Thursday 2 February 2012

BOM's away......

Okay, here goes.  Now I will start this by saying this is only the second time I have written a tutorial so let me know if you think there is anything I have left out or any changes I need to make.  

Our first BOM is the NINE PATCH.  
I did warn you that we would start with a simple block as some of our stitchers are novice quilters.  And besides, I love the nine patch for it's humble versatility.  Here are three nine patch quilts that have already been sent off to Afghanistan.  They are all different but they are all based around the humble nine patch.  Love 'em!

So, gather your fabrics.  You need at least two - one light and one dark.  From the light fabrics cut four 3 1/2 inch squares and from the dark cut five 3 1/2 inch squares.   We will be making a block that looks like this.
Next most important step is to select your quarter inch foot.  Seam allowance is really crucial when a bunch of quilters are sewing blocks for a combined quilt.  Even in our quilt group, full of experienced quilters, we find that all our quarter inch seams are not the same.  So, grab your quarter inch foot - this is what mine looks like.  

 Now grab some scraps and sew a practice seam.  Check that it is an accurate quarter inch and adjust the needle position if it isn't.  In this case, just do your best.  I can trim a little if I need to if the blocks aren't all exactly the same.
Next pin together a dark square and a light square.  Repeat and pin two more pairs.
 Sew your squares together.
 Once you have sewn all the pairs together, iron them with the seams towards the dark square.
 Now get your remaining three squares and pin to the pairs like this.
 Again press all your seams towards the dark square
 Take the strip that has the dark square  in the middle and one of the other strips and pin together  through the seams.
 I like to pin on the diagonal as it holds both seams to a certain extent.
 Here is the rear view.
Again iron the seams towards the two dark squares.  The middle part of the seam will be towards the light - that is fine.  Once you have sewn those two strips together, pin the final strip to the other side of the strip with the dark centre and sew.  Press the seams again as before.  Now sit back and pat yourself on the back, you have just made a nine patch.  You can now repeat as many times as you like.
Here are some I prepared earlier.
Some of the colours I used would not strictly be considered dark but there is enough contrast with the cream so that is good enough in this instance.  
Now, some admin.  Blocks can be made with any combination of lights and darks and not all lights and darks in the one block have to be the same.  Remember I am teaming them with this red so perhaps avoid red unless you limit it to the middle of the block.
The last date for posting nine patch blocks to me is February 29!  If you post after that they may have to wait for another quilt or quilts to be included in.  If you are posting some can you please let me know how many so that by the time they arrive I will have a layout worked out and can start working on them.  if you are an overseas quilter and you want to join in the fun feel free but it you could post yours a bit earlier - say around the 20th of Feb that should allow for most of the blocks to be here together.  You can make one block or more - your choice.  I am sure there are some of you that absolutely won't be able to stop at me!

I hope that makes sense to all of you - leave me a comment if you are joining in and also if you have any questions.

Till next time.......keep spreading the word and happy stitching!


  1. I will happily send you four blocks. Please give me your address and I'll pop those in the mail this weekend. I love the nine patch too!

  2. Thank you for that very clear tutorial, I plan on making 10 blocks and will post them to you on Friday 10th Feb. So if you can send me your address it will be done.

  3. I'll make some blocks too, Jan-Maree. I'll email you for your address when I've finished them.

  4. Thanks for the tutorial, perfect for a novice like me. I will email for your address when I have success.

  5. Greetings from the well and truly flooded area of ROMA in SW QLD... luv the idea of the blocks, have made 5 for you this evening... WIll pop them in the mail first chance I get to town once the flood waters go down... (Have also made a quilt, was even big and brave and quilted it) Amazing what one can do when stuck in the house by flood waters...

  6. Hi Jan-Maree, just letting you know I've just cut out enough cream squares to make 18 x 9 patch blocks and have the colours pressed ready to cut, so at this stage, on Tuesday I will be mailing off at least 18 blocks to you want me to put them in a box or a post pak bag is ok? Perhaps when you have time, you can post how to do the sashing/borders for the off square set quilt top and I'll set to making some of them for the mail out at the end of the year.....wish I could say I'll do quilts, but maybe I can endeavour to at least piece some backs to go with the tops perhaps??? I used some of my birthday money this year (from a craft Birthday club I'm in) to buy some fabrics for the AHQ quilts & laundry bags....scored a bucket of fabrics off a friend for $10 (just have to pick it up!) which will help towards the 'girlie' quilts! Hugs and am off back to sewing now! Naomi