Today I spent a little more time cutting scraps and ended up with so many 2-1/2” squares that I decided to start another nine patch quilt. Here is an EQ7 drawing of the one I like to make. It is a simple nine patch set on point and finishes about 61” x 87” so it’s a good donation size for the local emergency shelter. They like twin-sized quilts since all the beds at the shelter are twins.
To make the quilt it takes 270 assorted dark 2-1/2” squares and 216 light 2-1/2” squares for the nine patch blocks. You need 54 nine patch blocks. I’m using a single light background on this particular quilt and it takes one yard of fabric to cut all the required squares. The alternate squares (light brown in the diagram) are cut 6-1/2” and you need 40. I’ll pick several fat quarters from my stash and cut the 6-1/2” squares from them so they will be scrappy too. If you want to use all one fabric for these squares it will take about 1-1/2 yards. For the side and corner triangles you need 3/4 yard of fabric. From that cut seven 9-3/4” squares then cut each square on the diagonal twice (like an X). Then cut two 5-1/8” squares for the corner triangles. Cut each square on the diagonal once. I cut the outer border 5-1/2” wide. You’ll need 1-1/4 yards if you piece the border or 2-1/4 if you want to cut them lengthwise.
Whenever possible I like to cut my borders on the lengthwise grain for three main reasons:
1. I don’t like piecing them and deciding whether to sew the seam straight or on the diagonal.
2. If the border is a print, I don’t like to see the print broken up by a seam.
3. Most importantly, the lengthwise grain is much more stable and there’s less chance of wavy borders.
Even though on first glance it looks like it takes a lot more fabric to cut on the lengthwise grain, I generally use the same fabric for my binding. In this case, I’ll cut four 5-1/2” border strips and still have plenty of fabric to cut my four 2-1/4” binding strips. The other little bonus is fewer seams on the binding, too since you’re sewing together four longer strips instead of eight shorter ones. In this case, it really only takes an extra 1/3 yard of fabric. Well worth it in my opinion!
When I make one of these quilts I work on it as a secondary project so it takes awhile to finish it. It’s so easy though that simply by working an hour or so a day, the top should be finished in about a week.
Today’s progress was 18 nine patch blocks so I managed to complete a third of them. Not a bad start!