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The basic nine patch quilt block pattern is easy to make. See step by step how to sew a quilt block together!
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.
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)
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.)
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 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.
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.
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.
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).
Step 2c Flip the square in Column 2 right side up. Finger press the seam away from the center of the block.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Step 6b Stitch Row 1 to Row 2 using a 1/4 inch seam.
Step 6c Flip Row 1 right side up. Finger press the seam up, toward Row 1.
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.
Step 6e Stitch Row 3 to Row 2 using a 1/4 inch seam.
Step 6f Flip Row 3 right side up. Finger press the seam down, toward Row 3.
Your nine patch quilt block pattern is complete!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.