Thursday, April 30, 2009

Nine-Patch Tutorial, two blocks for the price of one!

I really love 9-patch blocks. They're simple and traditional and can be used in lots of ways to show off really great fabrics.

9 patch step 4

Below is a tutorial for my favorite way to make 9-patches: two at once. This method saves a lot of cutting and sewing time which you know I love!

Step 1: Cut your fabric.

You can make any sized 9-patch using this tutorial. I'll list some common sizes below and then give you a formula to calculate any size block.

6" finished block:
-Fabric A: cut 3 strips 2.5" x 7.75"
-Fabric B: cut 3 strips 2.5" x 7.75"

9" finished block:
-Fabric A: cut 3 strips 3.5" x 10.75"
-Fabric B: cut 3 strips 3.5" x 10.75"

12" finished block:
-Fabric A: cut 3 strips 4.5" x 13.75"
-Fabric B: cut 3 strips 4.5" x 13.75"

Use the calculation below if you'd like a different size block (I'll show the calculation for a 12" block in parenthesis):

1. Decide the size of your finished 9-patch. (12")
2. Divide that number by 3. (12" / 3 = 4")
3. Add .5 to that number. This is the width of your strips. (4" + .5" = 4.5")
4. To determine the length of your strips, take the calculated width and multiply by 3. (4.5" x 3 = 13.5")
5. Add .25" to length to help with cutting accuracy. (13.5" + .25" = 13.75")
6. Cut 3 strips of fabric A and 3 of fabric B at this length and width. (4.5" x 13.75")

9 patch step 1

Step 2: lay out your strips alternating fabrics A and B and sew three strips together using a 1/4" seam:

9 patch step 2

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 using your calculated width and arrange like so:

9 patch step 3

6" finished blocks: cut 2.5" strips
9" finished block: cut 3.5" strips
12" finished block: cut 4.5" strips

Step 4: sew your strips together and square up your blocks if necessary:

9 patch step 4

And that's it! Easy!

If you want to make scrappy 9-patches, start with 6 different fabrics in step 1. For more variety, I would recommend making at least 4 scrappy blocks at once: cut 12 different fabrics into strips in step 1. In step 3, arrange your strips so you don't repeat fabrics in the same block.

Enjoy your 9-patches and let me know if you have any questions!

5 comments:

  1. Neither - I'm not wild about ninepatches. Speaking of, remember when I said I was going to do a disappearing ninepatch with my Neptune fabric?

    I laid them all out last night while watching America's Next Top Model (what?) and I'm not liking it. The Aqua, Coral, Avocado and etc. lines just do not look good together in my opinion, and I don't have nearly enough (even though I bought four sets of charm packs) to put anything together.

    I'm disappointed because I don't really have enough of anything to make anything without seriously supplementing. *le wah* So, I'm putting them away and moving on to other things!

    (Have you been to contemporaryfabric.com?) ZOMG!!!

    p.s. - your tutorial was great. ;) I make my strips even longer (usually about 16 inches) cause I'm lazy like that. lol

    eps. - I finally saw Twilight! I really liked it, but not as much as you! ;)

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  2. I LOVE your method! I'm a bit of an....*ahem* impatient quilter, so I love that you can do two-for-one! I think I may give 9 squares a shot now that I don't have to cut and sew a million tiny squares.

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  3. thanks for the great tips....i am doing the quilt along at crazy mom quilts and this is going to make it so much simpler

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  4. I love your method! I am going to be hosting a nine patch block swap and would love to use your tutorial! Would you mind if I share your tutorial with everyone participating in the swap?

    Let me know, my e-mail address is tally92582@aol.com
    my blog is www.piecenquilt.blogspot.com

    Thanks!
    Natalia

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  5. love your website great education and very inspirational

    ReplyDelete