Wednesday, October 6, 2010

9 patch quilt tip

Lately I've been spending a lot time on the computer exploring the quilt blog world. It's so much fun to see others' quilting projects, and there is so much inspiration out there. Many blogs are also very informative, as quilters are always eager to share their knowledge. For busy moms like me, it's a wonderful resource! With little (or big) kids in tow, it's almost impossible to take a class, or join a guild. Add to that the rural location that I've lived in for the last few years, and books and blogs, chat boards and magazines have become my main go-to when learning new things. My local quilt shops have been a great resource as well, and I try hard to support them as much as I can.

Even though I'm relatively new to the quilting world, I thought I'd return the favor and share a tip that I learned this summer about piecing 9-patch (or similar) quilt squares. 9 patches are like tic-tac-toe boards... 9 squares, 3x3. I'm working on a quilt that uses a 9-patch, so I took some pictures of my newly learned method.

Put simply, instead of strip-sewing all the same pieces in "like" batches, I take a little more time initially and sew them in the order of the finished patch. I sew all the "left" seams first:

Then the "right" seams:

I then cut the blocks apart, keeping the 2 middle threads still attached.

Now I just fold them over, and repeat the process, finishing the 3rd and 4th seams.

It uses less thread, and I believe that it also makes the process faster. Of course it does take some concentration, and if you're like me, it's hard to concentrate on sewing like this when the kids are home. Luckily mine are now in school several hours a day :-). But even with them gone, I still make mistakes....

I'll be the first to tell you that I'm not the best teacher (just ask my kids), so I hope this makes sense. Happy piecing everyone! Cant' wait to show you my latest quilt as it progresses.


Aunt Spicy said...

I love those squares! I totally want to make them in red and white!

Becky said...

Thanks! Stay tuned for the whole quilt! I'm super-excited about it. It's for a niece, but I have another surprise project that I suddenly realize that I only have one day left to do..... Next week!

kwquilter said...

I do the same sort of chain piecing when putting together blocks for a top. You wind up with a row sewn across and joined to the next row by the stitching thread. Helps to see if you have made a mistake in the piecing before you get it all sewn together

Becky said...

Yep! Thanks for stopping by!