Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Winter is Here! A Quilt Block a Day Tutorial

Happy First Day of Winter! I promised an easy peasy block for the winter season, and what could be easier than a 9-patch block?

I'm making my 9-patches from scrappy off-whites and reds. Festive, huh?

You may think it's silly to write a tutorial for a 9-patch, but not everyone has made 9-patches. Here are some tips for making a perfect 9-patch.

Start with either 2½ squares or 2½ strips. I used strips for the center three squares and scrappy squares for the outside rows.

This is a great chance to check your ¼" seam. Three 2½" strips sewn together should measure exactly 6½" -- if it doesn't, adjust your seam now before you sew more strips together!

To press, first "set" the seam by pressing with the dark fabric on top.

Next, press the seams toward the dark (red). Be sure to press to the thread -- in other words, make sure there is no little fold over the seam. 

Repeat for the second seam:

After pressing, I place a wooden cutting board over the strip set and wait for the fabric to cool. This ensure the strata is perfectly flat.

If you sewed strips, cross-cut into 2½" pieces. A fast way to cut is to start by making a clean cut at the left edge,using an 8½" ruler. Then cut a 7½" piece. 

Next, move your ruler to the left and line up at the 5" mark. Make the second cut:

Move the ruler to the left again and line up at the 2½" mark. Make the third cut:

Repeat until the entire strata is cut.

Because you pressed toward the dark side, the seams will nest nicely together. I don't even use pins!

I chain piece 2½" squares together rather than sewing off onto a scrap of fabric. By the end of a day of sewing, I have several blocks complete!

Try always to sew with the top seam aiming away from you. That way, your strata will always be lined up.

Add two strata with the dark (red) at the outsides to either side of the center strata. Press these two seams to the center.

See that the vertical seams are pressed outward, and the horizontal seams are pressed inward.

 Again, place the wooden cutting board on the block to flatten it.

Repeat daily to make 90 total 9-patch blocks!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature


  1. Ok, this is one I CAN DO!! I will do this one with you. Thanks for the tute AND the incentive to DO IT!! You are awesome, Marti!!

  2. I have never heard of the wooden board trick. I'll have to try that!

  3. Sometimes what seems to be easy is taken for granted that everyone knows it. Thanks for the lesson.

  4. Sometimes what seems to be easy is taken for granted that everyone knows it. Thanks for the lesson.

  5. Love this block,so easy and fun.Thnanks for the wooden board trick.

    How many blocks are you going to do and the size?

    Wishing you a fabulous Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

  6. I am going to join in the fun on this one. Will need to find a wooden board to set the seams. What size would you recommend.

  7. hello Marti, you are right, I have not made 9 patch blocks. I had an idea how to go about it, but I found your tips really helpful. I have a (duplicate) brand new board, I was going to give it away, but what a great use for it!

  8. I must try your tip about the wooden board to flatten the block. Thanks

  9. This is going to be so much fun! I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with for color! Thanks, Aunt Marti! Merry Christmas.


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