain Quilt-Along - Week 3

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Welcome to week 3 of the Two-Color Irish Chain Quilt-Along!

The Checkerboard Block is made up of two different sections.

Section A is comprised of two color 1 (dark green) squares and three color 2 (white) squares.  
There are three A sections per Checkerboard Block.

Section B is comprised of three color 1 squares and two color 2 squares.
There are two B sections per Checkerboard Block.
All of the squares are cut at 2½”.

This week we will be sewing, pressing and cutting the A sections.
I would give yourself approximately 3-4 hours this week to accomplish this assignment.

TWIN: make 96
QUEEN: make 123

12 strips, 2½” x WOF (color 1)
18 strips, 2½” x WOF (color 2)
16 strips, 2½” x WOF (color 1)
24 strips, 2½” x WOF (color 2)

Chain-piecing is a time-saving quilting technique similar to an assembly line.  
You repeat a single sewing step for all the blocks of a quilt without cutting threads 
between each section until after you are done with that step.  It creates a "chain" of pieces 
and saves time and thread.  Here are some chain-piecing tips to help speed things along...

1. First, using a 1/4" seam allowance sew pairs of color 1 and color 2 strips together.  
For the Twin quilt, sew 12 pairs together.  For the Queen quilt, sew 16 pairs together.

2. Next, sew 2 of those strip sets together (alternating colors) 
to make a larger strip set consisting of 4 strips.  For the Twin quilt, make 6 large strip sets.  
For the Queen quilt, make 8 large strip sets.

3. Finally, sew a color 2 strip to a large strip unit, alternating colors.  
Repeat until you have 6 large strip sets (consisting of 5 strips each) 
for the Twin quilt and 8 for the Queen quilt.

 Press the seam allowances toward the dark fabric.
TIP: When strip piecing, I like to "set the seam" first which means just going over 
each seam with a hot iron while the fabrics are right sides together.  Then open them 
and press the seam allowances toward the dark fabric. I've heard that helps the stitches 
to set into the fabric and I think it helps the strips/seams to stay put and not get wonky.  
Also, I would suggest not using steam here.  You don't want to stretch the fabric; you 
want everything to stay nice and straight. So press carefully. 

Then subcut your strip sets into 2-1/2" sections.

Cut one strip set at a time and you don't need to pay attention to the lines on your 
cutting mat for these cuts.  Just make sure your strips are straight underneath your 
ruler and square off one end of the strip set.

I'm right-handed so then I flip the strip set around so the straight edge is on the left side of my mat.  Cut sections in 2-1/2" increments.  Again, you don't need to pay attention to the lines on your mat.  Just use the lines on your ruler as guides.  Make sure the strips are straight underneath your ruler.  If they start to get really crooked just square off the end of the strips and start again.

TWIN: make 96
QUEEN: make 123

That's it!
Let me know if you have any questions.


  1. Hello, So this will actually make 41 blocks?

    Thank you, Katie

    1. Hi Katie!

      This will make the "A sections" for the 41 Checkerboard Blocks for the Queen quilt or the 32 Checkerboard Blocks for the Twin quilt. I'll be posting the instructions for the "B sections" next week. And then we'll be sewing them together the week after that.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I have one strip set left over after sub cutting 123 for a queen size. Will the left over set be used in another step?

    1. No it won't be used in another step. I would just set it aside just in case but you probably just got lucky with slightly longer strips than the 40" required (most companies have 40"-42" usable fabric width). Or maybe yours didn't shrink much when you prewashed or you didn't have to square it up very often when subcutting the 2 1/2" sections. I had about 1/2 a strip set left over.

    2. Or maybe I didn’t pre-wash because I like living on the edge.


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