Tuesday, August 5, 2014

9 Patches from Squares - a Tutorial

Good morning! My friend, Ginger, who is brand new to quilting, was having a problem making 9-patch blocks. She told me she was cutting the 1-inch blocks individually. I told her how I make 9-patch blocks and she wanted the instructions. I was going to write her a detailed email but then I thought I would just put the instructions in a blog post. I'm sure that you experienced quilters already know this method but there may be a few people who would enjoy using it.

First start with 2 4.5" squares - one light and one dark.
I know...there are 4 in this photo. You just need two squares to make two 9 patch blocks. I'm using the new Christmas fabric from Riley Blake Designs and a dot from our basics group. Put the two squares together with the right sides facing each other and stitch the right side and then turn the block around and stitch the left side using a 1/4" seam. I wish I had used contrasting thread and had a better camera. Hope you can see.
So now you have two squares with opposite sides stitched with a 1/4" seam.

Now make two cuts. First, cut 1 and 1/2" starting at the long, stitched side.

 Then make a second cut of 1 and 1/2".

You will end up with two pieces that are sewn together and two single pieces - one of each fabric.
Now sew the single pieces to the stitched pieces on the long sides. Be sure that you alternate fabrics so you have dark-light-dark and light-dark-light.
You'll now have two sets that look like this:
Now put them together, with right sides facing. Stitch 1/4" down EACH short side.

Now cut  1 and 1/2" from BOTH stitched sides just like you did before.
Now you'll have two pieces that have 6 squares each and two pieces that have 3 squares each.
Just sew each 3-square piece to a 6-square piece, making sure you match the seams. I press at each step and always press to the dark during construction. After each 9-patch is finished, I press the two finished seams open. I use a dry iron and spray starch. You'll have two surprisingly square 9 patch blocks when you finish with one having 5 light patches and 4 dark patches and one having 5 dark patches and 4 light patches.
This is a fast and fun way to make 9 patch blocks. You don't have to cut each little square and you don't have to cut strips. I love this method and hope this is helpful to someone. XO and cheery wave! Bev





14 comments:

Linda said...

Thanks for sharing! I am also a new quilter and will never remember these neat ideas! But I will know where to find them. Hugs, Linda@Wetcreek Blog

Tina said...

Oh Wow! I've never seen anyone making nine patches like this - it always takes me forever sewing strip to strip to strip!!! And I've been quilting for awhile now…go figure! Thanks so much for sharing this. I plan on using it in the future!

Rebecca said...

This way of making 9 patches jut tickles the heck out of me... so much more verity then the long strip sets!!

Heartsdesire said...

Thanks for the tutorial, Bev. This is a great way to make nine-patch blocks.

Nancie Anne Quilts said...

What a Very Cute Tute that was!
Thank You!

Catskill Quilter said...

WOO HOO! What a fabulous, easy to understand tutorial! I would describe myself as experienced, but I had never thought of this method. As soon as I finish reading on feedly & blog lovin,' I am headed to the workroom to try it out! I love the size of the finished 9 patches. (I emailed this post to myself, and also to my daughter.) Thanks so much!

Swedish Scrapper said...

All I can say is whoa...... thanks!

GO STARS! said...

I've been quilting a long time but this is new to me. What a wonderful way to make a 9 patch. I'm definitely going to try this. Thanks for sharing.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

I've never seen that before...thanks!

Missy Shay said...

I have never seen this method before! Thanks for sharing!

Vicki H said...

I have been quilting on and off for at least 20 years and haven't seen this method. Thanks for the tutorial.

margaret said...

thanks Bev good instructions and have made a note of where to find them when i come to have a go

Carole~Wheels on the Warrandyte Bus said...

I've never seen this method either - brilliant! Thanks so much I've only ever used the strip method :)

Laura Franken Sudderth said...

Awesome! I am new too and this is very helpful. Thank you!