Sunday, April 10, 2016

Hands2Help - A 9-Patch Plaid Tutorial!

Hi, all!

Happy Sunday!  It's time again for some Hands2Help fun - and this week we've got a great tutorial, from one of your own - Myra from Busy Hands Quilts!  Myra has been participating in the Challenge for many years now, and I'm so glad that she agreed to be a guest blogger this year!  So without further ado, I'll turn the blog over to her...


Hi!  I'm Myra from Busy Hands Quilts!  I'm tickled to be able to share my 9-Patch Plaid tutorial with you today as part of the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge! A special "Thank You!" to Sarah for organizing this amazing event!  

This is an easy 9-patch tutorial that's all about color placement.  I've also included pressing tips so the seams will all nest!

For a PDF file of this tutorial which you can easily print, please visit my blog - it's FREE!

Quilt size:  54" x 72", large lap.

Fabric Requirements:
1-3/4 yards assorted brown fabrics for pluses
1-3/4 yards assorted green fabrics for background corners
1/2 yard red for center of pluses
1/2 yard for binding
3-1/3 yard for backing

Fabric Selection:
Here are some mock-ups in different colorways to give you some ideas on personalizing this quilt for your needs.

Let's talk about fabric selection, since that's really what this quilt design is all about.  Consider the following when choosing color placement in the quilt.  
  • If using a single color scheme, say all blues, the center square should be the darkest color. Place the next darker fabrics in the pluses and the lighter fabrics in the outer corners of each block.  
  • If using a two-color scheme, the center square should be the boldest fabric as in the pink and gray quilt above. Remaining fabrics are from the same color family with the darkest fabrics placed in the pluses and the lighter fabrics placed in the four corners.  
  • If using a multi-color scheme, place a bold fabric in the center square and fabrics from one color group in the pluses and fabrics from a second color group in the outer corners of each block. This is the case with the brown, green and red quilt shown in the tutorial below.
Cutting Instructions:
From assorted red fabrics cut (4) 3.5” x WOF strips.
From assorted green fabrics cut (16) 3.5” x WOF strips.
From assorted brown fabrics cut (16) 3.5” x WOF strips.
From binding fabric cut (7) 2.5” x WOF strips.

Block Piecing:

9-Patch Block Segments

NOTE: GBG = green/brown/green BRB = brown/red/brown

The GBG strip sets are made from 2 green strips and 1 brown strip. For each strip set, sew a green strip to each side of a brown strip. Press seams toward the brown fabric {toward the center strip}. Make 8 GBG strip sets.

← 3.5" x WOF→
← 9.5" x WOF →
The BRB strip sets are made from 2 brown strips and 1 red strip. For each strip set, sew a brown strip to each side of a red strip. Press seams toward the brown strips {away from the center}. Make 4 BRB strip sets.

← 3.5" x WOF→
← 9.5" x WOF→
Place a GBG strip set on a cutting mat, right side up.  Lay a BRB strip set face down on top of the GBG strip.  Line up all edges and butt the seams together between the two strip sets. Line up the strip sets with a line on a cutting mat.

Cut off the bare minimum of selvedge because 12 segments are needed from each strip set. Cut the strip sets into 3.5” segments. Check to be sure the strip set is still lined up with a line on the cutting mat after every few cuts, and retrim the edge if necessary.  Keeping the two cut segments together, gently move the segments into staggered piles {so they're easy to pick up} on a design board to take them to the sewing machine.

9-Patch Block Assembly:

From the step above, a GBG segment is nested right sides together with a BRB segment. Sew these segments together, using chain-piecing to save time. Then sew a GBG segment to the BRB segment, pressing seams away from the center BRB segment for half of the blocks and toward the center BRB segment for the other half of the blocks, keeping the blocks in two piles based on the direction they're pressed. Blocks should measure 9.5”. Make 48.

Quilt Top Layout:

Take the two piles of blocks and begin laying them out in a 6x8 grid, alternating one from each stack so the seams nest when sewn.  Since there is an even number of blocks per row, be sure to start the odd numbered rows with a block from the opposite pile of the block above it.

Join blocks in Row 1 and press all seams in one direction. Repeat with Row 2 and all other rows, alternating the direction the seams are pressed row by row. Join rows, pressing seams all one direction.

Disclaimer!  I make no claims that your seams will nest perfectly.  I've made many 9-patch quilts and have never had them all nest perfectly due to human error!


Wow, what a great tutorial!!  I can definitely see this becoming a go-to quilt for me - I even think it would look great scrappy, with well-chosen fabrics... How about you?  And it's the perfect size for a quilt for Hands2Help, if you are still looking for the perfect pattern.  Thanks so much, Myra!!!

Be sure to stop back by next Sunday, when we'll have another guest blogger - Jean Kester, who is the driving force behind one of last year's charities, Layers of Hope/Quilting 911.  It's also a check-in date, when you can link up and share your progress on your H2H quilts, so be prepared - and if you haven't started yet, you can check out the other links and get inspired!



PS If you haven't seen any of the I May Have A Scrap Problem posts (Wednesdays right here on this blog) you may want to check it out this Wednesday - I've learned a really cool trick this week and I'll be sharing it then!


  1. I like this quilt. It would be an easy and quick pattern. Thank you Myra for sharing with us.

  2. I'm curious how Myra made the mock ups....? :)

  3. Great pattern for many colored quilts.

  4. Well I love love love plaid! Thank you Myra for such a fun idea for a quilt. The instructions are wonderful!

  5. Fabulous pattern - love the color choices that make this so interesting.

  6. I LOVE plaid too...thanks for the easy & fun pattern, Myra! I need to move faster to get all my ideas sewn & quilted...

  7. Great tutorial. I love the pattern and would normally shy away from it but with Myra's instructions and explanation, this is a great quilt.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Thanks! Great post. I'm eying that black and white one, for some reason!

  9. This is an awesome tutorial. Thank you!!

  10. Love your idea and all those plaid variations Myra!

  11. Great tutorial, and this quilt has such "guy quilt" potential. Thank you.


Comments make me smile!! If you want a PDF of a pattern, PLEASE leave your email address in your comment, or email me directly at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com!