It seems that lots of people are excited about nine-patches lately. I've always hated making them although they're alright to look at. Since both Crazy Mom Quilts and Twiddletails are doing nine-patch quilt-alongs and swaps, respectively, I thought I'd show you my favorite way to make them. Actually, it's the only way I can stand to make them. I'm not participating in either event, just making nine-patches when I feel like it until I have enough for a top.
This method uses two colors and makes two blocks in the time it would take to make one the traditional way. Intrigued? I thought so.
First, decide on the finished size of your block. I'm going to show you the calculations for a 9" block, a 12" block and a 10.5" block (which is the size I chose to make).
9" block: cut three strips of Fabric A 10.75"x3.5"
cut three strips of Fabric B 10.75"x3.5"
10.5" block: cut three strips of Fabric A 12.25"x4"
cut three strips of Fabric B 12.24"x4"
12" block: cut three strips of Fabric A 13.75"x4.5"
cut three strips of Fabric B 13.74"x4.5"
Step 2: lay out your strips like this and sew using a 1/4" seam:
Your strips should all look the same length...my orange fabric was already nearly the right size when I pulled it out of the bin so I didn't bother trimming it up first.
Step 3: cut your blocks into strips and arrange like so:
9" block: 3.5" strips
10.5" block: 4" strips
12: block: 4.5" strips
Step 4: sew and square up your blocks:
And that's it! Easy!
I like this method for a couple of reasons. First, I don't have to take the time to cut a bunch of squares. Second, a 9-patch block traditionally has 8 seams. My way uses 8 seams total for two blocks which also saves time.
If you want to go scrappy with these, you can use the same method but with all different fabric strips in step 1.
Is anyone here participating in the 9-patch quilt-along or the swap?