After the morning family Easter fun was over, I took to my sewing room to take the Nine Patch Magic design from concept to an actual sewn block. Depending on how many colors one chooses to use, this block can be a bit tricky; at least for beginners. Plus, I think the size of each square used in the block will make a difference as well.
Since I wanted to use scraps of existing fabric, I decided to use some leftover 3 1/2″ strips to cut into squares. Warning – this was probably a little small for all of the seams that required matching when sewing everything together in the end. Here is my sequence of events:
Nine patch layout using three colors:
Cut in half vertically and horizontally:
Here’s the magic – Cut diagonally in the diamond shape:
Taking opposite corners of the 4 center cuts, sewed two together on the long diagonal sides to make two squares, then did the same to the opposite corners of the 4 outer cuts:
Pressed the seams open. This is important to reduce all of the bulk when sewing more together later.
Sewn squares measured a little over 4 1/4″ so I squared them down to exactly 4 1/4″ which cut off the dog ears from the pressed seams and gave me nice straight edges.
I sewed the squares together like pictured below; first sewing two squares for the top row pressing the seam to one side, then sewing a bottom row, pressing the seam to the opposite direction from the first set, then sewing the top and bottom rows together and pressing that seam to one side.
This resulted in a block that measured 8 inches square. I then made four total, of these 8 inch blocks.
Here is an example of all of the seams starting to come together. When I joined two of the 8 inch squares together I pressed open that seam hoping to reduce bulk again, when I sewed the top and bottom rows together.
I arranged the four blocks together to make one bigger block as pictured:
Here’s the end result sewn together. I really like it except I didn’t do a very good job of lining up all of my seams quite correctly ending up with various “wonky” areas. Since this was a test block I didn’t beat myself up about it but learned that there are going to be several opportunities for things to get a bit off, so paying close attention to the pressing and sewing together of each section will be important to keeping things aligned well. Using pins will probably be a must when sewing the sections together.
Wonkiness (is that a word?):
Here’s an example of the back of the big block.
So I took a picture and patched together a few more images of the block to give an idea of what a quilt would look like:
Again, color and fabric choices will provide a variety of results.
Have fun experimenting with this, and I hope my construction tips help to make your blocks turn out the way you want.