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Creating BIG disappearing 9 patch blocks with Banyan Batiks Baralla

by Michael Smith

Welcome back! Ready to have some fun? Yesterday I went over cutting the gorgeous Banyan Batiks Baralla fabrics, so today it’s time to lay them out and start sewing the big disappearing 9 patch blocks together.

Layout – let the fun begin!

The layout for this disappearing 9 patch quilt is super simple. Having a design wall, a large table, or even laying the fabrics on a bed will help as the blocks will grow quite quickly. Basically, I’m creating a big 9 patch, which means there will be 3 blocks across and 3 blocks down. I’ll create a total of 3big 9 patch blocks. Work on one big 9 patch block at a time to keep it simple and manageable.

Step One

  • Sort the 9 fabrics into piles in which there should be three 12½” blocks.

Step Two

  • Decide which look you prefer – to have all the centers of each big 9 patch blocks be different, or to have each the same. I chose to have mine be the same, which was 81000-649 from the Crimson Red color palette. What you choose for the center will matter as it will ultimately be cut it up, so you will only see a quarter of it in the subsequent blocks. I hope I didn’t lose any of you! Lol!

So, start with the center fabric, then,

Step Three

  • Choose 4 different fabrics for the outside corners of the big 9 patch block. These 12½” squares will remain whole, so this is the perfect spot to use those large scale prints that I just don’t want to cut up and which would get lost if cut into smaller pieces. It’s an ideal position for any fussy cuts.

Step Four

  • Choose fabrics for the 4 remaining spots around the center which will get cut in half, so this is a good time to use the secondary smaller prints, or those which read solid from a distance.

Layout 9, 12½” blocks to create a BIG 9 patch

Once you have a pleasing arrangement, flip the Row 2 squares onto Row 1 and stack from top to bottom keeping the top right corner of Row 2 at the top.

Chain piece the pairs using a ¼” seam allowance. Elaine Theriault wrote a terrific QUILTsocial post, 7 tips for sewing accurate seams which will help to perfect the ¼” seam, but don’t stress too much over this for this project. This disappearing 9 patch quilt is very simple and very forgiving.

Chain piece the 12½” blocks into rows

After the vertical rows are stitched, stitch the blocks together horizontally to form the big 9 patch. To help match seams, press the seams in opposite directions, so one is pointing up and the other pointing down. You will feel them lock when they are butted up next to one another and they will lay flat with no bumps.

Press seam allowances in opposite directions to lock together for a perfect match.

To help the seams lay flat as I press, sometimes I can swirl the seams in a clockwise manner to help distribute the bulk. Remove the two or three stitches from the seam allowance, which my stiletto is pointing to. Don’t worry about that seam coming undone as the line of stitching which crosses it will prevent that from happening.

Remove the 2 or 3 stitches in the seam allowance to swirl the seams so they lay flat

Swirl the seam allowances clockwise, or counterclockwise so they lay flat; easier to quilt through, too!

The seam just pops open which allows me to press the four-seam allowances in different directions, which, in this case, is counterclockwise. Swirling the seam allowances helps remove some of the bulk, which is especially useful when it comes to the quilting stage. A few more steps and I’ll be there!

Join me tomorrow when I’ll play with some magic to discover the secrets of the Banyan Batiks Baralla disappearing 9 patch quilt.

Happy Sewing!

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Unique fussy cut options with Banyan Batiks Baralla Collection

Go to part 4: Magic sewing secrets revealed: the disappearing 9 patch


1 comment

Cassandra A November 9, 2019 - 7:40 pm

I would like to try different velvets and corduroy – what stops me is cleaning. How well does it clean.


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