/ / Easy Panel Quilt with Irish Chain Blocks – Free Pattern!

Easy Panel Quilt with Irish Chain Blocks – Free Pattern!

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Have you ever bought panel fabrics at the quilt store because they are so cute or beautiful and then you need ideas for sewing them into a quilt? Look no further! I fell for these darling Halloween fabrics that included a panel with rectangular images, and then I designed an Irish chain quilt that perfectly complimented the panel. Each panel image is framed to set it apart. This also gives you some flexibility in case your panel images are not the same size as these.

AND this free quilt pattern uses strip piecing for the small parts to help it go together super fast!

This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The instructions that follow contain everything you will need to make the Easy Panel Quilt with Irish Chain Blocks and it is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The formatted-for-printing PDF download for $2 is totally optional.


My panel was Halloween themed, but this free quilt pattern would be perfect for lots of other panel prints including those cute Christmas and farm themed panels. If you are a machine embroiderer, this is a beautiful solution for including embroidery designs in your next quilt. Don’t forget to check out other sewing ideas on my page of Free Quilt Patterns.


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I free motion quilted my Halloween quilt, but this design would also look amazing with simple cross hatch quilting like I did on my Christmas Irish Chain Quilt.

In case you want to look for them, my fabrics came from the Full Moon collection from Dashwood Studio. The panel images are 13 1/2’’ x 10 1/2’’ and there are 8 in each panel.


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This quilt pattern includes all 8 images (trimmed to 13 1/2’’ x 10 1/2’’) with a 1 1/2’’ border (2’’ strips) around each image. Before sewing each framed image into the quilt, it is 16 1/2’’ tall x 13 1/2’’ wide. The Irish chain blocks are the same size, and this quilt includes 2’’ sashing to bring everything together and form a border around the entire quilt.

The finished size of this throw quilt is 62’’ wide by 74’’ tall.


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Ideas for Using Other Sized Panel Images

If you want to use different panel images (or machine embroidered blocks), simply adjust the size of the border as needed so your image blocks are 16 1/2’’ tall x 13 1/2’’ wide before sewing them into the quilt and 16’’ x 13’’ after.

In the above example, I used Gnome-antics fabric from Wilmington prints. The panel images were a little bit smaller, so I used a 2’’ red border (2 1/2’’ strips) around each image to help them look right. In this case, trim each gnome image to 12 1/2’’ x 9 1/2’’ before adding the red border.


Are you ready? Here’s the…

Easy Panel Quilt Pattern with Irish Chain Blocks

Finished size: 62’’ x 74’’.

You will need:

  • 8 panel fabric pieces that are 13 1/2’’ x 10 1/2’’ (see ideas for using other sized panel pieces above)

  • 2 3/4 yards of background fabric (I used solid gray fabric)

  • 1/4 yard Fabric 1 (the lightest fabric in my Irish chain blocks)

  • 1/4 yard Fabric 2 (the gray floral fabric in my Irish chain blocks)

  • generous 1/4 yard (10’’ instead of 9’’) Fabric 3 (the black print fabric in my Irish chain blocks and sashing)

  • 1/4 yard Fabric 4 (the center piece in each Irish chain block)

  • 3/4 yard Fabric 5 (for making the border around each panel piece)

  • 1/2 yard binding fabric

  • a piece of batting at least 66’’ x 78’’

  • 3 3/4 yards of backing fabric (or a pieced quilt back at least 66’’ x 78’’)

Cutting

From Fabric 1, cut:

  • 2 strips 2 1/2’’ x WOF (width of fabric, usually 42’’ – you can cut off the selvages later)

From Fabric 2, cut:

  • 2 strips 2 1/2’’ x WOF

From Fabric 3, cut:

  • 2 strips 2 1/8’’ x WOF

  • 25 sashing squares 2 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’

From Fabric 4, cut:

  • 8 rectangles 4 1/2’’ x 3 3/4’’

From Fabric 5, cut:

  • 32 strips 2’’ x 13 1/2’’

From your background fabric, cut:

  • 4 strips 2 1/2’’ x WOF

  • 32 rectangles 2 1/8’’ x 4 1/2’’

  • 2 strips 3 3/4’’ x WOF

  • 16 rectangles 6 1/2’’ x 3 3/4’’

  • 16 rectangles 4 1/2’’ x 5 3/8’’

  • 20 sashing strips 2 1/2’’ x 16 1/2’’

  • 20 sashing strips 2 1/2’’ x 13 1/2’’

From your binding fabric, cut:

  • 7 strips 2 1/2’’ x WOF (cut off the selvages)


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Use a Strip-Piecing Method to Make the Small Parts

1. Sew one of the 2 1/2’’ Fabric 1 strips to one of the 2 1/2’’ background fabric strips using a 1/4’’ seam allowance.

Press the seam allowance toward the background fabric.

Repeat with the second Fabric 1 strip and another 2 1/2’’ background fabric strip.


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2. Cut the selvages off the strip sets. Sub-cut into 2 1/8’’ wide pieces.

Use both strip sets to cut a total of 32 pieces using fabric 1 and background fabric.


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3. Sew one of the 2 1/2’’ Fabric 2 strips to one of the 2 1/2’’ background fabric strips using a 1/4’’ seam allowance. Press the seam allowance toward the background fabric.

Repeat with the second Fabric 2 strip and another 2 1/2’’ background fabric strip.

Cut the selvages off the strip sets. Sub-cut into 2 1/8’’ wide pieces.

Use both strip sets to cut a total of 32 pieces using fabric 2 and background fabric.


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3. Sew one of the 2 1/8’’ Fabric 3 strips to one of the 3 3/4’’ background fabric strips using a 1/4’’ seam allowance. Press the seam allowance toward the background fabric.

Repeat with the second Fabric 3 strip and another 3 3/4’’ background fabric strip.

Cut the selvages off the strip sets. Sub-cut into 2 1/2’’ wide pieces.

Use both strip sets to cut a total of 32 pieces using fabric 3 and background fabric.


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Sew 2 Different Chain Patches

Use a 1/4’’ seam allowance.

1. Sew one piece from strip set 1 and one piece from strip set 2 together as seen above.

Pay special attention to the orientation. Fabric 1 is at the bottom left and Fabric 2 is at the top right.


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2. Sew a 2 1/8’’ x 4 1/2’’ background fabric strip to the right side of the piece you just made.


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3. Sew a piece from strip set 3 to the top of the piece as seen so that the three print fabrics form a diagonal line.

This is Patch A. Make 16.


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4. Sew one piece from strip set 1 and one piece from strip set 2 together as seen above.

Pay special attention to the orientation. Fabric 2 is at the top left and Fabric 1 is at the bottom right.

5. Sew a 2 1/8’’ x 4 1/2’’ background fabric strip to the left side of the piece you just made.


6. Sew a piece from strip set 3 to the top of the piece as seen so that the three print fabrics form a diagonal line.

This is Patch B. Make 16.


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Sew the Irish Chain Blocks

Use a 1/4’’ seam allowance.

1. Sew one Patch A, one 6 1/2’’ x 3 3/4’’ background fabric rectangle, and one Patch B together as seen above.

Press the seams toward the middle rectangle.

Make 16 pieces.


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2. Sew two 4 1/2’’ x 5 3/8’’ background fabric rectangles to the 4 1/2’’ sides of the Fabric 4 rectangles.

Make 8 pieces.


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3. Arrange two pieces from step 1 and one piece from step 2 as shown above. Sew together to make a 16 1/2’’ x 13 1/2’’ block.

Repeat to make 8 blocks.



Make 8 Panel Image Blocks

Use a 1/4’’ seam allowance.

1. Each panel image block requires a 13 1/2’’ x 10 1/2’’ center fabric and four 2’’ x 13 1/2’’ border strips.

Sew 2 border strips to the sides of the center fabric. Press the seams outward.

2. Sew 2 border strips to the top and the bottom of the block. Press the seams outward.

Make 8 blocks.


Assemble the Quilt Top

Use a 1/4’’ seam allowance.

1. Arrange the Irish chain blocks and panel image blocks in an alternating pattern as shown above.


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2. Sew the top row together by sewing the blocks with 2 1/2’’ x 16 1/2’’ sashing strips in between. Sew sashing strips at either end of the row too.

Repeat to sew all 4 rows.


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3. Sew five 2 1/2’’ sashing square pieces together with four 2 1/2’’ x 13 1/2’’ background fabric strips, alternating squares and strips.

Repeat to make 5 horizontal sashing strips.


4. Sew the rows together with sashing strips in between and at the top and bottom.


FINISHING THE EASY PANEL QUILT WITH IRISH CHAIN BLOCKS

1. Cut the backing fabric in half and sew it together to make a piece big enough for the back of the quilt (at least 66’’ x 78’’).

2. Sandwich the quilt top, batting, and backing together and baste. My favorite basting methods to hold my quilt sandwich layers together are fusible batting or pin basting.

3. Quilt the quilt top as desired.

4. Cut 7 strips of binding 2 1/2’’ x width-of-fabric and sew them together using diagonal seams. Bind the quilt using your preferred method. See how I bind my quilts by machine here.

Happy Quiltmaking!

By the way, I teach these shortcut piecing methods in my Choose Joy! Block of the Month Program. It’s a great way to build quiltmaking skills and learn how to make 10 different classic quilt blocks!

More free quilt patterns you may like:

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Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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