Saturday, July 27, 2013

Efficiently Sewing a 9-Patch

The great thing about baby quilts is they are small and quick to make.   I made a 39" x 39" top in two hours yesterday, using an efficient method of sewing 9-patch blocks. 
The blocks were re-cut using the Disappearing 9-Patch tutorial to create the D9P pattern.
But more on sewing those 9-patch blocks!

I dove into my nickel (5" x 5" squares) bin, happy to be using some more up!  Then grabbed some white fabric, and a dark pink for the centers.  Cut those two into 5" squares, then arranged all squares in piles for easy sewing.
Now to the machine for the efficient 9-patch.  One block is sewn at a time.  

Starting on the top row, pick up the top left square and sew a white middle square to it. DO NOT CUT THE THREADS!
Moving to the next row, pick up a white square (position middle left) and sew the center dark pink square to it, making sure the white square is on the bottom.  Again, DO NOT CUT THE THREADS.  This is chain sewing top to bottom.
Sew the bottom left pink square to a white square, and this time, CUT THE THREADS.  Three rows for one block.
Starting on the top row again, sew the top right pink square to the white square from the first sewing.  DO NOT CUT THE THREADS.
In the above picture, the top left square is on the left, and the top right square is being sewn to the middle white.  The arrow points to the threads linking the next row.

Open up the next row, sewing a white square to the middle dark pink.  DO NOT CUT THE THREADS.
The arrows in the above picture point to the chains linking the rows together.

Finally, open the last row, sewing the bottom right pink square to the bottom middle white one.  CUT THE THREADS.  This is one block.
The beauty of sewing a 9-patch this way is that the pieces stay in order and the whole unit can be set aside in one piece so that another can be sewn.  When all units are ready, take them to the ironing board for pressing.
Pressing follows the standard 'press to the dark side'.  By doing this, the seams nest when sewing the rows together.  Once pressed, and still not cutting the threads that link the rows (shown at the arrows), turn the top row down, nest the seam and pin. 
Move that row out of the way, turn the bottom row up, nest the seams and pin.
Now all the blocks are ready to be chain stitched, stitching down one side of the block, one right after another.
When one side is done, chain stitch the other side.  Cut the blocks apart and press open.  Ta da!  A really fast, efficient way to turn out some 9-patch blocks.
I said above that I re-cut these to make the Disappearing 9-patch.  I put the resulting blocks together in the following setting
but I also came up with this
I liked this one just as well and think it would look terrific for a bigger quilt.  I'll keep it in mind for another day!

Happy Quilting!


1 comment:

  1. I like the second option also - that would be a great Quilt of Valor pattern, and quick and easy too!


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