Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Tutorial

The basic nine patch quilt block pattern is easy to make. See step by step how to sew a quilt block together!

Nine Patch Quilt Block PatternNine Patch Quilt Block Pattern

This simple 9 patch quilt block tutorial is written for the absolute beginner. You will see how to put a quilt block together.

The nine patch quilt block has many different variations - split nine patch, double nine patch, blooming nine patch. There are too many to count!

This quilt block is simply made up of nine squares, which can be any size. So, you can make a block in the size you want.

9 Patch Quilt Block Fabric Requirements

Any fabric will do, but done in contrasting fabrics the nine patch really shows up. You can cut the squares from yardage strips, scraps or use precuts. In this tutorial I have designated the fabrics as follows:

Fabric A: tone on tone solid (purple)

Fabric B: print (purple paisley)

Nine Patch Quilt Block Measurement Chart

Here are the cutting measurements for the nine patch quilt block in five sizes: 6 inch, 9 inch, 12 inch, 15 inch and 18 inch.

(Note: To increase photo size, on your keyboard hold 'Ctrl' and hit the + key.)

Nine Patch Quilt Block Layout

Before sewing the block together, it helps to understand the underlying structure of the quilt block.The 9 patch block is laid out on a 3 x 3 grid: 3 rows and 3 columns.

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern layout

Nine patches make up the block. The patches can be solid squares or squares with multiple patches, as is the case for some 9 patch block variations.

And, the patches from column to column can be unequal in size. However, the block itself is sewn together in the same way as shown below.

Choose your block size, cut your squares accordingly and follow the instructions below to make the block.

To show the sewing lines I have used a contrasting red thread. You would use thread that matches, or blends with, your fabric color.

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Instructions

  • Note: Refer to these instructions for stitching together most any quilt block that is laid out on a nine patch grid.

Step 1 Choose Block Size and Cut Fabric: According to the block size measurement chart above, from Fabric A cut 5 squares, from Fabric B cut 4 squares.

How to Sew a Quilt Block Together

Step 2a Stitch Row 1 Together: Near your sewing machine layout the block in the grid format as pictured above in the block layout. Taking each row in turn, and without changing the orientation of the patches (squares), stitch the patches in each row together.

Row 1: Place the square from Column 2 right side down on top of the square in Column 1.

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 2a

Step 2b Stitch Patch 2 to Patch 1: Sew the two squares together using a 1/4 inch seam along the right side (shown in red thread).

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 2b
Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 2bPatch 2 stitched to Patch 1

Step 2c Flip the square in Column 2 right side up. Finger press the seam away from the center of the block.

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 2c

Step 2d Place Patch 3 Face Down on Patch 2: With right sides together, place the square from Column 3 right side down on top of the square in Column 2.

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 2d

Step 2e Stitch Patch 3 to Patch 2: Sew the two squares together along the right side (shown in red thread) using a 1/4 inch seam.

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 2e

Step 2f Flip Patch 3 Face Up: Flip the square in Column 3 right side up. Finger press the seam away from the center of the block. Row 1 is now complete.

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 2f

Step 3 Stitch Row 2 Patches Together: Repeat Steps 2a - 2f to sew the squares of Row 2 together. Finger press the seams in the opposite direction (towards the center of the block) of those from Row 1.

Step 4 Stitch Row 3 Patches Together: Repeat Steps 2a - 2f to sew the squares of Row 3 together. Finger press the seams in the opposite direction (away from the center of the block) of those from Row 2.

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 3 and 4patches of all 3 rows sewn together

Pressing a Nine Patch Quilt Block

Step 5 Press Seams of Each Row: Take the sewn rows to the ironing board and press the seams with an iron in the direction that they were finger pressed.

For flatter seams, use a starch alternative pressing solution if desired.

See in the picture below how the seams of each row are pressed in opposite directions. This helps to reduce bulk when you nest the seams as you sew the rows together.

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 5

Step 6a Sew Rows Together: Now, sew the rows of the nine patch quilt block pattern together. Place Row 1 right side down over Row 2. (The bottom of Row 1 should be aligned with the top of Row 2.)

Nest the seams. Pin on both sides of the seam and near each end of the row.

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 6a
Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 6a close upclose up of nested seams

Step 6b Stitch Row 1 to Row 2 using a 1/4 inch seam.

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 6b

Step 6c Flip Row 1 right side up. Finger press the seam up, toward Row 1.

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 6c

Step 6d Stitch Row 3 to Row 2: Place Row 3 right side down over Row 2. (The top of Row 3 should be aligned with the bottom of Row 2). Nest the seams. Pin on both sides of the seam and near each end of the row.

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 6d

Step 6e Stitch Row 3 to Row 2 using a 1/4 inch seam.

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 6e

Step 6f Flip Row 3 right side up. Finger press the seam down, toward Row 3.

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 6fnine patch quilt block pattern

Your nine patch quilt block pattern is complete!

Pressing a Nine Patch Block

Step 7 Give the block a final press with an iron. Here's the backside of the nine patch quilt block pattern so that you can see how each seam was pressed.

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 7

How to Square Up a 9 Patch Quilt Block

Method 1: Use Unfinished Block Size

Step 8 Square Up Quilt Block: Trim the block to size. When squaring up a quilt block, trim it to size based on the unfinished size of the block.

I have a 9 1/2 inch unfinished block. To trim it, I place the 5 1/4 inch vertical and horizontal measurement lines of the quilting ruler in the center of the block and cut off a little excess fabric. I simply eyeballed the center of the block.

Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 8a

Method 2: Use Unfinished Patch Size

You can also square up the quilt block based on the unfinished patch size:

Unfinished Patch Size - Seam Allowance

In this case the patches around the center patch of the block should measure 3 1/4 inches (1/4 inch of each is used in the seam allowance) because 3 1/2 - 1/4 = 3 1/4.

  1. Place the correct measurement line of the quilting ruler for your block size along the entire seam of the right column/side of the block.
  2. Trim any excess fabric from the right side of the block.
  3. Turn the block a quarter turn clockwise and repeat Steps 1 and 2 for the other sides.
Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern Step 8b

Now your nine patch quilt block is ready to be used in a quilt. Enjoy making the nine patch quilt block pattern. It's easy to make and versatile!

Squaring Up Blocks That Are Too Small

Due to variations in cutting and stitching sometimes your completed block may not end up being the exact size you wanted it to be. But it should be very close.

If your block is a smaller size than you were aiming for simply trim all the blocks to the same size as the smallest block. Using it in a quilt may require you to make a extra block or two. Or, simply make your smaller. Just go with it...You can always make another quilt!

Check out this cool 9 patch variation: disappearing nine patch quilt block pattern.


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