Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tutorial - Charmingly Crazy Nine Patch Quilt

Charmingly Crazy Nine Patch

This is a quilt that I designed a while back and I wanted to share a tutorial on how to make it.  I made this quilt using four charm packs and some coordinating yardage.  The whole quilt is made using Basic Grey's Sultry line.

Here you can see what a basic block looks like.  It's a crazy nine patch that is sashed using a very light pink and then all of the blocks are sashed using a medium pink.  I didn't want a lot of contrast in this quilt, so I went for a lot of light and a few medium value fabrics to coordinate with the charm packs.

This tutorial is for the lap quilt, but I am also providing a materials list for other sizes should you want to make something smaller. 

Table Runner (16” x 44”)
Table Topper (42” x 56”)
Wall Hanging (56” x 56”)
Lap Quilt
(56” x 70”)
Number of Charm Packs (calculated with the average of 40 squares (or charms) per pack)
(27 charms total)
(54 charms total)
(81 charms total)
(108 charms total)
Block Sashing (light pink)
1/3 Yard
½ Yard
¾ Yard
1 Yard
Quilt Sashing and Inner Border (medium pink)
¼ Yard
½ Yard
2/3 Yard
¾  Yard
1 Yard
1 Yard
1 Yard
¾ Yard
1 ½ Yards
3 Yards
4 Yards
¼ Yard
½ Yard
½ Yard
½ Yard

Optional: 3 ½” square acrylic ruler, paper plates for organizing groupings

For this project, the numbers are for the lap quilt pictured above.
If using fabric other than charm packs, cut your fabric into the required number of  5” squares.

Block Sashing (light pink) 
1. Cut the sashing fabric into 26 strips that are 1¼” x WOF (Width of Fabric).
2. Cross cut your sashing into 72 strips that measure 3 1/3” x 1¼”.
3. Cut an additional 48 sashing strips that measure 11” x 1¼”.
4. From the final 1 ¼” strips, cut 24 sashing strips that measure 12½” x 1¼”. 
Quilt Sashing (medium pink) 
5. Cut the quilt sashing fabric into 11 strips that measure 2 ¼” x WOF.
6. Cut 5 strips that measure 2¼” x 40”.
7. Cut 8 quilt sashing strips that measure 2¼” x 12½”.
8. Cut 2 strips that measure 2½” x 58”.  *Note that you will need three strips total for this.  Cut one of the strips in half and sew it to each of the other two strips and trim.
9. From the border fabric, cut 6 strips that measure 6” x WOF”.

Note: All seams are ¼” 
1. Make 12 piles of nine 5” charm squares to create your crazy nine patch block.  Make sure you have a good variety of colors in each pile so that one grouping doesn’t stand out more than the others.  
Sewing the Crazy Nine Patch
Repeat these steps for each grouping.

1. CAREFULLY align each pile so that all nine squares lie directly on top of each other.  It’s easiest to do this on your cutting board so that you don’t need to move your perfectly aligned pile and reposition it after you move it.  Aligning the piles is the only area where you’re going to need to be very precise, the rest of this step will require you to let loose.

2. Place your ruler vertically about a third of the way in on the left and at a slight angle.  Cut through all 9 layers of the pile.

3. Take ONE piece of fabric from the TOP of the smaller cut piece on the left and move it to the back of that same pile.  Throughout this entire section, you will always move the smaller piece of fabric.

4. Being careful not to change the order of the pile you just cut, sew the cut pieces together.  It is helpful if you chain piece the fabrics and keep them connected until after you’ve ironed all of the pieces to ensure that the order will always stay the same. 

5. Iron the rectangle and stack the pieces one on top of each other in the same order that you sewed your pieces.

6. On the right side of the now rectangle, place your ruler vertically about 1/3 of the way in at a slight angle and cut through all 9 layers.

7. Take TWO pieces from the smaller, cut side on the left and move it to the back of the pile. 

8. Repeat steps 4 and 5. 

9. Rotate the block 90 degrees to the right and place your ruler vertically on the pile about a third of the way from the left from the top and at a slight angle and cut through all 9 layers being careful not to move the pile around when cutting through the sewn seams. 

10. Take the top THREE pieces of fabric from the top, smaller cut section and move it to the back of that section.  Remember, you're always moving the smaller cut pieces of fabric here. 

11. Repeat steps 4 and 5.

12. Make your final cut by positioning your ruler vertically about a third of the way from the right of the pile and make your cut like in step 9. 

13. Take the top SIX pieces of fabric from the top of the smaller piece at the bottom of the section and move it to the bottom of that same pile.

14. Repeat steps 4 and 5.

15. Square up your crazy nine patch to 3½” square.  You can square up the nine patch at a slight angle if you want the block to look even more interesting.  

16. Repeat the entire step for each set of nine patches that you plan on making. 

·         Mix up your angles so that your blocks look different from each other.  If they all look the same then you loose some of the crazy nine patch effect.
·         Make sure you cuts  at least ½” from the edge of the squares when creating your crazy nine patch blocks to avoid any one piece from being too small.
·         ALWAYS move the SMALLER piece from the cut section from the top to the bottom of the pile.
·         Use a new, sharp blade in your rotary cutter to make cutting through nine layers of fabric much easier.
·         Remember, it doesn’t need to be perfect, these squares are meant to look different!
·         Because you’re going to square off your block, you might want to make the center a bit smaller when cutting and sewing to allow for some extra fabric to be cut off on the outside blocks during the squaring process.
·         Chain piece your pieces together and don’t snip the thread until after you’ve ironed the pieces to ensure that the order never changes. 

Block Sashing
These instructions are for one block.  Repeat for each nine patch grouping.
1. On a design wall or other design surface, lay out your 9 nine patches into a 3x3 layout until you’ve found a layout you like.  Depending on the fabrics you’ve chosen, you might need to do some rotating of the blocks to find an appealing layout. 

2. Arrange and sew block sashing strips in each horizontal row to form three horizontal strips in the following order {sashing, block, sashing, block, sashing, block, sashing}.

3. Take 4 of the 12½” x 1½” strips and place them vertically in between the newly formed strips and on the top and bottom and sew together.  This should give you a 12½” square.

4. Repeat for each block.
Quilt Sashing
1. Using the12 ½” x 2¼” strips, sew the sashing in between three quilt blocks in the following order {block, sashing, block, sashing, block}.  You will not be adding sashing to the outside of the row right now.

2. Sew the five 40” x 2 ¼” strips to the pieces created in the previous step to begin assembling your quilt top. 

3. Sew the 2½” x 58” strips to the last two unsashed sides of the quilt top.     

1.Create two strips from your border fabric that measure 6" x 58" and sew them to the sides of the quilt.

2. Create two strips from your border fabric that measure 6" x 55 ½" and sew them to the top and bottom of the quilt.
Finish your quilt!


  1. You know how I love pink & green;-) Beautiful quilt and a great tutorial!!!

  2. For step #7 should you have said 'cut side on the LEFT?'

    1. Good catch. I made that edit in the tutorial. Thanks!

    2. Looks great, I am going to make a doll size quilt with this pattern, I hope it turns out OK, my first one...

  3. Great tutorial. Thank you for taking the time to work it out & post it.

  4. THANK YOU SO VERRRY MUCH - I live in an outback town in Australia and am new to all of this. I LOVE your generosity of spirit sharing your masterpiece EVEN MORE THAN the tutorial itself and I think that is pretty darn clever. I am not going overboard in saying this because our world is in such turmoil today .... may "God" - whatever you perceive 'God' to be - may God bless you & Thank You my kind friend. Christine King, Boggabri N.S.W. Australia