Disappearing nine patch tutorial

The disappearing nine-patch pattern is perfect for a beginner quilter. In the tutorial below I have made a very scrappy version using lots of different fabric designs, but by choosing accent fabrics and simply arranging the blocks in different ways before you sew them together, you can achieve a very different look.

Here are some that I’ve made before. Can you tell they are all made with the same patchwork block?




I had a day off yesterday which meant I had lots of time for patchwork. I’ve had the fabric for a while and some of you had great suggestions as to what I should do with it :-) but because I only had one day, I did something really easy. I still have plenty fabric left to try at least one more of your suggestions later. I chose the Disappearing Nine Patch block, which requires little preparation and thought.  It is ideal for left overs from layer cakes and, one day, I’ll make one with plain coloured fabrics.

I used seven different fabrics but you can use any number. The more variety, the better if you want a scrappy look, in my opinion :-)

Here are the basic instructions for making the blocks.

Cut twenty seven 10 x 10 inch squares from your fabric or use squares from a layer cake.

Cut each of these in half across and down giving  four 5 x 5 inch squares from each large square. You should have 108 squares altogether.

Then put them all in a box or bag and mix them all up. Choose nine squares randomly and sew them together to make a nine patch like the one below. Make twelve of these.








This is the clever bit! Cut each of your nine patch blocks down  and across the middle to make four new blocks like the ones below.

Then, all you need to do is mix them all up again and arrange so you don’t get too many of the same design next to each other. I like to put two little squares and two larger squares diagonally opposite each other to give a really scrappy effect.

I laid mine all out on the floor and swapped them around until I was happy with the arrangement. Then I sewed all the blocks in each row together and then sewed the rows together.

It is easier, when sewing rows together, to sew the 1st to the 2nd row, then the 3rd to the 4th row, then 5th to 6th and finally the 7th to the 8th. Then you have four rows. Then sew the top two pieces together and the bottom two together giving two halves of your quilt top. Finally join the two halves together. This way, you aren’t wrestling with most of the quilt a lot of the time.

My quilt top is about 39 x 52 inches at this stage. Make even more blocks if you wish or quilt and bind as it is to make a lovely lap size quilt.

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