One of the most basic patchwork blocks is the nine patch. Many quilters learn this skill early in their quilting journey. Colleen Tauke will show you a way to add whimsy and fun to the nine patch blocks with a freestyle approach to cutting.
Working with a set of pre-cut 10″ squares, you can slice and assemble blocks that have interesting angles. Another option is to cut your own 10” squares. By selecting nine different prints from a set of pre-cut squares, the blocks are neatly stacked into one pile. Use a sharp rotary blade, a new blade is highly recommended for this cutting. Watch the cutting demonstration for the positioning of your ruler no closer than 1½” of the corners. Align your ruler and cut down through all the layers in two places across the pre cut squares.
Without disturbing the stacks, rotate the squares and again make two cuts across the blocks. Colleen will show the method to rearrange or shuffle the pieces within the stacks to create nine patch blocks that will consist of nine different fabrics.
Organization is the key to a quick and easy assembly of the new nine patch blocks. Colleen points out pressing the seams open for reduced bulk at the intersections. You also learn the “clean up” cutting of the interior edges of the various rows in this new nine patch. Keep in mind that seam lines will not align as in a traditional nine patch. Once the top, middle and bottom rows are created, they are joined for freestyle nine patch blocks.
The last step is to determine the largest square that can be cut from the completed blocks. Take a survey through all the blocks you have made and find the size you want to trim all the blocks. The completed blocks can be used in many ways – block to block, joined with sashing or combined with offset blocks of the same size.
Freestyle nine patch blocks offer a way to utilize pre cuts that include a wide variety of prints and patterns. Other simple designs with nine patches can be found following this link.