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Making the Nine Patch Block

Nine Patch - How to Make with Strip Piecing

Make this very useful block using rotary cut strips

The Nine Patch block is one of the most used basic blocks in quilting. Usually many are needed for a quilt and the easiest way to make them is to use rotary cut strips of fabric rather than to cut many small squares. It's easy to make a group of scrappy Nine Patch blocks this way by varying the fabrics used in the cut strips.

Most Nine Patch colorways use a contrast of light vs. dark fabrics where have the blocks have the light colors in 5 of the 9 positions (outer corners and center) and half are reversed as in the diagram below.

When choosing fabric for strip piecing Nine Patch blocks you do not want to use fat quarters (which are typically 18" x 20") since for strip piecing you want to use the full width of the fabric (36"-40") to cut the strips. I'll be giving you strip dimensions for several sizes of Nine Patch and tips on what fabric cuts to use.

My favorite way of making Nine Patch blocks is not to have the same exact fabric in every one, but to vary the fabric so that, for example, if the block colors were to be blue and yellow I would choose 3-4 fabrics for the yellows and 3-4 for the navy and mix them in the blocks. This "scrappy" approach makes the finished quilt top more interesting visually. If you are making a light-dark quilt you can vary the colors much more - you would just have light colors and dark colors of fabric in all color families.

[All images and layouts were prepared using Electric Quilt 5.0]

If you make any Nine Patch quilts you would like to share with our readers, please send me a digital photo and tell me about your quilt. Send to quilting -at- equilters.com

Susan Druding

copyright 2004-2006 Susan C. Druding

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