If you are a beginner in the world of quilting, the nine-patch quilt block is the easiest one to try your hands on. And, here you will find the detailed steps to make the perfect 9 patch quilt block.
How To Sew A Perfect 9 Patch Quilt Block?
Making the 9 patch quilt block is pretty simple. Basically, you need nine squares of the same sizes and fabric to sew together and make your quilt block.
In addition, you can make the blocks as colorful as you want and join as many blocks as you want: the possibilities are seemingly endless.
So, are you ready to try your hands at 9 patch quilt blocks? Without further ado, let’s take you through the steps for it and inform you about the other related details.
Steps To Sew A Perfect 9 Patch Quilt Block
In order to make a 9 patch quilt block, you will need a transparent cutting ruler, rotary cutter, a sewing machine, and polyester or cotton thread in pale grey, beige, or white (forty to fifty weight cotton threads would be good).
Of course, you will need fabric strips in two different colors: one darker and the other lighter.
It helps to have a ¼ inch quilting foot to sew the seams precisely. But if you don’t have that, use painter’s tape to make a ¼ inch seam guide at home.
Step 1: Sizing the Fabric Strips and Blocks
Before you begin to cut through the fabric, you need to figure out how big the finished block should be for your quilt. It will help you figure out how wide you should cut the strips. Here is a brief idea about the width of your strips for blocks of different sizes:
|Size of the block||Size of the fabric strips to cut|
Step 2: Cutting the Fabric Strips
For every block, you need to cut three different strips of the dark and light fabrics. You can also buy jelly rolls from the local quilt shops, which are precut strips that lessen your work even more. But if you want your blocks to be completely handmade, read on!
You will cut the strips for the blocks across the entire width of the fabric starting from one selvage to another. Also, remember that the number of finished blocks you make from every set of six strips is based on the fabric’s usable width, which varies from one manufacturer to another.
Step 3: Sewing the Strips in the Strip Sets
After the strips are cut, they will be sewn in two sets having three strips each. A strip set can have two dark stripes on the outer side and one light strip in the middle. Similarly, the other strip set you make can have two light strips on the outer side and one dark stripe in the middle.
Given below are the steps to sew these strip sets together perfectly:
- Lay a strip of dark fabric and a strip of light fabric with their right sides together
- Sew along on one side of the paired strips leaving about ¼” seam and keep pressing the seam towards the dark fabric.
- Now, sew the third strip to your strip set to make the dark and light patterns alternate. As such, remember that it would help if you sew in the opposite direction to what you did when you started off. It will help in keeping the strip sets straight.
- Afterward, keep pressing the seam towards the dark fabric.
- Next, sew the other set of fabric strips together, while pressing the seams in the direction of the dark fabric.
Step 4: Cross-Cutting the Fabric Strip Sets
In the next step, we will cut the fabric strip sets into small units. So, make the seams nest by laying the two strip sets with their right sides together. When you will press the seam allowances toward the dark strips, each of the strips will fit neatly together.
Furthermore, use the rotary cutter and the transparent cutting ruler for cutting subunits from paired strip units. These sub-units would be of the same width as those original strips. So, for instance, cut your sub-units 1½-inch wide when the fabric strips are1½-inch wide.
Step 5: Bring Together the Strip Sets in 9 Patch Blocks
The final step is sewing the sub-cut units of the quilt together, and here’s how you do that:
- Start by counting the subunits and setting aside about one-third of them because you’ll need those for completing the quilt blocks later.
- Sew the remaining 2/3 of those nested sub-units together to join each pair along a long side.
- In the next step, put chain piercing to fasten up the process of stitching and save thread. Also, press the seams on one side.
- Get the last third of your sub-cut units, such that they are not nested together any longer.
Step 6: Sewing the Blocks in Negative or Positive Patterns
You can either make a positive quilt block or a negative one, as per your preference. So, the positive blocks are the ones where the dark fabric sits in the middle and the light ones are there in the four corners.
In the same way, the opposite of this is a negative block, where the light fabric sits in the middle and anchors the dark corners.
Some patterns look better on positive blocks, while others stand out more on negative blocks. In fact, you can even do both the options on a quilt and make it look great. The choice rests on you and the way you want your quilt to look like.
After deciding whether you want to go with a negative or positive block or both, it’s time to sew the final sub-unit in the block. Here’s how you will do it:
- You will sew the final sub-unit to the large section and position these units to create a negative or positive block.
- Now, press those quilt blocks to square them up. And that’s it! You can now use them in any quilt of your choice.
How Did The 9 Patch Quilt Come Into Existence?
The 9 patch quilt blocks go back to the eighteenth century when the pioneering women took to this design because of its efficiency.
Women did not have fabric or time to waste. So, they turned to 9 patch quilting because they only had to cut up simple squares for wisely using their precious fabrics.
In fact, the pattern was so simple that it was ideal to teach sewing to young girls. Even girls as young as three to four years would sew 9 patch blocks.
How Much Fabric Would You Need To Make The Quilt?
For the 9 patch quilts, you can buy about 1½ yards of darker fabric and 5/8 yard of lighter fabric. As such, it will help you make a quilt measuring approximately thirty-five inches by forty inches using six inches’ squares and two inches’ border.
Also, remember to purchase a quarter yard of fabric extra if you are a beginner. You can store the extra fabric in your stash and use it later. If you are seriously getting into quilting, you will find some or other use for the fabric.
How to Choose the Colors for the 9 Patch Quilt Blocks?
Choosing the colors for the 9 patch quilt blocks is not too difficult if you follow the basic color wheel. Accordingly, you can go light and dark shades of the two colors that are opposite to each other on the color wheel.
You can also choose fabrics in the colors that are beside one another in the color wheel. Also, you can choose light and dark tones of the same color and that looks good on patchwork quilts.
Basically, you have almost endless choices in this regard.