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Thread: Just curious Does anyone know how/where the Irish Chain got its name?

  1. #1
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    Just curious Does anyone know how/where the Irish Chain got its name?

    Looking at TQS this morning and all the Irish chain blocks on the blog. I was just wondering if anyone had a guess why it was called Irish Chain

  2. #2
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    The Irish Chain is one of the most universally known patterns dating to pre-American Revolutionary War times. While evidence is lacking that this pattern came from Ireland, it has been suggested that the Irish Chain pattern may have been inspired by a similar Irish weaving pattern. Whatever the origin, the Irish Chain is a timeless pattern that continues to delight quilters today. Found this online and also found many versions of similar patterns called various names.

  3. #3
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LenaBeena View Post
    The Irish Chain is one of the most universally known patterns dating to pre-American Revolutionary War times. While evidence is lacking that this pattern came from Ireland, it has been suggested that the Irish Chain pattern may have been inspired by a similar Irish weaving pattern. Whatever the origin, the Irish Chain is a timeless pattern that continues to delight quilters today. Found this online and also found many versions of similar patterns called various names.
    Would you please give us the link, so we may do further reading?

    (When quoting from online, credit should be given, just the same as copying from traditional written text.)
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Nancy Ingham's Avatar
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    I just Googled "History of Irish Chain Quilt Block" and found:


    Irish Chain
    Maker unknown, possibly made in northeastern Ohio
    Circa 1880 -1900
    International Quilt Study Center, Ardis and Robert James Collection,
    1997.007.0012


    Did the Irish Chain quilt originate in Ireland? Perhaps. Quilt historian Barbara Brackman gives 1814 as the earliest known date of an Irish Chain quilt. However, researchers have discovered an earlier quilt from about 1805 with a similar pattern, which was brought to America from Ireland. Another theory claims that the pattern may have emerged from weaving patterns.

    Wherever this pattern originated, it has endured as one of America's most popular. According to Brackman's book, Clues in the Calico, "Most Irish Chain quilts are made of two blocks, one pieced in a check pattern; the other plain with squares appliquéd to the corners. With 25 checks in the pieced square, it is a Double Irish Chain; with 49, a Triple Irish Chain.
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  5. #5
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    Ok I googled just didn't google the right thing. I can see where it could have come from a weaving pattern. Thanks

  6. #6
    Senior Member CarrieC's Avatar
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    I am a weaver. There is a overshot pattern called the IRISH CHAIN. I will give you this reference from the university of Arizona:

    http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/w...hs/tl_kcov.pdf

    The information contained there isn't much, but I can remember hearing from my grandmother that it is a pattern that is older than the hills. She claimed she learned it from her grandmother.

    You could probably do some more digging if you went after the weaving angle.

    Good luck - it was an interesting question!
    Carrie, Queen of the Seam Rippers!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cagey's Avatar
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    Good question and good timing. I just finished my first double irish chain.

  8. #8
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    CarrieC. thanks actually that was interesting . I noticed a lot of weaving patterns with the same names as quilt blocks and there were similarities. I made a double irish chain as one of my first quilts. My step mother has it now I just hope I get it back when the time comes. I don't think she has ever used it. :-)

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