Thursday, January 15, 2015

Crazy Fun 9-Patch Quilt Blocks Text/image Tutorial

Crazy Fun 9-Patch Quilt Blocks

Begin with three 11” squares of good quality quilting cotton fabric—because it’s a scrappy block, the colors and prints don’t have to match at all, but I like to put a light, a bright and a darker valued selection. It makes the pattern show a little better. 

Using your rotary cutter and quilt ruler, cut an angled cut through all three squares at once.  There is no rule for this cut except make sure you have enough at the narrowest part to make a visible patch when it’s all finished.


Next take the top piece on the left side and put it on the bottom of the stack

Sew the narrow pieces onto the left side pieces, with a ¼” seam allowance.

Press the seams to one side and press the square open.  Re-stack the way they were before you sewed them.

Turn counter clockwise so the narrow piece is on the top, and make another angled cut down the right side..

Take the top left piece and move it to the bottom

To make it easier to keep the stacks in order, I flip each over to the left as I match the cut piece to the bigger piece.

As you press the seams, you will see that they often will be angled in the same direction

Fold the top one to the opposite direction when you sew it for a smoother flatter block. 

The next seamed and pressed open stack should look like this:


Cut again on the right side and… 

… move the top left piece again to the bottom.

Your three blocks  should look something like this:

Stack them again, rotate  and cut the last angled cut on the right and move the left piece again to the bottom.

The final blocks should be arranged like this, three diagonal patches should be the same:    




I sew them one after the other without cutting them apart so the order stays right, and...
I can press the seams all at once to the proper side, then clip the threads between the blocks and press them open.

On the seam side, one pair should go outward…

…and on the other side they should go inward.

The back of the finished block should be nice and neat.

Here are the three finished blocks


Crazy Fun Nine-Patch exploration result

The images in my previous post were not as helpful as I'd hoped, since, in real reality, the pieces are scrappy in nature, and each block is different, made of different materials and colors. The images I posted were all the same colors--but I was thinking that the basic underlying pattern would sort of show that way in a quilt.  It still may, if the quilt is seen from a distance, because then the values of the colors will be more important, but in general, on a bed, the patterns don't matter as much.

In addition, I went back and watched the video tutorial by Mary Porter of Fons and Porter, and at about 1:22, you can see the sample quilt she made, and the blocks are all different in orientation.  So, I have to get out of my box and relax a little, and let myself go "cray-cray" with these blocks! lol  I must say that all these blocks were for Swap-bot swaps, and the ones I have to make my quilt from now all came from other people, most of whom did their blocks "correctly", so I'm happy with that.  Sore more experimentation is in order to make a series of blocks using 1 color/print of the block the same in all the blocks, with the other 2 colors/prints being "scrappy" to see if I can make a pattern.  Should be interesting.

Here's the one "done wrong" block I did

Here are some of my "correct" blocks

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Crazy Fun 9-Patch Quilt Question

A question came up in a discussion about making a quilt top with Crazy Fun 9-Patch blocks—would it make any difference if one of the blocks was made incorrectly—ie: not having the three diagonal patches the same pattern?

Here are samples of the two blocks:



 In general it could be said that there isn’t really a right or wrong in making them, but according to the instructions in the creator's tutorial, doing it the “right way” results in three diagonal patches matching patterns (the yellow in the correct image).

 Granted, the blocks are scrappy in design, and none of them match another in colors or patterns, but they do have a directional matching in those three patches.

When you assemble them all together they can create any number of overall patterns, like the one below:

This is 20 blocks( 4 x 5) oriented in 5 chevron rows, every other row mirrored on the one before it

This is the look when all the blocks are oriented the same way, using incorrect blocks:

 This pattern is at least as attractive as the “correct” one.

The Crazy Fun 9-Patch Quilts don’t turn out quite this even in reality, because all the blocks are unique in their cutting and sewing patterns, but they do have the visible diagonals in each one that does show in the overall quilt top.

Here is what one might look like with one off block done in the incorrect way:

The upper left is obviously not right, and there is no way to orient it to make it fit. Some may not care, since it’s a scrappy look overall, but it can drive some people crazy...and not in a fun way.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Bike Storage

All the storage ideas I see on Pinterest for hanging your bike up in apartments, etc show men's bikes. I have a Woman's bike with the down-swooping bar, originally designed to make room for skirts and modesty, but it does make it easier to get on and off!

I need to store it indoors in my new apartment, which means basically up off the floor somehow, so I finally designed my own hangers--nothing special, just rods that will hang from the studs and hold the bike in appropriate spaces in the pipes.
They can be regular rubber coated utility/bike hooks, or pieces of dowel or long bolts covered with pipe insulation.

Since we have 10-12 ft. ceilings, I'd love to put it on a pulley to get it really out of the way.  We'll see.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Houseplants safe for our cats

Since moving into our new apartment, and away from the unlimited garden of the old place, I miss greenery and have been looking for houseplants to fill that void.  The only problem is our two cats who love to chew on anything green we bring in.  I've made them their own pot of wheatgrass, which they love, and mow down as if they were a pair of grey sheep, but it isn't what I've been looking for as far as attractive and interesting greens for me!

Searching Pinterest and Google, I've found quite a few:
from I found a nice list of safe, practically unkillable plants

easy care plants

Watermelon Begonia,Peperomia argyreia



532b3f9d49727ac952caf21bf0473d56 Spider Plant, Chlorophytum comosum

Grape Ivy, cissus

Cast Iron Plant, Aspidistra elatior

Chocolate Soldier

Chocolate Soldier,Lace Flower Vine, episcia dianthiflora

Not so good:

Norfolk Pine


For best results, check out the full list on the ASPCA website: