Posted by TracyM on Monday, August 6th, 2012
Hello! My name is Tracy and I blog over at 3LittleBrds. Today I want to share with you a fun and fast technique. It is called the Disappearing Nine Patch and you won't believe how fast a quilt will go together using this technique. I used the Apple of My Eye fabric line designed by Amanda Herring of The Quilted Fish to create my quilt, which I am calling "Apple Blossoms".
This project is Stacker and fat-quarter friendly because it can be as scrappy or as simple as you like. I used 5 inch squares as a base for my quilt, but you can use any size square you like and I will show you how.
My quilt is lap sized and measures 55" X 42".
I used approximately 1/4 yard of nine different fabrics and 1 1/2 yards of white fabric.
9 five inch squares create four blocks.
I used 6 blocks per row.
You start with 9 five inch square laid out in a nine patch. I chose red for every center block and white fabric to create identical edges to my blocks that will create what looks like sashing. However, you can choose to make the block completely of different fabrics to create a very scrappy finished design.
Lay squares right sides together and stitch, using a 1/4 inch seam. Iron seams to the dark side with each seam. Continue stitching the blocks together, creating three rows.
In a nine patch, when you iron the the dark side, it automatically alternates where your seams lay so that you can butt up the seams creating perfect corners.
Next stitch the three rows together. (If you are using a Stackers charm pack, your blocks will look like this)
Once you stitch all nine squares together, you have this enormous nine patch. Now we get ready to cut this nine patch up making the nine patch "disappear".
If you use a five inch square, you will measure 2 1/4 inches from one of the center seams. I am right handed, so this is where I line up my ruler. If you use a different sized block and the measurement isn't an easy number, just fold the block in half and gently iron a crease just like I did in the photo. This makes it super easy when your measurements are not so easy.
Once you make the vertical cut, carefully pick up your ruler, without moving the fabric, and make a horizontal cut in the same fashion. I separated the first cut so you can see in this photo, but try not to move the fabric too much so you will get a clean cut.
This is what you get:
Four blocks that look like you spent all day cutting squares and rectangles. But you only cut squares or bought pre-cut fabric! Isn't that fun?
Now lay out your blocks and play until you find a pleasing pattern. Forgive my poor lighting, I do my sewing at night after the kids are in bed. :)
Sew together the blocks row by row. I laid each block in exactly the same direction, creating sashing where the white and red blocks meet.
Each row, I ironed in alternating directions to decrease the bulk where seams meet. The back of my quilt looks like this:
You will need to make a few extra patches for the edges of the quilt that don't have that bit of sashing. Mine measured 5" x 2 1/2" for the white and 2 1/2" square for the red. I needed 14 extra for my quilt, but you may need more or less depending upon size.
You can make your quilt larger or smaller and you can even use this technique to use up your scraps. I estimate that you can easily make this quilt in one day.
I hope you will come visit me at www.3LittleBrds.com and I hope you will share your photos with me if you decide to try this fun technique!