Monday, March 30, 2009

The Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt

Sometime last year, my friend gave me 150 batik fabric squares. Each square measures 5" and she had won them in a guild swap. Well, to my delight- she's not really a batik girl. Can I just give 1000 ThankYou's to my buddy, Dawn?

I've been sittin on those blocks thinking that they are just way way to beautiful for me to just make a big "collection of squares" design. I was waiting for a good, easy, good pattern. My local guild was talking quite a bit about Eleanor Burn's Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt, which she demo'd on her PBS show not too long ago. Within about 4 days of the guild discussing how fabulous it is, my virtual friend Rachel, of p.s. I quilt, posted a little tutorial of it. It was a sign! It was fate! The quilting heavens were pointing me into this direction & I just couldn't resist. (You can do a google search for Disappearing 9 Patch and find plenty more tutorials on the design.)

So I set out to make my new-favorite quilt with 144 squares & about 2/3rds yard of border fabric. I made my 9 Patch blocks, stacked them and then re-cut them. I don't recommend stacking them, it makes some of the blocks crooked. I can live with it, but ideally, I should have cut each 9 patch block individually. I had a reason for stacking them, though. A reason other than lazy (hee hee). I wanted to stack the blocks and then move 1/4 of the pieces into a different order, so I wouldn't generate a nice tidy block, but rather a random looking mess. -It worked!-

I then basted the quilt sandwich and decided to use a few scraps of batting to make the middle of this baby. I save all the extra batting pieces from all the purses and bags. I line up the straight edges (or cut new straight edges), butt up those sides and zigzag them into a new fabulous not-wasteful piece of batting.

Now, its off to the machine. I decided to use rainbow thread to draw super cute free-motion quilting flowers all over the quilt.

{that's the back, by the way, with flowers all over it.}

My quilt turned out to be about 60" square. Its a bigger size, I think, but its still manageable under the home sewing machine. Of course, to quilt it, I had to do the over-the-shoulder method to the bulk of the quilt wouldn't get hung on anything as I moved it around under the needle.

Now its all quilted with long stripes of free-motion flowers and its ready to be bound. I headed to the floor to get that extra batting and back fabric trimmed off.

The binding was a scrap piece of fabric that I've owned for about... um... 14 years. Hoard much? Yes, yes I do. I remember it was the most expensive fabric I had ever purchased back in college. I made a rockin awesome dress, which I still have, out of the orange & green. Now, I'm happy to report, I'm finally using up the rest of it. Sure, you can't really see it in the photo, but I know its there and I just wanted to tell you a little story about it. :)

Love it! Thanks for the tutorial, Rachel. It was a great weekend project, even if my family misses me. *wink wink* You guys should definitely try this pattern with some of those charm packs or nickel swap blocks! ~jen~
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7 comments:

Leigh said...

OOOHHHH!!!! AWWWWWW!!!!! Just beautiful!

rachel griffith said...

oh yayyy...it's looks fabulous!!!
:D

and you're welcome for the nudge.
*wink wink*

Corinne said...

You final line in your post said it all, "try this pattern with some of those charm packs." I have some from Quilt Market that I have no clue what to do with. You may have started me off on a new project.

Owens Family Adventures said...

Wow!!! That turned out so good! I'm glad you were able to use them....now what about this huge sack of scraps I've been saving for you?? Every time I go to throw anything away I have to look around cause I know you can see me....even though you are a couple of States away. hahahahahaha
dawn

Julie said...

WOW! I am not a big fan of the disappearing nine patch, but with batiks it really REALLY works! It looks amazing.
Julie in WA

Melody said...

I ♥ it!

Emily said...

I love it! I'm working on one right now with the Hushabye fabrics but I have a big collection of batiks from a major splurge a few years ago. Yours is inspirational! :)