I'm not a "real" quilter. I can sew a straight line, and I understand the basics. I
never rarely use pins. I make mainly lap-sized baby quilts, mainly straightforward 4" square blocks, and mainly to give away to friends. And I have so many friends with babies that I can't keep up!!
But not today! Today is about the quilt I insisted that I make for my own baby before I get burnt out on them and give up entirely on the one I'd like to have around when my own bundle of joy arrives. I'll show you an oh-so-easy, oh-so-satisfying fast quilt pattern. It's called "Disappearing 9 Patch" (D9P), and I ran into a lovely blog post by fellow Etsy artisan Donna Francis (Donna's in the Attic) that inspired me to give it a whirl. I had the fabric (you can really get away with using scraps for this small of a quilt), I had the color scheme (blue, white and orange), but I had not yet settled on a pattern. As is my custom, I was trolling Google images for inspiration and bumped into her 2009 Christmas quilt. It really appealed to me (secretly I think it was the cute plaids) and I knew it was worth a try.
To make the blocks, you will essentially sew blocks of 9 patches (hence the name), then cut it into square quarters and rearrange them to your liking, then sew together into a block again. By artfully choosing your fabric, leaving borders (or not) and selecting a rearranged look that suits you, there are endless possibilities with the D9P pattern. My quilt was easy, and today I'll show you the making of the quilt top.
First, allow me a moment to share my candor about quilted intersections. Though I rarely pin anything (I generally reserve the tediousness of pinning for the binding process only), I am a freak about having square corners. To combat "wonkiness", my tactics are two-fold. The first defense against crooked quilting is to cut precise shapes. I use a rotary cutter, and am very particular about exact sizing. A second option, especially for basic grid-type quilts made entirely of squares of identical size, is stolen from watercolor quilting. After cutting out your squares, you arrange them and then iron/fuse them onto thin interfacing, then simply fold and stitch. Perfect corners every time. The down side if that you do lose flexibility with ironing down the seam allowances and end up with a somewhat more lumpy and bulky end result. Still preferable to crooked corners. After cutting perfect shapes, the next best thing for getting perfect corners is probably choosing a pattern that won't show mistakes! With the D9P, all you have to do it get the initial 4 intersections right (not hard if you have cut your pieces properly), then just one more when you sew the cut blocks back into one rearranged block. I left a 2" lattice between and around each block, so there were no more critical intersections after that... easy peasy! And the process of quilting the layer together will also hide a multitude of piecing issues.
Step 1: Choose fabrics and cut to size
Step 3: Sew and press 9 patch blocks