Quilting Magic with a 9-Patch Block
Many creative quilt or craft projects start with 9-patch blocks. Yet, there’s more to a 9-patch block than meets the eye! I’ll show you how to change-up the strip sizes, fabrics, or block layout to expand your quilting options. Change-Up Patchwork is the name of my newest Sewing With Nancy 3-part TV series. Watch online to see all the details.
The basic 9-patch quilt block can easily be made with two fabrics and two different fabric stratas—sew strips together, sub cut into sections, then sew into a block. Watch the process online at your convenience and find all the instructions in my new book, Change-Up Patchwork. After learning the basics, the creativity begins!
My first variation is a vintage-look table quilt. In the 1800s, quilters painstakingly cut small fabric squares from fabric scraps, then hand-pieced 9-patch designs. I’ll show you how to achieve this vintage look with ease, incorporating clever strip cutting techniques.
- Create the first strata unit: dark—light—dark fabric strips. Notice that partial lengths of crosswise strips are “kissed” together on each side of the middle strips. That’s the magic! Watch online or read the book to learn the math (for the strip lengths) that allows this process to work.
- Stitch a second strata unit: light—dark—light fabric strips. Again, use partial strip lengths.
- Subcut the stratas into sections. The specific strip size that I recommend makes for almost no waste of fabric while giving the vintage, scrappy effect.
- Stitch the sections together; presto! The finished quilt was created by alternating the 9-patch blocks with cream-colored fabric squares of the same size.
At first glance, you might think this quilt design is a combination of several different blocks designs—perhaps a 4-patch paired with squares and rectangles. As you’ll soon learn, it’s a 9-patch—a camouflaged 9-patch block. The large 12″ finished block sizes are a speedy way to create a baby’s tummy-time quilt.
I’ll show you how to create two strata configurations. The strip sizes are the same in each strata with the fabric colors reversed.
There aren’t too many hard-fast rules when it comes to patchwork, which is why I chose to break with tradition. Case in point: Must the 9-patch block always have nine pieces? That may seem like a ridiculous question, yet take away part of the block and substitute a strip of fabric—presto a 7-patch block. With a clever layout the blocks intertwine, which gives the illusion of them being woven together. I call it the 7-Patch Weave.
You’ll notice that these blocks have some of the components of a 9-patch. The middle section—a strip of fabric—creates an easy-to-piece block with unique design possibilities.With a layout that alternates blocks and directions of the blocks, a woven design appears. Watch me layout the blocks online, during the third episode of Change -Up Patchwork.
Watch the 3-part series of Change-Up Patchwork on Sewing With Nancy online.
- Episode one features the versatility of a 4-patch block.
- The star of episode two is the square-within-a-square quilt block.
- The third episode features the basics for stitching the traditional 9-patch block.
Book Features Nine Great Quilts
Find these easy 4-patch quilts, and six additional quilts, in the new Change-Up Patchwork Book and DVD or in the Change-Up Patchwork Starter Set.
Nancy’s Notions is giving away one copy of the new book, Change-Up Patchwork. Leave a comment below to enter the giveaway, telling us which of these designs you’d like to make.
Bye for now,