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Little 9-Patch Quilt
by Mary Asper, Green Mountain Designs

 

This month's project is a simple, yet charming baby quilt which can be easily enlarged to make whatever size you would like. I include it especially for the beginners in our midst; but almost everyone can use a simple quilt!!

If you would like more information about beginning quilting - or handy tips for those more experience - e-mail me and ask for A Seasoned Quilter, my quilt tip handbook. I'd be glad to e-mail you a copy at no charge.

On to the project...

These instructions make a square baby quilt that is approximately 39 X 39 - nice baby size!  If you would like a larger quilt, simply make more blocks 'till you get to the size that you want!

You can do it scrappy, with all different lights and darks for the 9-patch blocks, or you can plan a certain color scheme. The one Olivia's Mimi made for her has a bubblegum pink and chocolate brown floral plus a pale pine mini-print for the little 9-patches; a chocolate brown and gold paisley for the plain squares; and a dark bubble gum pink for the sashing (like Peppermint and Sassafrass -thanks Judie Rothermel!!).

STEP ONE: LITTLE 9-PATCH BLOCKS

For the baby quilt you will need 29 of these little blocks.

For a larger quilt, you will need 5 little 9-patches for each Large 9-patch, and a block for each corner in the quilt (you'll understand this later!!).

1. Cut 6 strips of DARK fabric that are 2" wide by the width of the fabric.

2. Cut 4 strips of LIGHT fabric that are 2" wide by the width of the fabric. (TIP: You can also use Brights and lights, or any two highly contrasting fabrics.)

3. Make three strip sets that are Dark-Light-Dark ( Sew a Light Strip to a Dark Strip, Right Sides Together (RST) using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Press seam toward the dark strip. Then lay another Dark Strip RST with the Light strip and sew again. Again press the seam toward the dark strip. Voila! - a Dark, Light, Dark strip set!)

4. Make two strip sets that are Light - Dark - Light, using the same method above. Again, press the seam allowances toward the dark fabric.

5. Cut these strip sets apart into two-inch segments, cutting ACROSS the strip sets so that you get a segment that is 5 inches wide (D-L-D or L-D-L) by 2 inches deep. You will need 58 D-L-D segments and 29 L-D-L segments.

6. Stitch the segments together to make the Little 9-Patch Block:

a. Start with a D-L-D segment

b. Lay a L-D-L segment RST with the D-L-D; stitch, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Be sure to *oppose* the seams; they should already go in opposite directions because of your pressing. Opposed seam allowances make neat seam intersections.

c. Lay another D-L-D segment RST with the L-D-L and stitch again. When sewn together, you should have a 5 inch square made up of smaller squares, like this:

D L D

L D L

D L D

PLAIN SQUARES

Next, choose a coordinating fabric for your plain squares. If you are making a scrap quilt, these squares can be all different, or all the same, depending on your preference! From this fabric, cut sixteen 5 inch squares. (HINT: For rotary cutting basics, request my book of tips called A Seasoned Quilter.) If making a   larger quilt, you will need 4 plain squares for each quilt block.

MAKING THE LARGE 9-PATCH BLOCK

1. Make the rows:

a. Make 8 rows (or 2 for each block you are making) that are Little 9- Patch, Plain Square, Little 9-Patch.

b. Make 4 rows (or 1 for each block you are making) that are Plain Square - Little 9 Patch - Plain Square

2. Assemble these rows as you did for the Little 9-Patch, so that when you are done you have a Large 9-Patch block that looks like this:

Little 9        Plain            Little 9

Plain        Little 9             Plain

Little 9        Plain           Little 9

At this point, your blocks SHOULD measure close to 14 inches. As long as they are consistent, you're OK, even if they are not a perfect measurement. There's your main block!! Now we will do sashing and corner blocks - the simple way!!

SASHING

1. Choose a coordinating background fabric for your quilt; this should be fairly quiet and  serve to showcase the other fabrics you have chosen.

2. Cut strips from this fabric that are 4 and 1/2  inches by the width of the fabric.

3. Cut these strips in to segments that are the same measurement as your block size. To determine this, measure the block down the middle. It SHOULD be 14 inches, but the most important thing is to use the same measurement as your block - and NOT a different measurement for each block, either! I'll give you a tip for making the blocks fit if they vary in size (which they shouldn't - this is pretty easy if you use a consistent seam allowance). Determine the closest consistent measurement and use that.

4. Assemble a Block Row by sewing a Sashing Strip to one side of a Large 9-Patch. Then attach another Sashing Strip to the opposite side. Add a Large 9-Patch Block next, then another Sashing Strip. All sewing is done RST with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. When complete, your row looks like this:

Sashing Strip        Large 9         Sashing Strp         Large 9        Sashing Strip

For the Baby Quilt, you will need two of these rows.

5. Assemble a Corner Block Row this way:

a. Stitch the SHORT end of a Sashing Strip to one of the extra Little 9-patch blocks, RST, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

b. Add another Little 9-Patch to the other end of the same Sashing Strip.

c. Add another Sashing Strip to the Little 9- Patch you just sewed on

d. Add a Little 9-Patch to the end of the last Sashing Strip.

e. When you're done, you have a Corner Block Row that goes:

Little 9            Sashing Strip            Little 9            Sashing Strip            Little 9

For the Baby Quilt, you will need three of these rows.

ASSEMBLING THE QUILT

It's easy! Sew together the rows in this order:

Corner Block Row

Block Row

Corner Block Row

Block Row

Corner Block Row

As you sew, be sure that the corners of the Little 9-Patch corner blocks line up neatly with the corners of the Large 9-Patch, and be sure to oppose the seam allowances. Using this method, your quilt top should be nice and flat, and   symmetrical. Using corner blocks always makes straight sashing easier!! If I've lost you anyplace, be sure to e-mail and ask for help: I'm glad to give it!! I hope the instructions were clear - it's a fun little project!


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