Saturday, May 17, 2014

In The World of Scrappy 9-Patches!

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During this week’s Quilt-Cam I was sewing a bunch of red/neutral strip sets intended for some scrappy 3” 9 patches for an as-of-yet-undisclosed project.

My thought on making 9 patches from strips is simple….Make a batch of red/neutral strip sets, as shown here….and then divide.

1/3 will get another neutral strip sewn to the center red strip, and the remaining 2/3 will get a red strip sewn to the center neutral strip – but it all starts with two, as shown here.

Yes, that top strip has Y2K Millennium fabric in it!

When I sew, I just add strip to strip, and if one strip is shorter, I just butt another one on and keep sewing.  Short strip sets are my friend, as it builds my variety and keeps the same thing from being sewn next to the same other thing through the quilt all the time….

When I have sewn a large enough mass of strip set twosies, I cut them apart wherever there is a join…and then press.

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Here I’m adding more neutral!

You can see one neutral ended, so I plunked another one down and just kept sewing.  I’ll cut where this join is before pressing, it makes things easier to handle that way.

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Places with joins, ready to cut apart.

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All ready to cut apart and press!

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Both kinds of strip sets are now ready!

And this is where I save a LOT of time by pre matching short strip set to short strip set BEFORE I start cutting them into 1.5” sections:

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Place strip sets right sides together and nest those seams!

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Cut pairs, counting them along the way, piling them in sets of 10 pairs per stack.

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Yes, I do all my counting and matching of what is going to end up next to what in the CUTTING process.  Then when I sit at the machine, the job of matching and nesting and COUNTING has already been done..I just feed them through the machine one after the other…it’s rapid fire fast!  The piles with the lights on the ends are pairs ready to sew.  The piles with reds on the ends are the ones waiting to complete the 9 patches once the first pairs have been sewn.  Everything is counted and ready.

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Chaining away while listening to audio books on my MP3 player!

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Nice stack ready to press!

Now here is another time saver for you.  I know we have a lot of gals that are super excited about their upright “thread cutter” be it a seam ripper in a base, or that purple thing, or a clover medallion on a base, etc..you know the kind? “Cut apart your units quickly” it says!  And oh yes it will….but do this FIRST:

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Chain press them open!

I cut my chain into ironing board lengths, and lay the length on the ironing board and press press press press from one pair to the other.  Because they are STILL CONNECTED the job is quick and easy.  If you cut them apart FIRST, there is much fumbling and arranging and laying out and opening with fingers before you can press one small unit with the iron, and then the process starts again. 

This way…you just go right down the chain and it’s easy as can be. 

THEN you can come back and cut them apart after pressing.  I use scissor snips for this, but you could use that upright thing if you so feel the need for it.  I don’t.

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Pairs on the left, last section on the right!

I love making my 9-patches this way…they are not much more work than 4-patches, and it goes really quickly.

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Stack of 9 patches, job well done!

Baked potatoes are in the oven, steaks are ready to go on the grill.

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The man is also happy with his new TV!

The phone company came out and said yes-indeedy –the internet and the phone line were fried in the electrical storm.  We've now got the phone line back, and the internet back, and will be getting things over the next few trips to get things back to the way they were.  We had the best surge protectors they offer….and they did their job, limiting damage only to the protector and the devices themselves, and our house stayed standing.  I’m grateful.

Tonight – I finish binding a baby quilt!

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  1. Anonymous7:39 PM EDT

    Hi Bonnie, I've just got through watching your last quilt cam, while sewing myself. Given our time differences, I catch you up on my weeeknd(s). Thank you for the inspiration and little tidbits of knowledge sprinkled throughout. Glad you're getting sorted after the storm damage!

    Rose - Christchurch, New Zealand

  2. Just was wondering whether you also had a whole house surge protector on your incoming hydro line? We're rural dwellers with lots of equipment. That was recommended to us when we built. I still have surge protector bars on things individually because I'm just that cautious. It is a pain as all those electronics are a necessary part of our lives now. Good also that you see the positive side and that your house wasn't affected more seriously.

  3. Wonderful tips and tricks Bonnie! And, it makes things so scrappy! U an sorry about your "power struggles!" That would be very frustrating, but, way to be, looking on the bright side......things could have been worse!

  4. Hello,Insurance company.

  5. LOVE red and neutrals! Pair those with rich browns and you have made me so happy!

    OK, what are you making!!! IS this for another book?

    You do stay busy lol


  6. Oh Bonniem what a time saver you are....Thanks for the 9 patch look see....

  7. Anonymous12:37 AM EDT

    Bonnie you are amazing. I admire your attitude, after finding the storm damage at your cabin, you can still sit down and sew!
    I would still be in a mess, depressed and worried.
    That's why I love reading your blog, it always lifts my day, even with your bad news, if you can see light at the end of the tunnel, so can I!!

  8. I really enjoy your technique posts.


  9. I've just finished an Irish Chain quilt & did my 9 patches like yours, saves a lot of time, but must remember your trick with the ironing next time. Take care

  10. Anonymous9:05 AM EDT

    Hi Bonnie, we had a surge of electric at our house a few years ago. It was easy to tell some of the things that were damaged. However, it was much later, when we were replacing our oven, that we learned that it's connection had been damaged. It still worked, but not as well.
    I would suggest checking those plugs that are not so easy to see.

    Thanks for all you share with this. I'm going to try this method for my next 9 patches.
    Sue dot quilts at verizon.net

  11. Bonnie just finished watching your segment on TQS. It was fabulous! Sorry about the house issues. I too have two houses (my second one is at the beach but we go year round on weekends)Thank you so much for sharing you tips and knowledge. One question if you are able to reply - which one of your books has the Jamestown Landing quilt you showed in your TQS segment? I needed inspiration for a wedding gift and that just spoke to me. Also I have a TON of blues in my stash and the bride likes blue!! thanks - Mary in MA & RI(Beach)

  12. Binding for me also today Bonnie. I just got the quilt back from the long arm quilter. Double sided as are all my quilts, Cotton Boll and Easy Street.

    Thank you for the mysteries and your generous spirit. I once met a famous person in the quilt work, asked her to sign my book please...the answer was no, I'd have to buy a new one off her table.
    People are funny...
    Sharyn in Kalama, see you for Love Shack in June

  13. Love your neutral/red nine patches. I can't wait to see what quilt you are using them in. Sorry to hear about your electrical issues, glad your sewing machines were not harmed. A F4 tornado went through our place about 4 years ago and took most of our buildings, lots of trees, but our home wasn't badly damaged. Amazing how it took about everything but our home right off the foundations. I would have been horrified to have lost my sewing machines/quilts and sewing things. Have a great day! Thanks for the great sewing tips.

  14. I really like the 9-patch technique that you show here. I always thought that 9 patches were hard to do by chain piecing. This is a great technique. Can't wait to see the project that these end up in. I suppose its too early to be thinking mystery quilt units? ;)

  15. LOVE those 9 patch blocks!!! Love the scrappy look.....

  16. Another fabulous blog post! So inspiring! Glad your lightning strike mess is getting better.

  17. This post has me in go mode. Thank you for the detailed instructions.. Got it!!


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