Apple Blossoms

Posted by TracyM on Monday, August 6th, 2012


Apple Blossoms

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.

Printer Friendly Version

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.

Nine 5" Squares make up each block

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. 

Getting ready to stitch

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)

stitched nine patch

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". 

Getting ready to cut

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. 

Second Cut

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.

Second cut

This is what you get:

Second cut

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. :)

playing with layout

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.

Apple Blossoms Layout

Each row, I ironed in alternating directions to decrease the bulk where seams meet. The back of my quilt looks like this:

Iron carefully

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. 

extra bits

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 and I hope you will share your photos with me if you decide to try this fun technique! 

Quilty Hugs

Category: Quilts


  1. Very pretty! Great tutorial.
    by Michele in IL
    August 06th, 2012 at 5:45 a.m.
  2. Very cute! Love the pops of red.
    by Tanya
    August 06th, 2012 at 6:24 a.m.
  3. This is beautiful and seems easy. I sew but have never made a quilt. I'm an instant gratification kind of girl, no patience for things that take a long time. This seems like something I will finish. Thanks for posting it.
    by tracy
    August 06th, 2012 at 9:29 a.m.
  4. I have made this pattern before but not like you have and I really like the way you do this. It gives it a whole different look. Thank you for showing me.
    by Judy Blinkenberg
    August 06th, 2012 at 1:46 p.m.
  5. most disappearing 9-patches are so busy that my eyes can't handle it - i actually clicked on a link over here thinking "wouldn't it be nice if it created instant sashing or something" and it DID! i am definitely bookmarking this for future reference!
    by laurel
    August 06th, 2012 at 2:28 p.m.
  6. This is lovely! I'm completely new to quilting but you made this look easy. I pinned it so I can try it later down the road. One quilt at a time I'm telling myself LOL.
    by Kim
    August 06th, 2012 at 5:14 p.m.
  7. Thank you all for your lovely comments! It IS easy, so I hope you all will give it a try - even you newbies! I am hoping to post a video of the technique as well. This went together very quickly and would be even quicker if you use larger blocks.
    by Tracy M
    August 07th, 2012 at 1:21 p.m.
  8. Way too cute !!! Thanks for sharing
    by Kathy
    August 07th, 2012 at 6:14 p.m.
  9. This is the cleverest design I have seen in a long time and I am definitely going to make it. Thanks for sharing
    by Elna Munro
    August 10th, 2012 at 2:50 a.m.
  10. I am the odd one I guess. I loved the look of your tutorial and it was much simpler and laid out nicer than some disappearing 9 patch tutorials so I decided to try it today. I already had a stack of 5 inch squares done because the lap quilt I had first planned (before I saw yours) needed 195 squares. I did the first 16 blocks your way, but they weren't measuring right. Next, I checked my quarter inch seam. I have a "bridge" that I keep on my machine permanently and it was still the scant 1/4" that I like. Next I checked my cutting. I couldn't see anything wrong with it, but decided that there must be (I have cataracts). I ended up going to the old way...cutting 5" by 2.5" strips and 2.5" squares. So far 3 rows are done. Tomorrow, I will try it again your way. Actually, if you cut properly and your seam allowance is right, this goes together very quickly and looks good too. Thank you for your hard work. Good job!
    by Purrfectquilts
    August 10th, 2012 at 3:51 p.m.
  11. Thank you so much Tracy! Not only for this tutorial but for going above & beyond for helping me print out the pattern! You're a peach! :)
    by Sherry
    August 20th, 2012 at 9:20 p.m.
  12. Sherry, you are very welcome! Purrfectquilts, I am sorry that the pattern isn't working out for you. We could be using different brands of rulers and our 1/4 inch seams are probably different, which is why you are getting a different result. I suggest that you iron your block in half and then measure to get your exact measurement for cutting. That is why I showed that particular step in the tutorial - so everyone can get their own personal measurement. I hope that you find a way that works for you and that will be fun!
    by Tracy M
    September 04th, 2012 at 10:20 a.m.
  13. Hi! I love the look of this with the "sashing"!! I have a question tho, I can't see both sides of yours, and wondering did you come back and add sashing to the side that doesn't have it? Or, am I missing something? It seems like laying them out I'll end up with the print block on the left and a white on the right side of quilt. I'm trying it with 7" block since I'm using a larger scale print. Thanks
    by Vickie
    October 17th, 2012 at 1:13 p.m.
  14. I just finished a quilt made from your tutorial. Love the pattern and your instructions made it easy, thanks!
    by My Quilted Life Pieces
    January 18th, 2013 at 2:07 p.m.
  15. I am new to quilting and love this design, I have recently made a disappearing nine patch quilt which was very random and would like to make something similar to this for my granddaughters. Is it possible to do this using white for edging a dark centre and only two patterned fabrics in opposite corners so that I would get alternative rows of the same square as I am nervous about using too many patterns.
    by Irene
    January 25th, 2013 at 5:30 a.m.

toll free: 888.768.8454 phone: 801.816.0540 fax: 801.816.0542 address: 468 West Universal Cir. Sandy, UT 84070