Round of Nines is perfect for all those collected squares in your stash. Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville, also a regular contributor to Quiltmaker Magazine, was my inspiration. I started sewing together all my random 2 1/2″ blocks after reading her blog post describing her method of taming her stash by using block pieces instead of fabric tags to start and end a row of stitching. You can find more Leaders and Enders inspiration by following the link here.
When the opportunity came to create my version of Round of Nines, I had a stash of 2 ½ “ squares ready to go. It was an easy decision to use these ready-made pairs to construct the center nine patch. The resulting blocks are the kitchen sink variety. I paired a light with any other square that came to hand. and stitched them together to form the 9 patch centers.
This quilt is a real stash buster made only from materials on hand. While playing with block options and layout, the secondary hour glass pattern jumped out to me. I chose a piece of a brown polka dot that had been aging in my stash paired with random light color strips left from a jelly roll to emphasize the secondary pattern. The polka dots on brown remind me of scattered candy coated chocolate candies on chocolate frosting. (I know. I have a strong imagination.)
I chose to strip piece the corner triangles to use every bit of fabric available. Using the EZ Angle Companion tool, I determined that I needed a 3 ½ inch strip set. I cut one 2 inch dark and one 2 inch light strip the width of fabric (WOF) for each set. Be precise with your quarter inch seams and press carefully to keep the strips straight. Align the ruler top to bottom then reverse along the length of the strip. I used a rotating mat to help in cutting the angles.
The next step – choosing the block layout. I chose option 1 with the dark touching the mostly light block and the light touching the mostly dark. In option 2, some of the colored blocks in the nine patch seemed to fade into the dark border.
The top was finished with a narrow aqua border followed by more brown polka dot. Jody Gagnon of the local Quail Country Quilt Guild quilted the top using aqua blue thread in a cinnamon roll design which made the colors pop.
The binding is faux-piping top stitched with a decorative stitch built in my machine. The piping effect is accomplished by sewing together a 2 ½” strip (piping color) and a 1 ½” strip of the base color. Iron the seams open and press in half lengthwise. Sew the combined strip to the back of the quilt, turn to the front and top stitch either stitch in a ditch or using a decorative stitch as pictured above.
When using a decorative stitch, be sure to start with a full spool and a full bobbin. Fortunately, I had another spool that was a close match to finish the last three inches. Lesson learned.
I love the final result. Introducing Kandy Kisses.
One stash buster wasn’t enough so I decided to go for two. Round of Nines is a fantastic pattern not only for nine patch blocks, but for any orphan blocks you may have sitting around. A friend gave me a stack of his mother’s orphan blocks years ago. They have been patiently waiting for the right project ever since.
These modified hour glass blocks appear to have been cut using a template and are machine stitched. The fabrics span the years of her stash collecting from 1940s and 50s to the 1990s. It took some creative trimming to come close to square.
These scrappy blocks needed colors to meld them together into a cohesive unit. I pulled every option from my stash.
After much testing, I made these choices. I loved the multi-colored pattern in this piece of Aurora by Robert Kaufman. The caramel yellows became my neutral. This quilt started with a vision of the vintage blocks circling the secondary hour glass, Time After Time.
However, this quilt kept evolving as many do. The secondary blocks become more dominate in the pieced top.
It finally settled into being Times Past, quilted by Jody Gagnon with an original feather pattern and finished with a wide binding matching the back of the quilt.
If you also have orphan blocks looking for a home, I highly recommend the Round of Nines pattern. The options are endless and your stash will thank you.