July 09, 2014

Double Disappearing Nine-Patch Improved Tutorial

When I started with Double Disappearing 9 Patch (DD9P) I gave an explanation of what I did but not a real tutorial. I would like to correct that today because I know how nice it is when you're in a bee and you can just link your bee-mates to a tutorial.

To make a double disappearing 9 patch block with this layout you will need:

9 small squares: 5 colors, 4 background
5 big squares: 1 color, 4 background

The size of the squares to cut for a 10" finished block (shown) are:

small squares: 3"
big squares: 4"


Make a nine patch block as shown. Whatever color is in the middle will end up in all four of the final block-units. It doesn't matter where you put the others, they will be cut apart from each other in the next step.

Cut the block down the middle in both directions

Spread the blocks out, keeping their orientation to the center

Use the larger squares to make a new nine patch block

Cut that block down the middle in both directions

Rearrange and sew together

Notes: If you can double the disappearing nine-patch you could triple or even quadruple it! Readers of my blog have done just that. Way to go innovators! You are the reason I love having a blog.

In case you want to start with different sizes for your beginning patches, I figured out the formula for other sizes of DD9P

size of the small blocks = x
size of the large blocks = y
size of finished final block = z

y = 1.5x - 1/2"
z = 3y - 2"

The downside of this block is that all the halving and halving again gives you painful 1/4" and 1/8" cutting problems and weird finished block sizes for pretty much everything except this 10" finished size. That doesn't matter if you just like sewing and cutting and resewing but if you are super into precision or writing patterns for other people you'll get frustrated.

People regularly ask me if I can make the DD9P a 12" finished block and the answer, sadly, is no, I can't. No one can, because the math of cutting a three-unit thing into a two-unit thing won't allow it if you can't cut in thirds and sixths of an inch, and since we don't have tools for that in quilting it's not going to happen.  However, if you really really needed a 12" finished block you would start with 3.5" blocks in the first nine patch, and 4.75" blocks in the second nine patch.  After you've sewn the final block together it will be 12 3/4" unfinished. You could trim it to 12 1/2" (or just leave it close enough!). I hope that helps.

I love seeing what you make with my tutorials, please link or email if you get a chance!


Livin' Blue Quilter said...

I love this tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

Scrapatches said...

Great idea! Thanks for sharing ... :) Pat

Willit Neverend said...

Great tutorial. Very easy to understand.
I love seeing orange and blue together.

Katie said...

great idea and it looks great.

Kara said...

Brilliant! Thank you.

Grit said...

It is cool. Thank you.

Gene Black said...

That is pretty cool, Christina. Weren't you clever to work out the math and put it here for our convenience!

Elsa said...

Really great block and the tutorial took the mystery out of this block for me! Thanks for the tutorial ~

Rachael Dorr said...

I really love this idea. This is a HUGE improvement on the idea if you ask me!

Lara B. said...

Great Looking block and a wonderfully clear tutorial! The fog on this one has cleared, thanks to you Christina!

Sharon said...

I use the disappearing nine patch for my baby quilts. Thanks for the tutorial reminder.

Georgia Browne said...

Love this tutorial and wonderful for a baby quilt. It looks so difficult but is so easy to do. Thanks.

Ruth Anne said...

This is such a clever idea. It looks so complicated, but isn't. Thank you for sharing.

Eileen Emberger said...

I will surely make this one. LOVE it.

Britt-Inger said...

Thanks for a lovely tutorial. I love it and a good scrap eater.

Clint/Wendy said...

My mother-in-law has been looking for a pattern to use with the Taxi cab prints. She was wondering around one of the Q-stores up here and found your pattern and she loved the look and will be making it soon.
Thank you for a fabulous blog and resource- Grateful!

Hannele said...

Thank you vor this tutorial, I certainly will try this!

Diana Rayward said...

This technique I HAVE to try! Love the effect achieved. Thank you for sharing.

Quilteuse Forever said...

Great tutorial!
On Wednesday I will put a link to this great tuto on my blog.
Thanks for sharing.

Emily Morris said...

So I am terrible at math but would really like to make this block in a miniature version. Like 1/4 the size. I came out with small blocks at .75" and the large blocks 1 inch but that doesn't seem at all right. Anyone? Thanks in advance!

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