Sunday, May 17, 2015

Hands2Help - Introducing our Next Guest Blogger, Linda!!

Hi, all!

It's Sunday again, and that means it's time for another great guest blogger for Hands2Help!  And it's also a check-in week, so be sure and link up at the end to show off your progress!

Time is flying by in the Challenge this year - it's hard to believe that  there's just two more weeks until the final linky!  But our guest blogger today has a great quick quilt for you if you want to make "just one more quilt" for the Challenge!!  Linda blogs over at Art In Search and has participated in Hands2Help for several years now.  And now I'll turn the blog over to her!


Thank you, Sarah, for allowing me to be a guest blogger and entrusting me to all your wonderful followers, of which I have been one for a while. I was fortunate enough to meet Sarah for a few moments in Paducah this year and it was a highlight for me.

The quilt tutorial below came about because two friends of mine, sisters, have a long arm business, Chasen Dreams. They decided to make a quilt for every child attending a Gold Star camp in our Buffalo, NY area to use at camp, and take home as a memory. Gold Star camps are free for children who have lost a parent in service to our country. Their goal was 100. If other quilters made them, the sisters would donate the batting and quilting. I pitched the idea to my guild and did a workshop on the quilt in this tutorial.  I expected 10 quilts from a guild of 40. To date, the guild has made 42 and is now binding them. A good majority of them are made using this Disappearing 9 Patch tutorial.

Eye Spy Disappearing Nine Patch 
with Fast Piecing Method

A disappearing Nine Patch block is sewn three squares across by three squares down.  Once it is a Nine Patch block, it is cut down the middle both horizontally and vertically to create 4 four-patch blocks. 

Finished size about 47 ½ x 59 ½".  No borders needed, but can be added if you wish your quilt to be larger.

 Fabric Requirements:

      63 - 5” focus squares (this could be kids prints)
      72 - 5” sashing squares* (1.25 yards)
      21 - 5” cornerstone squares (.5 yards)

*The sashing fabric squares do not have to be the same fabric, as long as they are the same family of colors and values.  They should be different from the focus fabric and the cornerstone fabric.  For example, you could use black and white squares from a charm pack for the sashing and solid black for the cornerstones.

If you don’t have scrap 5” squares, you can cut eight 5" WOF (width of fabric) strips and then subcut each strip into eight 5” squares (64 squares total).  For the sashing squares you would need nine 5” WOF strips to cut into 72 blocks.  For the cornerstones you would need three 5” WOF strips to subcut into 24 blocks, of which you only need 21.

This will make 16 nine-patch blocks, which will be cut into 64 four-patch blocks.  It also provides the blocks you need for the extra sashing and cornerstones for the bottom and right hand side.

To prepare for sewing the nine patches:

Once you have your 5” squares cut out, you will need to set them up to be chain pieced, and then sewn in a particular way so that when they are cut into four pieces the focus fabrics will all be oriented the correct way.  
Line up each set of blocks as directed below on a piece of paper and stack them for chain stitching.  You can use a tray or a piece of cardboard on the bottom of the stack of blocks, and newsprint, waxed paper or anything about 11” x 17” that you can put in between each set of blocks.
Each block: Place 9 squares for the first block on paper as shown below. Please note:  If the prints are directional, which they usually are in an eye-spy quilt, orient them as in the illustration below.  For example, the top left print would be upside down as you are looking at it now.  This layout will line up directional prints so they don’t appear upside down on the finished quilt.  

Once you have your first group of nine-patches laid out (use a tray or a piece of cardboard on the bottom) put a piece of newsprint or paper about 11 x 17 (any scrap paper will do) on top of your first group, and start lining up your next group the same way.   Repeat the process until all 16 blocks are laid on the papers.

Sewing the Nine Patches:

Working with the block on the top of the stack, take the middle column of squares and lay each square on top of the left hand column squares face down (a sashing square on top of a focus print square, a cornerstone square on top of a sashing square, and a sashing square on top of a focus print square.)

Now take the left-hand column of three squares, (the one that has the middle set of blocks laid on top of it face down), and starting with the top block set, chain stitch them down the right side of all three block sets, one to another, using quarter inch seams.

Do NOT cut the threads between the column of blocks.

Take the column that you've chain-pieced and open the blocks up like a book.  Lay it next to the remaining three squares.  Lay the squares from the right-hand column, top, middle and bottom, on top of the chain pieced block sets, and chain piece them to the right-hand side of the opened blocks.

All of the columns are now sewn and held together with the threads from chain-piecing (webbed), so the layout can't be mixed up.  You can set this aside for pressing when all the blocks are done.

Sew all sixteen blocks to this point.  Press the seams of sewn squares, first row to right, second to left, third to right.

Now, taking one of your 9-patch block sets, sew the top and middle rows together.  Match seams carefully, pinning at intersections. Repeat the process to attach the bottom row of the block.  Your first 9-patch block is complete!

Complete all sixteen 9-patch blocks in this manner.  

Cutting the blocks:

Press the blocks.  I recommend pressing a second time using starch before cutting.  Fold each block in half from top to bottom, right sides together, matching the seams, and iron the fold to mark the cutting line on the seam.  Unfold and fold from side to side, right sides together, and press again, making sure the block seams match.  Carefully cut the blocks in half from top to bottom and from side to side.  If you prefer, you can measure instead of folding and pressing, but it is pretty accurate method as long as you line up the seams when pressing the blocks in half.
Pressed in halves, fold lines are cutting guides                       
Cut in half, and half again, making four 4-patch blocks.

Arranging the blocks:

Each nine-patch cut yields four blocks. The smallest square, the cornerstone, goes to the top left.   Arrange with seven rows across, nine rows down for a total of 63 blocks.

Bottom and side sashings:

To make sashings and cornerstones for the right side and bottom to match the rest of the quilt, sew a 5" sashing block to a 5" cornerstone block, right sides together.  Open it up like a book and sew another 5" sashing block to the other side of the cornerstone block.  Press the three blocks, and then press again with starch.  Cut the three block unit in half lengthwise.  Turn the units and cut in half through the cornerstones only to make the cornerstone pieces 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches. This makes 4 sashing units. Make more units until you have 15 units.

You need nine units down and seven units across the bottom.  You will also need one cornerstone (2½”) for the bottom right corner.  Lay the sashings down the column and across the bottom row. 

Mark the blocks:

Before sewing the blocks, while it is still up on the design wall, label the top of each column with painter’s tape marked with numbers 1 through 8 - from left to right (the right side sashing is 8). 
Blocks pinned on design wall
Blocks laid out on design wall, tape mark the top of each column, 1 through 8

Now stack each column starting with the bottom sashing on the bottom and ending with the numbered block on top. You will have 8 piles, with numbers on the top, labeled 1, 2, 3 and so on.  Be careful to keep the blocks oriented the way they were on the design wall.

Sewing the blocks:

This method webs all the blocks together so completed rows are all held together, similar to the way the 9-patch blocks were sewn earlier. Keeping the blocks correctly oriented, take the piles labeled column 1 and column 2 and put aside the other piles.  Take the block from the top of the pile with the tape labeled number 1 face up.  Take the block labeled number 2 and lay it face down on top of the column 1 block.  Sew down the right hand side.  Continue with this method, chain-stitching the next blocks, taking the top block off the column 1 pile and laying the block from the column 2 on top face down, sewing down the right side, until you get to the bottom of the pile.  The last two blocks sewn together are the sashings. Cut your thread, but do not cut the chains between the blocks.  

Open the unit of column 1/column 2 like a book.  Take column 3 block, lay it face down on the block with the number 2 on it and sew down the right side.  Chain-stitch all the column 3 blocks to the column one/two units.  Once again, cut your thread at the end of the column, but do not cut the chains between the blocks.

Continue to sew all the columns to the previous ones. After sewing the last column, press the seams in the rows alternating one row to the right, one row to the left.
All quilt rows held together by webbed threads
Pin row 1 and row 2 together, matching seams, then pin row 3 to row 4, then pin row 5 to row 6, and row 7 to row 8.  You are pinning two rows at time leaving an open chained row in between.. 

Sew seams across.  Now pin all the rows that are open chained rows (not sewn) and sew together.  The last row will be sashing/cornerstones. Press the row seams.  You are all done piecing!

All sewn together!

Thanks so much for a great tutorial, Linda!  I've made a lot of D9Ps in my life, but haven't tried this particular method of self-sashing, and your method of assembling the quilt top is genius!  It's so much easier to press this way, all in one fell swoop!

Be sure to check back next week for our final guest blogger!


And now it's time for our final check-in! You can link up your progress below and show what you've been working on.  As a start, here's the top I made this week - a man's quilt, for a change!

This is made with the leftovers from Nathanael's quilt, plus the other bits and pieces that my daughter ordered to "audition" for his quilt.  All used up now, and going for a good cause!

And now it's your turn - link up below and be sure to check out the other links as well.  Leave some encouragement for all your fellow H2Hers!

See you next Sunday!




  1. Thank you Linda for a lovely tutorial. The D9P is such a quick and versatile block. And Sarah, great man's quilt from those leftovers.

  2. it is to be raining off and on again today, I will be quilting for a bit I think and working on my tumblers. When do we send our charity quilts to their destinations and have you posted the address for these I looked but couldn't find it.

  3. I made a disappearing nine patch I-Spy quilt about a year ago using directions I found on the blog Obsessively Stitching. It was fun and it turned out great but it did require careful attention. Those directions didn't include the webbing which probably helps keep everything in order. I find it hard to sew with that many rows as you get to the end.
    But a fun quilt.

  4. Thank you, Sarah, for allowing me to share the Dis9Patch with your readers. It sounds complicated, but it is very simple, and goes together quickly so you can make more to give away!

  5. Thank you Linda for the detailed tutorial, I love DP9 quilts and your's is wonderful, the fabric you picked for the sashing is perfect.

  6. Most helpful tutorial, Linda. A good size for a quilt, too. Easy to make larger with a border or two. I will use it in the future.
    Great man's quilt, Sarah.

  7. Great tutorial. The pictures were great and your sample quilt it terrific.

  8. Thanks so much for the great tutorial!
    A question about H2H quilts: Is it customary to label them? If so, what info usually goes on the label? Thanks!

  9. I am loving these tutorials! And I like the Colorful Fabriholic's question about labels. Let me add this one: Do you want the quilt laundered?

    Thanks -- and i just linked my progress report.

  10. How wonderful of your guild Linda, to make all those quilts for children at the Gold Star camp! What a moving and heartwarming thing to do.

    I expected something completely different as a disappearing nine patch. This is really, really cool Linda and I love the way your quilt turned out with the low volume background and the bright fabrics mixed together! Thank you for sharing this lesson.

    And Sarah, that is one very handsome man quilt! I love the color combinations!

  11. Thanks for sharing!! Mailed my package to Canada earlier this past week. Love the tutorial and love yours as well Sarah.

  12. I love this tutorial. Another great pattern to make one day. Thanks for sharing.

  13. What a nice tutorial Linda! This is one of my favorite patterns with which to work. There are so many options and variations that no two ever look alike. :-)


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