The nine patch block is one of the most simple blocks you can make... and also one of the most useful. It's called a nine patch because it has three rows of three patches each -- nine patches.
The block looks like this when it's complete:
How big is it?
You can make this block any size you would like. All you need to do is to assign a size to each patch of the block. For instance, if you assign 2" (finished) to each patch, the block would be 6x6" finished. If you assign 3" (finished) to each patch, the block would be 9x9" finished.
Instructions - How do I make it?
Quilters use a 1/4" seam allowance. Therefore, you could cut five 2-1/2" patches of one color, and four 2-1/2" patches of a second color and sew them together into the finished block. However, if you are making enough blocks for a big quilt, that would take you a long time.
The easier way is to make this block from strips of fabric sewn together and then re-cut into rows. Let's say you wanted your block to be 6x6" finished -- each patch is 2x2" finished. Cut your fabric cross-wise into 2-1/2" strips ... your strips will be 2-1/2x42" (approximately). Cut 4 strips of blue and 4 strips of yellow to start. Stitch them right sides together using a 1/4" seam allowance, two sets of blue-yellow-blue and one set of yellow-blue-yellow. They should look like this:
Then cut these strips crosswise into rows. Your rows are cut the same width as your strips; if your strips are 2-1/2" wide, your rows are also 2-1/2". Your rows will look like this:
Sew your rows together into blocks, still using a 1/4" seam allowance:
You can see that you need two rows of blue-yellow-blue for every row of yellow-blue-yellow. At this point, your block should measure 6-1/2 x 6-1/2" because you still have a seam allowance around the outside.
Great - now that I've got it, what do I do with it?
Nine patch blocks are very versatile. They are often combined with solid blocks of the same size. (If your Nine Patch was 6" finished, or 6-1/2" unfinished, your solid block would be cut 6-1/2" unfinished to match it.) Here are some examples of Nine Patch blocks combined with solid blocks:
Single Irish Chain
More to think about!
You'll find lots of ways to use the Nine Patch block pattern. Here are a few to inspire you!
Color it in a different way - Rainbow Nine Patch