Monday, February 27, 2006

The hardest-working block of all

If you're pulling together a group quilting project for a worthy cause and don't know where to start, look no further than the humble nine-patch block.

For one thing, it's the easiest block pattern imaginable. Even inexperienced quilters, so long as they can sew a quarter-inch seam, can churn out nine-patches by the dozen. In fact, it's so very simple that it's often dismissed when compared to its more elaborately pieced cousins.

But the nine-patch always looks great. Whether surrounded by simple setting squares or more sophisticated piecework, it's a great way to make a totally unique scrap quilt come together. So it was the perfect centerpiece block for the guild's service project for group homes.

You can see one example in yesterday's post. This evening, here's another way to use nine-patches for a great-looking quilt. I had fun doing this one. I took a very scrappy assortment of 6-1/2-inch nine-patch blocks generated by probably six or seven different guild members. I put sashing around a dozen of them with two-inch cut strips. I set a dozen more on point, using tan 5-1/2-inch squares cut diagonally to form the new corners. It was something of an experiment and I trimmed a bit to get them all the same size, but I was really happy with how they looked all stitched together.

For this one, I put a narrow blue border around it, then added a second strip-pieced border out of more 2-1/2-wide scraps. One of my fellow guild members took it from there.

Marti Michell has a great book, 101 Nine-Patch Quilts - a super way to get more inspirations. And don't be afraid to try your own ideas, too. Even if you don't know what final design you're going to use, go ahead and get started on your nine-patches - whichever way you use them, they'll turn out just great!

1 comment:

Kathleen Fasanella said...

Hi Anne
Do you have an email address? I'm a friend of your brother Joe.