Nine Patch Quilt Top

I got to work on my nine patch quilt yesterday.  It seemed to come together a lot quicker than I expected.  I think because of my new machine.  It feeds beautifully and sews so nicely.  I'm having a lot of fun with this machine.  Only one suggestion, Bernina. Could you please put a clock on the lcd screen?  I tend to lose track of time while I'm sewing and it would be a nice reminder if I knew how late it was getting so I wouldn't be so tired the next day.  Here are some pictures of the process.  And please, if you are a quilter, please scroll down to the bottom as I have some quilting questions.

9patch sewing The peicing

9patch layout1 "I'm not stepping on your quilt, mom.  I'm stepping in the holes."

9patch layoutThe Layout

9patch quilt topThe completed quilt top.

Now for some questions.  The pieces are laid out diagonally so that the edge is on the bias.  Does this make a difference for how I bind it?  Do I have to bind it with binding cut on the bias or can I just use strips of fabric cut with the grain?  Also, I used a 1/2-inch seam because I'm just a lot more comfortable with the extra seam. Why do quilters always use a 1/4-inch seam?  I'm planning on basting this one with straight lines – just because it seems to fit the style. Has anyone ever used freemotion quilting on a quilt like this?  How does it look?  Does it take away from the simple design?

17 Responses to “Nine Patch Quilt Top”


  1. 2 capello June 19, 2006 at 6:14 pm

    Beautiful!

    Basting is temporary, so it doesn’t matter.

    The ladies at my quilt store say it doesn’t matter how your make your binding, it only matters if you have a pattern (like stripes), binding cut on the bias is no stronger that straight cut bias.

    I think sewers (sew-ers, not “sewers”) in general do 1/4″ seam because it is common and leaves little waste. I have two boys, I have to do 1/2″ seam if I expect anything to last for more than two days.

    I think freemotion would be pretty, just be careful in picking out your thread — you could call attention to one area and blend with another; just by the thread color alone you can have many multiple quilts there.

  2. 3 Mary June 19, 2006 at 6:47 pm

    You can bind with either bias or straight-cut binding. For a square quilt (i.e. having no curved corners) I usually use a straight-cut binding – it’s faster.

    You might want to stay-stitch along the edges to be sure the bias triangles don’t warp as you’re putting the binding on.

    The 1/4″ seam is to help keep things from getting too bulky. With the nine-patch it’s not an issue, but once you start having diamonds or triangles coming together at the points, the “point” gets quite thick and hard to quilt through. It also won’t lay perfectly flat. Size will also be affected if you cut the shapes to size and want to have a quilt the same size as the pattern – 1/2″ seams will make it smaller by several inches in even a small quilt.

    If I were quilting that particular piece, I would use straight lines diagonally through all of the smaller squares – I just like the look. The plain design of the piecing would be a good place to showcase fancy quilting if that’s what you want to do – medallions in the plain squares, add a plain border and fill it with feathers, etc.

    Nice job!

  3. 4 Adrienne June 20, 2006 at 12:16 am

    WOW!!!!! Linda, I am soo impressed, that is just beautiful, beautiful!

  4. 5 Ali June 20, 2006 at 12:58 am

    Linda, I love your quilt (and your cheeky hole-stepper!) but sorry, no technical words of wisdom here.

  5. 6 sueb June 20, 2006 at 4:27 am

    Beautiful ! I like the layout and the colors. Nicely done ! The only thing I’d be worried about when binding is the edges stretching because they are on the bias. I’d run a line of stay stitching around the edge to stabilize it.

  6. 7 Gina June 20, 2006 at 6:03 am

    How lovely, wonderful! That’s a cute photo of your little one tip toeing through your work.

  7. 8 Randi June 20, 2006 at 8:17 am

    I love your quilt! You can just bind the quilt with regular binding. It doesn’t need the bias cut for the edges. 1/4 seam? I would think that someone just picked that width and everyone stuck with it. I think it just helps to keep things uniform. Of course, I could be totally off on this!

    I have tried machine quilting one time–I did straight lines and they came out OK. The part of the quilt that I did first looked the worst–it got better as I went along!

  8. 9 Amanda June 20, 2006 at 8:27 am

    Very nice! I love it!

  9. 10 Cathy June 20, 2006 at 8:49 am

    Beautiful quilt!

    It seems that all your quilting questions have been answered. I think the binding is an issue of preference. I put a bias binding on my son’s quilt becaue I knew it would be abused… bias has more flexibility but I don’t really know if it helps. More important than type of binding is to have a double layer of binding… one layer of cloth on binding wears out fast!

  10. 11 Megan June 20, 2006 at 4:05 pm

    That’s coming together nicely, well done.

    I think everyone else has answered your questions, I’d just add that I agree! You will find a 1/2 inch seams makes things more difficult to quilt in the long run, but not by much.

  11. 12 kirsty June 20, 2006 at 5:28 pm

    Your quilt is so pretty! I’m with everyone else re: binding etc. And DEFINITELY stay-stitch the edge!!!

  12. 13 kirsty June 21, 2006 at 2:30 am

    My name is Kirsty. And, yes, I am a bagaholic🙂

  13. 14 Amy June 21, 2006 at 6:28 pm

    Great job on the quilt — and look at you with bias edges! I haven’t been brave enough to have bias edges exposed on the sides of the quilt cause I’ve been “told” that it will stretch and make quilt not hang straight. Not probably a big deal unless it is going to hang on a wall or be judged in a competition. And besides, I say we need less rules! I would agree that as long as your edge is straight you can do straight binding. Bias binding would just be for curved edges — rounded corners, etc. I haven’t had a problem with 1/4″ seams pulling out on my quilts but my 3/8″ seams have pulled out on clothes. Go figure. Since you have those big open white spaces, you might want to quilt a spiral or something cool in the center – – but straight line minimalism works for me too!

  14. 15 Lyn June 21, 2006 at 10:51 pm

    My goodness. It is beautiful. I love quilts. I hope to make one someday.

  15. 16 lilymarlene June 22, 2006 at 5:43 am

    Lovely quilt…..and I think all your questions were covered. But….no-one explained why it didn’t matter which binding method you use. You can use either because your backing will not be on the bias so won’t stretch with the top. And after you have done your quilting with your enviable machine(!!!!!!!) nor will the top move much!!!

  16. 17 Andrea April 22, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I’ve heard that bias binding was used in times past when quilters would sometimes bind around curved edges (also for hexagon quilts), the biase cut made it more plyable.


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Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It's what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 12, 13, and 14), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and a pattern designer.
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