Hi everybody! A few weeks ago I showed you a picture of the 84 squares I cut out for my first quilt. The last two weeks, I spent some evenings working on this quilt, and the pieced top layer is already done! In this post, I will show you the steps I took, but first I want to tell you something about the quilt itself. The pattern I used is a disappearing nine patch, this name is quite self-explanatory if you read on 😉 I stumbled upon it about a year ago, on a blog called obsessivelystitching (the 1st quilt ever project), and I went totally wild about it! The instructions were very clear, and for me as a total n00b in the quilting department I figured I could do this. At the fabric store I found some fat quarters (45x55cm pieces of fabric) on sale, so I bought a lot of them and basically I was ready to go! First I want to show you the result, because I am so proud of how it turned out.
At first I was afraid it would turn out a bit kitschy, because of the flowery fabrics and wide variety of prints. But I like it now, I think I will keep it for myself to snuggle under when my room is a bit chilly at night. And now for the tutorial part! I don’t want to be too detailed on this one, for a very extensive instruction I suggest you use the website I mentioned earlier. This post is mainly to show what I did and what it looked like!
These are the materials I used:
- 12 fat quarters of some unknown brand (haven’t been able to find it on the internet), make sure they coordinate well with each other!
- 2,10 m of fabric for the border and the back (I used a chocolate brown cotton with white polka dots)
- matching yarn for front and back fabric!
- piece of batting large enough for your quilt (I still have to buy mine, probably will do that on friday)
- cutting mat
- rotary blade
- quilt ruler (at least 30 cm long is nice)
The first thing I did was cutting my fabric into 15x15cm squares and some rectangles, as I showed in the picture of this post. Bambileigh mentioned in the comments that she thought I was so patient to cut all those squares, but I take the opportunity here to admit that I cheated a bit there! I didn’t cut them out square by square, but 3 at a time, and this is how:
I folded the fat quarter in half lengthwise, lining up the selfedge and the fold with the lines of my cutting mat. If the edges are not perpendicular (which they should be), you can cut them. First, cut the fabric exactly 15 cm from the selfedge. Then, cut this strip exactly 7,5 cm from the fold. If you open this piece up, you have your first square! Cut the remaining piece of the strip 15 cm from the edge you just cut, and there you have 2 squares! Repeat this process three times, this gives you nine squares. From the remaining part, cut a strip of 7,5 cm wide, this will be your border later on. Repeat this for your fat quarters until you have 84 squares and 16 rectangular border pieces. This means you shouldn’t cut all your fat quarters to squares, so keep track of how much you have from everything!
It’s time to start sewing! First, sew 27 pairs of squares together. Place two squares on top of each other, (obviously not from the same fabric) right sides together, sides lined up. Then use the side of your presser foot to keep a constant distance from the edge and sew the pieces together. When you reach the end, do not backstitch and do not cut the thread, but make a few stitches into nothing and then shove under the next pair of squares. This is called chain piecing, and it remembers me a lot of birthday flags. So much fun!
When you completed 27 pairs, clip the threads in between, fold them open and make a big stack. Now repeat the process for adding a third square to the row. You are left with three squares, don’t panic! You’ll need them later on.
When you have your rows of three squares, it is time to make the 9 nine patches. Just line up three rows, making sure you don’t have two squares of the same fabric next to each other. Then, iron the seams of the upper and lower row to the left, and of the middle row to the right. Then sew the three rows together, matching the seams between the squares. Iron the seams between the rows.
This is where the name of this quilt explains itself: We are gonna make those nine patches disappear! Check the size of your nine patches (mine were 42×42 cm) and cut them in four equal pieces! There you have it! No more nine patches! 36 impressive looking blocks!
Now you will have to arrange the blocks for the final piecing. For this part, I recommend using this diagram from obsessively stitching, as I am too lazy to draw one myself, it is too complicated to explain just by words and I am too honest to copy the diagram to my own blog 😛 . Again, do not put the same fabric next to each other, and spread you different fabrics as evenly as possible. As soon as you are content with your layout, label the rows 1-7 and stack them in the right order. It’s time to sew the quilt top together, woo-hoo!!!
Stitch the blocks of your quilt together in the right order. You can do this row by row, chain piecing again, just whatever you prefer 🙂 Just keep the seam allowances constant as ever and line up the edges as good as you can. I think this is not the most difficult part! Iron the whole pieced part as soon as it is finished, but be sure not to stretch or distort your fabric too much.
Now it’s time to add a border to the pieced part. I didn’t realize how much of a difference a border would make, until I attached one; it frames the patchy centerpiece of your quilt, making it stand out even more! First, cut four strips of 6,5 cm wide from your back/border fabric. sew them together to make one long strip and press the seams open. Then, add a strip to the long sides of your centerpiece. Leave a short end of border on the top and bottom and use a ruler and rotary knife to trim it as soon as the strips are attached. Repeat the procedure for the short sides of the quilt.
And this is as far as I got with this quilt! It didn’t took as much time as I thought it would, but I enjoyed every minute of it. Can’t wait to finish it! And I am already dreaming of my next quilting project… I think I found something addicting and new!