Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nine-Patch & Hourglass

This quilt hangs on the wall in our kitchen and is another one of my favorites! From the moment I saw this design in a quilting book, I knew I wanted to make it. I bought the entire book just for the pattern to make this one! The name of the pattern is "Nine Patch & Hourglass" (I'll explain why later). I love the combination of the pieced center and the appliqued border.

I believe I started this around 2000 and finished it in 2002 (maybe early 2003). This quilt is approximately 56" x 56". I used machine piecing, hand applique, and hand quilting techniques in this one.

So, for those of you non-quilters (or maybe beginning quilters), here's why it's called "Nine Patch and Hourglass".... The blocks that are made up of the squares are called 9-Patch. There are nine small squares that make up the larger square (three rows by three rows). See it?

Okay, now look at the alternating you see the hourglass made by the triangles? Those are called quarter square triangles (a square cut into quarters diagonally).  There you have it -- nine patch and hourglass!

Close-up of a 9-patch square (and you can see my quilting).

Close-up of an hourglass block and my quilting.

Fabric selection for this quilt was a learning process. I studied and studied the picture of this quilt in the book and tried to replicate it as best I could. All of the colored fabrics I used were fabrics I already had in my stash. The only fabrics I purchased were the muslins and the dark blue border and binding fabrics.

I learned a lot about color, value, and scale while making this quilt. I tried to use a variety of light, medium, and dark fabrics while also varying the scale of the prints. I used colors I would not normally "like" but realized the important role these fabrics play in the overall design. It's always a good idea to use fabrics of varying scale (the size of the prints), especially when you will be cutting them up into small pieces. A fabric that looks one way when seen as the whole cloth can look completely different when chopped into 1" squares. By the way, each of the little squares in this quilt is 3/4".

The flowers were also fun to make! I really enjoyed choosing the fabrics for each one. In this purple flower, you can see what I was talking about with scale. The petals are made using a larger floral print, while the center "bud" is almost a solid color and much darker.

The vine, leaves, and each flower petal are hand sewn onto the quilt. The border took me quite a long time to finish, but I really love the way it came out!

Three of the dozens of green fabrics I used for the vine and leaves.

This is a really good close-up of the quilting. I outlined the vine, each leaf, and each flower.


Another flower

Love the little ladybugs!

Purple flower

As seen from the back....

When we moved to the house we are in now, I added the two hanging sleeves -- one across the top and one across the bottom. I put two so that we could periodically rotate the quilt to minimize uneven fading. It hangs in a fairly bright part of the house where there is a skylight and a lot of natural light. It is not generally recommended to hang quilts where they are going to have so much light exposure (it fades the fabrics), but it just looks so good on that wall in our kitchen, that I had to hang it there!

Close-up of my quilting around the applique border.

Just another close-up of my quilting, as seen from the back.

I had to add these -- my kids having a ball running through this as I was trying to take pictures of it!

She loves the feel of fabrics! Future quilter, perhaps?

Just like her mom!


  1. Just happened upon this while looking for a pattern for my daughter's wedding quilt. This is just lovely and I might overcome my dislike of applique to do a similar border. Beautiful work. Thanks!

  2. Elizabeth, Thank you for the compliment! I can't take credit for the design, but I fell in love with it when I saw it in a quilting book. I'm glad I gave you some inspiration! It's a little scary at first when you try applique, but I have found it SO worth it. It really opened up a lot of different possibilities for me in quilting. I hope you give it a try!

  3. I found your quilt when I search 9-patch on google. It's a beautiful quilt. The squares are so tiny! I'm working on a baby quilt and started with 2 1/2" squares but decided they were too large. I'm doing 2" squares now but am still wondering if they're too large, especially after seeing your quilt. Great job!

  4. Beautiful quilt, love it. Thanks for posting!