Chained Together

So I mentioned in my last post that I was toying with the idea of making an Irish Chain quilt.  Well I bit the bullet and decided that rather than talking about it, I was just going to dive in... Well I talked about it a lot first ;-)

So, originally I had thought of using scrappy greens, so I ordered all the various greens I could find on the internet. I ended up with about a dozen... But I looked at the pile and I just... well, I just wasn't feeling it. It wasn't making my heart happy.  And my big sewing rule, is only make things that bring me joy (it's totally normal to fall out of love mid way when it gets hard, and even then it's usually more a need for time out rather than actually hating it, but you should love the idea when you're going in).

So anyway... I showed Ashley a whole bunch of Irish Chain quilts I'd pinned on my Pinterest board, and asked him for his thoughts: what was it that he liked/hated/thought had good colours/scrappy/etc, etc.  He's the most annoying, least helpful person in this situation, but I needed the input anyway.  And out of all the squillion quilts I pinned, the only one he liked was this black and grey one.

I had a couple of issues with this. Firstly, it was a double irish chain, and I had been planning on making life easy for myself and only making a single. Secondly, I'm not really a monochromatic kind of girl. I love colour.  That said, I also loved the grown up, restrained vibe this quilt had.  I decided I could try it - what have i got to lose! So, I hit up the interwebs again and burned a second hole in my credit card.

I settled on 3 fabrics:
Carolyn Friedlanders Shadow City Limits, Compositions Charcoal Maps, and Modern Background Luster Metallic Black.

I drew up how I thought the blocks should go together. I worked out my quilt maths and estimated my yardage. I added on a little extra to cover any slips or miscalculations...  And when it arrived I started chopping. And then realised, I needed more fabric. I was only 2/3s of the way through . So I ordered more.   And then when it arrived I chopped it all up, and despite having done all the maths (twice!!!!!) I still needed more. Oy.  This is why I don't make quilts like this.  Either I have a pattern where someone else has done the math and I order what they tell me, or I go with stash.

In the end, I ordered:  6 yards of the white, 3 yards of the charcoal and 2 yards of the black.

There is some wastage, some spare blocks, and I have about half a yard of the two darks left, but wow I used double the amount of fabric I thought I needed at the beginning. I also got to the point where I just decided to over order on the white, because I'll totally use it in the long run.

Construction itself was fairly easy. I did all the cutting in a block and then the strip piecing felt like it took forever (and is boring! So not my favourite part), but having it all cut and ready to go meant my 9 patches went together in seconds, then my big blocks clicked together with ease.  The trickiest part was adding my sashing with corner stones and making them line up just right, and I pinned like I've never pinned before and it ended up going on easy as pie. the biggest time suck, was simply waiting for all the fabric to arrive||!|!

Now, serendipitously, it was Ashley and my 10th wedding anniversary in June, and given that he picked the colours and was happy with the design, I decided that this was his present.  I focused on making sure it was big enough to cover him properly, as he has been sleeping under another quilt that doesn't quite cover his toes and he complains (hilariously).

Because of the delays in my fabric ordering I didn't quite get this done in time to give to Ashley on the morning of our wedding anniversary, but I gave him the partially completed flimsy and promised to have it all done the minute the rest of the fabric arrives (which I totally did).  And because I love him, and want him to be able to use it all the time, I've decided that I'm going to send it out for quilting and have it all perfect for him to keep *forever*.

So now there's a full size flimsy, I've packed it away to take back to Oz in a couple of months.

Happy 10 years, Grumpy Man. xxx


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