Thursday, February 1, 2018

Hive 7 February 2018 Block for Darrel - Disappearing 9 Patch

Hi Hive 7,

This month I'm asking you all to make a disappearing 9 patch block, using charm squares (5 inch squares) as the building blocks. It will finish at 13.5 inches and should be a quick sew.

The real challenge for this block lies in fabric selection. I'm planning on turning my blocks into quilts for a charity here in Australia that is always in need of quilts for teenage boys.

To that end, I'm asking you to dive into your stash and extract all your geometric / stars / stripes / spots / gaming / sport / action / nerdy / science / text / architectural / character prints.  (Now I know I'm playing into stereotypes here and boys can love pink too but humor me and stay away from the florals and pinks in your stash.)

Here's five finished blocks that I made with fabrics from my stash, which hopefully provide some inspiration / guidance.


Fabric Selection:

You will need a total of nine (9) charm squares in three different prints / colours.

Colour 1 - Four 5 inch squares of  blue. 

Any blue (light, mid, dark, royal, navy etc) is fine.  Solid blues preferred, but tone on tone prints work too as long as they read as a solid blue.

I've pulled some fabrics from my own stash to demonstrate.

In the picture on the left, I've selected some examples that don't work. As you can see the patterns overwhelm the blue background and should be avoided for this block.

In the picture on the right you can see a range of blues (seriously, if it's blue, it's good!) but also that some prints - like the gum nuts - truly do read as blue.

Anything like this in your stash will be great! The idea is that the blue fabric will act as a unifier amongst all the colourful prints and that is why it's so important that it be a 'solid' blue.

Colour 2 - 4 squares of 'teenage boy' print

These four squares should all be from the same fabric but that fabric can be any colour or print that you think would suit a teenage boy (say 13 years to 18 years old) . Some examples include geometric / stars / stripes / spots / gaming / sport / action / nerdy / science / text / architectural / character prints. Black and white, brights, and pastels are all fine.  Here's some examples from my stash.

Colour 3 - 1 square in a colour / print that accents the teenage boy print.  

This square is the one that will be sliced and diced into the four smaller squares. So while it can be any colour that accents the other print you selected, smaller patterns work best.

You can see in my finished block examples at the start, that I chose my fabrics for this square by picking one colour that was used in the teenage boy print. But once again, as long as it accents the teenage boy print and creates visual interest, anything goes for this block.


Now I know that the disappearing 9 patch is a pretty simple block that no doubt many, if perhaps all of you have already made before. 

I've put together a step by step process below, because that's what we do, and sometimes it's nice to sew without having to think. But there's nothing fancy below: if you start with nine charm squares and slice it down the center twice you can't go wrong! 

I have only one request out of the ordinary - PLEASE DO NOT TRIM YOUR BLOCKS. I will trim them all to match, so please just sew and post!

Step 1: Cut your nine 5 x 5 inch blocks from the three fabric choices as set out above, and in the picture below. 

Step 2: Layout your blocks in a 3 x 3 grid, with the teenage boy blocks on the outer corners, the accent colour in the centre, and the blue squares as a +. 

Step 3: Sew the blocks together in 3 rows. Press seams towards the blue blocks. 

Step 4: Sew your 3 rows together. Because you pressed the seams in the previous step towards the blue blocks, you will be able to nest the seams which makes getting the squares to align well much easier, in my opinion.  

Step 5: At this point you have a complete 9 patch block. You now need to slice it up. Firstly cut it in half. I find the best way to do this is to measure 2.25 inches in from one of the centre seams, that way any distortion that may have arise from a less then perfect quarter inch seam won't affect the next step so much. 

Step 6: Without moving the blocks, lift your ruler and make the same cut but horizontally. 

Step 7: You now have 4 blocks. Rotate two opposite blocks 180 degrees so that the bigger squares end up in the centre and the smaller accent colours are on the outside.

Like this:

Step 8: Sew the four blocks together by first sewing the top to squares together and the bottom two. Press the middle seam opposite directions, and then sew the two rectangles together.

And that's it!

A final note - PLEASE DON'T TRIM your blocks. If all has gone according to plan you should have a block that is 13.5 inches square. In all likelihood, there will be an edge or two that's a little out. You can see that in my demonstration block in the picture above, the bottom left square is a off by about an eighth of an inch. I will trim all the blocks when I receive them so they match each other perfectly. I know its hard to send off a block without trimming, but PLEASE RESIST!

Thanks so much, and if you have any questions or concerns, or just want to chat about your fabric pull, tag me on Instagram (@darrel2585).


Lancer said...

I love this, what a great project! Bless you for picking a block I don’t have to analyze too much. I’ve been drowning the past couple weeks, so will be nice to just be able to sew & meditate :) crossing fingers I have something boyish in the stash!

Unknown said...

I think i have some star wars fabric..will that work with your plans?

Havplenty said...

Food fabrics will also work great for teenage boys. I made pliiowcases for the holidays for my nephews using food fabrics like hamburger, french fires, pretzels, hot dogs and they loved them.