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Thread: problems with 9 patch construction

  1. #1
    kso
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    I used 4" squares to make a nine patch pattern. After I completed all of the 9 patches I stopped to measure them and square them up before I began to attach the 9 patch units together.

    Here's the problem...each nine patch square is a different size, varying from 10.25inches to 11 inches. Common sense says to make each unit the same as the smallest size.

    Is that what I want to do? How do I do it? If I just trim the outside edges, aren't some of my squares going to turn into rectangles? Is there a better option?


    All suggestions considered, except taking the units apart!

  2. #2
    Super Member dyer804's Avatar
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    Square them up all the same size, maybe 10 inches or whatever the smallest square is, keeping them the same size on each side so that they stay square.

  3. #3
    Super Member C.Cal Quilt Girl's Avatar
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    can boarder each with one color, and make some leaning/wonky then square up the boarders all to the same size, and assemble, or put all of one size on a row, balance with boarder, if putting in a boarder. remember no QP!! Good Luck :)

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    I would starch and re-press first making sure I payed close attention to the seams. Sometimes I don't press each seam the best and that gives me wonky blocks.

    Then I would re-cut. Here is a picture how to square up a 9 patch.
    Cut 2 sides, rotate cut the other 2. See how the diagonal line on the ruler goes through the seams.

    Does this help?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    tooMuchFabric's Avatar
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    If you started with all the same size squares, and the blocks ended up different sizes, I would tend to reccommend scrutinizing your 1/4" seam technique.
    It MAY be that a little tweaking of the seaming measurement would save you from having to re-cut or cut down your blocks.
    Just my thoughts on reading it.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tooMuchFabric
    If you started with all the same size squares, and the blocks ended up different sizes, I would tend to reccommend scrutinizing your 1/4" seam technique.
    It MAY be that a little tweaking of the seaming measurement would save you from having to re-cut or cut down your blocks.
    Just my thoughts on reading it.
    I would do the same thing.

  7. #7
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kso
    I used 4" squares to make a nine patch pattern.

    ***After I completed all of the 9 patches*** I stopped to measure them *** and square them up before I began to attach the 9 patch units together.

    Is there a better option?

    All suggestions considered, except taking the units apart!
    First thing I'd suggest: Next Time you're making blocks - Measure Before you have all the blocks completed.
    Measure as you go...each section...especially if you're new at block making and you're not 100% certain of that famous 1/4" seam.
    I measure as I go (especially when using scrappy different fabrics)...I just never know when I need to move the fabric one way or the other to get the right 'finished' size.

    As far as what to do with the blocks you have....hmmmm.....I agree, Iron well.
    How about squaring them up WONKY STYLE.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-23044-2.htm
    Kinda like the above link - don't put your edges perpendicular to the ruler's edge. You may have to take it down to 9 1/2" and then add a border strip.
    Good Luck - remember to post pictures..

  8. #8
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    You are correct. If you take 3/4" off of the sides of some, it will make your outer blocks too small.
    It also probably means that you will have diffilculty lin ing up your seams with the rest of the blocks.
    I would probably change the pattern design if they are all this way. Sash them and then square them up, the difference won't be as noticeable then.
    An accurate 1/4" seam is very important, measure as you go and you can catch discrepancies earlier on :wink:

  9. #9
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Sounds like you may benifit in the future using a 1/4 inch foot. Its like training wheels!

  10. #10
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    also: before you start cutting down your blocks, look at your pressed seams, do some of them have folds? rather than being pressed all the way to the side, we've all been there.

  11. #11
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    The first thing(s) I learned about quilting. THREE things can make your block(s) come out correctly or incorrectly.
    1) cutting
    2) sewing
    3) pressing

    There have been times over my years of piecing that one, two or all three have affected my blocks.

    I have added some more, that I have learned from experience;

    4) mood affects my production
    5) slow down, being fast is not always accurate.
    6) relax

  12. #12
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    OOOOOHHHH!! I love that ruler (square up), where did you get it?
    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteQuilts
    I would starch and re-press first making sure I payed close attention to the seams. Sometimes I don't press each seam the best and that gives me wonky blocks.

    Then I would re-cut. Here is a picture how to square up a 9 patch.
    Cut 2 sides, rotate cut the other 2. See how the diagonal line on the ruler goes through the seams.

    Does this help?

  13. #13
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    It is better to "block" the blocks to size than to trim. Sharon Schamber has several good Youtube videos on blocking to size. Here are links to them:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6aplw_tVZc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQkF02vpVuw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-3RIWhBvcA

  14. #14
    kso
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    It is better to "block" the blocks to size than to trim. Sharon Schamber has several good Youtube videos on blocking to size. Here are links to them:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6aplw_tVZc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQkF02vpVuw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-3RIWhBvcA
    Those were great videos. Thanks. I think I can probably do some stretching.

  15. #15
    kso
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    You are correct. If you take 3/4" off of the sides of some, it will make your outer blocks too small.
    It also probably means that you will have diffilculty lin ing up your seams with the rest of the blocks.
    I would probably change the pattern design if they are all this way. Sash them and then square them up, the difference won't be as noticeable then.
    An accurate 1/4" seam is very important, measure as you go and you can catch discrepancies earlier on :wink:
    My friend and I talked about using sashing last night. That would be a do-able alternative.

  16. #16
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Iron the blocks to freezer paper cut to the block size you want. Then mark a 1/4" seam line and sew on the line. You may have some seams 1/8" going to 3/4" but the blocks will match up.

  17. #17
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I would square them up to the smallest size. IMHO

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