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Magic sewing secrets revealed: the disappearing 9 patch

by Michael Smith

Is your excitement building? If you’ve been with me all week, you’ve been following the steps to create a fast and fun disappearing 9 patch quilt using the gorgeous new fabrics of Banyan Batiks Baralla Collection. Yesterday I went over sewing the big disappearing 9 patch blocks together. Today, I’m continuing the fun and playing with a little magic.

The magic of the disappearing 9 patch block

Once the 3 big 9 patch blocks are sewn together, they should measure approximately 36½” square, with the center square measuring 12” square.

Center square of the 9 patch should measure approximately 12″

Again, it isn’t a big deal if your measurement isn’t exactly 12”. However, hopefully, whatever the measurement, it’s the same for all 3 of your big 9 patch blocks.

The magic of the disappearing 9 patch is that I’ll now cut each of the 3 big 9 patch blocks in half through the center vertically and horizontally. I’ll definitely need to clear my cutting table for this one!

Cut BIG 9 patch blocks in half through the center square horizontally and vertically

Since my center blocks finished at 12”, I was able to lay my 6” x 24” ruler (another of those staple supplies I use all the time, so definitely a good investment) right along the seamline, which helped hold my ruler in place while I cut.

Lay the 6″ x 24″ ruler against the seamline to hold it into position while cutting

The result of cutting each of your 3 BIG 9 patch blocks is they’ve now magically multiplied to 12. Each big 9 patch block will yield four 18¼” blocks.

Lay the 6″ x 24″ ruler against the seamline to hold it into position while cutting

Now you can have even more fun as you twist and turn and arrange your blocks into any arrangement you want. You have complete creative control; it’s your quilt, after all!

Twist and Turn the blocks any way, though be aware if the seams line up.

The above layout is a little trickier only because there are more seams to match, but still very easy to do. Have fun playing!

In this arrangment, the dark squares are turned into the center of the rows. It’s YOUR quilt, arrange however you wish!

Again, a design wall, big bed, or maybe move the furniture and use the floor to lay out the 12 blocks; 3 rows across and 4 rows down.

How you arrange the blocks is up to you, but take a step back, or take a photo of your layout to give you a little more perspective before you decide on the final arrangement. This will help you see if you have too much of one color, or one print all clumped together, which is what I felt about the arrangement below. I had too much of the bluish print with cream background grouped together on the left side of my quilt.

Avoid having the same colors or prints too close together. You want to balance them through the quilt.

Sometimes it’s a little harder to see this being so close to the work, so stepping back, or viewing the layout through a photograph will help.

For my chosen layout, I placed the dark square (which was the original center of the big 9 patch block before it was cut in half) up in the top left corner. Underneath that block, I turned the block so the dark square was in the top right corner, then continued down that row alternating the dark square to top left and top right.

For Row 2, I switched the order, starting with the dark square in the bottom right corner, then alternated the block underneath so the dark square was in the bottom left. Then the next block was a repeat, bottom right, followed by bottom left. Row 3 was a copy of Row 1.

Take a step back or take a photograph of your quilt layout to help find a pleasing arrangement of the blocks.

When you’re ready to sew the blocks together, stack and chain piece in the same manner as you did with your original 9 patch blocks; flip Row 2 over onto Row 1 and stack so the upper right corner of Row 2 stays at the top.

Sew the vertical rows together, then horizontal rows together, matching the seams by pressing the seam allowance in opposite directions, just like I did on your big Banyan Batiks Baralla 9 patch block.

That’s it! Give my new quilt top a good press and I’m ready to layer it with backing and batting.

Please join me tomorrow when I’ll discuss some quilting options and binding options and then be ready to finish this quilt!

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Creating BIG disappearing 9 patch blocks with Banyan Batiks Baralla

Go to part 5: Quilting options for Banyan Batiks Baralla disappearing 9 patch quilt



Judy Stone November 9, 2019 - 3:52 pm

I love how easy you have made this to follow your instructions! Love the fabric!

Tony Platz November 8, 2019 - 2:24 pm

Thanks for the info I just started artickes like this sure help.

Dodie Graham November 7, 2019 - 11:09 pm

Wow! I have got to try this! The simple 9 patch disappears into a design extraordinaire!


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