Saturday, October 4, 2014

Carolina Chain

About two months ago I hurt my right shoulder. I'm not sure how I did it, but I was feeling pain whenever I lifted my arm up or to the side. And despite physical therapy, it got worse before it got better. I couldn't drive for a couple of weeks, and I couldn't even use a fork with my right hand. But the worst part was that I couldn't sew or quilt or wield my rotary cutter for what seemed like an eternity.

This was especially frustrating because just before my injury I had started a new project which I was eager to work on. I'd been watching one of Bonnie Hunter's Quilt-Cam episodes wherein she was sewing Carolina Chain blocks. This pattern had appeared in her "Addicted to Scraps" column in the May/June 2010 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine.They looked like such fun that I just had to start cutting and sewing them. Bonnie's are made with 2 inch strips, but I decided to cut mine at 2.5" inches. So my basic unit finishes at 6 inches instead of 4.5 inches, and my finished blocks measure 12 inches.

The basic unit is a modified Nine Patch. It's one of the easiest blocks I've ever sewn. No triangles or bias edges -- and only two spots where you're matching seams. Half are made with a dark background and half with a light background.

When four of them are joined together, a pattern of light and dark chains emerges.

This pattern would make a striking two-color quilt, but I've decided to go for a totally scrappy look.  However, I can see that I'm going to need lots more variety to really make it sing. 

Since this was a spur of the moment project, I'm planning to make it into another baby quilt. Because after two months of inactivity, I am really in the mood for a quick finish. 

Today I'm linking to "Let's Make Baby Quilts" at Michelle's Romantic Tangle.


Shelley said...

I just found your blog post as I just started a Carolina chain. Did you ever finish yours?

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

I haven't quite finished. It took a looooong time for my shoulder to get better. But once I got the okay from my physical therapist, I went back to working on it, and even gave a demo on the block to my quilt group. I've decided to expand it to a twin size, otherwise it would be done already.