..........A little blog about the little things in life..........

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thoughts on Quilting

I must admit that the least favorite part of making a quilted project (in my humble opinion) is cutting out the pieces. I try to be so careful in the cutting and the sewing together, but invariably the finished block is not the size it should be. The first full sized quilt I made had many squares, all different and was very difficult (well, it was my first quilt, maybe I should have chosen an easier pattern?) Anyway, I discovered I really love putting together "crazy" blocks, where I don't measure at all - just cut a strip and sew!  Another advantage is that it's a great way to use up those scraps that seem to pile up. 


The other day I was surfing the net and came across a block that uses only squares.  Now the 9-patch is an old traditional block, and rather uninteresting, in my opinion.  But when I saw a square called the disappearing 9-patch, I was quite intriqued.  So I thought I would give it a go.

You start with 9 squares sewn together 3 blocks at a time to make a basic 9-patch square.

Then you cut in in half.

And cut those two pieces in half.

Rotate the 4 pieces into a pattern you like,

Sew them together, and Voila! You have the disappearing 9 patch.

Sometimes called "9 into 4".  Here's two blocks I've finished. 

I'm planning on making 20 blocks for a lap quilt.  The original squares are 5", which make about a 13 1/2" square.  I figured I needed 9 x 20 = 180 five inch squares.  All the 5" squares are cut from fabric left-over from that first quilt I made - (they are repoduction civil-war era fabrics).  I think this block has lots of possibilities.  I may even splurge on some charm packs for the next one I make.  Charm packs for you non-quilters out there are packs you buy that have already been cut into squares.  

  So far this year I've made a wall hanging for my fabric postcads (click here), another wall-hanging (more info on this soon), a quilt top from my crazy squares, and I'm starting this disappearing 9 patch.  I'm on a mission to use up some scraps!


Kath said...

Your crazy quilt is going to be lovely! I was very pleased you showed the 9 patch technique. I had wondered about it for ages, but dont find it wasy to follow written instructions. But the way you shoed it, was so clear and simple, that I will have a go myslef. That is, if I ever manage to get my sewing machine out again!

DAnna said...

Kath, I have trouble following written directions myself. I need pictures to see it done step by step. I found several tutorials that were quite clear so I was able to figure it out. It's really quite simple and could have countless variations depending on color and lights and darks, etc.