Tips for Making Nine-Patch Blocks from Scraps

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The Cutting Tips Will Work for Any Block Pattern!

Nine-patch blocks have long been important building blocks for quilts of many styles. There are several ways they can be set together, with or without other fabric between them. They are often incorporated into other blocks, as well.

Basic nine-patches are simple to make, especially with today’s strip-piecing methods. Coordinated modern fabrics make lovely blocks, however scrappy nine-patches are especially endearing.

African American "Nine-Patch" Quilt Top

This African American “Nine-Patch” Quilt Top was made entirely from nine-patch blocks. From Museum of Florida History.

Scrappy blocks can be designed several ways. Every square in a block, and every block, can be different. Another way might be to have one square, like the center, the same in every block while all the other patches are different (either within one block or between blocks). Or, some squares in a block might be the same while every block is different. It all depends on the vision you have for your scrappy nine-patch quilt.

How to Cut Scraps and Make Scrappy Nine-Patch Blocks

To make scrappy nine-patches you first need to cut up your scraps. While that may seem like a tedious process, there are tips to make the process go more quickly. And the results are worth it!

How to Cut Scraps and Make Scrappy Nine-Patch Blocks

Monica from Cut, Stitch & Piece explains how to quickly cut scraps of various sizes and shapes into squares that can be made into nine-patch (or other) blocks. We especially like her pressing, stacking and storage tips.

Click here for the “Cutting fabric scraps for nine-patch blocks” article.

If you have scraps that are large enough, you can cut strips for strip piecing. Wendi Gratz demonstrates how to do that in the following video. She then goes on to show how to cut usable patches from oddly shaped scraps, which is also helpful (we couldn’t find the ruler she uses but this one should work nicely).

Click here to watch the video at YouTube if it doesn’t play on your device.

Sherri from A Quilting Life explains how to use cut squares and strips to make nine-patch blocks in the following tutorial. We like her time-saving tip about the length of the strips she uses.

How to Cut Scraps and Make Scrappy Nine-Patch Blocks

When using strips, Sherri likes to make a few blocks at a time. That allows her to mix up the fabrics used in the blocks for a more scrappy look. Her example results in three scrappy blocks that are identical. However, you can make every block different by creating more strips to draw from.

Click here for the “Scrappy Nine-Patch Blocks” tutorial.

Finally, the following short video from Martingale shows you how to quickly sew together nine-patch blocks from squares.

Click here to watch the video at YouTube if it doesn’t play on your device.

Image Source: The 3-block compilation uses images from Delaware Quilts, Skalabara Quilts and FaveQuilts.


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