Part 2: Hand Piecing With the Nine Patch Quilt Adventure

Hello, hand quilters!  Are you ready to start hand piecing with your scrappy squares?  I know you’ve been busy cutting your 2.5 inch squares of your leftover 100% cotton fabrics and are just itchin’ to get stitchin’, so let’s get started!

This is what you are going to make with your own background fabric and scrappy squares.

To make this block  you will need:

  • 8    2.5 inch squares from your chosen background fabric (mine is the gray print)
  • 10   2.5 inch scrappy squares
  • 2   6.5 inch squares from your chosen background fabric (mine is the gray print)

I find it helps if I keep my squares in front of me.  That way I can lay them out and I always know what to sew next. Lay out one scrappy block so that you can see it.

Step 1. Using your 2 inch square template, trace around the template on the BACK of your cut 2.5 inch square.  I use a mechanical pencil, but any sharp pencil will do. 

Step 2.  Do the same thing with another square. 

Step 3. Place a pin in the corner.

Step 4. Put your needle in the corner OPPOSITE the pin.  Start stitching the squares together as shown, working your way towards the corner that has the pin.  I usually take 3-5 stitches, then do 1 back stitch and repeat until I get to the corner. 

Step 5. Stitch until you get to the corner where the pin is.  Stop at the pin, remove the pin, and knot your thread. 

 Step 6. As you sew your blocks together, you will come to seams. ALWAYS leave your seams free; do not stitch them down.  You want them to be free so that when you press your block, you can press the seam to either side.  When you get to a seam, slide your needle through the seam as shown, and pull it through; then keep stitching.

Step 7.  After nine squares have been sewn together to make a block, you will want to sew it to one of the 6.5 inch background squares. Lay the background square print-side up. Place your pieced block on top of the background block FACE DOWN. Match the corners and pin two corners in place in a straight line.  Using the lines on the pieced block as your guide, stitch along the pinned line making sure that your seams are free (see above).  You will make two sets of the 9 patch block sewn to the background fabric.

Step 8. Once you have two sets of these sewn, you are ready to put them together.  Lay one set over the top of the other and pin into place.  You will sew along the nine patch section using the seam lines as your guide.  Sew to the seam where the solid 6.5 inch square is.

Step 9.  Flip your block over, pin along the remainder of the edge you were sewing.  Now you will sew the nine patch block that has not yet been stitched to the background using the drawn lines.  Sew along the lines until you get to the corner, knot your thread and clip it.

Step 10. Keep making more units like the one you just finished!  Press your seams after you sew each section, and be consistent with each block.  You want them all pressed the same.

Please let me know if you are participating in the Hand Piecing 9 Patch Adventure!  Send an email to caron mosey at gmail dot com or leave a comment below this post.

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Lots of Squares in a Nine Patch Quilt!

When you plan to make a Nine Patch quilt, you better plan on cutting lots of squares. 

Lots and lots of squares!

In my first post for this project, I said this would be a scrappy nine patch quilt, and that it would take a lot of 2.5 inch squares of both scrappy prints and solids, plus whatever fabric you chose for the background.  My background is a gray print. 

This picture shows a 2.5 inch square of the background fabric with a 2 inch square of template plastic set on top.  There is a 1/4 inch seam allowance all the way around the edge of the square.  I have taken a mechanical pencil and traced around the 2 inch plastic template to mark my sewing lines.

I have also taken one of the scrappy 2.5 inch squares and traced around that.  This picture shows both squares together, ready to be sewn.

In addition to the 2.5 inch squares, you will also need 6.5 inch squares of your background fabric.  In my quilt, that is the gray print.  What you see here are two scrappy nine patch blocks laying next to two 6.5 inch gray print blocks.

You will be replicating what you see here with your background and  your scrappy squares!

Your next step is to keep cutting those 2.5 inch squares, and to start cutting some 6.5 inch squares.  Now that you can see the direction we are taking, you should have a better idea of this project. 

Take a peek at the nine patch quilts in the Pinterest folder I started.  You might like to start collecting your own pictures to tuck in a folder!

Have fun cutting!  Stay tuned for the next step which includes hand sewing your blocks together!

Published by Caron Mosey at Michigan Quilts! 2015. 
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Use it up, wear it out, make it do… A Beginning Hand Piecing Project

My parents grew up during the Depression, and my almost 93 year old father is just about as frugal as they come as a result of it.  The older I get, the more I realize how much junk precious stuff I have packed into our home.  A good portion of that precious stuff is fabric and sewing supplies.  And, in an attempt to try and use it up, wear it out and make it do, I am trying to dive into that stash and create some beauty.

I have partial bolts of fabric that remain untouched.  Some is still on the bolt, some has been taken off and folded.  Some is 30+ years old, some I bought in 2014 when a local quilt shop went out of business.  The gray fabric shown below is one purchased from Apple Tree Quilts. I bought what they had left, which was many yards long.  Lucky me, gray is a favorite of mine, and this is a sweet print! 

A while ago, I had put my rotary cutter to good use and started cutting 2.5 inch squares using up random scraps.  Here are some of those scraps.  My goal is to create a 9 Patch quilt using the gray print as the main fabric, and the scraps in the nine patch blocks.  For those of you who don’t know what a 9 Patch block looks like, visit this Pinterest board.
This will be a very scrappy quilt.  It will also be all hand pieced and hand quilted.  I enjoy having something to stitch on during my lunch time at work and while watching television in the evening.  Sitting on the deck is also a good time to stitch, and this quilt will certainly include some time sewing outside. 

If you would like to join me in my 9 Patch Adventure, please feel free!  Start slicing and dicing your 2.5 inch scrappy squares from your own stash.  You will also need 2.5 inch squares in whatever main fabric you choose to use.  Mine is a print.  You might prefer a solid.  I will be posting updates on this quilt as I go along, so feel free to drop by every few days and see what is going on.  I would also love to see what you are doing with your 9 Patch Adventure!  Please share with me by leaving a comment below OR by sending me an email. 

This is a BEGINNING HAND PIECING project and will be very basic.  Watch the video to learn what you need, or see below for the list:

To start out, you will need:

  • 2.5 inch squares of scrap fabrics in 100 % cotton
  • 2.5 inch squares of background fabric in 100 % cotton
  • Several straight pins
  • Needles
  • Thread to match your background fabric.  I chose gray thread.  NOTE:  Do not buy HAND QUILTING thread for piecing your quilt (sewing your blocks together).  HAND QUILTING thread is used for quilting the three layers of the quilt together after the quilt top has been completed.
  • A small piece of either template plastic OR thin cardboard (use cereal boxes) cut into a perfect 2 inch square (NOTE:  if you use cardboard, prepare a dozen or so 2 inch squares.  As you use them, the edges tend to get soft and wear down.  If you use plastic, one square is all you will need.
  • Pencil or fabric marker (not a FriXion pen!!!)  Make sure whatever you use draws a sharp line.  Chalk is probably not a good choice.  I prefer a mechanical pencil myself!

The number of fabric squares you will need depends on the size of the quilt you choose to make.  If you want it large, you will need a lot of squares!  This quilt is very flexible, but I would suggest starting with at least 4 yards of the background fabric so that you have enough.  It’s always better to have more than you need rather than to run out.
My fabric is always prewashed before I use it.  Since I will be hand piecing and hand quilting, I will be touching the fabric a lot, and I prefer fabric I touch to be free of starch and chemicals.  Washing and pressing the fabric ahead of time helps with that goal.  It also releases any extra dye that might be in the fabric. 

OK, I’m off to cut more 2.5 inch scrappy squares and about a half of a yard worth of background fabric cut into 2.5 inch squares.!  Gather your supplies, wash, press, and cut as explained above, and we’ll touch base soon!