This tutorial on sewing a nine patch block is one of five tutorials that are part of a larger sewing project, How to Sew a Tic-Tac-Toe Board.
The following five tutorials make up most of the steps involved in sewing a Tic-Tac-Toe board:
- Sew a Nine Patch Block (this tutorial)
- Square a Nine Patch Block
- Stitch in the Ditch
- Attach Binding
- Blind Stitch by Hand
What is a Nine Patch Block?
The nine patch is a quilting block made up of 3 rows of squares with 3 squares in each row. In one block all the squares are the same size. However, the size of the squares can vary from one nine patch block to another. The simplicity of the nine patch block allows for an unimaginable number of size and fabric variations. As a result, this a popular block among quilters.
How to Construct a Nine Patch Block
Tip: Read all of the steps before you begin so you know what you’ll be doing.
- two different cotton or cotton type fabrics
- cut five 6-inch squares out of each fabric
(This is the size and color combination for the Tic-Tac-Toe board sewing project.)
Step 1: Lay out the fabric squares in a grid with right sides up
Put the darker fabric in the middle of the top row. Alternate the fabrics in the other two rows to make the Tic-Tac-Toe board. You’ll have one square left over.
Step 2: Sewing the nine patch together
- Label the first square in each row. Use a pin so the label doesn’t come off.
- Place the middle square on top of the first square in each row. Right sides should be together and edges lined up. Pin in place along the right edge.
- Use the presser foot edge as the guide and sew the squares in each pair together. You don’t need to backstitch.
- Lay the pairs of squares you just sewed next to the third square in each row. Right sides should be up.
- Place the last square on top of the middle square in each row. Right sides together. Line up the edges and pin in place along the right edge.
- Again, use the presser foot edge as the guide and sew the squares in each set together. You don’t need to backstitch.
- Lay the rows out in order and check the placement. Make sure you have a tic-tac-toe pattern.
Step 3: Pressing the seams
There is a certain direction the seams need to be pressed. You’ll be pressing the seams toward the darker fabric. This will help when you sew the rows together.
- Press the seams in the first and third row toward the center square.
- Press the seams in the second row to the outside squares.
Be careful not to press over the labels that identify the rows. You may want to remove the labels when you press, but put them back when you’re done.
Step 4: Preparing and sewing the rows together
- Lay the rows out in order with right sides up. Make sure the first square in each row has the label on it.
- Place the first row on top of the second row with right sides together. The edges of each row that were next to each other when they were laid out, should be together.
- Align and snug the seams together. If the seams were pressed correctly, you should feel them butt up against each other. They should fit together easily. Make sure the raw edges of the rows are lined up. Pin the rows together.
- Sew rows one and two together. You don’t need to backstitch.
- Align the edges of rows two and three with right sides together and snug up the seams. They should butt up against each other. With the edges lined up, pin in place and sew.
- You can now remove the labels that number the rows.
Step 5: Press the seams to the middle
Press the seams toward row 2. The finished nine patch should be approximately 17″ x 17″.
That’s It. You’re Done!
You have successfully sewn a nine patch block together. The next step will be to square the block up.
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