Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Blue Irish Chain

I thought I would be brave today, and show you one of my first quilts.  I made it for my niece’s 40th birthday.  At the time, I had not learned to free motion quilt, so its done by stitch-in-the-ditch method.  This was also my first irish chain.  I’ve made a few more since then, and also purchased a Baby Lock Quilter’s Choice Professional sewing machine.  It has a larger opening of 9”, and that allows me to quilt a queen size, though it doesn’t help my arms and hands at all…they still get quite sore and tired, and my back has some degeneration, so it can be quite uncomfortable if I spend too much time in one spot.  I set three folding tables up in the garage, then I pin baste the sandwich, then put the machine on the table near the edge, and quilt the sandwich as it lays out open on the tables.  Not the easiest way to do it, but since I don’t have a long arm, it will have to do.  Needless to say, I don’t do a lot of queen size quilts, but I will do at least one more, for our bed…I still haven’t made one for hubby and me!

This one is full size.

     blue irish chain

back of blue irish chain quilt

close up of blue irish chainback of blue irish chain

Still no where near a pro, but I’ve become much better in the last 4 years.  Even though it isn’t heavily quilted with pretty designs, this was one of my favorites…I like the blue and white, and I love the toile.  I  made a  queen irish chain in burgundy tones for my son and daughter-in-love, several baby quilts, another full size quilt using horse pattern fabric for my horse loving granddaughter, and three or four crib size for my youngest granddaughter.  She uses them as rugs for her stuffed animals…all that work for a stuffed animal!   I’ve also made tea themed quilts for three of my tea club friends, and crib quilts for baby showers.   

Here’s one:

 mikaela's quilt full size

I also have a Brother PC 8500 with the embroidery attachment…I have so much fun with that!  I’ve embroidered on my granddaughters’ clothes, quilts, and tea towels.  I’ve also started hand embroidering again…last time I did that, I think I was maybe 10!

mikaela's quilt 3

mikaela's quilt

I have enough fabric to make about 10 or more quilts, but I really don’t have the “passion” that some quilters do…I just love going to the fabric store and buying the fabrics, organizing them, and then just standing back and admiring all the beautiful colors and prints.  I do enjoy cutting and piecing, but thinking about doing that quilting gives me pause.  Maybe that long arm is in my future somewhere.  My only other option is hand quilting.  I love the look and feel of hand quilting, but I’m impatient…I want it done NOW!  Maybe some day. 

God bless you, every one!



  1. Hey you did do some quilts. I have not even finished piecing my first one yet. Yes I just cut and made that one up to go into a quilt for a friend's friend. I have all the time in the world to learn so I will keep on.Thanks for visiting.

  2. Oh your quilts are lovely Mary, you do have a way with beautiful things......:-) Hugs

  3. Those are beautiful! What a nice family treasure to pass on.


  4. Oh my goodness those are lovely. Mary, you have a gift. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  5. Dear Mary, your quilts are lovely. I've only ever made one and that was in a ladies group. It turned out well but you're right about needing patience. If I had a sewing machine I might try to make one by myself...though it would be a small project like a baby's quilt, lol.

  6. they are all beautiful but I really love that blue Irish chain. If you niece ever tires of it....;~)

  7. Oh Mary,

    Absolutely beautiful.I would love to crawl under one of those beauties with a cup of coffee and my Bible.

    I'm not gifted in this dept and have always desired to either crochet or quilt. Perhaps one day.

    Love and blessings.

  8. Hi Mary....You did a wonderful job on all the quilts! The irish chain is beautiful and the pink and green baby quilt is so sweet...love the color combo, of course! I have made quilts for years and years but I seem less inclined to do so for some reason. I was passionate about all kinds of quilts but it is too much work for me anymore. Like you, I want results quickly and I can't get that with quilting anymore. I do love to do anything by hand though. I have to make a quilt for my newest granddaughter since the other 2 have quilts made by me. Thanks for sharing!~Hugs, Patti

  9. I love these quilts, Mary! You do beautiful work! I've never been talented in that way at all, so I really admire anyone with this creativity.
    And I love the idea of anything like this passed down in a family.
    Both these quilts are wonderful, but there's something about that blue and white Irish chain that I really love!
    Beautiful, beautiful work, Mary! Thanks so much for sharing this!
    And thanks so much for your kind comments to me, and for sharing your stories with me, I appreciate it.

  10. WOW...these quilts are beautiful. I love quilts. My hubby's mother made many and we are blessed to have quite a few of them.

    Blessings, andrea

  11. I've always admired people who can, and do, quilt. Your's are lovely.

  12. Mary, your quilts are gorgeous. How wonderful that you were able to make such personal and heartfelt gifts for your family and friends. They are gives that will be treasured forever.

    Hope you are having a great week!!

  13. BEAUTIFUL quilts. I love the blue/white combo. I have a blue/white top made for my daughter. i think I'm taking that one to the machine quilter :)


  14. Hello Mary,
    how talented you are girl! Those quilts are so beautiful - love the blue Irish chain quilt and your choice of toile to use was just perfect.
    BTW, I did buy that wonderful tea set. Thanks for encouraging me to do so. Come and see it. You'll find it - first photo - in my yesterday'a White Wednesday!

  15. Oh Mary these quilts are just sooo beautiful...what patience and creativity you have...I can't think of a better gift for someone either. Such a labor of love for some lucky person. I've always wanted to quilt, and yet, it has never happened. I like the idea of something like that being around long after I am gone. Thanks for sharing these..Blessings, Debbie

  16. LOVELY Mary!!!
    All my fav things.. 1.toile , now you know I adore that, love the blue and white...now did you say something was on it's way here...be still my heart is it one of these????? Haaaa!!!
    2.ruffles yes still love 'em and on a darling baby quilt they melt my heart!
    3. stitchery red work or blue or pink.. love it!!!

    UH Oh well if all we make is suppose to be perfect then I am out of the game.. I just do what I love and do my best.I love giving items I have made and receiving ones others have made as well.
    Just something so special about that.
    Big Sewing Hugs!!

  17. Oh Mary, they are absolutely beautiful! I only wish I had the talent and the patience and the money to make such exquisite quilts.

  18. Mary you are so talented! They are all so beautiful. I love going to fabric stores and looking, but I don't sew. I have about 30 old hankies that I have been wanted to make my granddaughter a quilt with,I just need to make the time.
    Have a blessed day,

  19. Mary, your quilt is so beautiful!! I love the simplicity of the blue and white together and then the toile you used as a backing. I have such an admiration for someone who sews. My momma sewed everything my sister and I wore, but I am afraid I did not inherit her ability. The things I love most about quilts is the fact that they tell a story and make lasting memories for generations to come. Even though I don't sew, I love beautiful materials. I can spend an hour in a fabric store just looking at the material. I am wishing for you a blessed day and thank you so much for stopping by for a visit. I always enjoy it so much when you do!! Vicki

  20. Such beautiful quilts. I am always impressed by someone who can make a quilt...I am more of a paste and go girl!

  21. Oh Mary~~~oh what BEAUTIFUL quilts you have made!! I am so happy you shared them with us, sweetie! You are so very talented and the colors and patterns are perfect! LOVE the blue toile, too!
    Sometimes the joy only comes when the last stitch is clipped or the last bow is tied...always worth the journey!
    Have a wonderful afternoon, sweet friend!


    ~Let FREEDOM Ring!~

  22. Those are beautiful!
    You know there are women who just hire out to run the long arm for a fee.
    American Sewing Guild if /Scottsdale might be a lead to find someone

  23. Hi Mary,
    Beautiful quilts! I perceive you are a virtuous woman indeed. I always figured if I could make a blanket I had one of the virtuous woman criteria from Proverbs wiped out, so I crochted. (Of course if you look way back at the beginning of Prov. 31 we see that it is the potential mother-in-law talking and they always want a perfect daugter-in-law!) Anyway, love your beautiful quilts they are spectacular!

  24. They are so beautiful. You did a fantastic job on them both.


  25. Beautiful quilts! You're such a talented lady!

  26. Lovely quilts! I share your frustration with quilting on a sewing machine -- that's how I used to do mine, but finally gave in and bought myself a mid-arm. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your nice comments!

  27. Hi Mary,
    wow the quilts are so pretty!! I wish I would have learned to sew when my Mom wanted to teach me when I was little, there are so many things I want to make, and you did a beautiful job! You had left me a comment about my red cabinet under my sink and I wanted to tell you don't be afraid it's just paint and if you want to paint it then I say go for it, you can always repaint it if you don't like it. I like my new color on my walls, I was also debating between a pretty yellow that I saw on the "Philigry" blog have you looked at hers? I have a link to her blog on my sidebar, you may want to take a look at it. Thanks for stopping by for a visit(;

  28. Oh, I think your quilts are beautiful! The blue and white is just so pretty and the back side is too! The baby quilt is so precious! You've done a wonderful job.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :O

  29. What pretty quilts! I never learned to quilt, but love them! My grandmother made quilts and I have one of hers.


  30. Hi Mary
    Your quilts are beautiful. I love the blue and white Irish Chain one. You knew I'd like that one didn't you? Hope you have a great weekend.
    Hugs, Rhondi