9-patch quilt blocks are the most basic of quilt blocks.
For the beginning quilter, they're simply 9 square patches stitched together to form a design.
For the more experienced quilter, substituting different units for those simple square patches reveals a myriad of designs to play with.
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The 9-patch quilt blocks in THIS Library are divided by their grid: 3x3, 6x6, 9x9 and each is an 'even' 9-patch design. (Eventually, I'll have a library of 'uneven' 9-patch quilt blocks, too.)
'Uneven' 9-patch quilt blocks have center rows and columns that are either smaller or bigger than the side patches/units.
These uneven 9-patch quilt blocks are typically drawn on 5x5 or 7x7 grids making them easy to identify and categorize.
These first blocks are uneven 9-patch blocks drawn on 5x5 grids.
Can you see that the corners are all the same, as are the sides?
These are drawn on 7x7 grids.
Goshen Star (below left) and Harmony Square (below right) are uneven (small center) 9-patches, but drawn on an 8x8 and a 10x10 grid respectively.
Now, not all 6x6 blocks are 9-patches.
For instance, Crow's Foot is drawn on a 6x6 grid but is classified as a 4 patch in construction.
As you look at 9-patch quilt blocks—both even and uneven—notice that the corner units for each design are all constructed exactly the same. Then (usually) rotated a 1/4 turn to create symmetry.
Each design contains 'side units' that are identical, too.
These ideas apply for both even and uneven.
It might be tempting to assemble a block drawn on a 5x5 grid as 5 separate rows—sometimes this is the only way that makes sense.
Another reason to assemble in rows is to create a very scrappy block. The more patches, the more opportunity for scrappiness.
However, many times you'll find that it's much easier, much more efficient, to construct the four like-corners and four like-side units, finally creating the block as though it was a 9-patch whose patches are simply different sizes.
As you sample the tutorials in THIS Library, you'll see each design is assembled as 3 units across and three down. All the units are the same size—they are even 9-patches.
An example using 9-patch construction: Even vs Uneven
Identifying a block as a nine-patch (even or uneven) gives you an efficient way(s) to construct your patchwork.
Here is the Four Crowns quilt block design which is drawn on a 6x6 grid.
Without any patch lines to go by, how would you construct it?
You could choose to piece it in six rows.
But where's the fun in that?
That's be a lot of monkeying around with extra half square triangles, trimming and pinning to get everything to line up...the first time.
And who wants to piece that dark center square as two halves? That doesn't make a lot of sense in my own work flow.
What about yours?
An alternative is to piece it as an uneven 9-patch (which is what we did in the paper pieced block tutorial found here.
Now our Four Crowns breaks down into:
Use a bit of paper piecing and the block is pointy-point-i-licious every time!
The third piecing option is to construct it as an even 9-patch quilt block.
Broken into it's parts we have a
Remember, the best method is the one that works best for YOU.
Remember, the blocks in THIS library are drawn on 3x3, 6x6 or 9x9 grids and are even nine patches.
All the pictures of the blocks are clickable and will take you to the tutorial for that design.
Blocks are sorted first by the grid they are drawn on and then alphabetically for your convenience.
If you use our tutorials to make your blocks and quilts, there are some easy ways to share your creations so other quilters (including me!) can enjoy the fruits of your labor:
I love seeing your work!
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