Diagonal 9 Patch #3: Top Finished

Diagonal 9 Patch #3 Top Finished
Diagonal 9 Patch #3 Top Finished

DH is taking a class on Friday Nights now, so I have some time to do what I want. The other night I had plans with my niece, but had about 1.5 hours to do what I wanted. What I wanted to do was finish the Diagonal 9 Patch I had been working on. I had worked on it at lunch and it was very close, so I spent some time finishing it.

It looks very watercolor-y and parts of the foreground blend with the background. I think it is ok, but I don’t think I would make this pattern with that kind of background in the future.

The family is having a boy and this has a lot of pink in it, but it doesn’t scream GIRL to me.

It is very different from the Baby 2 Jacobs Diagonal Patch.

Diagonal 9 Patch Nearly Finished

Diagonal 9 Patch #3 Top in Process
Diagonal 9 Patch #3 Top in Process

I am slowly chunking the Diagonal 9 Patch #3 together. I’d like to get on to the green Diagonal 9 Patch soon, or start one of the newest donation quilts from the green strip blocks. Unfortunately, the large piece I made for the Retreat Organizer is taking up most of the design wall. I really need to get back to that project, if for no other reason than to get it off the design wall. Life is in full swing, however, and May is busy, so I snatch time where I can.

I am sneakily, not maliciously, teaching people to chunk quilts together. I showed Anna how to chunk the other day at Sew Day.

Diagonal 9 Patch #3 Blocks

Diagonal 9 Patch #3
Diagonal 9 Patch #3

I spent the other day working on these blocks and I am already to put them together.

I wasn’t sure if the background would look good. I think it does. It looks very watercolor-y, which is different than the other one I made. I am glad they look different, but have a lot of similarities.

Now to put the blocks together.

Baby Jacobs Diagonal 9 Patch Top

Baby Jacobs Diagonal 9 Patch top
Baby Jacobs Diagonal 9 Patch top

The top is done! Remember? I started it at the Retreat.  I had to reorient two squares as I sewed them in the wrong way somehow. Fortunately it  was no big deal, mostly because they were both on the edge.

I think the top came out really well. The background has some light dots on it. The contrast is good.  Onto to back binding and getting it quilted.

I don’t know whether my niece is having a boy or a girl. I hope the amount of pink in this quilt is ok for a boy as well.

Retreat Projects

I brought 4 projects to work on. I was able to work on all of them and make significant progress.

Colorblocks 3 - quilted
Colorblocks 3 – quilted

First, on Friday, I buckled down and quilted the Colorblocks quilt. You will see some in progress posts after already knowing that I finished the quilt, but that is the breaks with my blog. 😉

Colleen did a better job of quilting Colorblocks 2, but I am not unhappy with my work.

As you can see, I have to take out the pins, trim, add binding and a sleeve. I also need to enter it into the Fair. I am really pleased I got to quilt it at the Retreat as it was a lot more pleasant to do an unpleasant job in the company of others.

After that chore was done, I was able to have fun with my three other projects. They are all Diagonal 9 Patch quilts like the one I made for my great nephew.

First, I started out by cutting some strips with the Accuquilt, then subcutting the strips into the sizes I needed. I did this and just sewed. I used 2.5 inch squares I had been cutting and saving from scraps.

Baby Jacobs quilt start
Baby Jacobs quilt start

After awhile I had a good start on all three. After I saw what I had for this version of the pattern, I did some match and began sewing the ‘A’ blocks with determination. After awhile I ended up with a lot of ‘A’ blocks, so I finished the ‘B’ blocks I needed and laid the quilt out.

Baby Jacobs Diagonal 9 Patch laid out
Baby Jacobs Diagonal 9 Patch laid out

I still had to fill in some of the blocks, but eventually I was able to make a square quilt (8 blocks x 8 blocks). I started putting it together on Sunday night and was able to finish in time to get some tickets before the final raffle drawing.

Baby Barney-Liang Diagonal 9 Patch
Baby Barney-Liang Diagonal 9 Patch

My second project, with the same pattern is for my nephew’s new baby. After I made a few blocks, I decided I needed to select darker squares, at least for the patches that are next to the background.

The background is a lot more painterly/ watercolor-y than it would be if I had used white or a light color background. I started off with about a yard and will keep making blocks until I run out.

Baby Barney-Liang Diagonal 9 Patch - show diagonal
Baby Barney-Liang Diagonal 9 Patch – show diagonal

I think it looks like a watercolor quilt from the 1990s (?).

The blue lines indicate the background. You can use the photo above for reference.  I think the fabrics will blend a little, but I think the effect will be good.

Green & Grey Diagonal 9 Patch
Green & Grey Diagonal 9 Patch

Finally, the last quilt I started using this pattern is a much more controlled palette. This is for another great nephew. I made a quilt for his sister and thought I had better make one for him before I sent hers off. They are both teenagers and might not be as understanding as my older nieces and nephews.

I kind of felt like I should work on a bag, but I wanted to do a lot of piecing. These quilts fit the bill.

Making these blocks is somewhat addictive. I want to make more and more until I have enough to make them into quilts. I don’t want to stop!! It was great to have so much time to sew. Of course, it is never enough, but I was pleased I was able to take advantage of the opportunity for so much uninterrupted sewing time.

Thread catcher by Claire
Thread catcher by Claire

One thing I forgot to mention the other day was the fabulous thread catcher that Claire made each one of the retreat participants. She wanted to work through some of her stash so she made 20 of these!!! They are large and amazing.

We each got to pick the one we wanted. I know this one isn’t turquoise, but the turquoise one that was left was not to my taste.

Now I have two thread catchers. I’ll have to figure out how to use them both.


Diagonal Nine Patch = Big Hit

We attended a wedding and a baby shower in Tahoe a few weeks ago. My niece and her husband came up from San Diego so we were able to celebrate them and their baby.

I gave them the Diagonal Nine Patch. I was super gratified at how well the quilt was received. My niece did like the storage bag I made for the quilt very much. She said she might keep it and use it for her own purposes. 😉

I was worried that the baby’s dad wouldn’t like it, but he pointed out the quilting thread color right away and really liked it. I was very relieved.

One of the other nephews said he thought this quilt might be my best ever! I didn’t tell him I got the design from Peggy! I am glad this quilt was a success. The happy couple received three quilts total.

Diagonal Nine Patch Finished

Diagonal Nine Patch Finished
Diagonal Nine Patch Finished

The Diagonal Nine Patch is finished. I am really pleased with how it came out. Of course, Colleen’s quilting makes it, but my choice of the various white on black fabrics looks really good, too. Even though the blacks have little to no contrast, the variety of prints makes each square stand out well.

I am also pleased with the striped binding. Striped binding is the best and I am glad I am able to use some of the stripes I have been saving.

I really like this pattern. I think it has a lot of potential. I got an idea for one of the Niece-phews quilts I have been meaning to make from making this quilt.

Diagonal Nine Patch back - Finished
Diagonal Nine Patch back – Finished

I do like the back. That large print on the left is really good. I am also pleased with my use of it. Some prints are great as they are – not cut up.

A number of these prints were leftover from the Cityscape (Black & Red Improv) quilt. I am glad I used them. They have been sitting around for awhile.

I finished the Diagonal Nine Patch just in time. The baby shower is this weekend. I may have just enough time to make a storage bag for the quilt. We’ll see.

Diagonal Nine Patch Returns

Diagonal Nine Patch - front detail
Diagonal Nine Patch – front detail

Colleen sent the Diagonal Nine Patch back. It will definitely be ready in time to head to the baby shower.

I like the quilting she did. The swirls in colored variegated thread look happy. Colleen does a great job and I am really happy to be getting some quilts back in the finishing loop.

Diagonal Nine Patch - back detail
Diagonal Nine Patch – back detail

The quilting is more obvious on the back despite the active prints I used.

I also think that the striped binding looks great. I have some time to sew it down while I wait for La Pass Month 13 to arrive.

I want to use this pattern again with 2.5 inch squares, but also one with larger squares such as 5 inch squares.

Diagonal Nine Patch Finished

Diagonal 9 Patch back
Diagonal 9 Patch back

I finished the back of the Diagonal Nine Patch Saturday morning before I drove to the BAM meeting. I found a piece of fabric that comprises the main part of the back (top left). The large print works well for a back and I am glad I didn’t cut it up for the front.

I used up a number of pieces of fabric that have been hanging around for awhile, which is always a good feeling.

Diagonal 9 Patch top
Diagonal 9 Patch top

I am pretty pleased not only that the whole package is ready to go to Colleen, but also that there were no tasks hanging around for after the meeting. It felt like a clean finish.

I chose a black and white stripe for the binding.

I worked on the back for 20 minutes or so on Friday after cleaning out the garage and that 20 minutes put everything in place for finishing on Saturday. Every minute counts!

Diagonal Nine Patch Continues

Diagonal 9 Patch in process
Diagonal 9 Patch in process

This is a pretty easy quilt so as soon as I finished all the bits and pieces required to make Pies & Points ready for quilting, I turned my attention to the Diagonal Nine Patch. I talked about the size in my last post and, as you can see, I increased the size. I think this size will be fine, but am still reserving judgement.

With 7×7 blocks, the quilt top will be about 42 inches square and my hesitation is whether that is a large enough quilt. I think it is on the verge of being large enough, but I may want to add another column and row.

I have about 7 more blocks to go in this configuration. The issue is that I am eager to get this quilt done and move on to Orange You Glad. I also want to bring this quilt to Colleen.

Diagonal Nine Patch Baby Quilt

Peggy's Diagonal Nine Patch
Peggy’s Diagonal Nine Patch

I got this idea from Peggy at the June BAM meeting. It was so simple that I slapped my head and wondered why I didn’t think of it.

Peggy is font of good ideas. The quilt she showed was scrappy and had a rose background. It was great and made me start thinking about my newest great niece-phew. S/he is expected in October.

I wanted to make the new baby a quilt, but nothing was generating any excitement. I wasn’t finding the mix of interesting patterns, ease of construction and appeal in the millions of patterns I have. When I saw this one, I felt a flicker of interest.

B&W Diagonal 9 Patch
B&W Diagonal 9 Patch

I decided to try some blocks in black and white and see what happened. I made them while working on Pies & Points.

I am really pleased with how they look. Most of the fabrics came from my bin of white on black dot fabrics. I got those out after I rummaged through my 2.5 inch square bins and pulled out all the white on black squares. Recently I have pulled out another bin of white on black fabrics to make more blocks. This is a great quilt for scraps, as you can see from Peggy’s version. Also, my black and white blocks are a controlled scrappy.

I started with the idea that I would make 18 A and 18 B blocks. I made most of the 18 blocks using the leaders and enders method while I worked on Pies & Points. Once that baby was finished, I put the Diagonal Nine Patch blocks up on the design wall. The blocks aren’t sewn together, but I decided I needed more blocks. I need to make at least one more column and one more row, but maybe two. I like generous baby quilts.

B&W Diagonal 9 Patch - A and B blocks
B&W Diagonal 9 Patch – A and B blocks

Once the blocks were pointed out to me, I could see how easy the quilt could be. The A block is highlighted on the left and the B block is in the middle. 

You can certainly use all squares, but I decided to save myself some time and figured out the size of strips I needed to use for the A blocks. It makes those blocks sew up a little bit more quickly.

The beauty of this design is that it can be made with 2.5 inch squares, 5 inch squares or any size really. One inch finished would take a lot of blocks unless you were making a doll quilt, but would be a great leaders and enders project. If you used blocks that were larger than 5 inches, it would be a great way to make a large quilt quickly. I am not sure if the design would show up very well, however.