Saturday, January 10, 2009

Disappearing Nine Patch

Whew... I've kept my sewing machine humming for the past 24 or so hours. Does that make my machine love or hate me?

When I was at my parents house and helping my mom make curtains, there were gaps of time where I couldn't do anything. So I raided my mom's stash (it's existence is probably all my fault though!) and helped myself to enough 4.5" strips to make a Disappearing 9-patch quilt.

Mom was a little surprised when she saw me using her beautiful batik fabric with gold stars. It's one of her favorite pieces (I gave it to her for a birthday gift) and just how much of it was I using?! Not to worry, only 13.5 inches worth. :)

She had no issues with me using the black fabric - it'd just be a quick trip to JoAnn's to replenish that.

And I only used one 4.5" strip from 12 different hand dyed fabrics. Why is it so fun to play with somebody else's stash? :)

The strips were sewn together at my parents house, but the subcutting didn't start to happen until I was back at home.

My biggest concern was making sure that I was getting the same quarter inch from my mom's machine as I get at home. I think I was able to eyeball it pretty well.

But I had to be careful, mistakes weren't allowed because I don't have access to my mom's stash anymore!

I did boo-boo once, but I was able to save it and avoid weeping and gnashing of my teeth. Good thing too, I've got a dentist appointment on Monday. :P

Sometimes it's so nice working with such large pieces, they come together much faster. And shows the depths of the dyed pieces better.

Larger pieces help keeps the excitement and energy flowing. It didn't hurt that I've been thinking about doing a 9-patch for the longest time, but didn't take action within my own stash.

Another boo-boo, but this one was definitely in my favor.

Instead of a 4.5" strip, I somehow cut a 4.75" one. No problem! Just whack off that extra quarter inch and keep trucking on.

Finally the magic starts to happen.

Slice the center in half one way...

...then the other way.

The nine-patch is about to disappear...

...and become a whole new block design.

The cutting goes surprisingly fast, especially if your husband happens to be away for the evening due to a work-related event. ;)

By bedtime on Friday night, I had half of the block pieces sewn together.

But I couldn't empty that bin just yet - the quilt isn't a top.

Today I finished piecing all the blocks.

I tried my hardest to spread the colors around evenly, but it never fails and somewhere in the quilt two colors from the same fabric sit next to each other.

By nightfall I have a completed top! I think my biggest motivation was so I didn't have to arrange the blocks all over again. :P

Best of all? I can officially declare a quilt bin empty!

I did tell my husband about my plans for making sure that I never have more than 10 "current" quilting projects at a time. Knowing that he knows about it, and knowing that he'll likely ask me several weeks or months down the road how it's going helps keep me in line! ;)



call me crazy said...

Very pretty colors! Isn't it fun to do a quick project now and again?
Happy Stitchin'!

Tamara B said...

I've only been quilting for a few months and I love to learn new things. Thanks for sharing this techinque for the disappearing 9-patch! I'm going to have to try this!

ruthieredneck said...

Amazing. Very nicely done.

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

Great job using your Mom's stash! Much better to have a beautiful finished quilt anyway.
Cheers! -Evelyn

Howdy said...

Very pretty Leah! I love how those blocks of hand dyes look like they are floating and YES I love that big blocks come together quickly and you are done. Quick satisfaction... Very Pretty too!

Jean said...

I love that quilt!!!!!!!! My god and so quick and easy. Believe me, I have never heard of that pattern before. If I did I would of made one.

Dana said...

That is awesome!!

Just for clarity though, each piece of the 9patch is 4.5 inches?

How big would the finished block be once you cut it apart and sew it back together?

I hope you don't mind me asking.

I am pretty new to quilting and I have been wanting to make an easy quilt more than just a baby/lap size which is what I have done, to really get my feet wet so to speak but also something that doesn't look really girly as I have all boys and this looks great!!


Leah S said...


Yes, each piece of the 9-patch is a 4.5" unfinished square.

When you cut the 9-patch up, the blocks become 6.25. By the time they're all sewn together, you have a 5.75 finished block.

The whole quilt top measures about 51.75"x69". Great lap size. :)

Pieceful Jane said...

Very nice! I have never wanted to make a disappearing nine-patch ...until now! I have some hand-dyed fabrics that would look great this way. :)

Kim said...

I love how your disappearing nine patch came out. Nice colors, and good job clearing out one of those boxes.

Judy Laquidara said...

That turned out so pretty!

Dana said...

Thanks Leah for answering my questions!!

This looks like something I could do!!

Lynn said...

I love this! Very beautiful!

Carmi said...

I love the colors. Aren't batiks wonderful. I'll have to make one with batiks now. Thanks for the instructions.

Pumpkin Patch Quilter said...

How pretty - I made one of these too but using Eleanor Burns pattern for "tossed 9-patch", though it's basically the same thing. Yours turned out so pretty - and I think hand dyes have definitely become your trademark!

Lisa said...

That 9 patch design is on my 2009 to do list for sure now.

Mary said...

OK, define current quilting projects....are those just piecing projects or in all stages (ie finished tops, quilting in progress, binding?)

I was really successful in not creating a bunch of new UFO's when I started keeping myself to one or two piecing projects at a time. Now, I'm dying to start something new but am trying to finish up the RWB blocks I've pulled back out.

bingo~bonnie said...

I've seen several DNP's before and yours is BY FAR the coolest!!! I love the 3D effect those colors take on.. looks like they are floating off the black background.

la,la,LOVE it!! Great job.. since it was your mom's stash does she get to keep the quilt? ;)

Love from Texas! ~bonnie

Gill - That British Woman said...

that is such a super idea and I love the colours, just so pretty.

Gill in Canada

Quilt Nut said...

fantastic! i'm doing one this weekend, hope mine goes together as quickly!