Friday, January 28, 2011

Disappearing 9 Patch Variations - Tutorial

Hello everyone!  Well, last night was the first gathering of the Sew n' Sews, and we had a blast!!  Each month this year, my quilting peeps and I will get together and spend some time sewing up blocks that will be made into laps quilts and then donated to charity.

January's block was the disappearing nine-patch.  Here's a quick tutorial on the traditional disappearing nine-patch block and one variation, which I call, double trouble (because I have no idea what this block is really called!).  I'll post a tutorial on the second variation tomorrow.

Please note, tutorials for these blocks are found in abundance on the web.  Do a quick search for disappearing nine-patch and you will find oodles of them...just so you know. :-)


Traditional Disappearing nine-patch

We started off with nine 5-inch squares to make our nine-patch block.

Then we made two cuts, one vertical and one horizontal in the middle row.  To determine how far in I had to cut, I measured the dark blue center square.  It was 4.5 inches and half of that is 2.25 inches.  Measuring 2.25 from the left seam brings me to the center of the block.

Take two of the smaller squares that are opposite one another, and turn them 180 degrees, notice how the small dark blue squares are now at the outer edges of the block?  All you have left to do is sew your blocks together and you have made your very own disappearing nine-patch!

 Disappearing nine-patch, Variation 1 (Double Trouble)

Begin by making a traditional nine patch block.  I used 5-inch squares for this block.

Measure your center block. Mine is 4.5 inches.  Half of that is 2.25 inches.  I made two vertical cuts, one in each of the outer rows.  I measured out 2.25 inches from the vertical seams.
One side is cut, now turn your mat and make another cut on the other side of your block. 

After you are done cutting up your block, it should look like this.  One central block, two smaller rectangular pieces above and below and two longer strips on each side.
Now, you get to do this all over again (yippee!!), with a different block.  Please note the placement of the darker coloured squares in this block (there are 5) versus the darker coloured squares in the previous block (there are 4).  This will make a difference in your final blocks.

Once you've finished cutting your second block, you will have something that looks like this.  Now comes the fun part, really!!

Take all the cut pieces from your first block and place them next to the center square of your second block, as above.  Sew the shorter top and bottom pieces and press.  Then add both sides, making sure the seams line up.  There will be a little extra length on the final two side pieces.  Once you've done sewing up your block, trim off the extra when squaring up.

Reverse the process, adding the cut pieces from your second block to the center square from your first block. 

There you have it, your two Double Trouble disappearing nine-patch blocks.


  1. It's amazing what can be done with a 9-patch!

    It sounds like a fun group.

  2. I love the Double Trouble... thanks for showing it!

  3. Love the Double Trouble, what a great variation.

  4. WOW!
    Great idea, from sunny California

  5. I love this idea. I'm going to try it.

  6. I just started learning about the disappearing 9 patch. I love it. I like having 2 version shown. Thank you.

  7. super, das werde ich demnächst ausprobieren.
    liebe Grüße Monika

  8. I am anxious to try the double trouble block. Because the center block is not cut, one could use a novelty fabric or photos blocks. Oh no I can see too many ideas coming!

  9. What is the finishing size of each variation? Thanks!

  10. I love this variation! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Normally I am not a big fan of the standard D9P as I call it. We won't go into my objections to it but I gotta say I love this double trouble version! Very lovely in the shades of blue and CLEVER!

  12. I like this D9 pattern. I am going to try it. Thanks for sharing.

  13. I too wonder finished size. However, simple math can give me answer. Jyst have to go back review size squares and some addition and substraction I should not have issuses. Assuming you used 1/4 seam allowance.

  14. Looks like, I am guessing based on mat measurments,it may be a 12" finished block give or take. Also, size can be adjusted based on size of you choose for each square you start with when creating the intial 9 patch. Also, squares should be same size when starting 9 patch to create this block. I love the variation. Like I said Im just guessing and assuming so please provide any corrections or thoughts. Great job and love the charity idea. That is very nice of you and your friends. Thanks

  15. I just love all that can be done with a 9 patch.


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