Sometimes the best quilt to make is a fast & easy scrappy quilt. You just sew fabric squares together and the nine patch block is the easiest way to do this.
Keeping a stash of quilt blocks cut in various sizes will always come in handy for this type of a quilt. I usually separate my batiks from my regular quilt stash but that is just a personal choice.
There are other times I mix my fabrics, especially if there is a particular color or print I want to include in a quilt.
The Scrappy Quilt or Quilts
The other day was my grandson’s 16th birthday and it was fun to go out to dinner with the family and celebrate. He mentioned that his bedroom is cold and even with 2 of my quilts he is still cold.
My daughter said that her quilt….. which I made almost 40 years ago……keeps her warmer than any other quilt I have made.
Hmmmmmm, driving home I got to thinking about that and realized her quilt had a high loft polyester batting in it. It also dawned on me that she wasn’t using any of the new quilts I made on her bed.
I have been making all of my quilts now with Warm & Natural cotton batting and I have to admit……they just aren’t warm. I thought it was because I quilt heavily but even when I have tried quilting with a bigger loopy design…..the quilts aren’t that warm.
The night before last I woke up in the middle of the night and thought about the huge pile of 9 patch blocks I made about 6 years ago and never used and……a high-loft polyester batting that I had kept.
Sometimes I get some of my best ideas like that, the next morning I pulled out my blocks.
I decided to make each of the grandchildren a fast and easy scrappy quilt with all of those blocks.
Scrappy Quilt Blocks
The 9 patch blocks…….I cut all the squares 16 years ago, so the fabrics are old!
For some reason I cut them all 4- inches square, I cut hundreds and hundreds of them. Then I stopped quilting for some reason and they sat in a box for about 10 years. I’m pretty sure this is the time I was doing craft shows and only making table runners, Longeburger basket lids, and small quilted items.
Cut your blocks
Cut your blocks whatever size you like, if you have charm squares that are 5-inches square, use them.
Use a ¼-inch seam allowance and start piecing 9 patch blocks.
- 4½-inch squares will give you a finished quilt block of 4-inches
- Sew 3 blocks together for a row
- Make 3 rows and sew them together for your 9 patch block
- Your 9 patch block will measure 12½-inches by 12½-inches square
- The finished size of the blocks will be 12-inches by 12 inches
60 x 84 quilt
Thursday I pieced the quilt tops, the granddaughters have bunk beds so I made the quilts approximately 60 x 84.
- Piece 35 9 patch blocks to make a 60 x 84 quilt
- Sew 7 rows of 5 quilt blocks, then sew your rows together
Longer quilt for a tall person
My grandson is tall so his quilt will be bigger, I added one additional block to each row and also added another row. His quilt is a full size at 81 x 96. There are 504 blocks on top and I also used the block for the back of his quilt.
After piecing all 3 tops I still have a gazillion 9 patch blocks left so…..I pieced the backs too. Now I have about a million blocks left.
I wanted quilts that were warm and fast to make so I laid out the top and bottom and sewed 3 sides together.
Next I turned the quilt right side out and pushed the batting inside. I used safety pins to keep the batting in the corners and along the top and sides.
There is nothing perfect about these quilts. It can be good practice for a beginner quilter to learn how to match up seams when sewing your blocks together.
I actually made several quilts this way years ago when I first started quilting and knew nothing about adding binding.
The quilting is a simple free motion wiggle along the seams. I find this much easier than trying to stitch in the ditch which means stitching along the seam. I finished the bottom by just stitching it closed.
I finished 2 of them by last night and had to wait until this morning to take some photos. One had been washed, the other is in the wash machine now. Here is a closeup of the quilting after washing and drying the quilt.
These are quilts that I think of as utility quilts, they are meant to be used all the time, taken on picnics, out on the beach, wrap the dog in it……just enjoy them. Made in a smaller size, they are perfect kennel quilts for dogs shelters.
I can already tell that the quilts are warmer than my cotton ones. These will be Christmas presents and if I have time I might put “real binding along the edges….I’m thinking a different color for each grandchild so it is easy to tell who the quilt belongs to and give a nice look to them.
After each of the quilts were done I decided it would be nice to put different colors of binding on the quilts to make it easy to tell whose was whose.
I am really tickled that I have all 3 quilts finished. All 3 quilts have been washed and dried so I didn’t take them down by the river for pictures.
I will admit that they look much nicer bound this way. Each quilt binding was sewn on by machine, I have a tutorial for this.
Different Sizes of quilt squares
Remember you can cut your quilt squares out any size you like. AccuQuilt has quite a few square dies that would make it easy to cut up your fabrics.
- 4½-inch unfinished square – the size I used for my quilts – 12½-inch unfinished 9 patch block
- 5-inch unfinished square – charm square size – 14-inch unfinished 9 patch block
- 6½-inch unfinished square – 18½-inch unfinished 9 patch block
If you make a quilt consisting of 7 rows of 5 blocks for a total of 35 quilt blocks, here is an idea of the quilt size.
- 12½-inch unfinished 9 patch blocks – 60 x84
- 14-inch unfinished 9 patch blocks – 70 x 98
- 18½-inch unfinished 9 patch blocks – 90 x 126
By adding more blocks to a row or more rows, you can make a quilt to fit any bed.
Want to use 2½-inch squares?
2½-inch unfinished quilt squares are perfect for a baby quilt. Take a look at my Scrappy Butterfly baby quilt tutorial. It has applique butterflies but you could easily make all of the blocks 9 patch quilt blocks.
So how do you feel about polyester batting? I have many, many old table runners and center pieces that I made using polyester batting and…..they still look great. I have also used polyester threads in my quilts and don’t think anything about it.
Update after reading comments
It was very interesting to read everyone’s comments on me using polyester batting in the quilts as I wanted them puffy and warm.
All but one of my old quilt had polyester batting in them and have been washed many, many times.
Only one quilt has bearding…..pieces of the batting coming through and…..that quilt has some poly/cotton blends in it and also some fabrics where the weave isn’t very tight. I’m not worried about bearding.
The reason I sewed 3 sides together, turned the quilt right side out and then stuffed the batting inside was because I didn’t want to fight stitching the batting to the quilt on my vintage Singer which I used to piece and quilt the quilts.
When I made the full size quilt I decided to only sew the top and bottom together on just one side. Then I slipped the high loft poly batting in between, pinned and then quilted it. I did a free motion quilting doing a serpentine wiggle so I could avoid quilting over the cross seams. These are not perfect quilts…..there is a little tuck here and there but I’m okay with that. I know these will get used a lot.
I have started using Hobbs 80/20 Heirloom batting and like it for most of my quilts now. It isn’t a high loft batting but with 20% of it polyester, it does feel a little warmer and it washes up nice.
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