Anita's quilts and quilting

A semi-retired professional longarm machine quilter

Scrappy nine patch

A backward pieced scrappy nine patch made from clothing.  These are some 10 inch blocks left over from a clothing memory quilt I made a year or so ago.  I’m going to make these into scrappy nine patch blocks for a charity quilt.  Yes, I could just sew them together as is; but, I thought it might be fun to make these a little more special for a nursing home patient.  I can show you my way of piecing scrappy nine patch blocks backwards. 
 I have this stack of 10 inch blocks. You would go through your fabrics and cut some for yourself.  Or perhaps you have some already cut.  Variety is what makes this nine patch fun.  I’m using what I have so some of the patches will be repeated within the blocks.  To get a totally scrappy look all the starting squares should be different. 
Cut a strip off one side.  I cut my strips 3 inches.  The finished block will be 9 X 9 inches.  Whatever size block you start with…. subtract one inch and divide by three to get your strip size.

Remove the top piece from one stack and put it on the bottom.
Pin and sew back together.

Press the seam toward the outside.  I found some of these fabrics don’t want to press toward the outside.  This is clothing fabric and sometimes it’s very stubborn.  I let the fabric have it’s way for now and I’ll deal with the seams later.  I press in whatever direction it wants to go….. but only because it’s clothing.  Regular cotton fabric should behave enough to press in the right direction…. toward the outside of the block.
I cut a 3 inch strip from the other side.

Take the top strip and place it on the bottom of the stack.  Pin and sew back together.

I press the seams toward the outside again…. or whatever direction it stubbornly tells me it’s willing to go.

I turn the blocks so the strips are going horizontal and cut a 3 inch strip off one side.  Remove the top piece from one of the stacks and place it on the bottom. 

I re press the seams of the strip I just cut so the seams are toward the middle.  Unless it’s too stubborn to go that way.  Darn it!  Repressing lets the seams lock together for more accurate matching corners.

Pin and sew back together.
Now it’s time to deal with those unruly stubborn seams.  Umm…. let me turn the block around so you see better what I’m doing. 

That’s better.  Do you see where the frog stitcher is pointing?  Do you see where the last seam stitching crosses over that stitching?  Ok, frog stitch (pick out) just the stitches within the seam line.  From the previous stitching line to the edge.  It might be only a couple of stitches at most.  No need to clip the loose thread. 

Now press the seams so they form a tiny little four patch at the intersection…. like this.  Why would I do this step?  Because clothing is famous for creating fabric warts at intersections.  Warts are thick areas of fabric that can break needles.  I want to avoid creating warts whenever possible.  Regular cotton fabric will create warts too but not as thick.  Warts of any fabric will break needles. 

Ok, now darn it…. some seams of clothing quilts just want to go their own direction no matter how much steam I put to them.  Like this.  One end says go this way and the other says go this way.  Here’s how I deal with these. 

Right at the point where it changes direction, I clip it.  I’m careful not to cut the stitching.  I just clip up to the stitching…. and that stubborn seam lays down for a nap.  Gosh, I think it’s time to clean my pressing board.  Lots of little dots of dry starch on it. 

Now it’s time to cut a 3 inch strip from the other side of the blocks.  Remove the top strip from the stack and place it on the bottom as I did before.  
Pin and sew back together. 

Repeat the process of either making tiny four patches at the seam intersections or clip the seams so they lay flat.  I now have a stack of scrappy nine patch blocks made from clothing. 
I can go even farther and make these into disappearing nine patches or simply use them as is.  I think I’ll leave them as is since so many of the fabrics don’t want to behave.  If I was working with regular cotton fabrics I would go farther.   
This blog post is printable if you want to print it.  Look for the print friendly button below and click it.  Enjoy!

One comment on “Scrappy nine patch

  1. Anonymous
    February 13, 2011

    Glad to read you are feeling better. Stay well is my wish for you! Great idea for scrappy nine patch blocks thanks for sharing.

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on February 13, 2011 by in Quilt patterns.

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