Monday, April 04, 2011

The Versatility of a Simple Pattern

I have just finished a couple of quilts for different clients that were both done from the Disappearing 9-Patch (DP9) pattern. It spawned an interest in posting about this pattern because it is such a simple, yet versatile way to make a quilt top. It is easy enough for any beginner, yet loads of more experienced quilters use this pattern every day. I suspect most people know exactly how this pattern is done, but I'll recap that just for giggles. Basically, you make a simple 9-patch block, made from whatever size squares you like. Take your 9-patch block and then cut it into 4 equal squares (divide the 9-patch down the vertical and horizontal center). Then, rotate the blocks however you like, and restitch them together.The overall appearance of the quilt lies largely in what fabrics you choose, and which value fabric you place at the center of the 9-patch, as this location is what creates the smaller squares in the finished DP9 block. The above quilt is mostly monochromatic. Brown blocks were used for all the blocks except for the center, which was aqua. So the top is monochromatic with aqua stones. I quilted it with the Plumage pattern in (you guessed it) brown thread. The second quilt I did recently was pieced by a great older lady. She's sadly in late stage cancer, and brought me 2 quilts to finish that she pieced by hand while she was in the hospital last year. These are her last legacy to her 5 children (I believe there are a couple more quilt tops still lying in wait), so I wanted them to be pretty. Unlike the first quilt, this quilt uses fabrics in shades of rose and green, with a center square always being ivory muslin. It gives it a much greater country feeling. This quilt also has a couple borders.

I did a pretty leaf & scroll border on the ivory border and wider piano keys on the red border.
The border tied into the free-handed all-over leaf & scroll quilting on the body of the quilt. I have another of her quilts to finish before returning this.
More on the DP9...

I made this quilt more than a year ago from some of my very favoritest bright and modern fabrics, mostly pink and orange (with a little green tossed in). I used a completely random 9-patch layout, but then I reassembled the quarters from the cut 9-patches into 4-piece units. The white sashings set off these very colorful and seemingly randomly pieced blocks beautifully.
I also used many of those same fabrics to make a couple table runners. These both put a contrasting bolder fabric at the center of the 9-patch. You can see how that accent fabric pops from the design in both cases.

Here's one made by one of my customers last year. This quilt is sashed, yet not in a highly contrasting fabric. It has the blocks assembled in an ordered fashion too, where in each block, the small square stones are all from the same fabric, but it still maintains a somewhat randon appearance.And lastly (one of my oldies but goodies)...This was made for my inlaws 2 years ago from many packs of charm packs. The only thing I tried to do was to place the squares that were more solid at the 4 corners of the original 9-patch block, and put the whitest option at the center (which becomes the small square). Then I assembled them as shown below, which is different from any other layout shown above. I guess I was going through a very orderly phase then! This was before I had my longarm (and the quilt was way too large for me to quilt on my DSM), so I sent it out for quilting. She did a nice job keeping the quilt light and pretty.

So after all of that...(phew) I am interested in what disappearing 9-patch quilts anybody else has made. The variety of options seems endless. Please feel free to post a link in the comments!


~Michelle~ said...

D9P for a little girl:

It is a simple pattern, but so easily messed up with inaccurate cutting!

jovaliquilts said...

I recently discovered the D9P and just love it! As you showed, there are so many variations.

Katie said...

The photo of the one 2nd to last in your post looks like it contains some of Sandy Gervais "awesome" line of fabrics. I received a gift of that whole line in FQs last Christmas, and have cut off the bottom 1/4th of each FQ to use in a grandmothers flower garden-style EPP quilt. The rest, I still want to showcase this beautiful fabric and a D9P seems to be the way to go - all of your photos are gorgeous!

Ivory Spring said...

Those are such pretty projects. I have never made a Disappearing Nine Patch quilt before... those projects inspire me.

bingo~bonnie said...

Great post with even greater photos! ;) I went to flickr and simply put d9p in the search box and came up with tons of eye candy.

somewhere in the sewing room closet, I have a baggie of large 12" I think they are 9 patch blocks that I got form a swap year ago. Now I'm gonna have to dig them out ;) thanks!

Love from Texas! ~bonnie