Thursday, 23 January 2014

9 patch and Snowball Doll Quilt Tutorial

Sometimes I have ideas in my head and they just scream for me to get out the fabric and create them. This month has been all about two quilt blocks, the 9-patch and the Snowball block. (There will be a longer post on that later!) And this is the idea that's been percolating in my imagination and the quilt I really wanted to make from those two basic building blocks.
This little quilt will finish at about 15" x 21", perfect for a doll quilt, or if you like to collect miniature quilts, this one will look great hanging on your wall or peeking out of a basket.

You will need the following fabrics to make this quilt:
  • Assorted scraps (or a pack of 5" charm squares)
  • Light colored fabric (one fat quarter or use assorted light scraps)
  • Binding (coordinating color - one fat quarter)
I keep almost all my scraps and occasionally I will cut them up into various sizes, the smallest of which are my 1.5" squares. I pulled out an assortment of the duller fabric squares and left the bright colors for another time. The light fabric I used is just a plain white cotton - again, from my scrap bag.

Cut 212 dark scrappy 1.5" squares for both the 9-patches and the snowball blocks
Cut 18 white or light 1.5" squares for the centers of the 9-patch blocks
Cut 17 white or light 3.5" squares for the centers of the snowball blocks
9-patch blocks from scraps
Using an assortment of eight (8) dark 2.5" squares and one (1) light 2.5" square, make eighteen (18) nine patch blocks. Press.
Arranging the 9-patch and snowball blocks
Use your remaining dark squares and the seventeen (17) light 3.5" squares, make 17 snowball blocks. You'll have four small dark squares and a large light square per block. Lay them together as shown and sew across the diagonal as shown by the ruler below. Trim the corners a quarter of an inch past the seam you just sewed and press your small pieces out to the corners.
Making a snowball block
Lay out your blocks, alternating 9-patch and Snowball blocks, five blocks across and seven blocks down. Rearrange until you are happy with where the colors end up. Sew blocks into rows and press towards 9-patch blocks. Sew rows together and voila! You are done! Easy peasy! 
Final block arrangement
Quilt as desired - little quilts like this are great for learning or practicing hand quilting or free motion machine quilting. Trim the quilt to prep for binding.

Cut 4 binding strips along the longest length of the fat quarter for the binding. (I use 2.25", but you can use 2.5" if you like that width better for binding.) Join these diagonally to make one long strip. Here's a great binding tutorial from Missouri Quilt Company http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vCWpxBRs20
What do you do with your scraps?
---Ann
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