Thursday, April 4, 2013

To the Nines!

Might as well face it I’m addicted to nine patches. Really, could there be an easier block than a nine patch?  Well maybe a four patch but it lacks the versatility and pizazz of the nine patch! Making scrappy nine patches is a terrific way to learn about colour, scale, value and hue. You can come up with some really interesting combinations that you otherwise wouldn’t have considered. And it if doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter – it will disappear in a large quilt. In fact you would be surprised at how otherwise ugly fabrics suddenly become beautiful when they are cut small and put in a nine patch! This is one of my favourite quilts and it was made almost entirely of scraps many of which were not at all attractive!

I’ve made countless nine patch quilts and every one of them has been fast and easy and “free”! Let me explain what I mean. I like a 3" finished block so I cut scraps into 1 ½” squares so that I have enough to make a nine patch block (or a variation thereof), pin them together and stack them by my sewing machine. When working on a project rather than draw out a length of thread and cut it I simply sew a couple of pieces of my nine patch together and then snip the thread between project and the pieces of the nine patch. You would be surprised at how quickly this will lead to a pile of nine patch blocks. I’ve got hundreds of them boxed up! When I need a quick quilt I pull them out and add a fabric or two to pull everything together. I have loads of tips to help make these little gem blocks and I plan do to a tutorial on the techniques I’ve developed. I’ll get to it in the next couple of weeks so if you sign up to follow me by email you’ll get the notification when it is posted!

I pulled out my pink nine patches to make this quilt top which I just finished putting together this morning. I plan on adding a large light border. Some of the pinks had yellow and oranges so I also pulled nine patches in that colour way. The alternating blocks used red nine patches.

For this top I dipped into the nine patch box and pulled brown and blue nine patches. The basket border looks complicated but it actually went together quickly and easily. Maybe that should be another tutorial!

This top still needs a border and it will likely be a large border of the background fabric. The blocks are all nine patch variations and again I dipped into my nine patch box and pulled the greens.

Hope I’ve piqued your interest! Until I blog again, happy sewing!

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