This is a great quilt to make that is quick and easy to put together – it is my ‘go-to’ for baby quilts – the disappearing nine patch pattern.
You can use 3 fabrics, or a variety for a scrappy look. The squares in the corners are not cut, so put the fabrics that you want to be seen in the 4 corners of the nine patch. The center square is the one that is cut into four pieces, so it will yield the smallest pieces. I like to put the darkest color in the center, so the dark is scattered throughout the quilt after cutting.
Here is how to make a disappearing nine patch baby quilt:
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Here is another disappearing nine patch quilt I made, this time with three fabrics. I started with 6-1/2″ squares, with the center piece in pink, the corner pieces in the light fabric and the center pieces that will be cut in quarters in the grey print.
For this quilt, you’ll make 4 nine patch blocks and extra rectangles and squares to finish the side and bottom.
For the quilt top, cut the following:
- Pink: Four (4) 6-1/2 inch squares PLUS eight (8) 3-1/4 inch squares
- Grey: Sixteen (16) 6-1/2 inch squares PLUS eight (8) 3-1/4 x 6-1/2 inch rectangles
- White: Sixteen (16) 6-1/2 inch squares
I used the pink for the binding. You’ll need to cut 4 strips of fabric 2-1/2″ wide, the width of the fabric, from 40″ to 45″. Sew them together end-to-end, press in half.
This finished quilt is 41″ x 41″. You’ll need the following amounts of fabric if you cut it out as I did:
- Pink: 3/4 yard
- Grey: 1/2 yard
- White: 1/2 yard
- Backing: 1-1/2 yard
Here is the original nine patch block for this quilt:
TIP: for cutting the nine patch into quarters, use two rulers to cut it in half. I started with 6-1/2″ squares, so the center blocks should be 6″, allowing for 1/4″ seam allowances. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I might be a little off on my cutting or my sewing.
If you take two rulers and line them up with 3″ on each seam line, you’ll see if you are off a little bit. Just center them on the square, remove the 2nd ruler and cut. Then, if you are off by a full 1/4″, each side is now only off by 1/8″, which you can ease when sewing the squares back together. This makes the re-piecing more accurate, easier to match the seams and ease the fabric.
Here is the one nine-patch cut into four pieces:
Take the time to play with different designs on your design wall.
I chose the last option, but added left and bottom sashing to finish off this quilt top.
Tips for Beginners
The disappearing nine patch quilt is a perfect quilt for beginners. It looks more complex than it really is because you start with simple blocks, cut them apart and sew them back together again to form a new design. Here are some tips for beginners making their first disappearing nine patch quilt:
How much fabric do I need?
- To make a small quilt, approximately 33 inches square you need 2.5 yards of fabric.
- This will make four original nine patch blocks in which each of the squares is six inches.
- I used ½ yard of each of the three fabrics on the quilt top (including the binding) and one yard of a companion fabric on the back.
- For this quilt, the smallest finished square (green) and the binding are the same color, and used most of the ½ yard piece. If you want the binding to be different, you only need ¼ yard of the dark fabric for the center small square.
Consideration on fabric selections:
- If the fabrics you choose have a top and bottom (sometimes called a directional print), it will be hard to keep them all facing in the same direction when you cut and reassemble the quilt top. If that doesn’t matter, no worries!
- Consider overall patterns that do not have directionality if orientation is important.
- If there is a pattern repeat, consider if you want each square to be an exact replica – if so, fussy cut to be sure the pattern repeat is consistent. If not, the squares will show different portions of the pattern and there will be more movement in your finished quilt. There is no right or wrong here – it all depends on the look you want.
- When assembling the original nine patch, the fabric in the center will be cut in quarters. Put the pattern you want cut into the smallest squares here – the darkest fabric is a nice choice. That color can also be used in the binding with a nice contrast.
- The squares in the middle of each side will be cut in half, forming rectangles.
- The squares in the corners are left whole – put the pattern you want most evident here. This is the one you can fussy cut if you like.
- Make a plan to be sure your squares are evenly cut and seam allowances are all the same. When you cut the original nine patch squares, and reassemble, any irregularities will mean that the seam lines do not match. This is a great time to practice those 1/4-inch seams!
- Use the tip above for measuring with two rulers before cutting to assure even cuts and nice squares.
More about making a Disappearing Nine Patch Quilt:
How many squares to cut for a disappearing nine patch quilt? It depends on what you’d like the finished quilt size to be. Determine the finished size of your quilt. Do you want a border? If so, subtract that from the width and height. What size finished square do you want? And how many will you need? NOTE: A finished square is the initial 9 patch after cutting into 4 finished squares.
Here is the calculation:
Start with 5” square x 3 (3 squares wide for the nine-patch) = 15, divided by 2 (we’ll cut it in half) = 7-½ – 1 = 6-½ inch finished square. The 1” that we subtracted is for the four ¼” seam allowances when we sew the 3 squares together.
Want an 8” finished block? Start with a 6” square. (6×3=18/2=9-1=8)
Want a 9-½” finished block? Start with a 7” square. (7×3=21/2=10-1/2-1=9-½)
I started with a 3-½” square x 3 = 10-½ , divided by 2 = 5-¼ – 1 = 4-¼ inch finished square. This was due to the scraps of fabric I was using to make the quilt. I was able to do a 7 x 7 layout plus a border for a 45” square baby quilt.
Browse through all of the quilts on Create Whimsy.