• 03Jun

    I just had an email from one of my newsletter subscribers reminding me of a speedy way to make nine-patches.  I’d seen it done years ago, and forgotten all about it.  With this method, you get two nine-patches at a time.  How perfect for our Summer Nine-Patch Project! Now you can make two blocks a day faster than making one block the traditional way.  That means you’ll either end up with twice as many blocks, or you’ll only have to sew every other day!  Thanks, Peggy, for the reminder.

    Here’s a tutorial on how to make the Two-For-One Nine-Patch blocks.  The example is for a 9″ finished block, but at the end of the tutorial, I’ll give you the formula (and chart) so you can make any size block you want.

    1.  Layer a light and dark fabric, right sides together, and cut a 10-1/2″ square.

    2. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, join the squares together on two opposite sides.

    3. Take the to your cutting board and measure in 3-1/2″ from one stitched side.  Cut.

    4. Measure in 3-1/2″ from the other stitched side and cut.  You will have two stitched segments and two unstitched strips.

    5. Press the stitched segments toward the dark fabric.  Add a contrasting strip to one side of each block.

    6. Stitch and press toward the dark fabric.

    7. Place the two segments right sides together with the seams running in the same direction.  If you pressed everything toward the dark fabric, the seams will nest together.

    8. Now stitch together across the previously made seams.  Stitch both opposite sides.

    9. Cut 3-1/2″ from each seamed edge.

    10. Press toward the side with the most dark fabric.  Add the unstitched strips to the pieced segments, dark to light.

    11. Voila!  You have two mirror image blocks!

    Here’s the formula for cutting the squares.  Take the size of the strip that you would cut for a regular nine-patch block and multiply times 3–it’s that simple.  In our example, we would have cut strips 3-1/2″, so 3-1/2″ x 3 is 10-1/2″, the size of our square.

    Here’s a chart to make it a little easier.  Block sizes given are for finished blocks.

    For 3″ blocks, start with a 4-1/2″ square

    For 4-1/2″ blocks, start with a 6″ square

    For 6″ blocks, start with a 7-1/2″ square

    For 9″ blocks, start with a 10-1/2″ square

    For 12″ blocks, start with a 13-1/2″ square

    Have fun and be sure to join the Facebook group and post pictures of your blocks!

    Sign up for my email newsletter at annalena.com.

21 Responses

  • Robin Says:

    Super…I will have to try this…#3 is done!

  • Cathy Hutchinson Says:

    I’ve never seen that technique! I’ve only done the 3 strip method, This is why I love checking your blog on a regular basis. It’s always interesting! Thank you!!!

  • Laura Fadden Says:

    I don’t remember ever seeing this done….how tricky!!!!! I think I will just try this tomorrow…..oh I guess that would be today, now!!!!! Thanks

  • kc anderson Says:

    this is so cool! thanks for sharing and can’t wait to try it. :)

  • Kathi Miller Says:

    I’ve used this method and it really is faster. I just forget about it by the time I have another 9-patch project.

    Can I copy this and give to students in my classes? It’s great help and I’d like to be able to share it.

  • Karen Says:

    I’d love for you to share it with your students. Thanks for asking.

  • Chantal Says:

    Brilliant! Will share with my friends on http://www.facebook.com/hyggeligtfabrics
    Thank you!

  • Kathy Marlowe Says:

    I remember seeing this in one of Eleanor Burns’s books, but have never tried it–Just thought it looked quick and easy! I have got 6 blocks done, but I am putting favorite family photos in the center so this won’t help. But I am sure having fun!

  • torilynn Says:

    Wow! This is similar to the making four half square triangle blocks out of two pieces. LOVE IT!

  • torilynn Says:

    Oh, I posted it to NeedleGals in Yahoo Groups. Hope they are as bowled over by this as I am.

  • Elizabeth Says:

    Love the technique–thanks, Karen!

  • Irene Says:

    Love the technique – can’t wait to try it this weekend. Irene!

  • nancy bleier Says:

    very cool i think i’ll do it have lots of scraps to get rid of

  • Susette Says:

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve never seen it done like that. I’ll have to try that.

  • Lee Brewer Says:

    I love this. Wish there was an option for a printer-friendly page.

  • biff Says:

    What size do you cut, for instance the 10.5 squares are 3.5 cut, would the 6″ square be cut at 2″

    Thank you

  • Karen Says:

    Yes, 6″ would be cut at 2.” Just divide the square you’re working with by 3, and that will give you the number you need.

  • chris Says:

    I had seen this method done on a sewing with nancy episode about four or five years ago and have been looking for it ever since. I have already made one quilt and working on the next. this method of nine patch is so easy it can easily be done in one afternoon. thanks for posting this on your site.

  • Regan Martin Says:

    Great tutorial…..thanks so much! I was about to start a mini (1 1/2″ blocks finished) and this will give me such accuracy for the tiny little blocks! Perfect!

  • Lois Says:

    Thanks for this Tutorial.
    Is it good for Four patch,too.

  • Dorothy Says:

    To print, highlight ONLY what you want printed, click on Print, and check “Selection” and Print, and it will print only what you chose.
    The same works for nearly anything you want to NOT print all the ads, etc.
    Karen: the 6 inch finished block would need to use 7 1/2 inch squares, but CUT at 2 1/2 inches.. Check the chart for measurements

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