Welcome to our series exploring quilting basics! We left off with a look at the nine patch quilt block. Next time, we’ll be exploring the shaded four patch quilt block. For an overview of the series, you can check out all of the posts here.
This week in the Exploring the Basics series, Tammy and I are chatting about the disappearing 9 patch block. Have you heard about this block? Scroll down to learn more!
Basically, the disappearing 9 patch is when you make a 9 patch block, cut up the block and then sew it back together. Below I will share 6 different ways to make and cut up the block.
Disappearing 9 Patch Block Cutting Method #1
Here is my 9 patch block made with 3 ½” squares.
I cut the block in half from the top to the bottom and then from side to side.
Next I turned 2 of the units and sewed the units back together.
Or I could have sewed it back together this way.
The block can look really different depending on whether you make a scrappy 9 patch to start or use a consistent fabric plan.
How big will your block be after you cut it up and sew it back together?
My squares started at 3 ½” x 3 ½”. My block was 9 ½” x 9 ½”. If I sewed it into a quilt as a 9 patch, it would finish at 9″ x 9″.
My disappearing 9 patch ended up at 9” x 9”. So in a finished quilt it would be 8 ½” x 8 ½”.
If I had started with 5″ charm squares, my 9 patch block would be 14″ x 14″ (13 ½” x 13 ½” finished in a quilt) and then disappearing 9 patch would be 13 ½” x 13 ½” (13″ x 13″ finished in a quilt).
Cutting Method #2 – Double Disappearing 9 Patch Block
For this method, you would start by making your 9 patch and then cutting as explained in method #1. But then you would need another 5 squares that are larger than your original squares. They measure the size of the units you just cut from your 9 patch.
For my block, I started with 3 ½” squares and my 9 patch measured 9 ½” x 9 ½”. The squares cut from my 9 patch measured 4 ¾” x 4 ¾”. So I cut 5 additional squares 4 ¾” x 4 ¾”.
Then I sewed those squares and units into a 9 patch.
And cut it up again in the same way as before, through the center from top to bottom and through the center from side to side.
I rotated 2 of the units I and sewed the 4 units together. A double 9 patch block!
If you want to know about the math, the math for these blocks is not pretty! When I sewed my 4 ¾” squares/units together, I ended up with a block that measured 13 ¼” x 13 ¼”. So cut in half, each new unit measures 6 ⅝” x 6 ⅝“. Once my units were rotated and sewn back together, the block was 12 ¾” x 12 ¾”. When I put it into a quilt, it will finish at 12 ¼” x 12 ¼”.
Cutting Method #3 – Double Disappearing 9 Patch Block Version 2
There are other ways to cut your block. In this method you would start with two 9 patch blocks using different fabrics.
Cut strips off the sides of each block.
How do you know where to cut?
To determine where to cut, measure the center block and divide that number in half. So if I started with 3 ½” squares, my center block would be 3″. Half of that is 1 ½”. I would then make a cut 1 ½” from the seam lines.
Then swap out the cuts- take the side cuts from one block and add them to the center of the other block.
The short cuts will line up but the long side cuts will end up being longer than your block. Just center them on your block and trim once they have been sewn on.
Now you have 2 double disappearing 9 patch blocks!
Now you can even cut this block up again!
Cut again in the same way as cutting method #1, rotate 2 sections and ta-da!
Another block variation!
Disappearing 9 Patch Block Cutting Method #4
Want to get a little crazy???
How about cutting the blocks in half like before but then making a second cut on the diagonal? My friend Becky of Patchwork Posse has a post about this method called Criss Cross.
Second cut goes like this:
Then move the pieces arena, rotate units…. here is how my block came out.
You can either mix and match with each block or just mix and match among a bunch of blocks.
Cutting Method #5 – QST Disappearing 9 Patch
What if you made 2 different 9 patch blocks and cut them into quarter square triangles?
Then you could do a swap and sew 2 of each together into a block.
Disappearing 9 Patch Block Cutting Method #6
Or maybe you want to go a little more modern. I saw this method in this blog post by ??? where she only cut vertical strips. I started with a scrappy 9 patch block.
I cut my block into 3 sections, rotated one and put it on the other side of the block and just moved the other next to the block.
Your block will be not be square so you will have to trim it to be a square- or use it as a rectangle!
I made a cut on the long side and added it to the sort side and then trimmed to a square.
These are just a few different ways you can play around with your 9 patch blocks and make disappearing 9 patch blocks!
Have you done this? What’s your favorite way to make a disappearing 9 patch? Feel free to share in the comments!
Click here to head over to Tammy’s post and see what great ideas she has for you!
Retreat from Home
Have you signed up for the Fall Retreat from Home???
The early bird pricing ends Aug 22nd (this Saturday)! I am so excited to be teaching again at the Fall into Sewing retreat along with some other amazing instructors.
Click here to go to the website to sign up!! We will have sew much fun!