The Disappearing Nine Patch

I can’t believe it! I have made another blanket! I’m really on a roll at the moment, and thoroughly enjoying myself.

This time I used the disappearing nine patch block for the main part of the quilt and then added a border and binding. The material is a Riley Blake fabric and is very pretty and bright. I’m not actually sure if I will give the blanket away or keep it for myself to enjoy. I have never made one for myself as I usually have a person in mind, or a reason for making the blanket before I start.

Here are the instructions…

I chose nine different fabrics with the 'busy' fabrics placed in each corner. These are the squares that remain whole and I wanted the pattern to be complete. I wished I had replaced the left middle fabric with one that was more of a plain fabric, but as it matched perfectly, I thought it would be okay :-)
I chose nine different fabrics with the ‘busy’ fabrics placed in each corner. These are the squares that remain whole and I wanted the pattern to be complete. I wished I had replaced the left middle fabric with one that was more of a plain fabric, but as it matched perfectly, I thought it would be okay 🙂
Firstly sew the rows and press the seams in opposite directions. This helps them fit together nicely and the sewn lines to join up when you sew the rows together.
Firstly sew the rows and press the seams in opposite directions. This helps them fit together nicely and the sewn lines to join up when you sew the rows together.
The nine squares have now been sewn together and pressed. Can you see how the seams fit together nicely. That is the aim, so when you top stitch at the end, the lines are straight :-)
The nine squares have now been sewn together and pressed. Can you see how the seams fit together nicely. That is the aim, so when you top stitch at the end, the lines are straight 🙂
This is the exciting stage. The nine squares are now cut directly in the middle in both directions as shown.
This is the exciting stage. The nine squares are now cut directly in the middle in both directions as shown.
The cut 'new' squares can now be placed together again. You can put them in any direction as you like. Try them all out to see what you like best before you start to sew them together again.
The cut ‘new’ squares can now be placed together again. You can put them in any direction as you like. Try them all out to see what you like best before you start to sew them together again.
I chose to have the two little yellow squares opposite each other in the middle and the other two at the far corners.
I chose to have the two little yellow squares opposite each other in the middle and the other two at the far corners.
I have placed all the fabric pieces together to get an idea of the finished pattern. I liked this layout so next stage is to sew them together. I sew each row, and then join the rows up. Making sure to press the seams after sewing. The rows have the seams ironed laying opposite directions. This is to help the joins to fit together nicely when you sew the rows together
I have placed all the fabric pieces together to get an idea of the finished pattern. I liked this layout so next stage is to sew them together. I sew each row, and then join the rows up. Making sure to press the seams after sewing. The rows have the seams ironed laying opposite directions. This is to help the joins to fit together nicely when you sew the rows together (as I did with the first nine squares)
All sewn together and pressed. I'm loving these bright colours!
All sewn together and pressed. I’m loving these bright colours!
A bigger photo so you can see the overall pattern.
A bigger photo so you can see the overall pattern. Here is where I realised that the red pattern square, that I chose to be cut up, was still a bit too bold. It has blended into the main red square too much and made them both a little too busy. Never mind. I won’t do that again!
I decided to make my border the same width as the squares that I started with in the beginning.
I decided to make my border the same width as the squares that I started with in the beginning.
I have fast tracked the project. If you want to see how to put the wadding and backing material onto the patchwork, you can look at my previous blog post. I did do one thing different this time though... As it was a larger blanket, I used fabric spray on glue to help hold the materials together. It washes out and causes no long term damage to the blanket, but it certainly makes life a whole lot easier when it comes to the top stitching :-)
I have fast tracked the project. If you want to see how to put the wadding and backing material onto the patchwork piece, you can look at my previous blog post. I did do one thing different this time though. As it was a larger blanket, I used fabric spray on glue to help hold the materials together. It washes out and causes no long term damage to the blanket, but it certainly makes life a whole lot easier when it comes to the top stitching 🙂
And here is the finished blanket with a cute little narrow yellow binding. This blanket is a 1 and 3/4 meter square one. Plenty big enough to cuddle under :-)
And here is the finished blanket with a cute little narrow yellow binding. I used the ‘Stitch in the ditch’ method of top stitching. This is when you sew right on top of the seam. The stitch line just disappears down into the stitched seam, but makes the blanket hold together firmly. On the back the stitching looks like a big graph and is neat and tidy! This blanket is a 1 and 3/4 meter square one. Plenty big enough to cuddle under 🙂
And with the little pieces of fabric that I had left over I made a pillow to match! I'm rather proud of how they both turned out. The pillow was just little strips sewn together and the red used as a filler to make them square :-)
And with the little pieces of fabric that I had left over I made a pillow to match! I’m rather proud of how they both turned out. The pillow was just little strips sewn together and the red used as a filler to make them square 🙂
The fabric that was left over from the two blankets I wrote about in my previous blog post, made two lovely pillows. The one on the left I used the same process as the blankets, but the one on the right is another design which I will demonstrate in another blog post. It is really easy and looks great!
The fabric that was left over from the two blankets I wrote about in my previous blog post, made two lovely pillows. The one on the left I used the same process as the blankets, but the one on the right is another design which I will demonstrate in another blog post. It is really easy and looks great!

Now you can try out the disappearing nine patch block on your own blanket. I suggest you make a little babies blanket first so you can practice before commencing a larger one. It really isn’t hard and looks great when finished. It’s one of the first block patterns that I tried, and I have been really happy with the finished blankets. If you look up patchwork in the categories, you can see my previous quilts and blankets. See if you can find the other disappearing nine patch ones 🙂

 

A Patchwork of a year

You all know that I am a pretty crafty person. In fact I feel something missing in my day if I haven’t managed to be creative in some way. From my previous blog post you can see that patchwork has been a favourite hobby over this past year. In fact, scrapbooking has been put aside while my sewing machine has been a priority…and that is quite a miracle! So today I decided to share a few photos of my creations.

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A duvet cover with a duvet inside for Simon and Stacey’s baby girl 🙂
A Blanket I made for Chloe’s Birthday. Yet to be edged in this photo.
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Blanket/playmat for Matthew and Rebecca’s baby boy
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Duvet cover with a duvet inside for Matthew and Rebecca’s baby boy
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Blanket for Joanna for Christmas 2013
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A Playmat for Daniel and Marysia’s baby girl. I hadn’t edged it in this photo, but it was edged before I sent it off to London 🙂
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Made as a picnic blanket for Rebecca and Roland’s engagement present. I wrapped it up along with a salad bowl and serving spoons for their future picnics 🙂
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A Blanket I made for Mum for Christmas. I also made a pillow to go with it 🙂

Now my creations are actually very simple constructions. After making these I now have the utmost admiration for real quilters. You know what I mean I am sure. The people who create masterpieces! How I would love to have the patience to fiddle around with tiny scraps if material and sew them in planned order to create a quilt that would be treasured for generations. Wouldn’t that be marvelous!

We leave behind us children and grand children and then the generations of family that follow, but to have one of your creations handed down over those generations would be something special. Maybe that could be my challenge for 2014. To make a very special quilt. Stitched with hours of love and ending up looking wonderful. Something like this one that I like from ‘Instagram’

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I think this quilt pattern is lovely, but imagine all the sewing involved and all the seams to iron flat!!

 

But who would I make it for? I could sew it with love for each and every one of my family! But which person would treasure it forever and appreciate my time and love and energy that I will put into making it?

I guess my focus should really be in the joy of creating something and blessing someone with that creation, and not be too concerned with what happens with it over the years.

Now all I need is spare time and an awful lot of patience!

And the fruit of the Spirit is….

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control!!!

All great character traits to have/aim for! I thank God that He is in the process of growing all of these great qualities in us. Can you imagine how life would be if we were loving, kind and having self control, etc, etc, all the time? But to be honest we have some that we are great at and some that we find hard….like patience for example. One of my BIG failings or the lack of it anyway! And here I am doing patchwork! Of all the hobbies/crafts why did I have to pick patchworking? The process is long, laborious and very repetitive. Just picking the right fabric and colours are challenging enough. There is an awful lot of work to do before you can see that the colours and patterns are great together, and one wrong decision can create a quilt that you are forever unhappy with. There is NO way you would unpick a whole quilt…well I certainly wouldn’t!

But I am having fun! I started with making some pillows about two and a half years ago (check out my blog post from May the 13th, 2011) and from there the addiction has grown. I love it! It is so satisfying to see the finished project.

When I first get the materials together I spend ages looking at the beautiful pieces of fabric. They are always fabulous (I choose ones that I love). They are almost too pretty to cut up! But to convert the little pieces of fabric into a larger masterpiece, they have to be cut up and then pieced together again. And, there are many many different ways to put the fabrics together. I find ‘You Tube’ amazing, especially ‘The Missouri Quilt Company’. Just do a search on ‘You Tube’ for them and you will get heaps of ideas. They also show you little tricks of how to put the pieces together easily and yet create very tricky looking patterns.

Now when I start, I wash my materials, dry and then iron them. Next step is to pick a ‘thing’ you want to create. Maybe it’s a quilt (large or small), or it could be a baby blanket, pillow cover, table centrepiece…or anything really! But before you cut you need to know what design you are going to make…then cut the pieces in a way to create the pattern when all sewn together.

I am lucky, I have two big tables that I have put together in my craft room. I can spread out my material pieces over the tables in the places where I want them to be, once they are stitched together. This way I can get a glimpse of what the final design will roughly look like. I can see the colour mixes and work out what looks best together. It still isn’t exactly what the finished design will be but it does give you an idea. Naturally it is larger than what it will end up like though, as all the stitching seam widths have to be taken off the size. But this stage is fun and gives me the added push to get sewing.

The patchwork quilt is made up of a lot of smaller patch designs sewn together and then the larger sewn pieces put together. Understand? A bit hard to describe, but hopefully some photos will help.

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The beautiful fabrics I started with 🙂
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Laying out the pieces in groups of nine which will be sewn together. I put the plainest piece in the middle.
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Each group of nine squares was then cut across the middle vertically and horizontally. This left the middle square cut into quarters.
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The cut up pieces were then placed together in a random pattern where no seem joins matched and then sewn together.
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Now the backing material and the wadding is pinned to the front piece ready to top stitch.
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The last thing to do before putting the edging on is to top stitch the front either by neat stitching lines, stitching in the ditch or as I have done on this patchwork blanket, a process called stippling, where you stitch patterns all over making sure you don’t cross over the stitch lines 🙂

Now, can you see how those little fabric pieces in the top photo can create a beautiful blanket when stitched together like in the bottom photo. The process may be slow and test my patience, but it really is worth it 🙂

How far could I get in an afternoon?

So after our lovely late morning tea/lunch I decided to start a new sewing project. I wanted to see just how much I could achieve before bed time, and that included cooking tea (and eating it) as well.

And this is what I created….

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