Monday, November 29, 2021

Nine Patch November: Cleaning Up

I used scraps to make most of the Nine Patch tops and blocks this month. Those scraps generated more scraps.   Now most of those leftover scraps have been dealt with. 

I used 3.5 inch width pieces cut off scrap chunks to make Path and Stiles blocks as well as the Puss in the Corner blocks.  With the leftover scraps if the scrap was at least 10 inches long I cut four 2.5 x 3.5 pieces. Later I matched up pieces and made Eight Patch blocks.  This is one of the blocks I make when I have 2.5 or 3.5 inch width scraps left over from making quilt blocks.  In the old days I would have thrown all those left over 3.5 inch width pieces into a 3.5 inch width scrap bin and when bin got full I made blocks at that point. Now I try to make blocks with leftovers as I go.

If there was a 3.5 scrap at least 7 inches long then I cut two 3.5 inch squares and made Four Patches. Last year and earlier this year I made the Four Patches with a color and a neutral and I ended up with over 60 Four Patches so I turned those into a Rainbow Scrap Challenge Project. Next year I will make an alternate QST block to go with those Four Patches.   So now I am making Four Patches in two colors. I will let them accumulate for awhile and decide what to do with them later. 

If there's enough of that 3.5 inch scrap to cut a 3.5 inch square then that is what happens next.  I have a bin with squares in all sizes that I use now and then to make blocks.  After I cut the squares I sorted through the new squares and the ones from the bin and if there were four squares in the same color and value then I put them into a pile for X+ blocks which is one of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge Projects this year that will continue into next year. The pile on the right will be used in those X+ blocks. 

Anything left that was less than a 3.5 square but at least 1 x 3.5 inches was sewn together for a future Chinese Coins quilt. 

With the pastel scraps left over from making the Sister's Choice top went into Sawtooth Stars. When I turned the Nine Patches into the Sister's Choice blocks I used pastels from a little box of pastels I had set aside to make Sawtooth Stars for baby quilts. The Sister's Choice blocks left me with 2.5 inch width scraps in whites as well as pastels. If the pastel scraps were long enough to cut eight Flying Geese wings and if I had a 4.5 inch pastel square to match then I made Sawtooth Stars. I used the leftover white strips to cut Flying Geese bodies and block corners. These Sawtooth Stars finish at 8 inches. 

If there was enough scrap left for a 2.5 inch square for the Squares Bin then those were cut. If there was a 2.5 x 1.5 inch piece left it was cut for my box of pieces for...

...Lynn's Lego blocks.  When my little box of Legos builds up then I make a few blocks. This is a slow moving project but a great way to use little scraps. 

I had a few 2.5 inch width scraps left over from making the Framed Nine Patch top.  If there was enough of the scrap left to make four HSTs then I made the four HSTs and then used some 4.5 inch squares from the Squares Bin to make Bear Paw blocks. I have quite a few of them and later next year I will probably set them on point and make a few donation quilt tops. 

And if there was enough for a 2.5 inch square then I cut squares. If there was enough for a 1.5 x 2.5 inch Lego piece then I cut Legos. If there were four squares the same and they were bright I set those aside for my Indian Hatchet blocks - another Rainbow Scrap Challenge project. 

I had a lot of "flippy" corners left over from making the Snowball Nine Patch top.  I turned them into strips of five for my HST quilt inspired by a vintage one. 

So, now you are probably wondering how many Nine Patches I have left. This is my14 quart  bin of 3 inch (finished) Nine Patches. I started sorting them by color. 

To be added to the bin the bag on the right that still needs to be sorted by color. The bag on the left has light corners so I will keep them separate and decide what to do with those later. 

This is another vintage quilt that has me inspired. Sorting through my nine patches I think I have quite a few little Nine Patches with black corners I can use to make my version now.  

I'm still making Framed Stars with little Nine Patches in the center so sorted out Nine Patches in two colors to make more of those blocks. 

This is my six inch (finished) 14 quart bin. I decided to sort them into possible quilt groupings to see if I should continue on to make these Nine Patches when I have scraps leftover from other projects. I have a little pile of blocks that look like Autumn colors so I think I will make enough for a Snowball Nine Patch and alternate with Snowballs in autumn colors with neutral corners. I have some in bright colors that I will make into an Irish Chain when I have enough of them. 

A few months ago I started turning the dark blue Nine Patches into these Churn Dash variation blocks that finish at 14 inches. I figure that 30 blocks will make a nice twin sized quilt at 70 x 84.  I have nine blocks so I need to remember that if I have dark blue 2.5 inch width scraps left over I should make Nine Patches. 

I copied off this pattern a long time ago (2013). I tracked it down and it can be found at Quilt Ladies. 

The brown scraps left from making Chocolate Box went back into the giant bag of brown scraps. There weren't many scraps left from making that quilt top. A few 3.5 inch width scraps did go into making some of those Four Patches I showed earlier.  I saw Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun than Housework making 2.5 x 8.5 inch Lozenge blocks from her blue scraps and I think I might just make those from my brown scraps. I can hardly lift my bag of brown scraps! 

And finally I have a little box of scraps I have not processed yet. When I use scrap chunks (less than FQ or less than 6.5 inch width strips) to make blocks I end up with a lot of odd sized pieces. I need to decide if they can be cut up for squares, legos, go into the strings box or into the crumbs box. 


Saturday, November 27, 2021

Nine Patch November: Double Nine Patch

It's a top!
Chocolate Box
Double Nine Patch
63 x 75

That one light block right in the middle sort of bothers me. I was thinking I should swap it out with a darker block from the top row BUT then I remembered this is a comfort quilt and not something that will be hung on a wall. So I will probably leave it as is. 

It has been declared Nine Patch November at my house. I've been trying to use bins of both six inch and three inch Nine Patches I have in inventory. I used to swap three inch Nine Patches quarterly for years and although I've made a number of quilts with them I still have quite a few. 

For this quilt I used up most of the three inch Nine Patches that have brown in them. I didn't have quite enough for 30 blocks plus sashing  cornerstones so I did end up having to make more little Nine Patches. I have a LOT of brown scraps so that was no problem. 

I used a lot of dark browns and reds in the Double Nine Patch blocks. 

You can't tell from the photos but the middle strip in the sashings is an old red calico with blue flowers. I had just enough of it, thank goodness. I used a variety of dark browns for the other two strips in the sashings. I didn't have enough of any one fabric to use. 

I think this is the last Nine Patch top for the month. My next post will probably be about what happened to all the scraps left over from making this month's Nine Patch tops from scraps.

In December I think everything will be coming up roses. 


Friday, November 26, 2021

Nine Patch November: Puss In The Corner

It's a top!
Puss in the Corner
aka Uneven Nine Patch 

59 x 72

I have declared it "Nine Patch November" at my house. This month I've been working on Nine Patch inventory reduction- both 3 inch and 6 inch Nine Patches. 

For this one I used 3 inch (finished) Nine Patches as the center of Uneven Nine Patches (aka Puss in the Corner blocks).  I used Nine Patches from inventory with dark corners and centers and lights for the other four pieces. Then I tried to match up the border pieces with the fabric in the Nine Patches. I was able to use a lot of the scraps of the scraps left over from making the Path and Stiles blocks in my previous post. 

I added sashing between blocks that formed little Nine Patches with light corners. It was not easy to keep all those little pieces in the correct order between adding sashing between columns and rows. 

I don't have a design wall and more or less sew blocks together randomly. In this case I tried to keep the lighter blocks on top and keep the darker blocks for bottom rows. I just do this as I web together blocks. The sashing added another whole dimension to the way I usually work - I also had to think a little bit in order to form those little Nine Patches in the sashing. I don't normally add sashing or borders to my quilts. But this time I think it was worth it and good brain exercise. 

And now my inventory of 3 inch Nine Patches is 120 blocks lighter. BUT the bin is not empty. 


Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Nine Patch November: Path and Stiles

I just returned home yesterday afternoon from a short trip to a state park. Five of my husband's seven siblings and spouses rented a cabin rented a cabin in the woods and a good time was had by all although I think some folks (mostly women but not me) were disappointed that internet connectivity was almost nil and they became rather anxious. I think it's nice to get away for a bit but I am always glad to be back home. Groups of people make me anxious and I'm not much of a socializer. 

Today I finished up the rest of my Path and Stiles blocks. I now have 100 of these nine inch finished blocks. 

It's Nine Patch November at my house. I chose to try to reduce both my inventory of six and three inch Nine Patches. I swapped three inch Nine Patches quarterly for a number of years and although I've made a lot of quits that use them I still have a bin of them. I used some of those Nine Patches as the centers of these blocks. 

I went through my chunk scraps and tried to match up my scraps to the Nine Patch centers. I actually had a lot of fun doing that. 

Now my three inch Nine Patch inventory is 100 Nine Patches lighter. 

After I finishing ironing the remainder of the blocks they will all go into the Some Assembly Required box where complete blocks sets rest until I feel like assembling a top. 

Now I have a little stack of 3.5 inch width pieces to deal with and my Shoe Box project box will be ready for another project. 


Thursday, November 18, 2021


Sometimes one thing leads to another around here. And when I think of what I should do with these scraps or that and an idea pops into my head I make a few blocks of said ideas before I forget about those ideas.   I try a few blocks and then decide if said ideas were good ones or so-so ones. 

I call those blocks I make "Before-I-Forgets". 

You know I've been working on six and three inch Nine Patch reduction this month. You may or may not also know that I love vintage quilts and so have lots of pictures of ones I've come across that I would like to make.   

Above is a block I wanted to try with some civil war reproduction scraps. It has a nine patch center.   

I think the block above is called Kentucky Crossroads; however, the picture I found (sorry, I forget to save where I saw it) called it Cross and Crown.  Well, anyway, I could not find a good pattern for it so I made one up. I like how it turned out but it turned out a weird size - 8 3/4 unfinished. That's okay with me because I'd rather have a weird size unfinished block than cut weird sized pieces in order to make a standard sized block. 

Well, here's the photo of the vintage quilt and my notes on making it. I wish I had enough cheddar for the background but I don't so I will use muslin for the background. 

While I was digging around in the box of civil war reproduction scraps to make Kentucky Crossroads I thought I might as well see what I could do to reduce that box of scraps. It's a BIG box of scraps. 

There's a bag of 2.5 inch width scraps. I found another vintage quilt photo I've wanted to try and thought I could use the 2.5 inch scrap bag for the squares for these blocks that alternate the placement of Quarter Square Triangles (QSTs) and Squares. I used 1.5 inch scraps to make the 2.5 inch unfinished QSTs. I cut them using the EZ Companion Angle ruler. 

I like how these look so I'll continue on. I will call this QST Nine Patch. 

I have a lot of wider 4.5 inch civil war repro scraps so looked around in a couple of books for ideas. I've made a couple of these Spiraling Flying Geese in the past and like how they turned out. So thought I would make another. 

Found in the book "History Repeated" by Betsy Chutchian and Carol Staehle. 

These are a quick make and I'll have 90 Flying Geese made in no time. Not sure what I will use for the "spiraling" fabric. I'll figure that out later. 

I also use the EZ Companion Angle ruler to cut fabric for the Flying Geese body. When I do that I first cut the beginning of the piece with the EZ Easy Angle ruler so it can be used to make an HST later.  The Flying Geese wings are cut with the EZ Easy Angle ruler. 

I went ahead and used those cuts to make 4.5 inch finished HSTs I will just put in the Parts Department for now. 

I also made little HSTs left over from making the QST Nine Patch blocks and then sewed them into strips of five.  I'm not really concerned if they end up wonky. I don't like trimming all that much and just snip of a few dog ears. 

I've been slowly sewing together waste triangles into strips for a quilt like the one above. 

While I was browsing through my "History Repeated" book I saw this photo of a Double Nine Patch quilt. Goodness gracious...I have a LOT of brown scraps. And I have some little 3 inch brown Nine Patches. Maybe I should make a quilt like this. 

I made a few "Before-I-Forgets" with some of the Nine Patches I had on hand. More to come. 

Still with Nine Patches in my mind I decided to try the Buckeye Beauty variation that combines little Nine Patches instead of Four Patches with HSTs.  How about I look at what I have for '30s reproduction scraps.  (There's a LOT of them). I made a couple of blocks but can clearly see I need to add in some solids, ginghams, polka dots and shirts or I will go cross eyed. 

Since these blocks uses 3.5 and 1.5 inch pieces I pulled out some '30s scraps that were at least 5 inches wide to use to make these blocks. 

In the '30s scraps I found a bag of 2.5 inch width scraps and a baggie of 2.5 inch squares. In the bag was the Ocean Waves pattern from Quilter's Cache I used to make my Ocean Waves quilt that is still in the hand quilting pile. That was started in 2014 and the top was finished in 2018 so these scraps are pretty old. 

I made a few HSTs and then made a Carpenter Star that finishes at 16 inches. I probably have enough scraps in that bag and baggie for 12 blocks so that's what will happen to those scraps. 

There's also a bunch of 3.5 inch width scraps. 

How about some 8 Patches?  I have been making some of these with the general population of scraps when I have them so I'm not sure if I'll combine these made with '30s with the general population or not. I'll use up the scraps and see how many I end up with. 

Depending upon the length of the 3.5 inch scraps if there is not enough for an 8 Patch then I just will make Four Patches for the Parts Department. 

And finally, while looking through the '30s repro scraps I came across a little pile of prints with animals and kids. I thought I would combine them with a little pile of solids and make these blocks that finish at 5 inches. Sixty-four of them should make a cute little baby quilt. 

Of course I had a photo of a vintage quilt or what I think is a vintage quilt. Anyway, I figured out how to cut pieces if I made blocks of 1.5 inch strips or 2.5 inch strips and opted for the 1.5 inch strips because I just have little bits of solids to use to make these blocks.