Tuesday Tutor - Block Two - Nine-patch

Posted by Ruth on 25 January 2011 | 0 Comments

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Welcome back to our third lesson for Tuesday Tutor. Did you find the previous lessons?

Lesson One: Requirements >>

Lesson Two: Rail Fence Block >>

Jen is working along with us so be sure to see how she is coming along. This weeks block can be seen here >>

9-patch blockThis weeks lesson is 9-patch.

9-patch blocks can be made a number of ways depending on the look you want. you can divide the squares into a certain color combination using light and dark or using various color combinations or you can create a scrappy block that is just a jumble of color.

scrappy 9-patch block     two fabric 9-patch block

If you are creating a basic two fabric 9-patch, it is very easy because you work in sets of strips. We all like easy right? The first set would be a-b-a and the second set would be b-a-b or using dark/light combination as dark-light-dark and light-dark-light. This is explained better by looking at the pictures below.

basic 9-patch with two fabrics

The sets are cut up to form the rows, then rows are joined. Blocks go together very easy and quickly.

strip sets made into 9-patchWe are going to do a similar thing for our block however we will be using three sets of fabrics instead of two. For our quilt we are going to require FOUR 9-patch blocks in total. Each row will be different but all blocks will be the same.

Cut the following 2 1/2" strips from your fabrics

Strips 1, 4, 8 cut in halfONE full width strip of fabrics 1, 4, 8 - cut in half to make TWO 1/2 width strips


fabrics 2, 6, 9ONE 1/2 width strip of fabrics 2, 6, 9

Join the strips in sets as shown:


strip set 11-2-1 Set 1: Sew fabric 2 strip between the TWO fabric 1 strips. Press the seams toward fabric 2


Strip set 28-9-8 Set 2: Sew fabric 9 strip between the TWO fabric 8 strips. Press the seams toward fabric 8


strip set 14-6-4 Set 3: Sew fabric 6 strip between the TWO fabric 4 strips. Press the seams toward fabric 6

Why do we press the seams like this? You will see when we come to join the sections how the seams butt together when the seams are pressed in opposite directions. This makes the seams lock together and reduces the need for pins which in turn, speeds up the process.

Once your seams are pressed correctly, we are going to cut them all up. What? cut them up after we have already sewn them? Yes! This method speeds up our constructions. Often we can cut strips, join them, re-cut them to make up a design. This eliminates the need to sew small seams and tends to make the process more accurate. You can end up with various shaped pieces without having to cut them using templates. Okay, I admit, if I can avoid templates I do. <grin> It just makes piecing a whole lot easier and remember, piecing is not really my favorite part so I will always look for ways to hurry it along while keeping it accurate.

So, remember how we straighten up one end of our strip block? We are going to do that again and then cut our blocks. Cut FOUR 2 1/2" strips from each strip block. Then join the strips together with set 2 in the center.

Joining sets to make 9-patch

This time press the seam between sets 1 & 2 towards set 1 and the seam between sets 2 & 3 towards set 2. We are aligning the seams up with next weeks blocks so you'll see how they butt together then.

That completes our nine-patch block and another weeks tutorial.

See you next week!

Here are some simple quilts using this weeks block.

Nine patch quilt sample

Basic 9-patch quilt with blocks on point

Nine patch & Rail Fence quilt sample

9-patch & Rail Fence Block quilt sample

Click here for Rail Fence instructions >>





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