Thursday, February 18, 2010

Nine Patch Fun

Those pincushions got me thinking.  If I can make four separate little (little) quilts, I could make little (little) blocks.  Like these:

And these:


These blocks will finish at 1 1/2" square.  Now, normally, the whole point of the quilts in Miniatures in Minutes is that you can make the entire foundation pieced section of the quilt (sans borders) on a single foundation.  I fell in love with that technique because it meant I could make miniature quilts without having to do the really fussy sewing and matching that comes with miniatures.  When I make my miniature quilts, I never use a pin.

But, hey, why not experiment?  So, I decided to try using the foundation to make nine patch blocks that would then need to be pieced more traditionally.  Here’s how it worked:

First, I made up a Quilt Layout Diagram for the 13 Square foundation.

13 Square 9 patch blocks

It looked like there was a fair amount a room for me to get challenged during the sewing process (always a consideration) so I made sure to mark up the foundation.  I drew little blue arrows to indicate which lines to sew (this actually helped a great deal) and green squiggly lines across the foundation to remind me not to join these rows.  (Am I the only one who goes space cadet at the sewing machine?  I tend to get in a rhythm and just keep sewing without much thinking about it – hence the occasional disaster.  Marking the foundation before I get to the machine makes my life much easier!)

Here’s what the foundation looked like with two columns of nine-patches added and the first patch set  of the last column in place.

Here’s with all the patches added:

Here it is with the rows joined:

I just love how fast and easy Fold and Sew is!  I suspect I don’t really have the patience to make such little blocks using traditional methods.  These were definitely fun though.  So far, so good.  But then, Terrie made an oopsie:

Oh, that made me very sad.  I’m not even sure how I did it.  Though, I have to say, given all of the little quilts I’ve made using this method (and that would be a lot), this is the first time I have ever sliced through fabric while it was on the foundation.  Would you believe?  I never have.  This goes to the “A First Time For Everything, Gol Darn It” category.  I can’t whine too much though, at least it wasn’t an entire quilt! 

I had made up two of these foundations so I had enough of the green nine patch blocks to reach my goal.

I’m mostly wishing I hadn’t added that first inner border with the single patch.  (Oh, well).  Once I added the first two borders, I decided I needed just one more to have a little breather before the binding would go on.  The outer border is now a little bigger than it will finish at.  I’ll trim after I quilt.

This one is meant as a tribute to my Irish roots, but I’ll write more about that when I get this quilted.  Meanwhile, happy piecing all and may the luck of the Irish be with you! 

(Okay, now where did that saying come from?  I mean, how lucky were the Irish, anyway?  The troubles?  The famine?  A whole pile of grievances to level at the English?  Perhaps it’s because despite it all, Ireland is just so breathtakingly beautiful . . .  the land and the people).


  1. Wow, I'm in awe of your skills with bitty little blocks. I love nine patches and these are so cute in the little sizes.

  2. Hi Terry! I hope you still remember me, if not it's ok :)
    Your small projects is awesome. I'm really bad in reading pattern (another word for lazy). You're so terrific in this.

  3. Love these itty bitty blocks! So tiny so small!! Love every small bit of it!!

  4. Cute! I'm thinking that wouldn't be the best size of block to go for a disappearing 9 patch, that really would disappear, heehee.


  5. Wow your minitures are always great. I love your irish tribute, even if they weren't really lucky. I think the first border and the second border make the quilt!

  6. Beautiful! Love your ideas for these miniature projects. How will you quilt it?