Quilting 101: Disappearing Nine Patch and Other Variations

Updated on October 28, 2017

Cut up the Pieces, Flip Them Around, and Watch Your Nine-Patch Disappear

Well, hello again, my quilty friends! Glad to see that you're back for more. In my last page, "Nine-Patch Basics," I showed you a few fast techniques for making a classic nine-patch block, which is a true staple in the quilting stable. Now, I'll show you a few variations and simple ways to toss up this basic block to make it more interesting and a little bit more exciting.

The main variation to this classic quilt block, and it's a good one, is the disappearing nine-patch. As the name implies, the parts of the block seem to disappear through a fantastic puzzle-like effect. So, if you're ready to get going and do something with your nine-patch blocks, I'll show you how.

O'Lipfa 11111 Ruler with Lip Edge, 5 x 24-Inch
O'Lipfa 11111 Ruler with Lip Edge, 5 x 24-Inch
Ach! This is my absolute favorite ruler. It's hard to decide what's the best feature. The lip that securely wraps around the cutting mat for straighter cuts? The handy, dandy five-inch width? The convenient 1/4-inch lines and 1/8th inch hash marks or the angle lines? This is the only ruler you need.

Here's My Disappearing Nine-Patch Quilt - This simple technique is guaranteed to have great results.

For this quilt, I used a fat quarter bundle to create a boat load of random disappearing nine-patch squares that are framed by mitered borders.
For this quilt, I used a fat quarter bundle to create a boat load of random disappearing nine-patch squares that are framed by mitered borders.

How to Make a Disappearing Nine-Patch Quilt Block - A simple way to make a beautiful variation

Step 1: Bust out your cutting mat, rotary cutter and quilting ruler. It's okay if you don't have these tools, but they do make life easier. If a rotary cutter and ruler aren't at your disposal, make a cardboard template, use a marking too and cut along your line with scissors.

Step 2: Make the cut. For this variation, each nine-patch block will be cut in quarters. One cut up and down will give you to halves. Then, each piece will be halved again to create four quarters.

Step 3: Play with your pieces. This is the fun part because there are several variations and possibilities, depending on where the small squares from the former center block end up.

Step 4: Once you've found the arrangement that you like, it's time to sew your pieces back together. If you're making a disappearing nine-patch quilt, you'll have a lot of block, so you can simply join each quartered piece to create rows.

If you want to make one block, join the first two units, then the bottom two. Finally, join your two halves together to create one finished block. Lovely!

Other Variations

How to Make a Disappearing a Four-Patch

The four-patch block, which I haven't talked about yet, is another candidate for this "disappearing" technique. The four-patch is like a simple checkerboard grid with four squares arranged dark-light over light-dark. The disappearing four-patch is so charming. It reminds me of little presents topped with bows. So, here's what you need to do to create these clever blocks.

Step 1: Make two parallel cuts up and down.

Step 2: Next, make two more parallel cuts side to side. This will give you three bi-color strips. One long one that was cut first and two smaller ones that were cut second.

Step 3: Then, take the long strip, and make two more cuts to create a small four-patch square that equals the width of your strips. You'll rotate the square and flip all of the longer strips, so that the color of each block alternates as shown.

Tip! How narrow or wide you make the strips is up to you, just remember that you'll lose 1/2 of an inch in width once the two quarter-inch seams are sewn.

Step 4: Once again, here comes the fun part, you get to arrange all of your little pieces. What you need to do is reverse the color arrangement of your pieces, so the strips provide alternating colors and contrast. Finally, the mini four-patch block in the center will be rotated to contrast each of its neighbors.

Step 5: Assemble all nine pieces. The top row will have one large block, one strip and a second large block. The middle row will have the mini four-patch sandwiched between two strips, and the bottom row will repeat the arrangement of the top row.

Step 6: Once you have your three rows assembled, you'll join them all together and voila! It's a finished disappearing four-patch.

Things to Know

1. Start with 5-inch blocks. These are a standard size and super easy to work with.

2. Always use 1/4 inch seam allowance for quilts. Measure your finished seam just to make sure. If you can't find an exact 1/4 inch seam, just be consistent.

3. There's no need to back tack your seams when piecing quilt blocks.

4. Press your seam allowances toward the darker block, and interlock seams. One seam will go left and the other row's will go right. When you block is complete, open all seams and press.

Feel free to share your tips, finished projects and struggles right here! I'll be happy to answer any questions if you have them.

© 2014 QuiltFinger

Have you tried these techniques? - What's your favorite? Did you love the result?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      12 months ago

      Thank You, I was looking for this tutorial. I always want to try this one. Very clear details. Love it. Will try soon.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      The info on disappearing 4 and 9 patch was just what I needed. :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, feltmagnet.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)