Irish Chain Quilt // Vintage Quilt Sunday


I love the vintage blue and white Irish Chain quilt made by Marti Dyer-Allison’s great grandmother, Mary Gehman Horning. Here is the quilt’s story in her own words–I only wish we had a photo of Mary knitting in her rocking chair, which I am told exists, somewhere. I have a few of those photos “somewhere” myself!


It was made c. 1896 by my great grandmother, Mary Gehman Horning, in Delta, Colorado. She operated a boarding house there for the men who worked in the nearby mines. She was a strong woman, raising four children alone after her husband deserted the family. In addition to owning the boarding house, she sewed and mended for various townspeople. The quilt is hand pieced of muslin and indigo fabrics. It’s impossible to see in the photos, but the two closest-together indigo squares are applique’d on, not pieced.

The quilt was appraised by Bobbie Aug around 2000 at $4600. My Aunt, Frances Carson Coyle of Nampa, Idaho, gave me the quilt and it now resides in an acid-free box in my guest bedroom closet!
Check out Marti’s blog, 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks!  Thanks, Marti, for sharing this beautiful quilt and great story.
Irish Chains are popular right now!
The Easy Irish Chain Quilt Tutorial from The Missouri Star Quilt Co
For a twist on the traditional, Melissa Corry has a Braided Irish Chain Pattern
I *think* this quilt might even make an appearance in a new Craftsy Class!
The Twisted Irish Chain, with Amy Gibson
Vintage Quilt Sunday Posts
Tricia’s Joseph’s Coat Quilt shared by Tricia Martin
Heirloom Quilt shared by Katie Bowlby from Katie’s Korner
Great Grandmother Diantha’s Quilt (shared by me)
Log Cabin Quilt from Rebecca Verna Birchell shared by Heather Ashby
A Family Quilt Auction in Kentucky shared by Joni Morgan from Sunday Farming Quilter
Irish Chain shared by Marti Dyer-Allison from 52 Quilts
“Crazy Quilt” from Cathy Winer
“Picnic Quilt” from Jennifer Barnes
Cathedral Window Quilt from Robin Fonville
Double Wedding Ring Quilt from Kacey Platky from Little House in Vine Crest Woods
More on Buying and Using Vintage Quilts


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Vintage Quilt Pinterest Board

I am looking for quilts that are beautiful, quilts that have great stories, quilts that are funky or fun, quilts that are unique, quilts that were made by your great great grandmother–basically, great vintage quilts. I will be posting on Sundays, and once a month I plan to post a block tutorial based on one of the vintage quilts featured here.

Swim Bike Quilt


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  1. Elizabeth Bolton
    Posted January 19, 2014 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    This is a beautiful example – I am inspired to make a two-color quilt in just these colors. I like the detail about the two blocks being appliqued on – I’ve had to do that once or twice myself! Thank you for sharing this grand story.

  2. Posted January 20, 2014 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Love this! Old quilts fascinate me, the history is so special for each one. I just started collecting feed/flour sacks and I’m awaiting the arrival of the first ones I ordered :) Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece!

  3. Sue
    Posted January 20, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for s haring these beautiful quilts. I am always in a hurry to see the next one! And then I find myself going back to look at the previous one. Thank all of you for sharing these works of history and art.

  4. Posted January 20, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I just wanted to tell you how much I love your blog. Unknowingly I am now following two of your tutorials and making first a wedding present quilt for my Nephew and his new bride and secondly a baby quilt for my new Great Niece who I will be meeting in around two weeks when we go to the States. Thank you so very much.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted January 20, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Oh, thanks so much. Happy sewing!

  5. Posted January 22, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the link Katie :) And that Irish Chain is just stunning!!

  6. jenni
    Posted January 22, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Another very lovely quilt! Isn’t the hand quilting amazing. It’s so motivating!

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