March 23, 2018

Odd Fellow's Chain quilt block

The world wide emblem of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows -- three chain links -- represents the values of Friendship, Love and Truth -- or the "chain" that binds the Members together.

This quilt block is the representation of this group, first founded in England in the 1700s and evolving in the United States in 1819. The IOOF became the first fraternity in the United States to include both men and women, in 1851.

Odd Fellow's Chain quilt block image © Wendy Russell
Odd Fellow's Chain quilt block
This quilt block is not intended for a beginner quilter. This is not because it is difficult, but instead due to the large number of patches in the block. However, if you are up to the challenge, there is nothing difficult in this block. You just need to be very conscious of sewing a precise quarter inch seam allowance in order for all of those pieces to fit perfectly. My method constructs the block as an uneven nine patch (easier, in my opinion) rather than sewing this eight patch in eight rows of eight.

The two sample quilts illustrated show off the quilt blocks in very different ways. The quilt on the left adds large triangle corners to each block thereby increasing the size of the quilt blocks but also enhancing them with extra colour. The quilt on the right sets the blocks side by side and this creates a subtle secondary pattern if you look closely. There is no end to the possibilities for your own personal quilt.

Quilts designed using the ODD FELLOW'S CHAIN quilt block - images © Wendy Russell
Quilts designed using the ODD FELLOW'S CHAIN quilt block

All images © W. Russell,

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