Thursday, April 7, 2011

Disappearing Nine Patch

One of the first pages I stumbled upon was this one from Cluck Cluck Sew. I immediately became obsessed with the disappearing nine patch. With a few simple steps the quilter ends up with a complicated looking quilt. I ended up making three and I might not be finished with this method. The one I took pictures of was the second one I made. Craig's aunt gave me this fabric years ago when I first started quilting. There was about 1/4 yard of each and I never really knew what to do with it. Since I'd already made a randomly arranged disappearing 9-patch, I made three identical nine patches and rotated them all in the same direction.

sew together

cut vertically and horizontally through the middle

rotate the same direction

Finished project: runner. I did go buy the dark green for the binding. Oh, and I didn't make three identical squares, I made two. But you can see how making the squares identical and rotating them the same way makes a pattern.


This fabric was leftover from the doll bed bedding I made before Christmas. I was thinking about trying to make pjs for the dolls for the girl's birthday but seriously doubted my skillz in that department. For this one, each 9-patch had a brown center (which when cut made the small brown squares) and then randomly rotated them. I tried to recreate a new mitering (is that the word?) technique for the corners that I found on the internet but since I didn't go back and re-read the directions and it didn't work nearly as well as the method I typically use.

Having practiced disappearing the 9-patches twice, I started in on some fabric I've had lying around for a really, really long time. Last summer I gathered these fabrics together and went with my mother-in-law to pick out a neutral to go with them. At the time I didn't have a real plan but I love how this turned out (excuse the ghastly picture, I realized as I started to write this I needed one and snapped it quick so I could get on with my life).

I know what you're thinking: Yes, we got new curtains. You might not have noticed because they look stunningly like the old ones, but I'm soooooo happy with them.

Back to the quilt, I love how it turned out. It is my first all-machine done quilt: machine pieced and machine quilted (a road I might not have tried except for the carpal tunnel syndrome). I wanted to do a blog post on the walking foot titled "this foot was made for walking" but I never took a picture of it in action.

There was a small amount of planning when laying out the fabrics and planning what each 9-patch would contain, most of it revolving around the dark pink and where in the 9-patch it was placed (if in the center, it would be cut into 4 small squares; if in the center of the rows or columns, it could be cut into rectangles; and if in the corners, it would stay as a big square). My other thought was to keep all the 9-patches different.

These cut 9-patches were all rotated randomly, again with a little bit of moving around to try to spread out the dark pink, which I think is the strongest color. Then I threw on the biggest borders I could with the fabric I had and ordered my walking foot.

While I was working on the quilting part, I felt like the quilt was becoming too puckery as quilt lines crossed each other but I carried on, as is my style, because finished (to me) is better than perfect. Then I washed it and 90% of the puckers that were bothering me were gone. I think with more practice and a little more patience I can get better results. Or I'll risk my wrists and hand quilt; it's easier to get the fabric taut and flat.

I backed this with fabric bought years ago (5 years, to be exact; when I was pregnant with Kate and found this at Marden's and I bought the 2 bolts they had for when she gets a room, this could be her curtain fabric. My MIL made her crib bumper and skirt from this fabric) and made the binding from the same fabric.

I used a bowl to draw the corner curves, something I read somewhere, and I love how they turned out. I put the pink and green squares in the corners before I remembered that I wanted to round them. I might not have done that if I had remembered but also I was cuttin' it close with that neutral. Irregardless*, I like the result.

Maybe if I get some energy I'll take and post better pictures and close-ups.

**not a word but oh-so-funny to say

Linking (first time!) to Show and Share at Just a Girl.


  1. love the last one especially, the rounded corners are nice!
    you have come so far and do such beautiful work. I think you are a "quilter" now :)
    like the curtains, too.

  2. fabulous job! Can't wait to see them.