Daysail disappearing 9 patch baby quilt

There are few quilts that are easier to take on than a disappearing nine patch.  So, over the weekend, I opened up my Daysail layer cake at last, and decided to get cracking on one.

Sometimes people say to me that they don’t like working with layer cakes because there is just too much colour in it for one project.  I understand that sentiment sometimes, but often find I get the best results when using a layer cake (or any other pre-cut for that matter) if I make a decision to only use a few of the colours in the pack, and save the rest for another project.  That way the few colours you choose to focus on get to shine, and the result is not so overwhelming.

In this case, I decided to use the reds, navys, whites and aquas in the pack, and save the cream, green and teal for another day.

Here’s the method:

1.  Cut layer cake slices into 4 x 5″ patches.  I cut 21 slices (sometimes in bulk by stacking a few of them up) to make a quilt that will be 6 blocks by 6 blocks (about 41″ square finished size).

2.  Arrange the patches into sets of 9.  I like to choose one colour that will always be the centre block in these arrangements.  You’ll see why soon.  For this project, I chose red to be the centre patch.

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3.  Sew these blocks together, to form a 9-patch block.  Use a 1/4″ seam and press each row in the opposite direction so that the seams nest as you join the rows of the block together

4.  After a good press, lay your 9-patch on your cutting mat.  You need to measure carefully the centre lines of the block, both vertically and horizontally.  I’ve marked approximately the lines you need to locate in yellow on the picture below.  Where to cut5.  Cut the 9-patch block into 4 smaller blocks, along the yellow lines that you have measured.  Be as accurate as is possible!

6.  You should now have 4 small patches, each with one large square, one small (in my case, red) square and two rectangles.  Trim these so that they are of identical size.  I trimmed them all to 6 3/4″ square.

7.  Lay out your patches into the arrangement for the quilt.  Here’s an example of how you can lay it out, but there is plenty of room for improvisation and experimentation here!  I try not to over-think it.  In my view, some imperfection is desirable, but each to their own.

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8.  As you can see, when you choose a single colour for the centre of the 9 patch block, it ends up becoming a common thread in the finished design that brings the whole quilt together.  I think it can make an otherwise messy/scrappy design look orderly enough to be pleasing to the eye.

8.  Sew together your small blocks into rows.  Press the seams in opposite directions.

9.  Join your rows together, matching the points where the blocks meet and locking the seams (by having them pressed into opposite directions).

10.  Give your masterpiece a good press, cut some backing and wadding to size, baste, quilt and bind!

Enjoy this fun, easy project.


Why shouldn’t face flannels be pretty?

We have a lot of face washers (flannels) in our house.  They’re all plain white… not exciting at all.  Yet, my little one absolutely loves them.  She would play with and chew on them all day, if I would let her.


Inspired by Sing All You Want, I decided to make her some pretty ones.  I used a very different method though, so if you were planning on making some too, perhaps check out both posts and see which one will work best for you.

I cut a 10″ square of nice, soft terry towelling, and grabbed a 10″ layer cake square.  I chose some fabrics from ABC Menagerie, a line by Abi Hall for Moda.  It’s colourful, and of excellent quality.


I pinned them right sides together, then sewed around all four sides with a 1/4″ seam, leaving a 4″ gap on one side to be able to turn it through.



Hopefully you can see the gap I left for turning it through in this picture.


I turned it through so that the right sides were facing out, and used the end of a paintbrush to poke the corners out to be as pointy as possible.  In most sewing projects, I would trim the corners to reduce the bulk and make them pointier, but I was a bit worried about the terry towelling enduring this, so I left the corners untrimmed before turning it through.

I pressed the item, and pressed the hole so that the fabric and terry towelling looked like the sides that had been sewn.


I then did a top-stitch around all four sides, taking care to make sure that the hole is nicely closed up in the process.  I back-stitiched a little at the start and finish to make it nice and strong.

Easy, and done!  They are forgiving enough to be a good project for a less confident seamstress, or to be made very quickly by someone with confidence.


I then got carried away and made a whole pile.  These would make great gifts for new babies, particularly where you don’t feel close enough to give a whole quilt (or if you don’t have time to make a whole quilt!).

My creation was tested out at bath time, and was a hit.  These might become a real staple.

My husband asked how much they cost to make, exclusive of time.  I don’t usually do calculations like these, because all quilters know it is a labour of love, not a penny-pinching exercise.  They always cost so much more than a store-bought blanket would (but that’s not the point, darling!  It’s about the love that goes into them).  Anyway, I did the math, and they work out (fairly conservatively) at AU$1.94 each.  Not cheap, but not expensive for something that is colourful and practical.

Have a great week.