Saturday, October 15, 2011

Make a Nine Patch Disappear

Squaring up a block


It's so hip to be square!

My current quilt in progress (QIP) is based on the block design called disappearing nine patch. It is a nine patch block cut through the center vertically and horizontally to form a completely new set of four blocks. To follow is the process I went through to get this quilt started. I say on this quilt because sometimes I make blocks just to make them with no end result in mind, but that's another story.

Do the math
Once I decided on the disappearing nine patch block design I determined what size quilt I was going to make. I drew the block design on paper to get all the dimensions just right. Then I draw out the entire quilt on graph paper to know how many blocks per row and how many rows I need to get the quilt size I want. Pictured to the left I have a calculator especially for quilting it's a wonderful tool (a gift from my husband because I always ask him to double check my math) but I can't get it to tell me what I want to know. I used it to figure out the yardage for the quilt backing. I'm a math-magician I don't know exactly how I figure it all out but I get pretty close.


Cut the Squares




Then I picked the fabrics I would use and cut all the squares I needed, or so I thought. You've got to remember to look at your notes and make sure you add that all important quarter inch. It makes a REALLY big difference in this block design.




Get ready to sew





I arranged all my squares in the block pattern. My fabric placement was random, I just wanted the center of each nine patch to be the blue star-heart fabric for some consistency. Then I got busy sewing and pressing.





Nine patch block






Now I have all my nine patch blocks sewn and seams pressed. It's time to make them disappear!





Disappearing nine patch





Now I cut the nine patch through the center vertically and horizontally. The nine patch has disappeared!  Do you see it? Not only am I a math-magician I'm a real magician I made that nine patch disappear!






Squaring up







I squared up each block to make sure they are all the same size. 
Design wall






I laid out the blocks on my design wall (a thick cotton flat bed sheet hung over a closet door) and arranged until I liked the look.






I decided on a border and backing fabric and got to sewing. I am hand quilting this one on my no baste quilt frame. It's going pretty slow as I haven't been able to dedicate a lot of time to it lately but I will be back on it  full speed in a couple of weeks. Check back and see how it turns out.

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