Monday, 7 October 2013

A Friendship Quilt ~ The Nine Patch Block

I found that there were a lot of tutorials out there for making nine patch blocks using a rotary cutter and ruler, but not much in the way of alternatives. Here’s my attempt at putting one together for anyone who doesn’t have those tools on hand.

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Pick your fabrics and iron them. Make yourself a 2.5” square template. I made mine from a cereal packet. Draw around it onto the back of your fabric. I used a Frixion pen, because when you iron it the marks disappear. Pretty cool huh? Cut along the lines as accurately as you can. You’ll need nine squares, but you knew that. Right?

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Lay the squares out in your chosen design.

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Take the 3 squares in the left hand column and lay them right side down on top of the squares in the middle column.

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Sew each pair together with a scant 1/4” seam.

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Open out and press, being careful not to stretch the fabric out of shape. I pressed the seam towards the darker half of the block, you can press it open if you prefer.

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Now take a square from the remaining right hand column and place right side down on the middle square.

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Sew together with the same scant 1/4” seam. I’ve marked a line on the bed of my sewing machine, with masking tape, so that it stays the same throughout.

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You should now have 3 rows of 3 joined squares. Press the seams.

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At this point I’m hoping that the seams line up pretty well, which they do. Phew!

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Now take the top row and place it right side down on the middle row.

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Match the raw edges along the top and line up seams. Sew together.

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Take the final row of joined squares and place face down on the middle row. Matching the bottom edge and lining up the seams. Sew together.

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Open out and press. There you have a nine patch block. It’s not perfect, but I’m OK with that. It’s also not quite as crooked as it looks at the bottom right corner! You can see that the left hand edge is not level all the way down, but it’s more important to me to have the seams lined up in the middle of the block.

Any questions ask away and I’ll do my best to help. I have a Sizzix die that cuts 2.5” squares. If anyone taking part in the Friendship Quilt project, would like some cardboard templates, I’d be happy to send you some. The die also cuts nice neat squares from fabric, if you have a Big Shot. Just sayin’.

If you are planning to make a simpler Four Patch Block, then you would need to cut the fabric into 3.5” squares and join two pairs together using the scant 1/4” seam.

That’s it from me for now. I’m so looking forward to seeing what arrives with Abi over the course of this month.

15 comments:

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

This is a great tutorial, Fiona! I use a rotary blade myself, and still have difficulty getting exact cuts sometimes. Your corners are all so beautifully lined up - very nice!

Ali said...

Great tutorial - thank you - sewing doesnt come easily to me forgetting about seam allowances and right sides together - lol. I saw a sizzix die for the hexagons on create and craft and must admit was quite tempted!!

Ali said...
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debs14 said...

What a clever idea with the masking tape, I wonder if pretty washi tape would work as well?!

Sandra said...

So glad to see you sewing again and enjoying it. Great tutorial F :)

Sandra said...

By the way, interesting to hear you say about the sizzix die as I tend to cut mine by hand but I may well be tempted lol

Abi said...

Lovely tutorial. Thank you so much for putting in so much effort into this project. I am so excited!

fairy thoughts said...

Looks great Fiona
I have done a fair numbe of these and you know what mine never meet perfectly but hey it's patchwork made by hand not machine it's not ment to be. Well that's what I think anyway hehe
Janet

Jo said...

A great tutorial and a lovely patch x

Beverly said...

Thank you for the tutorial with step be step pics, I am such a visual learner.

Carin McDonough said...

Great tutorial Fi, I love the materials you have used and that is a fantstic tip about the tape on the machine! :)

Denise said...

It is indeed a great tip about the masking tape - thanks for the great tutorial x

Lisa-Jane said...

Well that's just one of the best tips I've seen anywhere! I love the idea of the masking tape, totally pinching that!

alexa said...

Neat tip about the masking tape, Fiona! I am going to come back and study this in great depth when I have my fabric sorted!

Missus Wookie said...

Love the idea of the masking tape. I've got bits for a quilt hanging around and have seriously wished my Sizzix did an 8" square :)