Progress on Nine Patch Hand Piecing Adventure


Are YOU participating in the Nine Patch Hand Piecing Adventure?

My life is pretty busy right now with work and preparations for a new grandbaby, but I’ve managed to do a little stiching every evening.Here is what I have done thus far (plus several blocks that are complete but have not been added to this yet!)…


Join us in the 9 Patch Hand Piecing group and show us your progress!

Say Connected!

Are you participating in the Nine Patch Hand Quilting Adventure?  

Here are a few links you might like:

Published by Caron Mosey at Michigan Quilts! 2015. Visit Hand Quilting Supplies at or at Etsy 

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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.

 Hand Quilting Supplies may be found on Etsy 

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. 
Visit Hand Quilting Supplies on at

Thanks for leaving a comment! Please be sure to include your name, and make sure your email address is enabled so I can respond.

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!

Why I am a hand quilter


I am a traditional hand quilter.  I have a beautiful full-size frame that my husband made me years ago, as well as several hoops on stands and different sizes of lap hoops.  I love them all! 

I also have a Pfaff Grand Quilter Hobby 1200 on a Next Generation frame that I purchased a few years ago.  I love the machine, but can do without the frame. If you are interested in a frame, contact me and it could be yours!  I am not a machine quilter.  It’s just not who I am.
Machine quilting my quilts would certainly get them finished faster!   But for me, speed is not the issue.  In fact, it goes against the main reason why I quilt!  I love the quiet of quilting.  I enjoy sitting in my chair, taking one little stitch after another.  I like to use my hands, and in doing so, my brain relaxes, along with most other muscles in my body.  It is a beautiful, peaceful time to meditate or talk with my family, or listen to television or stereo or my iPod.  It is “me time.”  And I’m not willing to give that up for speed.  It surprises many people when I tell them that most of my quilt tops are also made by hand.  Not all of them, but most of them.



The hardest part about hand quilting?  Finding good hand quilting supplies, and finding quilt shop owners who appreciate hand quilting, and aren’t afraid to talk about it!  
If you are a hand quilter, please join the Facebook group Celebrate Hand Quilting.  We have over

from all over the world who are fun, thoughtful, helpful and oh so talented!

Thanks to Amy for hosting yet another great Blogger’s Quilt Festival, and for including hand quilters in the mix. 
We are alive and kicking!


What in the world is that?


challenge 003

Yes indeed, what in the world is this going to be?  Any guesses?

This is a part of the challenge quilt I am working on for the Evening Star Quilt Guild in Davison, Michigan.  I posted about it here.  It’s hand pieced, which I find so relaxing.  Usually.  But the gray/black fabric is hand dyed (thanks Vicki) and the other fabric is a batik, so it’s not playing nicely with my needle.  The hand dyed is fine… it’s the batik that I’m struggling with.  Oh well, it’s going to be a small quilt (although it will have a lot of small pieces in it).

Stay tuned.

What do YOU think this will be?  Post your guesses below in the comments area and whoever comes closest will get a little something in the mail from me.  If you leave a comment, make sure I can find your email address so I can contact you!

Quilting: Spoolin’ Around with Thread Colors

 DSC03285 Whether you are a new or seasoned quilter, choosing fabrics for a quilt is a blast. There are so many colors and patterns to choose from – hand dyed fabrics, stripes, polka dots, solids, blenders, Civil War and thirties fabrics, calico and funky modern and on and on. You can spend literally dozens of hours and many more dollars choosing just the right thing. But when it comes to choosing thread, we tend to use whatever we have on hand or buy basic white or black. Remember, it’s the little things that count!
Let’s talk thread.

Dsc03622 When doing applique’, it is always best to match the color of the thread to the fabric you are sewing. If you are sewing a yellow flower, your thread should be a matching shade of yellow. However, you might be using your machine for machine applique and choose a clear (transparent) thread. The benefit of this is that you can use the same thread no matter what color you are sewing. If you use a clear thread, put a pale grey thread in your bobbin so it won’t show on the top. Another option is to applique’ with a decorative buttonhole stitch. In that case, you WANT your thread to show, so you should choose a black or contrasting thread for machine or hand stitching. Even an embroidery floss or pearl cotton is acceptable for this method!

DSC02723For piecing, again it is best to match the color of your thread to your fabric. But what if you are making a scrap quilt? With many different fabrics and colors to work with, it can be difficult to decide what color you need. I normally piece with a neutral color: beige, darker tan or grey. Or, if it is a scrappy quilt all in green fabrics, I will select one soft green to use throughout the quilt. By “soft green” I mean a green that isn’t likely to jump out at me when the quilt is completed. It should blend in wherever it is seen, like a moss green (not a bright lime green).

DSC02109 When it comes to the actual quilting (hand or machine), the choice of color is a matter of preference. Older traditional quilts usually were quilted with white or black thread. Now we have so many solids and variegated thread choices that the rules for quilting thread have all been tossed in the basket. If you prefer a traditional look, white and black are still good choices. If you’re a more contemporary quilter, you’re safe going with a contrasting thread or something variegated. It’s your choice!

DSC03280 How should I store my thread? Don’t follow the old wives tale that says keep it in your freezer. That’s not necessary. As long as you keep it out of the sun in a clean, dust-free space, you will be fine. A clear plastic storage box with a lid is an easy solution that allows you to DSC03290spot the thread that you have yet keep it clean. I keep small spools of thread for applique in a zippered bag with a clear vinyl window. It’s easily portable and tucks away in a tote  bag quite easily.

If you’re a thread-a-holic like me, you’re always on the hunt for more glorious threads. Go ahead, enjoy yourself! Every thread has a purpose, and you can never have too much.

Happy Stitching!

A Few More Blocks, A Few More Sniffles

So it’s official. I have/had what my doctor calls the “creeping crud.” Cold, chills, aches, drippy nose, cough, you name it, I’ve got it. That allowed me some down time Sunday and Monday to get some sewing done while watching some trashy T.V. shows. I love hand sewing, and these little blocks were all completed by hand.

Once I get into hand sewing, whether it is piecing or applique, I tend to pick up speed and am able to accomplish just as much as if I had machine pieced or appliqued. I find it so relaxing… but some of these little tiny pieces are so small they are hard to hang onto!

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Ahhhh… it’s Saturday!

It’s a sleeting Saturday morning here in Mid-Michigan, but I don’t care. I plan on spending a good portion of the day sewing. It’s my last “free” Saturday until the beginning of April, as I have a Saturday morning class to teach for Eastern Michigan University. I love teaching – but the Saturday thing gets old quick, especially when I have a full time job during the week. But, it provides money to support my (quilt) habit, so I shouldn’t complain too much.
Last night I finished hand-piecing this block, M6, called “Simplicity.” It wasn’t all that simple, though… lots of tiny pieces to sew. Remember when you look at Dear Jane blocks that they are only 4.5 inches wide (5 inches wide before finishing).
I had worried when choosing my background fabric for this quilt that some fabrics wouldn’t show up well on it. Even though the background is tan in color, it shows up fine because of the little orange flowers that make it POP.
Why did I hand-piece this, you ask? Sometimes I like to sit and sew while I watch/listen to TV in the evening. I felt like doing that with this block, rather than sit in the basement where it is cold and be all alone.
Today I will work on more blocks… mail out a package to my Dear Jane Secret Pal, and a fat quarter to a swap participant (Hi Barb!) from the Quilting Arts Forum . Ahhh, it’s going to be a FUN day!