Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I recently shared a Disappearing Nine Patch block with some of my quilting friends that I had seen at sew-fantastic   We are going to be making a quilt of valour and thought about this technique for our pattern.  We met last week to start on our quilt (Be looking for future posts on our process).

 Kay had made a simple nine patch square (imagine you can't see the cuts she made)

and had cut it vertically and horizonally in the 
middle. The large darker red in the center will become small squares and the medium red squares will be the same size or two together to form a rectangle.

We played around with the four pieces a little, but Rita, another member of the group, had bought the recent copy of Fons and Porter quilting magazine as it had a feature article on quilts of valour and we decided we would make one of them. 

The next day several of us were together again and I suggested that we see how many different ways we could rearrange the four pieces to make a quilt square.  Here are some pictures of what we came up with, our Disappearing Nine Patch Blocks.  The thing is you can see some cute possibilities for some quilt squares.

This is one of my favorite designs.  It is also one of the easiest as you only have the one intersecting seam in the center to make sure you meet.

I also really like the looks of this one.
These next two examples would be interesting if you made the original nine-patch with the four corners different prints that were close to the same color.  This one to the right is two halves of the next picture.  Thus when you add another block on either side, you will create the look of the block in the next picture.

  It might be easier to visualize the look I am talking about with the four corners being different prints of the same color in this picture. As the block is formed with the four corners of the nine-patch as the center four of this block.

Here is another look that would be pretty in a quilt.

This pattern would be really interesting in a quilt, too.  You would have single small squares and then two diagonally from each other.

This one is a smaller version of an earlier one.  I think I like this look better.  This one would look cute with a child's novelity print for the larger red square.  You would have to "fussy cut" it for the framed look, but worth the effort.

This too is a smaller version of an earlier one I showed.

I will definitely be using one or two of these in a quilt.  It was fun just moving the pieces around and seeing the possibilities with a Disappearing Nine-Patch Block.  Maybe you will, too.  Let me know if you do.

UPDATE: I recently made a baby quilt using the disappearing nine patch. You can see it HERE.


  1. I am so new at this and teaching myself. Please excuse the dumb question. Does this change the measurements of the original squares? Before the cut? Or are all 9 squares the same time and you don't worry about the measurement after the cut?

  2. Tammie, it isn't a dumb question and thanks for asking. I hope my answer will be clear.

    With every seam, you lose 1/4 inch of that piece. SO if the original 9-patch square is 12 inches (before you sew it to another 9-patch square) and you cut it as I illustrated and resewed it, the 9-patch will now measure 11-1/2 inches (you lost a half an inch with both seams). If you sew a bunch of them together, the finished 9-patch square will be 11 inches.

    Since you said you are self-teaching yourself, whatever you want your finished square to be, cut it 1/2 inch bigger. That allows for a 1/4 inch seam on all four sides.

    For a traditional 9-patch square that measures 12 inches, each smaller square is cut 4-1/2 inches. 4 + 4 + 4 = 12 but cut each square 1/2 inches bigger to allow for seams. After you sew a bunch together, the finished traditional 9-patch square will measure 11-1/2 square.

    So the measurement of the original square would be 11-1/2 inches, and the disappearing 9-patch square will be 11 inches. The disappearing 9-patch square will always be 1/2 inch smaller than the original 9-patch square.

    I hope I have answered your question. If I need to clarify anything I have said, please let me know.

  3. BTW watch out that first one looks like as swastaca

    1. Thanks for your concern. I certainly wouldn't want to produce that pattern. I think when a number of the blocks are produced and connected, you would see a variety of other patterns depending on the prints chosen. For this arrangement to work, the center square for the 9 patch needs to be a different print from the corners. It should be a solid or what I call a "motley " solid. I tried it with a busy print and it didn't look good when the 9 patch was cut and rearranged.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.