Easy Single Chain and Knot Quilt Block - a Single Irish Chain Variation

Posted by Elaine Huff on

Today we're going to sew together this easy beginner block called the Single Chain and Knot. It is a variation of the Single Irish Chain block and makes a lovely quilt all by itself or you could use it as an alternating block along with a focus block (think Dresden Plate or a pretty applique or embroidery block). The block was designed by Nancy Cabot.

I've made mine scrappy but you can certainly use only two colors - light and dark, or three - light and 2 darks. Let's get started!

single chain and knot quilt block

Fabric Requirements for a 10" Finished Single Chain and Knot Quilt Block:

  • Light/White: 4 - 2.5" x 6.5" rectangles, 4 - 2.5" squares, and 8 - 1.5" squares
  • Dark/Assorted Prints: 5 - 2.5" squares, and 8 - 1.5" squares

fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Four-Patch Units:

Step 1:

Using the eight Light/White 1.5" squares and the Dark/Assorted Prints 1.5" squares, make 4 Four-Patch units as shown in the picture below. You can find my tutorial for making a basic Four-Patch block at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-four-patch-quilt-block. If you are only using two colors, you can strip piece these units and they really go together fast. The squares are pretty small, but just take your time and they'll look great!

single chain 1

Nine-Patch Unit:

Step 2:

Using the 4 Light/White 2.5" squares and the 5 Dark/Assorted Prints 2.5" squares, sew together a Nine-Patch unit to be used in the center of the block as shown below. You can find my tutorial for the basic Nine-Patch block at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-nine-patch-quilt-block. Again, if you are using just two fabric colors, you can piece this block using the strip piecing method.

single chain 2

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Putting It All Together:

Step 3:

Now you can lay out the center Nine-Patch unit, the four Four-Patch units, and the four Light/White 2.5" x 6.5" rectangles as shown in the picture below. Make sure your Four-Patch units are orientated right! Speaking from experience, it's pretty easy to mess that up!

single chain 3

Step 4:

Now you can sew the units together just like you would a Nine-Patch block. Sew the units together in three rows.

single chain 4

Step 5:

And press the seam allowances towards the Light/White 2.5" x 6.5" rectangles as shown below.

single chain 5

Step 6:

And sew the three rows together as shown in the picture below. Easy peasy!

single chain 6

Step 7:

The only thing left to do is the pressing! You can press the seam allowances either way. I've pressed away from the center of the block as you can see in the picture below. This will make sewing the blocks together easy as the seams will nest.

single chain 7-2 


This block is so easy, great for beginners, and is a great way to use up some of those scraps you have in your stash. The Four-Patch units are small but you will find that your piecing accuracy improves tremendously after working with smaller units - or at least mine did! I really enjoyed making this Single Irish Chain variation.

I hope you'll give this Single Chain and Knot quilt block a try! If you like it and want to see more, just click HERE to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free PDF quilt pattern called "Chained Weathervane".

Happy Quilting,



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