Sew a throw quilt with a homespun look using my free 9 Patch Irish Chain Quilt Pattern! Can you believe such a beautiful quilt design is made with just one quilt block?
Let me show you a shortcut method for making a bunch of little nine-patch quilt blocks. Then you’ll sew them together with some squares and viola… the 9 Patch Chain block. Put 16 blocks together with some easy sashing and one border. You’ll have this 64” x 64” Irish chain throw quilt.
I chose fabrics to make a classic red, white, and blue quilt. My dark blue fabric is from Riley Blake, the red squares are from the Moda Grunge spotted collection, and my lighter blue squares are a vintage 1990’s floral fabric that I had in my stash.
This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The free Nine Patch Chain Throw Quilt Pattern is included in the blog post below and is free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $3 is optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library for you to access anytime you want? Check it out.
After I wrote the tutorial for the fun 9 Patch Chain Block, I realized that this block would make a lovely throw quilt that is:
- Fast and easy patchwork
- perfect for a beginner quilter with some experience
- Great for a last-minute housewarming or birthday gift
- A good size to practice free-motion quilting on a regular sewing machine
The Nine Patch Chain Quilt is put together with 16 nine-patch chain blocks, some sashing, and a border. All of the instructions are found below.
If you love quilts that feature Irish chains, you have to see some of these other free quilt patterns:
- Christmas Irish Chain Quilt Pattern
- Fat quarter-friendly Stars and Chains Easy Quilt Pattern
- Easy Panel Quilt with Irish Chain Blocks
How to Sew the Nine Patch Chain Quilt
Finished quilt dimensions: 64’’ x 64’’. Finished block size: 12” x 12”.
You will need:
- 3 1/4 yards background fabric (suggested: cream colored fabric)
- 5/8 yard darker blue fabric
- 1/2 yards medium blue fabric
- 1/2 yard red fabric
- 1/2 yard binding fabric
- 4 yards of backing fabric, or enough to piece together a 70” x 70” square
- a 70” x 70” piece of quilt batting
- a rotary cutter, acrylic ruler, and mat
- sewing machine
- thread (I suggest thread matching the background fabric)
Darker Blue fabric:
- cut 32 squares 4 1/2” x 4 1/2” (for the quilt blocks)
- cut 13 squares 2 1/2” x 2 1/2” (for the sashing squares)
- cut 7 strips 1 7/8” x WOF (width of fabric, 40-42”)
- cut 1 strip 1 7/8” x 20”
- cut 12 squares 2 1/2” x 2 1/2” (for the sashing squares)
Medium blue fabric:
- cut 5 strips 1 7/8” x WOF (width of fabric, 40-42”)
Cream colored (or other background fabric):
- cut 9 strips 1 7/8” x WOF (width of fabric, 42”)
- cut 2 strips 1 7/8” x 20”
- cut 64 squares 4 1/2” x 4 1/2” (for the quilt blocks)
- 40 sashing strips 2 1/2” x 12 1/2”
- 2 strips 3 1/2” x 58 1/2” for the side borders
- 2 strips 3 1/2” x 64 1/2” for the top and bottom borders
- cut 7 strips 2 1/2” x width of fabric (40-42’’)
Quilt Block Assembly:
Use a 1/4’’ seam allowance and a short stitch length such as 1.5-2.
First Make Mini 9-Patch Blocks
1. Combo #1:
Place a 1 7/8” x WOF background fabric strip and a 1 7/8” x WOF medium blue fabric strip right sides together. Sew along one long edge. Open and press the seam toward the darker fabric.
Place a 1 7/8” x WOF red fabric strip on top of the background fabric strip and sew along the long edge. Open and again press the seam toward the darker fabric.
Repeat to make 5 long Combo #1 strip sets.
- Pressing your seams toward the darker fabrics enables you to nest the seams in step 4.
- Sewing with a scant quarter inch seam allowance will ensure your blocks are the right size, plus you’ll have enough to square them up at the end.
2. Combo #2:
Place a 1 7/8” x WOF background fabric strip and a 1 7/8” x WOF red fabric strip right sides together. Sew along one long edge. Open and press the seam toward the darker fabric.
Place another 1 7/8” x WOF background fabric strip on top of the red fabric and sew along the long edge. Open and press the seam toward the darker fabric.
Repeat to make 2 long Combo #2 strip sets. Then make one short Combo #2 strip set using the 3 remaining 1 7/8” x 20” strips.
3. Trim the ends of the strip sets to make them even.
Sub-cut the Combo #1 strip sets into into 96 pieces that are 1 7/8’’ wide. You will have some fabric left over.
Sub-cut the Combo #2 strip sets into 48 pieces that are 1 7/8’’ wide. You will have some fabric left over.
4. Sew three pieces together as seen above to make a mini nine patch block.
By pressing the seams in your strip sets away from the background fabric in the previous steps, you will be able to nest your seams and not use pins!
You may now press your seams as desired (to the side or open).
Repeat to make 48 mini nine patch blocks. Trim and square your blocks to 4 1/2” square, if desired.
Sew 9 Pieces Together to Make the Block
1. Arrange 3 mini nine patch blocks together with 4 background fabric squares and 2 darker blue squares as shown. Sew together in 3 rows. Sew the rows together to make the Nine Patch Chain Block. Use a 1/4” seam allowance.
2. Square the blocks to 12 1/2” x 12 1/2”, if desired.
Repeat to make 16 Nine Patch Chain Blocks.
Tip: I love using my 12 1/2” square ruler to square up quilt blocks this size.
Assemble the Quilt Top
1. Sew four blocks together with 2 1/2” x 12 1/2” sashing strips in between and at the ends of the row. Pay close attention to the orientation of the blocks – every other block is rotated a quarter turn. Press the seams toward the sashing strips. This is one row.
Repeat to make 4 rows.
2. Sew four 2 1/2” x 12 1/2” sashing strips with 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch cornerstone squares in between and at the ends. Press the seams toward the sashing strips. This is a sashing row.
Make 3 sashing rows that have 3 darker blue cornerstone squares and 2 red cornerstone squares as shown above.
Make 2 sashing rows that have 3 red cornerstone squares and 2 darker blue cornerstone squares as shown above.
3. Sew the quilt block rows together with the sashing rows in between. Pay close attention to the orientation of the rows and the placement of sashing rows in order to achieve the desired pattern.
4. Sew the two 3 1/2” x 58 1/2” border strips to the sides of the quilt top.
5. Sew the two 3 1/2” x 64 1/2” border strips to the top and bottom of the quilt top.
Finishing the 9-Patch Chain Quilt Pattern
1. Cut or piece together a 70’’ x 70’’ piece of backing fabric and make a quilt sandwich with the backing, batting, and top.
I used a free motion quilting design that reminded me of patriotic quilts.
4. Cut 7 binding strips and bind using your favorite method. This is my favorite quilt binding method.
The 9-Patch Chain Quilt Block is part of the Kitchen Sink Quiltalong.
I think you will also love my free Stars and Irish Chains quilt pattern. It’s fat quarter friendly and so easy to sew. The finished quilt is a bit larger at 76” x 76”. I was inspired to sew this quilt after viewing some beautiful blue and white Amish quilts.
I always love to see what my readers are making with my free sewing patterns. Upload a picture to Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe so I can take a look!
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